Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Bonagle Chronicles (Antigua to Barbados)

English Harbour, Antigua

We broke our bottle of Bailey’s we bought for Daragh at the Antigua airport while waiting for our luggage! :(

Failed the test!
  • Landed in Antigua - went to beach and had our first Caribbean swim, temperature was only 27’C! 
  • Dinner at Antigua Yacht club - heard Asher Otto sing with Itchy Feet!
  • Toured the nearby Fort Nelson and enjoyed some history.
Lord Daragh
Spent the rest of the night at Shirley Heights and enjoyed amazing music and the view. We set sail after getting groceries and headed to our next destination: Deshaies! I took a gravol and was knocked right out – pretty rough first sail! I got my sea legs after though!

Shirley Heights

Deshaies, Guadeloupe

French town! – thank goodness Brian went through French immersion we managed to fumble and speak useful vocabulary so they understood us. Daragh joined us for a snorkeling session and got to watch us with an aerial view.

We did our first scuba diving and snorkeling session,

Had an amazing French dinner – Lesson: They start dinner at 7PM and do not serve any earlier! We were so hungry the day before they wouldn’t even serve chips!

We wanted to tour the island with a voiture but had no luck renting one. We took the bus and went to travel the island.

Went to Pointe-A-Pietre then headed back to Deshaies 

Watched the Caribbean parade from La Kaz, a 100 year-old bar, and met some Canadians.

Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

French town! – This was a fairly close island as it was part of Guadeloupe. We arrived mid-afternoon and took our dinghy to shore. Rented a scooter from a very friendly French Lady and she told us how to get around the Island. Brian and I shared a scooter and Daragh had his own – Brian and I made our poor scooter work SUPER hard because it was a super hilly island. Sometimes I would have to get off the scooter! Hahaha, I’m glad we’re working on our weight now! We got rained on a few times and wished we rented a golf cart instead to stay dry!

Scooter riders

Visited Anse Cowan and had an amazing snorkeling session.

Went to see Fort Napoleon and its amazing view!

Bought some artwork and gifts from Martine Cotton and took a picture with her!

Portsmouth, Dominica 

Entered the town while they were celebrating their first day of Cari Festival – it felt like the whole town was out celebrating! From babies to very, very old people!

We went on a boat tour of the Indian River, James Bond was our tour guide and he showed us the beauty and history of the Indian River – bottom left picture is a picture of Calypso’s house from Pirates of the Carribbean!

Brian and I went snorkeling and saw a snake, starfishes, and different kinds of fishes.

Roseau, Dominica

English island – we had so many fun tours on this island.

Tour of Titou Gorge was with Hazelnut: Titou Gorge was a super cool cave to swim in and led us to two waterfalls. Jumping into the waterfall felt like being in a washing machine. It was super cold water though (this location was filmed in Pirates of the Caribbean too!) **This is not a picture from us, we didn’t take any pictures when we went to water activities* I jumped a little too close to the edge of the fall and broke my flip flops!

Titou Gorge
Our tour-guide Hazelnut

Tour of Trafalgar Falls

We were told that there were hot pools and the waterfall pool, found the hot pool that Daragh really enjoyed. A guide said he would take us to the waterfall pool because it was slippery. It was a surprise how much we had to climb to get there (~30mins each way). I was the only one that fell three times but the guide was there to save my life and get us to the pool. Most amazing sight ever! *not our picture either*
Trafalgar Falls

Tour of Emerald Pool and the Rain Forest

We wanted to go to Champagne Reef but had to cancel because of poor conditions. Ducky (our taxi driver) made a deal with us and our businessman Brian found customers for him and we got to go for another tour! GOOD JOB BRIAN!
Us, Ducky, and the customers we rounded up
Emerald Pool

Le Marin, Martinique 

French town! Our first overnight sail – we got to appreciate the moon rise and set, and stars appear. It was also a full moon that day!

Overnight sailing to Le Marin, Martinique

Rented a car and found a free bottle of Rum, went to Anse Mabouya - no visibility due to the rain so we skipped snorkeling. 

Free booze!
Our rental car

Can't see a thing :(
Drove to Fort-de-France explored Fort-de-France. Drove to Saint Pierre and we bumped into Chantey V’s buddy boat from Bermuda – Eli Blue and had an amazing French dinner in Sainte Pierre  with Gene and Jo-ann.

