Monthly Archives: March 2016
In the spirit of Reality TV, I thought I would show you seven consecutive sunsets and share the actual views we see every night.
Disclaimer: Any ‘drama’ is real and not choreographed. Names and locations have not been changed to protect anyone. <wink>
If you only ever see the sunset photos posted on blogs and Facebook, you are bound to believe that every evening on a boat we live aboards are privy to heartstoppingly beautiful sunsets. And somehow you, the reader, might believe you are missing these nightly masterpieces.
Well, honestly, we do have the privilege of seeing stunning sets nearly every night and we remain grateful for the opportunity. So grateful that we wanted to share them with you.
I think the variety of these sunsets is especially beautiful when you realize that in these seven photographs, Let It Be was anchored in only three places.
Without further ado, Reality LIB presents, “Seven Consecutive Days of Sunsets.”
If not for the deep sapphire water, I think this could be a desert somewhere instead of Ashton, Union Island.
Same anchor spot but the very next night and a completely different “painting.”
You guessed it, we have not moved our anchor and here is a third and unique sunset.
A bird’s eye view from Mustique. We had drinks and an appetizer at Firefly as we watched God paint this sunset.
Our second night in Mustique. The clouds look like smoke accumulated from a smoke stack…
Our third and final night in Mustique the silhouette of this sailboat was beautiful. I really wish I knew who owns this boat because I would love to send him this picture.
Safely moored in St. Lucia after a very pretty 70 nautical mile sail with a little help from our friends, volvo one and volvo two, when the wind died.
This was the last sunset before LIB was hauled out in Rodney Bay to have the bottom repainted. Fingers crossed that we will re-splash this Thursday.
One last gratuitous sunset photo featuring our sweet dog, Captain.
Captain is in a kennel this week because we were unable to find a rental place that would allow pets. We are really sad to have her in a kennel and can’t wait to “free” her on Thursday!!!
Do you have a favorite sunset from this blog post? I would love to know which one calls to you or speaks to you most. Or does your mood affect which one you like best so your favorite changes? Please leave your answers in the comments!
After dropping our guests in Hillsborough, Carriacou, Frank and I spent some time relaxing and reorganizing LIB. We strolled the streets in Hillsborough, bought some groceries, wandered into different places and simply recharged our batteries.
One stop we made was at the Deefer Dive Shop on the main street, north of the ferry dock. We were most impressed with all the staff at Deefer, especially when we learned of their efforts to combat lionfish and restore the elkhorn coral on local reefs.
Deefer has a few biologists on staff and they, along with others, have started an elkhorn nursery about 20 feet below the water off of Sandy Island. They are growing elkhorn, then transplanting it in an attempt to revitalize the reefs.
The Deefer crew are also trying to combat the spread of lionfish. These beautiful fish are actually quite threatening. They have up to 18 dorsal fins that are sharp as needles and deliver poison. The sting is very painful to humans and can cause nausea and breathing problems, though it is rarely fatal.
Lionfish are native to Indo-Pacific but have become a problem in the Atlantic Ocean. They prey on smaller fish and shrimp and have very few predators. As a result, lionfish are spreading rapidly and are negatively affecting reef life.
Lionfish; exotic but harmful ~ Image from Flylife Magazine
About once a week, Deefer Dive conducts a lionfish hunt and Frank was able to go on this dive. Lionfish do not move much and are easy to spear, but care must be taken when removing them from the spear so the diver doesn’t get stung.
Deefer Diving is working to create pressure on the lionfish around Carriacou by educating fisherman about how to kill and safely capture the lionfish and by encouraging restaurants to serve lionfish on the menu. Finally, Deefer supports free demonstrations of how to make jewelry from lionfish and encourages local artists to sell the jewelry.
Frank and I went on a two tank dive trip with Deefer and saw schools of fish, several sting rays, lobster and eels. We also saw the underwater elkhorn nursery and a few of the dreaded lionfish. The diving was some of the best we have seen in the Caribbean and it was encouraging see some healthy reefs.
Newbie lionfish hunters on the loose.
Here is the shirt I bought at Deefer Diving. You can see from my shirt that Deefer is working with Caribbean Reef Buddy, an organization that works with local communities on coral reef and marine conservation projects. Frank and I have jumped on the bandwagon and hope to do some lionfish hunting on our own if we can manage to get a spear.
We left Hillsborough and went around the corner to Tyrrel Bay which is a popular harbor in Carriacou. Tyrrel is a large, well protected bay that is crowded with boats, many of which appear to be neglected or even abandoned. Although Tyrrel Bay is the more popular anchorage, I preferred Hillsborough for on-shore exploring.
However, one of the best meals we have had in the Caribbean was at The Lazy Turtle in Tyrrel Bay. I had a fabulous pizza: plenty of cheese and tomato sauce, which is often lacking in pizza down here. Ironically, LIONFISH was the special of the evening when we ate at The Lazy Turtle. Frank decided to try the speial. We were skeptical, but the fish had an excellent flavor and texture. It was served in a rosemary and honey sauce and every last bite was eaten.
