Saint Eustatia: Lets take some Mangoes and CRASH a party and get a visit by the Coastguard

So the events all took place on Statia (Saint Eustatia) just not related to each-other😊.

We arrived on Saturday morning after leaving Saaba at dawn, just to have a lot of time before the custom close or charge us overtime. Andreas went in to customs like many times before and took Anders with him, me and Chris took a bench and had some free harbor WiFi. When Andreas and Anders came back, Andreas told us that the Customs officer had smiled and laughed at our boat name. He had been to afraid to ask if they Knew what Chibidarra stands for.

So for those who do not know the name CHIBIDARRA Comes from a old Swedish song by Povel Ramel called “Måste vägen till Curacao gynga så?” , and the name Chibidarra is mentioned in the text and according to him it suppose to mean something close to “Hell of a boat” in Curacao language but we have not found out if this is true.

So by the officers reaction we hope its true still, but it will probably still be a mystery until we get to the ABC island or even Curacao itself. The mystery remains.

We walked around in town after checking in. Statia has a lot of old ruins close and in the water and a old fort in the middle of the town. When we entered the area we noticed a huge mango tree in the middle of a “square” and no people around, so to not give the goats every mango we stocked the boat with some. We had not updated the blog in a while and decided therefore to stop at a WiFi bar. We ended up in a bar called Hawaii-bar that sold beers for $ 2 and had really good internet, so everyone was happy. With good internet and cheep beers we stayed until late, just to get back and have dinner at the boat.

When we got back we got invited to another boat for some beers, it was three British guys that had just graduated school and where to start working when they got back . We took them to a local place we noticed from the bar we spent WiFi:ing on. They all were pretty tired from previous night sailing so at eleven they decided to get back on their charter boat. We Asked some locals outside the bar on where to go, and they said there is a party at the volleyball field. We started to make our way there and on the Way walked by a bar with a pool table and decided to play some pool before continuing to the volleyball fields. After playing a couple of games we walked on, the party we were recommend to go too where a private birthday party for 50 years lady named Jacinth. After a little while Chris located the Guest of honor and we were welcome to stay and take anything we wanted from the open bar. There where a lot of people at least 50 with a live music. We ended up meeting some really nice locals, we gave two guys our number to meet up on Monday. The party ended around four and we were the last ones to leave.

The next morning I woke up to sirens, it was the coastguards wanting to board our boat. Chris had been awake and tried his best to do a quick tidy up. When they came on board yesterday’s food and glasses were still on the table and the boat were a huge mess. The officers were really polite and professional and after checking our papers and life west’s they thanked and went away. The rest of the day was pretty slow did some snorkeling and watched some Netflix.

On Monday we planed to go hiking but didn’t really make it up early and to little plans were made. So we went to the famous Gin house to have a Gin and tonic but the bar was closed. So we went up the hill to town, where we had seen a sign about drinks but it was a coffee shop and it was closed. So we walked down the street to a place called the cool corner were there was WiFi. When we got there it turned out to be a sport bar and that Sweden were playing Spain men European Championship in soccer within 15 min so we thought it was faith and stayed and watched. Sweden sadly lost. We went back and had our fancy Gin and tonic as a consolation before getting back to the boat to eat and later on meeting up with the locals at the cool corner that same night.

DSC_1577

Over and out // Hanna

BVI part III More adventures with Serenity

After spending a few days on the channel islands, we headed back to Beef island to say good by to Lotte who was flying home to Bonaire. She will be missed but we will have to visit when we get to Bonaire 😊. The plan was to spend the evening doing some spex but the French guys forgot to get their ESTAS for America. So the evening was spent most trying to use the closed bars wifi, well it wasn’t a good bye, just see you soon, we will have to make it up to her.

The day after, Martin and Benoit’s last day, we decide to leave Trellis bay to go snorkeling on the diamond reef between Great Camanoe and Scrub island. We had been tracking the Germans on their AIS after they arrived in the BVI’s. I had messaged them our plan but they had not replied yet. But after we had snorkeled we saw that they moved to trellis bay so we packed our stuff and went back to spend some time with them. We had a really nice last evening together and made future plans with the Germans to meet up and Sail to Jost van dyke together.

