Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bridgetown, Barbados

Barbados was colonised by the British nearly 400 years ago and has been an independent nation for 50 years.  Bridgetown, the capital, is a bustling, duty free port with beautiful beaches, lots of shops and historic buildings dating from colonial days.

This place is the centre of West Indies cricket and throughout the day, local people who are all cricket fanatics, talked to us once they realised we were from Australia.

When we visited St Michael and the Angels cathedral, we saw the resting place of Sir Frank Worrell.  Several ladies were decorating the church with tropical flowers in preparation for Sunday services.

                                                        Lots of great boats in this port!

It is Halloween tonight and we are going to a party.  Gail visited the Beauty Parlour in preparation.

                                         Photos from the event at our next post after our few sea days.

Ile de Haut A little slice of French paradise

Our day in Ile de Haut was spent at the beaches and wandering the small French town. It is very quiet and we are the only ship to visit this year. We went ashore by tender and walked to the Plage de Anse Mire. There were lots of little boats bobbing at anchor and family groups swimming. We sheltered from a rain shower under a large tree.

                    The houses and flowers were colourful as was this intrepid traveller

                                                A land ship and our cruise ship

                                               Walking around to the first beach

We took shelter from heavy rain before heading down to our second beach. It rained again as we swam in the beautiful water. We saw lots of fish some very large and talked to some delightful locals in a mix of broken French and English.

                                                Despite the rain we didn't get the "blues"

One of the local homes. This is a very pretty part of France. A great place to drop out if only you could afford to eat.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

St. Barth's

Today we are in France! We are in St Barth's at Gustavia. It is a beautiful but expensive place.
We have looked over the town and swam at two beaches. We are sitting near the harbour to send this before we catch the tender back to the ship.
After looking at the designer fashion shops like Louis Vuitton and Hermes we walked to Shell beach with lots of stops on the way.

Gail and Rob at St Bartholomew's Anglican church. It was too hot to walk to the Catholic Church!

In front of the church is a huge anchor that was found a few years ago. It is 18th century.

Shell Beach was not one to sun bake on. It was pure shell but very pretty and the water was great.

The Beatles must have been in town! The Yellow Submarine out in the harbour.

A small plane takes off over St Jean beach. It was better than Shell Beach and had pure white fine sand

At the other end of St Jean Beach sits Eden Rock Hotel. Nice place to stay!

We enjoyed our day in this small island of the Caribbean and found that there are still lots of pirates around but now they drive taxis etc!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Jost Van Dyke

We had great views as we sailed from Fort Lauderdale followed by two very relaxing days at sea.

                                                      Sailing out of Fort Lauderdale

After a few sea days, we have finally arrived at the Jost Van Dyke Islands in the British Virgin Islands, a part of the lesser Antilles Islands.  There are less than 400 people live here and only very small ships can come here.

We landed at Great Harbour..a very grandiose name for a small landing! We then went via tiny shuttles over the hill to White Beach. This is true to name!

                                                The view looking over White Beach

                                                            Gail on White Beach

We are actually sitting under the shade of a tree on White Beach as we send this
Shortly we may try a "Painkiller" a rum based drink guaranteed to leave you legless.The most popular bar is the Soggy Dollar. When people wade ashore from their yacht they spend their soggy dollar at the bar

Our ship is at anchor in the bay of Great Harbour.

Just across the Sir Francis Drake Channel is the legendary uninhabited Norman Island, immortalised in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”.

The group is made up of about 1,000 islands, ranging from tiny cays surrounded by powdery white sands to others with peaks reaching to 300 – 400 metres.  Everywhere is azure water and colourful marine life.  It is the sort of place where you could drop out and stay forever, although you would have to limit yourself to drinks at the few bars and be prepared to drink lots of rum.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

More from Charleston

A few extra photos from Charleston

                                         The old quarter had delightful homes and laneways

                                                 Juxtaposition of Coach House meets Cub Car

                                                              Good old Southern hospitality

                                                          Squirrels were everywhere

Gail at Fort Sumter
On the way back from Fort Sumter we were close to the historic USS carrier Yorketown

Fort Lauderdale

Over 90% of the passengers left the ship today as we reach the half way point. It is the second busiest port in the world and we were alongside ships that took 10 times the number of passengers on our Seabourn Quest.

