Sailing out of Cherbourg, France, to St Martin in the Caribbean. A trip of about 4,000 nautical miles / 8,000 kilometres. Its an interesting navigation exercise for Marjorie and me … and about 35 days of enforced togetherness. And fishing.
You can watch us trickle accross the ocean… see the links below. Here is a guestimate of the course:
From Cherbourg we head South keeping a long distance off Carbo Finisterre as it gets stormy in a wind compression zone. Then continue on the blue line or the red line. The Yellow line is the southern edge of the light winds and SW storms so we will stay south of that. Then its onwards to the Caribbean! If we are lucky the wind will be good on the course we want, otherwise we need to go further south… that makes the trip a bit longer, but the fishing better! 🙂
Sea Life is undergoing a month of work getting ready for our 4,000 nautical mile (8,000 kilometres!) passage from Cherbourg, France to the Caribbean. OK, I’ll admit it: I don’t like heights!! So we sent a rigger up the mast to do a full check of all the rigging, halyards, blocks etc and to install 2 new halyards (ropes up the mast to raise sails).
Hold STILL! Nothing ever listens to me! I have decided I need some great Hummingbird photos… but needs, wants and ability are crashing and buring here.
This is a Green Throated Carib. I will go for a better photo over the next few days.
This is a Antillean Crested Hummingbird (Orthorhyncus cristatus). OK, I am not absolutly sure… Email me if you know, please.
The Hike from Hell
I don’t remember whose stupid idea it was to trek the mountain tops that make the spine of St Maarten and St Martin. Even if it was me I don’t feel totally responsible for what happened…
Looking like that well known tribe from lowest is Richard and Jennifer for “Our Rose”; Belinda “Free Spirit”; Lindsey of “Pegusus of London”; and moi. This is just the start.
Some of the survivors enjoying the views: Richard and Jennifer. Note behind then the cliffs are shear down to Grand Marche on the Phillipsburg side.
The Lagoon is foreground, Isle de Sol to the left, Simpson Bay in the background.
Jean off “Free Spirit” has to throw caution to the wind and jump to Richard.
Isle Forchue, The Caribbean
Isle Forchue is an island off St Barts thats uninhabited. Even the goats gave it up as too steep. So we climbed all the peaks!
Jean off “Free Spirit” offers me some advice on mountin’ goatin’.
Having ascended through the clouds I am lucky that Belinda is a doctor and can give me CPR.
New Years Eve
2014 started in St Barts. Now this is a seriously interesting place for New Years Eve. Serious ‘people watching’. The worlds billionaires flock in with the movie star friends… and the girls that want to hook up with either. Pity I forgot my camera!
This is a screen shot of the AIS showing some of the biggest Superyachts in the world all trying to park near Sea Life.
A full week of the most exciting, colourful and weird parades throughout Grenada. Many center on the Carinage in St Georges.
J’Ouvert starts before dawn and it the weirdest parade I have seen in the world. Holding fish in their teeth, dragging chains and covered in old oil its spooky seeing them trudge through the remnants of the night. And whats with the horns?
The colour is what we all expect!
The Lion Fish, an introduced pest, is taking over but the fishermen treat it with a respect. https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88182796&show_artwork=true
Fire Destroys Boat “Uisge Beatha” in Grenada June 14 2013.
A hundred meters from Sea Life a beautiful new 80 foot Jongert built Aluminum boat “Uisge Beatha” caught fire before dawn 14th June.
May 2013, The Caribbean
Nat wishes Sea Life goodbye in Martinique.
Fort De France, Martinique is a stunning small historic town surrounded by a much more modern city. The anchorage is bliss at sunset.
May 2013 in Deshaies, Guadeloupe sees a very strange yacht race with traditional boats. Theres a fleet of 40, all immaculately maintained, sailing most Sundays.
Nat did give Ali a hair cut before Ali could head to London. One doesn’t want Aussie performers looking like wooly sheep in Piccadilly!
St Johns is not on the cruisers path, so we had the town and the anchorage to ourselves. Its so pretty, and the people so friendly. Mind you when we saw this band appear from nowhere I was reminded of James Bonds Dr No.
Ali flew out of St Johns, Antigua, but we tried to get her to have this manicure first.
The anchorage at Colombeir, St Barths. You may have heard that St Barths is pretty pricey. Well, its free to anchor here! But dont even think about getting off the boat without a stuffed wallet! St Barths is lovely, really pretty, and only about 25% more expensive than St Martin, but without local busses travel around the island is a killer. We had a friend of Nat’s, Chrystal, to drive us around.