After Leaving the french guys at the airport we needed to do some provisioning. So, as many times before, we took our bags and started walking. This time we had a 5 km walk in front of us to the ” bigger” super market. There are almost no buses on Tortola and a taxi cost 24 dollars one way, tortola to the airport, so we had to use our legs. We had a lot of chores to do in the upcoming days before our next crew member Chris, a friend of ours from home, would join. – We had run out of cooking Gas and needed to go to Tortola to refill and we had to do laundry of all the bed linen.

On our way to the supermarket we found a laundromat which we decided to use the following day, the issue was only that is also was 5 km away. So the day after me and Anders took the same trip but for laundry this time. On our way back we got a ride from a local guy that had spotted us walking out from trellis bay (beef island). He had spent Sunday morning collecting salt from one of the dried up salt ponds, which he would continue drying at home before using it in food.

There was only one place on Tortola you could fill the cooking gas in road harbor, so we had to move the boat all the way back there again.

There where not much space to anchor in Road harbor but we managed to squeeze in between the channel and the mooring field. The gas station where you could refill the cooking gas was located east of the town. On the charts there did not seem to be any dingy dock close by but we decided to go and check it out. We ended up at a charter boat company and they were really nice to let us borrow their dock, for a few hours. The gas station was just around the corner which was lucky for us having to roll 2 times 10kg gas bottles. There was also a big shopping area on the other side of the road, so we could also do our provisioning in the same place. We went two rounds first with the cooking gas on the trolley filling our bags then again filling the trolley bag and our bags again. Chibidarra Was once again stocked for some weeks ahead.

We sailed all the way back to beef island and trellis bay to pick up Chris. He had been bouncing between airports both in Europe and the Caribbean so he was tired but stoked when we met up with him at the airport.

Earlier that morning we made plans to anchor with Serenity in Lee bay which according to the Guidebook were said to be the calmest place to anchor in the BVI’s, this was not the case. Serenity had gone there before us , we got stuck picking up Chris and at Happy hour in Trellis bay’s Market. So when we once again could radio them, they’ve changed anchor and island to Guana island, but because the island where private we decided to postpone our beach BBQ. The anchorage was not so nice so we decided to move too brewers bay on the north side on Tortola the next day..

When we got there no body really wanted to go in the water to check for a Sandy patch to put our anchor. So we yelled at Kai to check it for us, he was already checking the same for Serenity. When we where done anchoring a dolphin came swimming by Kai in the water and the dolphin was curious and Playful . We all jumped in and joined but the dolphin had gone away by then. We continued swimming for a while and I heard Kristin Calling my name, I just replied

“I’m here” ,”I’m here” “what’s up?”

“Hanna turn around”.

And there the dolphin was stroking my arm as i turned around. I quickly dived with it and started spinning and so did the dolphin. It was one of the most Amazing experience’s I’ve had, to play with a wild dolphin. One can now cross of that on once bucket list. 😄

later that day we decided to go ashore and look for the ruins of the distillery that was once located here (hence the name brewers bay). We did not find it but we found a really nice trail to a cave and a viewing point, one of many flipp flopp adventures.

Next we headed to Jost Van Dyke and the Bubbly pool, ha ha ha.,……the Guide book had made it into this huge thing and it was really not. Such a scam, but we made the most of it before heading back to the boat and on towards Great harbor for a Friday night BBQ buffé at foxy’s. The food was nice but expensive, it was a nice evening with wonderful and amazing Company.

