Saturday, January 4, 2014

My My – What a Fun Trip We Have Had


We are only three days from ending our Caribbean holiday! Looking back, it seems unbelievable that BOTH Lisa and I have been so sick most of the trip. It has become a joke that we actually came on this trip just to spend time in the infirmary – which I can assure you is not true. Just when we thought we had turned the corner, I came down with yet another virus that once again put me down with a high fever, and Lisa was grounded with a really bad asthma attack. I will spare you the details, but do want everyone to know that today we both seem well (knock on wood) and hopefully will have some fun for our last three days.

Obviously my blogs have fallen by the wayside, and just to make matters worse, when I did try to post my early blogs it seems that the Google programs which host our web page has undergone a change, and it is not working correctly. Unfortunately with the slow internet connection on the ship, I simply am not in a position to repair it, so it will have to wait until I get home. You can however go to our web page at It may look strange but the content is correct, and if you click on the pictures of the Penguins on the right you will be able to see some of our photographs.

I last wrote about St. Lucia. Lisa did manage to make it ashore in Barbados, but I did not, so we’ll have to skip that stop. Our next port of call was to Bequia, a town on St. Vincent and the Grenadines which is all the way South near the end of the Windward Islands. To go further South would put us on the coast of South America. So, our last visit of the old year was at Bequia, pronounced beck-way. The tiny island is the most populous of the 32 islands and cays that make up the Grenadines. Now even as travelled as I am, it does not surprise me that I am continually introduced to little places and islands about which I have never even heard; but what does surprise me is just how crowded all of these places are with tourists. Let’s take Bequia – this to me, at least, is not your typical tourist destination. First, it has only a very small airport. Second, the harbor, while beautiful, has no dock, so any ship which makes port has to come ashore in tenders. In short, this is not a place that one just “happens upon”. It does, however, have one of the prettiest anchorages in the Caribbean. The mountainous terrain provides a multitude of hide-a-ways with superb views, and the beautiful gold-sand beaches are unbelievably inviting.

In fact, at every stop on our journey, we have found the Islands teaming with tourists in holiday residence. At times it almost seems as if the world has moved to the Caribbean, not to mention that virtually every cruise ship from North America is cruising these crowded waters. I would bet that if I went on deck right now, I would be able to see at least one other cruise ship on the horizon, and sometimes several at once. During our visit to Bequia we constantly had a helicopter overhead, which the locals said came from the adjacent island. That island had been taken over by Bill Gates and his party and the helicopter was one of his providing his party over flights.

Yesterday we stopped at the British Virgin Islands, anchoring off the island of Virgin Gourda. Once again the island and surrounding waters were teeming with tourists. After being tendered ashore, we once again crowed into a little open air truck and quite literally drove from one end of the island to the other. By the end of three hours holding on for dear life, we thankfully we able to seek refuge back on the ship.

If you would like for me to spend more words describing each island, you would quickly discover a numbing redundancy. While there are naturally some differences among the islands, for the most part they all have a striking similarity. That is not to diminish the striking beauty that one finds in the Caribbean, it is rather to acknowledge that in this part of the world they all share a common history rooted in the slave trade. They survive mostly on tourism and their people are friendly, at least in the southern Caribbean.

This afternoon we are set to anchor off the city of Samana in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic shares the Island of Hispaniola with Haiti. I have visited Haiti, but never been to the Dominican Republic before, so this will be a new adventure.

Lisa and I both wish everyone a very Happy New Year, and I will try to do a better job of writing for the end of this journey.


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