We had a day at the beach that is like a larger version of The Gold Coast. Lots of sun bakers and shops selling costumes, margaritas and tacky tee shirts.

                                             Gail at the beach. No her shirt is not tacky!

Florida is the retirement capital of America if not the world. It is interesting that the beaches remained segregated until so recently

On the other side of the narrow strip of land were the canals. This is Robert at the fishing boat

We sail on today with a few more sea days before we visit a series of Caribbean islands

Friday, October 23, 2015

Charleston Where the Civil War began

Charleston  is a beautiful city with delightful old mansions and real atmosphere. We enjoyed our first warm day since leaving Australia and walked the city for hours

We also went by boat out to Fort Sumter where the first shot of the American Civil War was fired. A very interesting visit with a very local interpretation of the events! Most enjoyable.

                                                                 Gail at the fort

We have very slow wifi so will try for more in 2 days. We sail on to Fort Lauderdale and then the Caribbean

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Salem The City of Witches

Only just North of Boston we are ashore at Salem, famous for it's trial of witches in the 17th century. We saw lots of witches and even more witch T shirts.

Our first stop was The House of The Seven Gables the house made famous by the book of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This was a great place to visit as a historic home in addition to the literary connection. It indeed has 7 gables but couldn't work out how to get a photograph of them all in the one shot.For some odd reason they enforce a no photo rule inside.

                                                    Gail at The House of Seven Gables

As we walked we came to the Maritime area. This was once the busiest sea port in America. They have lots of memorabilia from the days of sail.

                                                         Two of the best ships around!

It was approaching halloween and there  was every imaginable thing associated with witches and witchcraft.  Lots more pumpkins, black cats and psychics everywhere.

                                                              The loving threesome

                                                                     Pucker up baby

                                       We were bewitched  Even met Elizabeth Montgomery

Monday, October 19, 2015

More from Acadia National Park

The creation of this park and the rise and fall of some of Americas richest people is all interconnected. About 100 years ago 98% of US wealth was focussed on this area and all the big names lived here.
We enjoyed it as a beautiful park and have a few photos to share

                                                Gail on Cadillac Mountain

It was so cold that the pools of water were frozen. This was like a mini frozen waterfall

                                                       The colours were spectacular

                                                Pocahontas and her birch bark wigwam

                                              The main industry is lobster and eating it!

Bar Harbor Back in the USA

We sailed back into the USA overnight and after going through immigration ( for 5th time) we went ashore by tender to Bar Harbor, Maine. Also called the Newport of the North
There were beautiful houses and also yachts. It sits just on the side of the Acadia National Park.
We started with a stroll through this pretty little town and then a walk through a section of the park. Then we cut down to the path along the shore and are currently waiting for a trip deep into the park. When we return it will be close on time to sail.

                                          Gail with the autumn colours...or should we say Fall

                                                             This one is for sale!

From the Shore Path
                                         This would look great moored in Drummoyne Bay

We will put up some photos of the Acadia National Park later!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

St John, New Brunswick

We have reached our final Canadian destination and just back from looking around St John. It is much larger and colder than our last two ports.
With our sea day we had a chance to rest and to party. We also had a stowaway or at least a hitch hiker for much of the trip

The town has many great old wooden houses and also wooden sculptures, Much of the town is very old but some has been rebuilt following a major fire in the 1800's

                                                           Pick the odd one out!

                                                        St John on a quiet Sunday morning.
We were able to get into the markets even though they were closed and they are the longest continuous markets in North America. The roof was done by the local shipwrights and resembles the keel of a wooden ship.

                             Gail in the markets..all these things and no one to buy them from!

   The Carton Martello Tower built for the war of 1812 but never used. One of a handful that remain.

Gail at the Reversing Rapids, one of just a few in the world. This region of Fundy Bay has the largest tidal range in the world and the rapids reverse with every tide.