Our time in Carriacou was all about rest as we were pretty tired after two solid weeks of kiteboarding. But after a few days, the wind was beginning to look “kite-able” again, so we decided to leave Carriacou and head north toward Union Island.
Yes, I know it is March and I am months from Halloween, but it struck me the other day that provisioning (buying food) feels a lot like going trick or treating.
Entering Clifton after docking the dinghy.
I do not dress up, but I do bring my own bags to carry my “loot” back to the boat and I do go from place to place to see what goodies are available.
So far my favorite place to find groceries has been Clifton on Union Island. The main street is sometimes sleepy and almost deserted. Other days it is teeming with locals and visitors alike. Now, when I say teeming, please don’t think New York! But do imagine a good number of people walking the streets, perusing shelves in various shops and enjoying beverages in shady cafes along a dusty road.
A quiet day on main street in Clifton.
We have provisioned in Clifton three different times and a pattern has developed. First I make a bee-line to Captain Gourmet. This tiny (by US standards) shop is a combination cafe and grocery that caters to the foreigners. I stop in here and scan the refrigerated area for hard to find treats. The last two visits, the freezer has been broken so I chat with the lady at the counter to determine what gems she has hidden in the storeroom freezer. We have scored unusual things here like pork tenderloin and turkey sausage and aerosol whipped cream!
Love this lilac color!
The folks at Captain Gourmet are super helpful and after I pay for my items, they let me leave them in the refrigeration until I have completed my other shopping.
It looks small by US standards, but Captain Gourmet has a lot to offer. Isn’t it cute?
Next we visit ALL of the groceries along the main street, which is about six different places. While items on the shelves at each grocery are often the same, each store has it’s own vibe and a few unique items. One place might be very clean and open, but has relatively few items. Still, I enjoy the clean environment and always buy something in the clean stores when possible.
Kash & Kerry is clean and the proprietor is very sweet.
Another place is dark and very dusty. They have a bit of everything, from used clothing and appliances to canned goods and children’s games. I feel a bit claustrophobic in here, but sometimes it has some unusual dry good that I really want.
You have to look up, down and all around!
This same store also sells “home goods.”
The grocery stores are where we buy canned goods, boxed goods, dry goods and occasionally some cheese or dried fruit, like raisins. But we never buy produce in these stores. Fresh produce is bought from the stands, which are our final stop.
Produce stands in Clifton.
Here in Clifton there is a dirt square with about eight different vendors. Initially I was uncomfortable with this area because as I approached people would try to steer me to one vendor or the other. I didn’t like feeling pressured to buy from just one stand. Even if one stand has everything we want, I always try to buy a little from each person so we spread around our support.
An artist’s palate of color.
On days when they have restocked the produce, the stalls are an artist’s palate of greens, reds and yellows hanging in flimsy mesh bags.
This feels like a step back in time.
With the produce vendors, just like in Captain Gourmet, it is often the secret, hidden areas that offer treasures. We have learned to ask for what we are hoping to find because not everything is displayed. Fresh green beans are a rare and wonderful find and we have been lucky to buy them a couple of times here in Clifton. They were never in sight but when we asked, like magic, a bag of fresh beans was pulled up from the back of the stand.
We have also learned that if we ask one vendor if she has a particular item and she doesn’t have it, she is likely to tell us nobody has those here. I asked for green limes and was told, “They are out of season. No place you can find those here.” But as we made our rounds and asked each vendor, low and behold we found them just two stalls away.
Score on the limes!
Green limes are especially difficult to find and often you have to negotiate to buy just green ones and not have yellow ones included.
The veggies and fruit we buy are certainly different than back in Texas but we are learning to appreciate some new flavors. One really pretty fruit that I had not seen back home is Star Fruit. It is a bit sweet with a texture that is a cross between an apple and a banana. When sliced, star fruit makes a beautiful presentation.
These beauties dress up any plate.
So, next time you pop into Tom Thumb or Kroger and find everything you want clearly displayed, regardless of the season, think of us “trick or treating” our way through several stores and stalls.
I like mom’s Mac better than dad’s PC
So today mom and dad, aka Mary Grace and Frank, took off in the dinghy and mom left her computer open. I was a little bored so I thought I would write about what things are like for me on this boat.
It’s been five months since I have lived with a yard! That might sound great if you are a fish or a bird, but as a dog ~ well I sure miss my grass sometimes. This life on a boat is pretty interesting, but really nothing feels quite as good as a nice roll and scratch in the grass! So far I have refused to give up my daily excursions to the grassy patches, but I think that is really good for my people. They complain sometimes about taking me to land at least twice a day but it gets them off the boat and talking to other people and stuff. Plus I get to sniff some really great new places. I don’t know many of the dogs that live here, but they have done a great job of getting rid of the squirrels. I have not seen a single squirrel since we left Texas! Boy I would like to know their secret because I never could get them to stay out of my yard back home.