Well, its only a small island how could anyone get lost? Fourchue has piles of cairns for those who can’t make the trek up the hill. Kinda the king of the castle for the vertically challenged.
Between St Martin and St Barths is a small islands Isle Fourchue. Nat looks at the boat whilst taking a breath after a pretty steep climb to the summit overlooking the bay.
April 2013 looks a great month! Nat (Natalia) and Ali (Allison) both independently took six months to arrange their visit to Sea Life… and ended up arriving on the same day! So we started at the St Martin Yacht Club, of course.
Matt and Kate have dumped the boat and bought on Terra Firma. Not a bad view over Simpson Bay, St Martin!
2013 started in Key West, USA with a 13 day upwind, up current passage to St Martin in the Caribbean. A long and difficult passage by Sea Life handled it well!
2012 started in St Martin in the Caribbean. Sea Life had a safe voyage through the Bahamas to the USA and up to New York City.
She is much better to see from the deck of your own boat after a week long voyage!
Lots of people drop in when you’re in New York. Ali from Sydney bumped into Catherine working in NY and bumped into Megan so they all decided to bump into Sea Life!
Off Cape Hatteras
I have never seen more dolphins than in the area Cape Hatteras to New York. Most amazing is when they first see you… they may be patrolling looking for fish and then one jumps and sees the boat and then turns directly towards you calling the others and the RUSH towards the boat!
Shroud Cay, the Exumas, Bahamas. When the wind don’t blow and the ship don’t go, at least you can tell if there’s a shark about to bite ya toes.
Georgetown, the Exumas, Bahamas. How do the cruisers wile away a winter?
Sea Life had a safe voyage from Grenada to Venezuela. Its a little more dangerous at sea so precautions needed to be taken harking back to Gulf of Aen times. The good news is I am loving Venezuela and will write up a detailed account for other cruisers wishing to come here.
Meddrigals Swimming Pool is huge, with a resort and haulout facility in one. The Bar and Pool area is best…
June to September 2011 Grenada.
The Hurricane Season is affecting the Caribbean so Sea Life is spending a few months in the very green and pretty island of Grenada. Since its devastating communist revolution and resolution by force from the other Caribbean Islands and the USA in 1983 Grenada has evolved in to perhaps the friendliest island in the region. Its full of colour, music and delightful people.
Just love the Boganvillia.
Its Carnival! Kim, right and her husband Rikki, of ‘De Big Fish’.
April and May 2011 Antigua.
The most beautiful marina in the world is Nelsons Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua. Horatio Nelson was a mere Captain in 1784 when he got the shove to the Caribbean – had he stirred up the wrong Admiral? Anyway, he had a rough time of it but left the place his name. Today many of the original buildings remain and yachts are tied to bollards he probably kicked. To make it even better the marina price is about $1 per foot of boat per night. Bad news is its booked out till after Antigua Sailing Week.
Sea Life racing in “Antigua Sailing Week”, a 5 race series. Of course we are jus’ cruisin’. Joining Sea Life is Brian and Kerrie Wexham from Sydney. After sampling the restaurants of Antigua we will be heading to Barbuda which is quite a wilderness compared to the rest of the Caribbean. We will be grabbing the snorkels for some of the most pristine coral. A great relax before Brian and Kerrie head back to the rat race.
Its Carnival time on the French side of St Martin. Marigot comes alive with the colour, music and movement with that slight French accent!
Carnival is for the locals and the streets are full with families… and everyone else.
This photo is not faked! The airport ends right on the beach and the Sunset Beach Bar has a great, if not fractional close view. Its the only place in the world where noise isn’t complained about.
You can’t leave your past behind. They follow you around the world! Its was a sensational few weeks when John Whitehall found Sea Life. Its was a mad mix of tourism, bars and … well, more bars!
Its difficult work out if an anchorage will be good or not. Touristy to the max, but a very pleasant surprise was Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, The British Virgin Islands.
In some film Bruce Willis said one of the 10 things to do before you die is to go to Foxy’s on New Years Eve. Looks quiet in this photo! Foxy and his Australian wife are great and I enjoyed New Years Eve 2011 in their wonderful restaurant and bar on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands.
2010 saw ‘Sea Life’, the Beneteau 393 sailing yacht go through her most tumultuous year. Leaving Thailand just after New Year I sailed through the northern Indian Ocean into the pirate infested waters of Somalia via the Gulf of Aden. There we witnessed a real pirate attack on a container ship and were far to close to being caught ourselves. Then the magic of the Pyramids in Egypt, Turkey, Greece, France and the Mediterranean. I continued on to cross the Atlantic completing Sea Life’s circumnavigation. What a year! so much so that its split into 2 web pages. part one and part two.
