How do people see me?
Expeditions (this picture in Tanzania - bush people)
Vacations (this one in Newfoundland)
Travel around the world (this is in Amazon jungle, Brazil)
Lot of snorkeling around the planet (here is in Galapagos)
Dancing with local stars (this is in Argentina)
St. Kitts welcomed us with another beautiful day.
We decided on Carambola beach on our own.
It had on both ends a chain of rocks where we could snorkel, and we were both pleased with the fish we observed. We saw schools of Sergeant fish (black and yellow stripes) and other blue, red, and silverish ones.
We stayed the whole morning, then returned to the city. The cab system worked very well, fine-tuned for tourists like us.
The city was like all of them on Caribbean islands, with shops starting on the pier.
Well, that was all; what followed was two days of sailing. And we had a companion, a bird whose spot, when resting, was near the captain’s command room. I saw the bird fishing and resting. It could fly faster than the boat. It wasn’t a problem to catch the boat when it stayed behind to catch fish.
I will end with one remark. It is more than one week since we returned, and we were lucky not to get the flu or Covid on the boat or plane. And it is fair to mention that my wife and I were fully Covid vaccinated and had the seasonal flu shot too.
St. Lucia was different from all the others.
Most of the trips offered were inland. St. Lucia boasts a beautiful landscape, and I guess that their beaches are not as spectacular as the other islands we visited, just a wild guess for what I saw.
The target was to see the two spectacular heights, Gros Piton (the big Piton), which is 798.25 m (2,618.9 ft) high, and Petit Piton (the Little Piton), which is 743 m (2,438 ft) high; the Piton Mitan ridge links them. The picture above is the Petit Piton. There are more pictures of them on Wikipadia, from different angles.
We were told it would be 40-50 minutes drive from the boat, but it was one hour and a half driving in a minibus. But I liked it since I had the opportunity to see the island. The guide talked a lot about the island’s features and history. What I remember was that there are many banana plantations.
She said with the same breath, “I never go bananas,” and in the same sentence, she delivered a warm message about what should be friendship and understanding around the world.
On the road, we saw some nice houses.
We crossed villages and towns.
In some settlements we saw many abandoned houses with broken windows and missing roofs. The guide explained that the owners left for work outside the island but usually returned when they had money or to retreat and fix their houses.
Our stop was on a farm where we could see the two Pitons and a fishermen’s village from above.
On that farm I was impressed by the number of fruits it had, like bananas, oranges, lemons, something looking like watermelons, then onions, pineapples, beans, you name it.
Below is a pineapple. It takes two years to grow and only one fruit per plant! We should have respect for it when we have it on our plates.
On our way back, we stopped on a beach for 20 minutes, having a resort nearby… It is where my opinion about St. Lucia beaches took form.
But the trip was lovely, and because it was so different from other islands’ experiences, I am very happy with it.
We stooped on the island on a beautiful day.
A little bit about the island and its ladies.
France’s Miss Universe #missuniverseFrance was from Martinique.
And a little bit of history: Josephine, born in Martinique, was Napoleon’s only love, whom he divorced in 1810 because she could not give him an heir. But Napoleon’s last words were, “France… army … head of army… Josephine.”
I am tempted to add her picture here since it is worth seeing the lady who captivated the most powerful man on Earth in his time.
Going back to our trip..
We once again opted for a snorkeling adventure with two stops. The first stop was snorkeling in some caves having coral reefs. It is a protected environment due to its ecological value. The rule was that the water should be calm enough for the safety of the tourists and the corals in the cave. The on-shore government organization supervising that place gave us the go-ahead. But the captain of the catamaran decided that the water was not clear enough (some small waves) and we could not see much anyway.
So the catamaran did not stop, and we headed for the second snorkeling stop.
We stopped near a beach with coral reefs about 50 meters from the beach. We saw a nice variety of colored fish. Not many, but enough to be pleased with the expedition. One strange thing was that the beach was completely deserted, even if we spotted bars and restaurants.
So we swam to the beach and figured out why. It was a soccer game: the world cup final, France-Argentina/ The bars and restaurants had big TV screens outside, and everyone was glued to them.
When we returned from the expedition, we found out that all bars and shops in town were closed because it was Sunday. Besides, our cruise had to leave in less than two hours, so, we headed for the boat right away.
We will visit Fort-de-France some other time. The city is not the island’s capital city but an administrative one, since Martinique is France’s territory.
We reached Barbados on Dec 16.
The port was mixed, having cruise boats and industrial use.
We opted for snorkeling - green turtles expedition.
The catamaran was excellent and offered a net about 2 meters above the water on both sides. On that net, the guests had a more strong sailing feeling. The pitch was strong, and the waves breaking just one or two meters below created a feeling of belonging to the ocean.
On the other net, my wife took the best spot.
Once we reached the green turtle spotting place, we saw many other small boats competing with us. The turtles were small, maybe 30 cm, and they were brown but called green because they eat green seaweeds; the bottom of the ocean was a very intense green.
The problem with poor turtles was that hundreds of people crowded to see them when they showed up from under that green carpet at the bottom. After a while, some tourists had enough and swam to the nearest beach. I remained behind, and I was one-on-one with the turtles. They did not care; I guess they were used to visitors like myself. I am sorry again that I did not have an underwater camera.
The trip was almost all day, see the turtles and then enjoy the beach nearby.
Time to return to the boat.
After we reached the cruise ship and had dinner, it was time for the evening entertainment.
The next stop would be St. Lucia
We arrived in Antigua on Dec 15, 2022.
From the trips offered on the ship, we decided on a snorkeling adventure. We were in a group with 22 guests and made the trip on a catamaran, which took about 40 minutes. The weather was fantastic, and the scenery was worth the trip.
I didn’t have an underwater camera, but it was not a great variety of fishes we saw. Mostly silverish ones, about 20 cm long. I saw other tourists using their cells in transparent zipped bags, and they took pictures underwater with them. Good to know for future expeditions.
On our way back, they offered drinks… plenty. Rum with something sweet. Maybe we took too many. And it was a price to pay. When we arrived back in the city, we could not go much on the streets. We did not see much to grab our attention and the only place where all tourists crowded was the one near the pier, a tourist trap, with a Christmas tree in the central plaza.
Still, a drummer got my attention. I approached and dropped $1 in his colorful pot. He asked me where I was from.
Then he said with all his heart, “Welcome to Antigua, Canadian man,” and he drummed harder for me.
All right, maybe it was our fault that we could not visit more (the rum on the catamaran, duh), and we returned to the boat.