Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Mosts/Leasts so Far by Dan 3/27

Favorite Place:  Iles Des Saintes, just south of Guadeloupe.  Had the best vibe, happiest people, relaxed place.  We even asked them why they are so happy, and one gal said she went to live in Paris and even then stayed happy for a long time.
Favorite Outting with the kids:  Mud slinging at the volcano in Soufriere St Lucia.  Little did they know we were simply providing skin conditioning.  White mud, black mud, oozy goozy.  Oops we wore white.
Best Baguette: Iles Des Saintes (maybe why they are so happy?)
Least Favorite:  Dominica.  Sights were good, but more than a normal number of people were harsh.
Least happy anchorage:  Deshaies Martinique (pronounced Day High), we kept spinning 360's all night.  Hard on the GPS anchor alarm.  But nice town and nice walk up creek.
Best anchorage:  Off beach in Rodney Bay, St Lucia.  Cool long sand beaches, lots to do,  breezy all the time, good sea floor surface for anchor.
Coolest Natural Wonder:  Titou Gorge, Dominica.  Like those tall narrow deep gorges in Bryce or Zion, but with water flowing thru it and a jump rock at the end.  Bunch of dingbat tourists from the cruise ship though.  We tried to dodge them.
Weirdest Anchorage: St Pierre, Martinique.  Goes from 20-30-40 feet deep to 300 feet deep a few feet further out.  Maybe has to do with the volcano blowing up in 1902 and toasting 30,000 people and the town except for two souls.
Hardest Sail:  47 miles from Guadeloupe to Antigua.  Was just a real long time, and the wind kept changing direction and velocity.
Happiest Time:  Arrival after 4+ hour passages.  Everyone comes alive (because they were asleep the whole time!).
Most Interesting Thing I Learned:  That the French gave up all of Canada to keep Martinique and Guadeloupe.  Because of their sweet tooth.
Most Fashionable:  Karina first day at Rodney Bay Marina, had access to some new clothes, and must have changed 4 or 5 times.
Most Surprising:  My top speed *with* fins will match a dog's dog paddle.  They haul.
Funniest:  Nikolas's stories, like visiting the "mechanical gardens" (Botanical Gardens).
Luckiest Moment:  Annika spaced and left her school backpack in the Dominica Botanical Gardens.  It was still there 4 hours later.
Unluckiest Moment:  Losing a key block (pulley), as we start to set sail from Martinique to St Lucia.  We motored the whole way.
Best Help on the Cat:  Mikai, who is a crack driver in just about any situation.  Great during anchoring.  Great for mooring balls.  He can even back into a slip, with wind blowing.  He even knows when "the engine doesn't sound right", except it wouldn't make the same sound twice.
Vertigo-est:  65 feet up at the top of the mast doing repairs.  Nice view, but not recommended to look down.  Frayed lines are also not a welcome sight.
Funnest Time:  Blowing up floaties, hanging out ski ropes to swing on, bringing out squirt guns, running off of deck holding on to halyard and letting go over the water.
Fastest Boat Speed:  10.5 miles per hour.
Best Thing About Traveling with Kids:  They meet all the kids right away, which connects adults to adults very quickly.
Worst Thing About Traveling with Kids:  When they go haywire.  Even a 43 foot catamaran can be a small place.
Most Wind:  32 knots.  Triple reefed (meaning sail is the size of a postage stamp) and doing top boat speed.
Biggest Waves:  15-20 feet at north end of St Vincent.  25 knots wind too.
Sharpest Eye:  Annika, who will spot any animal, insect, or sea creature within 100 yards.
Biggest Wow:  Seeing the super bright blue of the sun on the water and skin as a whale dives in and out.  It was almost like a bright blue light shining out of the water.
Dog Moment:  Watching a nose pushed into a hole in the ground, moments later the dog jumping high into the air as a crab goes for the pinch.
Frenchiest French:  Marin, Martinique.  Can you say attitude?  Can't imagine how it would have been if I spoke no French.
Foodiest:  Home cooked meal by "Her Highness" (Shawna's Radio Handle) after a long day.  How did she do that in that tiny kitchen?  One hint:  With*out* any one else in the kitchen.  Sometimes we put up yellow CAUTION tape across the kitchen.
Scariest:  When the dog jumped on the boat from the dock, as the boat moved back and forth, and slipped half on half off.  I think the dog still has a hand shaped clench on its back to this day.
Strangest:  Sitting at anchor at night no moon, and seeing eerie phosphorescence or jelly fish or both float by in the water.  First thought was ALIENS.
Deliciousest Moments: Sunset when the green thing happens for a few seconds, when it rains for 20 minutes on a hot day, sunsets, just before wake up time when all is still, night time beach walks, chilling on the trampoline, floating around a beach with the kids.

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