Current location – Arrived St Martin 21st December. Let me catch my breath and I’ll tell you a story….
23 October to 22 November 2010, Las Palmas Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.
Don Pedro of the Texaco Fuel Outlet at Muelle De Portivo, Las Palmas hosts the anual Dinghy Race. We entered a combined Sea Life, Mojomo, Mollymawk team and of course won! OK, maybe we didn’t win but we certainly had fun. Look CLOSELY and to the right of the white hard dinghy you will see the grey with black striped dinghy of Mollymawk, standing starboard stern is Matt of Mojomo; port stern loading ammunition bucket is Caesar of Mollymawk, port bow leading attacker Glyn of Mojomo and starboard bow is me.
Anchored in the bay at Las Palmas are many boats ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean. Inside the Maria are 250 ARC Rally participants who leave here on Novenmber 20th. However everyone else goes when they want to. Its a bit like migrating birds – we are waiting for the Hurricane Season to finish. But when is that? A couple of early birds have left, and the rest of us may follow suit within a few days of each other when each of us sniffs the air and thinks its right.
This fleet of Optimist dinghies use Vladimir & Céline’s Kafeoli as a turning mark in their race. Crewed by teenage girls they identify their location with their screaming! They are very funny and verrry fast.
‘Lil Dink the Zodiac dinghy that has done one and a half circumnavigations under 3 owners and over 12 years old is in semi-retirement. She has more leaks than an onion paddock and I am only using her once every few days to get into town. Even then I need to take the outboard engine off and chain it to the dock so ‘Lil Dink can stay afloat. That gives me about an hour to race around and find bits for Sea Life and pump her back up again. She done herself proud so I don’t mind. She gets full retirement as soon as Sea Life gets to St Martin in the Caribbean.
The ARC is a rally for sailing boats to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Las Palmas to St Lucia. It leaves here on November 21st. I am going further north to St Martin and will be leaving within a week of the ARC, before or after. The anchorage and tha marina are getting quite crowded as more boats come her in preparation for their great voyage. Its getting quite exciting meeting more people either ARCing or going over on their own.
23 September 2010 Arrived in the Canary Islands! Dropped anchor in Las Palmas the main town of the island Gran Canaria.
25th August 2010, Villefranche, The French Riviera -Cote D’Azur
Fireworks are the french Riviera – a popular event in the summer!
A visit to beautiful Nice. What a lovely port and town. We enjoyed walking around the old town and seeing so many gorgeous buildings. The beach was very popular. There is wonderful shopping, we especially love the gigantic Carrefour supermarket, it has everything we could ever need!
The lovely colourful port of Nice, France
Villefranche, a beautiful, safe anchorage. We are enjoying relaxing, eating lots of delicious French cheese and bread and loving France! Mark is enjoying the French wine too. We are taking a couple of weeks to relax after such a busy years so far since we left Thailand in January. We can take a bus to Nice, Cannes, Antibes or Monaco they are all very close.
The lovely anchorage of Villefranche on the French Riviera with the cute town full of little, old narrow streets
7th July – Ariverdeci, Italy! Bonjour France! We arrived in France on the very wealthy, exclusive and famous French Riviera – Cote D’Azur with a sail past famous Monaco – Monte Carlo
4th August – Pisa – The quaint town of Pisa and a visit to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. We even got to walk inside the tower and up to the top. It was lots of fun and had great views of the town below us.
2nd – 5th August 2010 – Santa Margarita Ligure, Italian Riviera with a scenic sail past Portofino
Lovely morning light over Santa Margherita Ligure on the Italian Riviera
30th July – Our first Med storm while at sea. Very nasty storm, strong winds (up to 70-80 knots), heavy rains and spray lifted up off the sea. We were healed right over and sailing along very FAST through the storm, a bit more adventure than we really needed!
Some interesting clouds around the time of some stormy weather days in Italy
28th July, A lovely sail along to Almafi Coast and a sail by the famous Isle of Capri, Italy at sunset on the way to the Italian Riviera!
The beautiful Trevi Fountain where we sat and had our lunch during our walking day around the city of Rome
25 & 26th July – Pompeii & Rome, Italy
Mark outside The Coliseum, Italy
A lovely view of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background
24th -28th July- Salerno, Italy! A beautiful Italian town with lively Italians, atmospheric piazzas (public squares), puppet shows and wonderful gelato!