The plan from the beginning was to go and visit soggy dollars in white bay so after Chris had gotten everybody up ,we move the boat to the next bay, a whole 2 Nm away. White bay was just a long white beach with beach bars,.So We went with it and pumped up some floating chairs that was given to us at Norman island and made our selves some Rum Punches. The whole day and evening was spent playing at the beach or in the water, a lot of fun. We manage to have our self a Painkiller from Soggy dollars , the inventor of the cocktail, and ended the evening making Homemade pizzas together. It was an epic end to one chapter with the crew of Serenity we will miss meeting up with them in unexpected places, racing to new ones and staying up endless hour’s discussing everything and nothing. Our plan is to sail south for the hurricane season and theirs is to go back home selling the boat on this side and flying back. It’s sad to say good bye but we plan to stay in touch and visit them in Germany or if they’ll come to Sweden.

With the farewells made for so many people in just a week apart we started to sail down south again.

All for now / Hanna

SINT MAARTEN And ST MARTIN

We arrived sunday afternoon to the Dutch, sint Maarten and started with a tourough cleaning of the boat. To Wwelcome our newest crewmember to the team Lotte from the netherlands. So all in all we are now 6 people on CHIBIDARRA its going to be crowded for a couple of weeks.

Sint Maarten ( Dutch ) and st Martin (French) Is One island. I read a cute story in the guidebook about how they divided the island. Apparently neither side wanted to fight over the land, So they decided to share it but to establish who get’s what land the story said the Opponent where to choose the beverage of their liking, French choose wine and the Dutch choose Gin. And then the dutch would walk from the south and the french from the north and where they meet the boarder would be. Therefore the Dutch Side is a little bit smaller then the French side become Gin is stronger then wine.

And they have not been fighting for over 200 years ❤

SINT MAARTEN

Carneval, Labor day and Kai’s birthday

So after we picked up Lotte at the airport on Monday and on the way back we went to buy some Bubbly for Kai’s birthday the same evening. We spent the night drinking on Serinety and played revers genga, building it one block at the time until it falls 🌊

The next morning we got ready for the Carneval, not knowing what to expect. I was really exited and when we bought a coca cola can that had the Saint Maarten 50 year Carneval on it, I started to understand that it probably be really nice show and it was…

The whole day was a big party with dancers in all ages and sizes, females mostly, but with some males in the groups. There were some free beers, party beads and other sponsor stuff being tossed from the vagons as they whent by. The streets were covered in bars and food stands and all in dutch so the perfect opportunity to use Lotte for help. It was such a blast

We got to the Carneval around noon and spent the day and afternoon watching the dancers and dancing along to their music. In the evening we went to the Carneval village and because we did not know the schedual We ended up mostly walking around and sitting in on the benches watching the Stage, which did not show anything because the main event that day was of course the Carnival parade.

Needless to say we had a tuff labor day, we spent the day walking over to the french side of the island to buy some well needed provisioning, but because it was labour day everything was closed. We did get to see alot of the island even doe we had to redo the trip the day after.

On thursday after provisioning we visit the famous blasting beach right beside the airport. We did not check the schedule for arriving or departing planes so there were few really big ones , but we were Happy anyway. That night we went with the Germans to a karaoke bar and sang one Song before the bartender broke the tv and we moved on to the next bar. We spend the night drinking some beers and talking. When the bar closed the Bartender asked if we wanted to see them feed the tarpoons which we of course wanted. A tarpoon is a fish that eats all kinds of stuff and because they are full of bones they are not a nice fish to eat. The ones the restaurant/ bar was feeding was almost a meter

On friday we had a slow day with some card games on the boat and in the late afternoon we went in for a couple of rounds of volleyball at the beach. Saturday we went and did Some Wreck diving before checking out and Moving to the french part of the island. We saw some barracudas and alot of small fishes. My dive sadly came to a fast end because i had some detergent in my mask and when i got some water in it , it started to burn my eyes and when i tried to fix it i got some in my nose and mouth, So we had to go back up, it was really a bummer.

ST MARTIN

We only stayed a few days on the french side checking in and out in Margoit bay. Stayin One night in Baie de Grand case and one in Anse Marcel. I spent most of the time in bed having a bad cold, while the rest did some snorkeling and exploring On our last day we all went on a hike before leaving for Anguilla.