Anyway, things here aren’t too bad. I spend a lot more time with MG and Frank and they let me prewash the dinner plates! They say it’s to save on water, but I think they just realize I do a really good job of licking them clean before the final wash.
With just sails, it’s really nice!
So living on a boat is quite an adjustment. I don’t like the engines very much so I like it when we can sail without using them. But sometimes my people must sail the wrong way because we are like bashing into waves. Those days I stay really close to them. Sometimes I have to actually sit on MG’s lap, not because I’m afraid or anything, just to make sure she doesn’t fall off of the boat or something. But she is getting better and I don’t have to stay as close to her as I used to.
Anyway, now that we are on the boat, my people are with me all the time and I really like it. Living in the house I used to spend most of the day sleeping but here on the boat we are too busy for that. I found some great pictures of myself (mom is always taking my picture!) so I’ll show you some of the things I do.
I’m making sure the stuff stays in the dinghy and keeping an eye out for other dinghies.
Usually when we ride in the dinghy, I hang onto the front and bark to make sure everyone knows we are coming. I love going anywhere in the dinghy and if friends ride with us and think they should be on the bow, I just scoot right in front of them until they realize that is my spot and I need to bark.
My special dinghy spot.
I want mom and dad to stay healthy, so we take a lot of walks. Here is a view from our walk this week at Chatham Bay on Union Island.
This was some really nice grass!
We usually see goats and I love to chase them. At first this really worried mom and dad because I would take off and disappear. But I come back to the exact same spot on the trail every time, so now they don’t worry so much. On this walk, we saw cows! That was a big surprise.
This little cow wasn’t as interesting as the big ones.
Mom would not let me chase the cows so I just stared really hard at one. The one in this picture is just a little one. I was watching a BIG one.
They didn’t name me “Captain” for nothin’
When we are sailing, I really think I should be at the helm. I prefer to drive, but if we have guests on board, I sit back and socialize and let someone else have a chance.
Some days we swim to shore. I am a really good swimmer and my people have to wear fins to keep up with me. But I’m usually pretty excited to get there so I go really fast. On the way back I’m not as energetic, so mom or dad give me a ride back to LIB.
Here’s a pic of me on a boogie board. Looks fun, right?
Paddle boarding is great exercise for my humans. They added this blue stuff to the ends and I can really hold on now. I stand as far forward as I can and as soon as they tell me I can go swim, I jump off the board and swim to land. It’s really fun!
Hey, who’s up for a paddle?
I usually ride on dad’s board because he’s faster. (Don’t tell mom!)
Dad and I checking to see if mom is coming along.
I really like to help with everything, so when dad is looking for stuff, I do too. Dad is pretty hooked on finding coconuts lately. That’s fine with me though because it’s just one more reason to go to shore.
No squirrels, may as well help find coconuts.
One day we took the dinghy out to a tiny, deserted island called Mopion. It’s near Petit Saint Vincent if you want to find it. Anyway, it was kinda late in the day and everyone else had left so we had this great place all to ourselves. I could run around the whole island in like 10 seconds, but I’m pretty fast so don’t expect your dog to do it that quickly.
Mom and me sharing a laugh on Mopion.
Dad doesn’t do anymore of his old job, but mom still has some of those bill things to do, so she spends time on the computer doing that and posting blogs and stuff. I like to snuggle up with her when she sits still to do her stuff.
Mom doesn’t realize I know her blog password!
I’ll sit in the float!
Finally an action shot! Ha, this is dad holding the float and me jumping in. I didn’t know why he had on his mask and fins but when he offered the floating chair, I was like, heck yeah! But it got even better ~ mom jumped in the water too and they pulled me along while they snorkeled.
They snorkeled and I floated.
Wow, that lounge chair is great isn’t it? I actually fell asleep while they were busy looking at the fish. But who can blame me? My fur was a little wet, the sun was nice and warm and the water was gently rocking the chair. Come on, you know your would have slept too.
Mom and dad don’t always take me with them when they swim and snorkel. Sometimes we all go to the beach, then they go snorkel. When they do, I dig a little hole under the dinghy, just deep enough to reach the cooler sand. Then I take a nap and wait for them to come back to shore.
Napping under the dinghy is really comfy.
As you can see, my days are so busy I don’t get to nap like I used to in the house. And night time is busy too because I sleep outside and keep watch over mom and dad. I used to like to sleep inside near them, but now I like to be outside and up as high as I can so I can see really well. If anyone comes our way, I bark really loud so mom and dad know about it. I think they are glad I am keeping watch over them.
I could tell you some more stuff, but mom and dad will probably be back soon so I’m gonna finish. If you like hearing about things I do, tell mom about it in the comments and maybe she’ll let me write again some time.
Keep barkin’ y’all. This is Captain, out. (I’ve picked up some radio speak too.)