21st July – Scenic sail past Stromboli Island, Italy. The volcano puffed away all afternoon and we drifted around the West side of the island to see the amazing night time explosions – black smoke and red fiery ash along with the rumbles of the volcano. Just like watching a nature documentary only it was happening right in front of our eyes and we had the best view on the deck of Sea Life. So beautiful and mesmerizing!
The beautiful nature wonder, Stromboli Volcano a sight to see on approach to the island and at night!
20th July – a nice calm motor at night through the famous Straits of Messina, Italy
16th July 2010 – Goodbye beautiful Methoni, Mainland Greece, onwards to Italy!
The Pathenon, a site we saw amongst many others on a land trip to Athens, Greece
10th -16th July 2010, arrived on mainland Greece – Methoni! We love Methoni, it had a wonderful, safe anchorage. A very pretty, very Greek, local town with a great pub. We found a gorgeous little cove to swim in which had the clearest (see through) water we have ever seen, it was calm and peaceful and you had the beautiful historic fort and castle right behind you. Just glorious.
8th July 2010 – A scenic sailing tour past Santorini and through the beautiful islands of Thira, The Cyclades, The Greek Islands!
Sea Life happily anchored in the bay of Serifos with the lovely old Chora village behind her going up into the mountains
7th,8th July July 2010 – Folegandros Island, The Cyclades, The Greek Islands!
The view from the town of Kastro to the lovely blue domed church sitting on the edge of the island
4th – 7th July 2010 – Sifnos Island, The Cyclades, The Greek Islands!
The view from the chora in Serifos down into the town and the bay
3rd, 4th July 2010 – Serifos Island, The Cyclades, The Greek Islands!
A beautiful blue domed church in the chora (village) on the mountains in Serifos
29th June – 3rd July 2010 – Syros Island, The Cyclades, The Greek Islands!
A lovely quaint street in Syros with the famous bright, colourful Bougainvillea
The beautiful crystal clear water at our lovely little beach just a short walk from Sea Life in Syros. We swim here many times each day, it is lovely and refreshing during the warm summer days
beautiful bouganvilla gracefully sweeping off a cute white and blue Greek house in Syros
A beautiful view from the hill of the town of Syros (after our long walk through the town and up step hills and stairs!), blue domed churches and Seas Life tied to the harbour quay somewhere down below
A cute, narrow, marble Greek street with beautiful Bougainvillea, blue domed church, Mark and two perfect little pussy cats posing for the photo
29th June 2010 -Hello Greek Islands! Yay we are now in Greece cruising the beautiful Greek Islands. Sea Life is now in Europe! How exciting!
Lovely Miss Sea Life happy to be in Greece and tied to the very nice harbour quay in Syros with restaurants and the town behind her. Syros is a beautiful town with marble streets and marble buildings everywhere, very nice!
29th June 2010 – Arrived in Syros, Greece, Cyclades – Greek Islands!
Beautiful bouganvilla gracefully decorating the charming street in Syros
FOR MORE PHOTOS SEE OUR 2010 PAGE FOR THE FIRST HALF OF OUR 2010 CRUISING YEAR! TURKEY, EGYPT, RED SEA, OMAN, AND THAILAND.
Cruising in 2010 – The First Half Of The Year Jan – June 2010. Thailand to Turkey!
26th June 2010 – Goodbye Turkey (we loved you and will miss you!), The Mediterranean! After almost 3 months we left Marmaris behind and sailed out to sea for a 3 day passage to Greece
Our favorite performers from the Marmaris Folk Dance competition in the Amphitheatre
A beautiful afternoon view of the gulets tied to the town quay with the Marmaris Fortress in the background and the beautiful mountains as a backdrop
A lovely collection of our market produce from the weekly markets in Marmaris, we enjoyed buying lots of delicious fresh fruit and vegetables
18th May – Marmaris, Turkey.
16th May – Kinidos, Turkey. On our way to Marmaris.
12th May – 16th May – Gumusluk, Turkey
8th May – Ancient City of Ephesus (Efes), Turkey
Mark performing on one of the most grand and ancient stages, The Great Theatre, Ancient city of Ephesus (Efes), Turkey
A close up view of part of the front of the beautiful Library of Celsus, Ancient City of Ephesus (Efes), Turkey
6th May – Foca -Eskifoca (Old town)
2nd – 4th May – Behramkale (Ancient Assos) Turkey – An ancient city, Temple of Athena, beautiful little harbour !