Dominica

New month and a new country, we arrived earlier then planed but decided not to check-in (because off overtime charges) and instead hoisted the yellow flag and stayed for the evening on board. We had read about different spots in the Doyle’s Cruisers guide book but when we got here to Roseau we understood that some mayor disaster had occurred and that what we read may not be accurate any longer. We checked Noonsite in hope for more recent info and the first line read

Dominica suffered a direct hit by category 5 hurricane Maria’s eyewall in September 2017. As much as 90% of the buildings on Dominica were destroyed and 100% of agriculture was wiped out. During the 2018 season schools reopened and repairs to building infrastructure are on-going, however the Island still needs help and the schools with supplies (see reports adjacent).

A lot is rebuilt but Some buildings are just abandoned still showing what the Hurricane Maria destroyed, a lot of those buildings are missing their roof.

There are two main places to anchor in Dominica it’s at Portsmouth or Roseau both located on the leeward side on the ‘island, Portsmouth in the north and Roseau (capital) in the south. The issue when we arrived in Roseau was that there was little shallow waters we had to get really close to land. Because of Maria there where no dinghy docks left and the beach were mostly rocks with swells, we where able to leave our dinghy at the local fishermen’s dock

Dominica is full of mountains and rainforest making it a perfect place for great hiking. So we bought a week hiking pass and set of on a hike to Middlehams falls our second day. The forestry ministry recommended us to go to Middlehams falls instead of Trafalgar due to crowds from the cruise ship, we took their advice but there where still a lot of people there when we got there. But they were all leaving So we got the waterfall to ourselves.

We continued our journey to see the fresh water lakes just north of the falls, before heading back to Roseau.

The next day we decided to chill and do some advertisement for new crew. The plan was to rest one day and hike to the boiling lake the day thereafter, but one of my scrapes had gotten infected and would not heal, so we cancelled boiling lake and heeded for Portsmouth one day earlier then planed.

Prince Rupert Bay that lies just outside of Portsmouth, is a perfect bay to anchor in.We had read about PAYS (Portsmouth Association Yatch Services) a group of people (mostly guides) that patrols the bay at night, to keep it safe, and helps new arrivals with Moorings or other services they need when traveling by boat. We decided to refill our propane gas bottle with Bonto one of the PAYS crew , even though we knew we could probably save some money doing it ourselfs, to help out a good cause.

On the way in we saw multiple boats stranded on the beach, probably from the hurricane. which intriged us, So we decided to take a beach walk to get a closer look.

On of the main attractions in Portsmouth is the Indian river tour, which is a 1.5h dinghy tour up the indian river where they filmed pirate of the Carribean Tia Dalma (calypso’s hut) .👇

So many people asked us to take the tour that we ended up not taking one, we decided to hike the the river instead

On the way back we noticed that the part of the river to the bush bar and Tia Dalma’s Were shallow. So we decided to walk in the river a bit then walk up to a trail that passed the bar. There was an issue with our plan…. finding the trail, we ended up not finding it so we went back. We still got to see some amazing nature so the walk was not a total loss.

On Sunday PAYS have a beach BBQ buffé for the Cruisers in the bay, with rum punch included. You can say that it truly had a punch. I learn that sea sickness tablets does not work on hangovers. The sail from Dominica was a total misery 😳. Note to self, do not ever repeat 😉

/ Hanna

Mayreau and Tobago cays

When Closing in on saline bay, Mayreau, we saw a boat name on the AIS that looked familiar, it was our German friends Serenity. We meet them in a bar in Cape Verde, they had also bought a project of a boat, a Gin fizz, Jenneau 12m. They are a crew of three (with additional friends) Kai, Kristin and Daniel also engineers, and have all a leave of absent for one year before returning to Germany. They bought their boat in Italy and did the renovation in their first 2 months in September before sailing down to the canary islands and over to Cape Verde.

We invited them for a volleyball game at the beach, which were a lot of fun. When the sun had set and the volleyball was not visible any longer we continued the night on Serenity. They were to Leave for Tobago Cays the day after and invited us to join, but we all feelt that we needed a extra day in Mayreau to do some Laundry and explore some snorkeling and the island. We would catch up to them at Tobago Cays during their second day there.

