St. Maarten

Tuesday 6th March
Our arrival in Saint Maarten happened to coincide with the 32nd annual heineken sailing regatta. The closing party was held Sunday night on Kim Sha beach right in front of where we were anchored in Simpson bay. We headed ashore to check it out and had a great night meeting a lot of fun people from all over the world. The music was excellent and the line up included the world famous raggae singer Beres Hammond.
Jimmy finally finds the barrel he's been looking for...and it just happens to be full of his favourite Captain Morgan!

St. Barts

Sunday 19th February
If I had to choose an island to live on in the Eastern Caribbean it would probably be St.Barts (Saint Barthelemy), with it's french charm and beautiful landscape it's almost hypnotic and extremely peaceful. Supposedly Columbus sailed past the island and thought it so beautiful that he named it after his brother. Along with the islands of Saint Martin, Guadaloupe and Martinique, Saint Barts makes up the group known as the French West Indies.  
Our first stop was to anchor off the main port of Gustavia, the great thing about the French islands is they're cheap and easy to check into so after a quick stop at the Port Captains office we were free to roam the town. Gustavia is full of great little boutiques and cafes that skirt the shore line and wonderful place to just sit and people watch. After picking some French goodies in the supermarket the following day we upped anchor and headed around to the north west corner of the island and picked up a mooring in Colombier bay.
Part of the marine park, Colombier has a great beach with clear water for snorkelling and beautiful hikes around the surrounding hills. We planned to spend one night here and ended up staying for three!


Monday 13th February

We have a  new favourite Caribbean island, yes as usual we tend to always be falling in love with wherever we happen to be at the time and Barbuda is no exception. Our plan was never to come to this far north as we've been looking forward to 'turning the corner' and heading further west in the chain. However, on the morning of leaving Jolly Harbour we noticed the wind and sea was unusually calm and instead of sailing to the island of Nevis we made a quick sail change and headed the 30 miles north to Barbuda...we're very glad we did.
With a population of around 1,500 Barbuda forms part of the state Antigua and Barbuda. Most of the inhabitants live in the town of Codrington, named after the two brothers who originally leased the island back in 1685. The family used the island to grow crops and keep slaves before sending them on to Antigua to be sold. In 1834 the slaves were freed and today the island is owned communally which means no big resorts or hotels can be built without the locals say so. For this reason Barbuda remains one of the more untouched islands in the Eastern Caribbean.

We found this abandoned hotel above and explored it's rooms and grounds that are slowly being reclaimed by nature...eerie but beautiful!
The two main attractions on the island are the famous Frigate bird colony, consisting of over 5,000 birds, and the miles and miles of untouched pink beaches. We anchored off the Western coast along 11 mile beach and spent four glorious days walking and swimming the beach...without seeing another soul! 

Jolly Harbour - Antigua

Thursday 9th February
After a few days anchored in Falmouth Harbour we moved around to the southern coast of Antigua to Jolly Harbour. Due to the high salt content in the water (we think) the bay is always this really beautiful turquoise colour making it such an inviting place to go for a swim and hang out on the boat. The other really inviting part of Jolly is the well stocked supermarket, full of a lot of great English and American products that we haven't seen anywhere else in a long time. The Caribbean islands can be touch and go with provisioning, the French islands tend to offer the best supermarkets with the widest selection of goodies, where as the independent islands usually have a limited supply of the basics. It makes cooking on board quite interesting as we always have to be a little creative with the ingredients available. For now though we're stocked back up and looking forward to hanging out at our next stop on the neighbouring island of Barbuda.

Cruising friends!

We've been lucky enough to hook back up here in the Caribbean with our Cruising friends on board the Catamaran 'S/V Mehari'. A family of eight taking a two year cruise through the Mediterranean and Caribbean - they are such an inspiration as a family who work together as a team and are a joy to be around. The other day we caught a big Mahi Mahi on the way over to Antigua and invited them over to share it with us and had wonderful evening on board Blue Moon. Our paths will separate once we leave Antigua but check out their blog Here to find out more of their great story!
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