We hiked the volcano Montagne Pelee and unfortunately Donna the klutz fell and got a pretty bad scratch.
up a kilometer
Near the top of the mountain

Walking back down again

Montagne Pelee

The chicken scraped her knee

Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Daragh decided to dock the boat at the marina to let us have a taste of luxury in St Lucia. Brian and I loved it. We showered 4 times a day and walked up and down the marina eating gelato and sorbets MULTIPLE times a day. We are little fattys. Hahah, we had Japanese food in St Lucia!

We went to Pigeon Island and had an amazing swim and snorkel in that area. Met an awesome tour-guide, Peter and he arranged a beautiful tour for us the next day.

We started at Rodney Bay and went south towards Marigot Bay where Dr. Doolittle was filmed. Peter took us to Castries next. We had some coconut water fresh out of the coconut! Brian and Daragh bought matching shirts after a good bargain.

We drove by Canaries and Anse la Raye to see the fishing village and visit a banana plantation. Then we went to Anse Chastanet in Sourfriere to snorkel around the Pitons (this is also where Jade Mountain, from the Bachelor was filmed. We also learned that my friend’s friend’s boyfriend’s family owns the hotel and they live there!

Too bad we found out way too late or else we could of perhaps scored a tour of the 1800USD/night hotel. Peter took us to his sister’s restaurant and we had an amazing creole lunch.

Then we continued to go to the Suphur Springs and puttied ourselves with some good volcano mud. We smelt like rotten eggs but it was good for the skin! 

Finally he dropped us off at Coal Pot Restaurant and we had the most amazing dinner. Thank you again Daragh for the dinner!

The captain spent the next day working on the boat and Brian and I helped to clean the boat and then we took the dinghy back to Pigeon Island to snorkel and swim. It was a fantastic day.
Brian and I got to swim and snorkel. I got to lay under the sun and sleep and Brian got to build a sandcastle. Before heading back to the boat, we also ran around Pigeon Island and went to the top of the Fort Rodney.

Playing in the sand

Pigeon Island Park
Fort Rodney

Home before the sunset

We went diving with Iyanola Dive Ventures and took the boat from Rodney Bay to Soufriere and dove by the Pitons, it was really quite fun to see the island from a speed boat point of view after spending all day touring the island the day before – we went diving at two locations; Superman’s flight and Coral Gardens. It was absolutely breathtaking! We really wished we had an underwater camera to document it all. More things to buy and pack for our next adventure!
Completed our diving, got back to the boat and we set sail to Barbados!


We made it!!! It was a 25 hour sailing trip where most sailors would rather sail to Europe than to sail to Barbados because of the trade winds. Daragh made it with his two crews. (or 1½ - I was sleeping 80% of the time, haha :D ) We got in just in time to get to customs. The customs security guard was super nice. He offered to drive us to the restaurant! Met up with Daragh’s friend and enjoyed the night on land. The texture of the sand was SO DIFFERENT comparing to all the other islands we went to because this was not a volcanic island. It didn’t seem as interesting as it appeared flat from what we could observe. Still 100X better than Edmonton though! I enjoyed walking up and down the beach and have the sand run through my toes. Brian and I had to get our bags packed as we were about to head home so we went to get laundry done and explored a little bit of Barbados. 

We re-anchored the boat closer to the Barbados Yacht Club and enjoyed the rest of the trip. Snorkel. Swim. Tan/Dry up. Eat. and Repeat. It was FANTASTIC.

Beautiful sand
Matching shirts

Things we learned on our trip

1. Whenever my parents go to a city, the first thing they do is check out Chinatown. The first thing Daragh does is check out the marina.

2. You can't use water on a boat like you can at home. Showering became a quick and easy one unless we were making water. The ocean was our swimming pool!

3. Fish traps are everywhere. Being a lookout is fun!

4. Sailing is fun!

5. Captain's Hour is all about spending time together and having a drink :)

6. When we get free wifi, we use the wifi!! :):)

7. Donna will never be able to shop with the two explorer bees around. 

8. Daragh and Brian both enjoy reading signs. Every informative sign. 

9. Brian goes through a whole bottle of sunscreen a week. Donna uses a drop for her face. 

10. The selfie stick was so helpful!

11. People on the island are so kind and friendly. We loved and enjoyed all our encounters in each island!

Thank you Captain Daragh for taking us on Chantey V! This was an incredible experience that we have now gained!

Crew sign off:
Brian the first mate
Donna the stowaway