We walked around the island, all 5 km 😃, this includes the Salt Whistle bay, which we decided to not to anchor in because it is a small bay with a resort right on the beach and at the time the bay was really Crowded.

Mayreau as well as Tobago cays are Marine reserve where diving and fishing is not allowed to preserve the Marine nature and its inhibitors.

When staying in Tobago Cays you have to pay a fee of 10 EC (1EC is about 3,5 SEK) per person and day

We arrived in Tobago Cays the following day exited to get to swim with some turtles. The anchorage were not so crowded as I expected. There were of course many boats but I had imagine much more. So within a few minutes a saw my first sea turtle while snorkeling they were just underneath Serenity buoy. Serenity were also snorkeling so we teamed up. Daniel showed me my first sting ray, the ray moved so gracefully through the water, truly Amazing. After we had been snorkeling for a hour or two we decided to go back to our boat and have some lunch. We made plans with serenity to continue snorkeling around 15.00 further out on the horseshoe reef, there dingy motor had broken so they needed a ride.

The reef was covered in some kind of seaweed and did not look too much alive, sadly. There were still animals living in the reef and some coral seemed less affected then others. while snorkeling me and Anders meet a reef shark, the shark was shy and didn’t like when we started to approach him. There were many Conch?? laying around on the bottom, getting back in their shells when you swam by, we had seen piles of shells in Mayreau and read about them, apparently they supposed to be really tasty, but almost endangered.

Andreas spotted and showed me some langustos that where hiding underneath some rocks. Later I had to stop him from almost swimming on top of a ray that was hiding on the bottom in the sand, we got a real close look 😆

The snorkeling was nice even though the reef had seen better days.

The second day I got up early to get some snorkeling in before breakfast. After we had eaten and Michael had gotten up, we decided to go up on one of the island, Petit Bateau to get some nice pictures over the Cays. I practice some slack line on the beach, before running away from the islands Dragons that were fighting each other in hope that i would feed them. They are called Iguanas and are Herbivore but I did not know that at the time and they have huge claws, So i stayed away.

Anders, Andreas and Michael decided to do some try windsurfing the rest of the day, while it was my turn to prepare the dinner.

Before leaving Tobago cays we decided to go out to Petit Tabac, where they filmed pirates of the Caribbean. The island were Jack and Elisabeth get stranded on and drink/ burn some rum.

But why is all the rum gone?

We had also read online when we were in Bequia that a sailing Vlogger Delos had buried a treasure on the island, so we could not resist to check it out, even though we were aware that the chances of finding anything this late would be small. We did find a note from other sailors that had come before us saying that the treasure was already gone when they got there (more than a week before us). We were still happy being on the inhabitate island with its white sand. We only stayed the day before continuing on to union island.

All from me, over and out

/ Hanna

Leg 14: Las Palmas to Cape Verde, the not so green islands

So like many times before we “like” to do things at the last moment and we ended up being the last boat of the caravan to leave Las Palmas. We left on Monday afternoon the 7:th of January one day later then planed. We started out with no wind and motored for a couple of hours until we had passed the island. Then late in the evening we got good winds and we were, at least according to us, flying forwards. This were going to be a quick and fun crossing. But the next day the wind calmed down and we settled in for a calmer and slower crossing. A couple of days later the wind died almost altogether and after a day with almost no speed we decided to run some new lines to be able to try out the spinnacker. After a couple of days more with some spinnacker flying we had some wind again and we’re closing Cape Verde fast. At arrival there were going to be a welcome party for all the Viking Explorers at 6pm the 15th, So we pushed on as fast as we could and realized we could actually make it in time. After many calculation throughout the day we were gonna make it with 15 minutes to spare, until we got cell reception and realized that we got a bonus hour. Thank you time difference. So we just had time for a glass of champagne and a shower before the welcome party.

