Saying goodbye to the Caribbean
Setting sail from Antigua on the 9th May bought mixed emotions. The lovely
thoughts of seeing family and friends again in Spain and in the UK, but the
wrench of tugging ourselves away from the Caribbean.
Our Caribbean experience has exceeded all expectation. Sailing in crystal
clear aquamarine water with the warmest tradewind sea breezes we have ever felt
on our faces.
The joy of sailing from island to island and the expectation of another
island nation and culture. our voyages between islands have spanned 120 miles to
We all know the archetypal Caribbean cultural experience but the
idiosyncrasies of each island brings new flavour.
The vegetation of the islands has been different to what we expected. The
glorious white cedar and mancheel trees create great shapes coating the
mountainous islands with a varied green textured canopy. The palm trees we
expected to see everywhere were generally in planted areas on beaches and old
The houses vary from tin shacks to palacial foreign holiday homes.
Some islands have a timeless, windswept quality. Boat building on beaches
such as the Grenadines, wooden houses with gingerbread pierced facias and
bleached white wood washed by trade winds and time.
In contrast to this the Caribbean people who exude colour, wonderful white
smiles in lovely black faces and strong coloured clothes which shout
Rastafarians in their gold, green, red and blacks, dreadlocks, beards and a
practiced walk which is slow and long which gives great presence.
We have had the pleasure of meeting some really great characters.
We have spent all but a few nights of our trip on anchor and have never tired
of walking up the companionway every morning to the pleasures of another
beautiful day, turquoise water and another bay.
We have of course had our moments----having a 52 metre, 600 ton super motor
yacht T- bone our bow, a monitored drag at anchor in St Barts and re-setting in
early hours, 24 knots at anchor in the grenadines and my friends the Barracuda's
and sting rays having too close a look at me when swimming !!
These moments pale into insignificance when balanced by the Caribbean.
We have savoured the colour, sights, scents and music and have giggled our
way through the Immigration experiences. For me the Sea Turtle epitomises the
Caribbean spirit as we have seen so many and had the pleasure of swimming with
them. I have a wooden turtle necklace to keep the memory. For Tony it has been
the Steel pan music, so I bought him one to enjoy a tune occasionally.
We would both be very sad not to be able to do it again. Crossing the
Atlantic is not to be taken lightly but the joys of 'blowing where the wind
blows' in your own boat or 'home' without time restriction is a gift we have
waited fourteen years for.
So now our thoughts turn to the Mediterranean and Tioram's second home based
with my Mom and Dad in Mazarron, Spain.
We bought our first boat in 1996 and before she arrived from the factory we
bought our Greek courtesy flag to fly when Tioram reached Greek territorial
waters. Fourteen years later it is still in the bag as we are of course en route
to Greece just a little diverted !!!
This summer will hopefully see us spend time with family in Spain before
heading to the Balearic islands, Italy, Sardinia, Corsica and down to Malta. We
hope to winter in Malta and in 2011 set off for Croatia, Turkey and Greece.
Beyond that who knows ??
We have just come out of a 28 hour blow with big seas and high winds. At
those moments we feel seasick and tired and thoughts of a Camper van called
Tioram 5 seem inevitable!!
However, Oceans change quickly and today we have been rewarded with clear
skies, a calm sea and a warm breeze, Tioram skipping along at 6 knots in 11
knots breeze----- and to put the 'icing on the cake', whilst I have been writing
this blog we have had two playful dolphins around the
Love to all
Tina and Tony x x