We spent 2 quite hectic days in Cape Verde getting everything sorted and be able to leave the same day as the others in the group. But we managed to refill propane and dive tanks, buy more food. Throw a party for some Germans we found at a bar the day before and scrape the bottom of the hull. Now off to cross the Atlantic

Leg:13 Lisbon to Las Palmas Gran canary

So after spending a month in Gran Canaria we might not remember to write everything but:

We left on Thursday evening at nine o’clock. The routines of night sailing kicked in like so many times before. Sadly our newest crew member could not handle the big swells and the trip started up the first days with sea sickness.

The trip went well we caught a big tuna and made sushi.

Little wind so our Spain experience continued, even doe we left from Portugal 😀

I was a little afraid of not making it to see Mom and my siblings (and family) but with some engine help we got to Las Palmas on the 5th of December

And we got to stay at all inclusive for the first 2 days

Sorry for the late post

Time to cross the Atlantic

We arrived in Mindelo, Cape Verde last of the convoys, but just in time for the welcome party and a quick freshen up. We will only stay for two days and we have some choirs to do so sadly we will not really explore the islands.

The first leg of the trip from Las Palmas to Cape Verde took about a week at sea.

We were fortunate again to catch a tuna on our crossing.

Leg 13: Porto to Lisbon, new crew member to join the team

The trip from Porto to Lisbon was like a lot of the Spanish trips with not much wind. We set of on Monday aiming to arrive on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning in Lisbon and start the passage to the Canary Islands on Thursday. The only issue was to get out of the inlet, with old sea hitting the wave breakers.

It turned out to be just fine and we had a sunny day with some winds but had to motor a couple of hours during the night.

As we got into the inlet of Lisbon we took the new decision to stay at a marina further out. The information regarding the marinas in Lisbon were bad and we had issues with nobody specifying max depth.

So We stayed in a small town called Oeiras. A short train ride from Lisbon

Because there was not much time and a lot to be done on the boat we decided to only spend Wednesday evening In Lisbon.

We walked around for a little while before meeting up with Jann and Ashley for beers, two Brazilian girls we meet in Porto the weekend before. On Thursday we had our preparing day. There were a yellow warning for heavy rain on the Portuguese weather forecast that set us back a little but we manage to:

  • Store the dingy on deck and fix it’s leak.
  • Check and secure all object on deck.
  • Discover that the wind wane needed some extra modifications before it could be used.
  • Fill up the water tanks and go grocery shopping.

We left on Thursday night for our first mayor crossing. Leaving us out on the ocean for approximately 7 days.

Leg12: Vigo to Porto

We left Vigo after spending a couple of days here on two different anchor spots.

So now it was time to leave Spain and enter Portugal. All in all we spent almost a month in Spain mostly due to unwanted winds.

So what have I learned about Spain

First you get snack when you order drinks, coffee beer wine or water. But we still have not figured out where or when? When most wanted we we’re left without and when we just had eaten there where heaps.

During our stay we got sandwiches, pizza, chickpea stew, squid, chip, popcorn, olives, omelette, candy, fries and churros. I read online that it’s a backpackers dream to be able to drink and get free snacks. It’d hard to just get a coffee when ordering one.

Second most important thing we learned was do not trust distances 300 meters was more likely to be 3 kilometers.

Third: you get a long way with a smile and some sí and No. It could be good to practice some Spanish to help with the communication. Even though they are most helpful even if they do not speak one word of English.

Four: Northern Spain is cold and has snow.

Five: There is a lot of autumn storms in the northern area. We ended up staying in one place for a week waiting for a weather window, that never came and ended up motoring most of the way to the next place between storms.

After setting sail we had pretty much every type of wind from every direction and also some time without any wind at all. But we arrived at Porto during the night while the winds had picked up quite a bit and we surfed in with the wind from behind.

We spent a few days in Porto waiting for the next weather window to go south. While in town we went on a mission to retrieve Anders father’s wallet from the airport. This was not as easy as one could think. After 1 trailside to the airport one evening Anders spent another whole day speaking a lot of sign language to finally retrieve the wallet.