Sea Life in her berth right in front of the lovely little village and restaurants in Behram Kale (Ancient Assos)
We berthed Sea Life right of the lovely little row of restaurants in Behram Kale (Ancient Assos) and stepped ashore to explore this beautiful little harbour & quaint village. We enjoyed a fabulous walk up through the farmland, olive groves and local town area up the hill to the ancient Temple of Athena (our first temple in the Mediterranean). Glorious views of the coast all around. A beautiful and delightful little harbour. We love it.
Temple of Athena in Behram Kale (Ancient Assos)
1st May – Bozcaada Island, North Turkey – A Castle and Red Wine! We loved Bozcaada, a quaint little Turkish fishing village with great local red wine, great food, lovely people and a beautiful castle. It was our very first castle in the Mediterranean which we enjoyed
Mark sitting in a room with a view in the Bozcaada Castle, he can see our beautiful yacht Sea Life sitting in the harbour (she is the one in the middle)
1st May sailing on a beautiful day to Bozcaada, we sailed across the busy Dardanelle’s shipping lane for the second time, the first time with were motoring and it was during the night. Today is was a glorious day, gentle winds, sunshine and full sails up, even our genoa was poled out.
25th April – ANZAC DAY – Gallipoli – We walked to North Cove and slept overnight where the ANZAC soliders landed in 1915 in the First World War, then attended the dawn service & then walked to Lone Pine for the Australian Anzac Day service. A very moving and special experience for us both. We also walked to the Nek cemetery to see the trenches and the area where they fought against the Turkish 95 years ago. If you would like to read more about our Gallipoli experience with Sea Life Click here
North Cove Beach one of the beaches were soliders landed in 1915 in the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsular, North Turkey (the Sphinx is featured coming out of the cliffs, it reminded the soliders of the Sphinx in Giza, Egypt)
Shrapnel Valley War Cemetery, Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsular, North Turkey
17th April 2010 – We motor sailed for three days and now we are further North in a lovely little port called Kabatepe, a small fishing vilage. Sea Life is in a berth with all the local fishing boats, very quaint and atmospheric! It is close to ANZAC Cove at Gallipoli and we made a run close to the beach seeing what the soldiers saw just before they landed. We will attend the dawn service at ANZAC Cove on the 95th for ANZAC Day to remember our brave soliders who died here in the First World War.
Our first ANZAC poppie is growing just near our boat in a small field of wild flowers. They grow isolated, or maybe up to about 4 flowers together, so theres just a splash of blood red in amongst the sea of colour.
8th April 2010 -We have arrived in the Mediterranean (after a four day sail into the wind up to 38kts on the nose), in Fethieye, Turkey! YAY!!
A beautiful view from Fethieye in Adasi Bay of the snow capped mountains
2nd & 3rd April 2010 – Transited the Suez Canal, Egypt. Click HERE for a full description.
There are many horror stories from cruisers about transiting the Suez Canal. We had a wonderful time, lots of fun and paid only a small amount of baksheesh ($10 USD to each of our pilots – is the normal amount), the scenery was interesting, especially in the second half of the canal. It was exciting to go past the convoys of large ships during our transit, just as it was fun to be so close to the ships when we transited the Panama Canal in 2008. If you would like to read more about our Suez Canal transit Click here
A beautiful natural pryamid in the famous Valley of the Kings, Luxor Egypt.
16th – 25th March – 10 day Land Travel trip through Egypt. We visited Luxor, Cairo & Siwa Oasis, seeing along the way the tombs of the famous Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, The Nile River, Temple of Hatshepsut, Karnak Temple, Cairo city, the Pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum (where we even saw mummies), Siwa Oasis, the famous cold and hot springs found there, Fatnas Island, the Temple of Ammon where Alexander the Great visited the oracle and the beautiful sand dunes of the Great Sand Sea desert.
Sand dunes in the Great Sand Sea Desert, Siwa Oasis.
The heavenly natural hot spring we soaked in, surrounded by palm trees in the middle of the Great Sand Sea Desert, Siwa Oasis.
A gorgeous sunset over the Nile River.
18th Febuary – 10th March, passage of 1500 nautical miles from Oman through the Gulf of Aden and up most of the Red Sea.
6th – 18th Febuary,Salalah, Oman.
Some happy, friendly dolphins playing with Sea Life on the way to Oman in the Indian Ocean
10th January – 6th Febuary, passage across the Indian Ocean to Oman, 2800 nautical miles. We had a wonderful passage from Phuket to Oman, it was a really nice chance to relax before our long and difficult passages coming up ahead. We saw lots of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and sea birds. We even had a little bird come and sleep in our front cabin for the night. We called her tweet because she was always busy talking and singing to us, isn’t she beautiful?
Our special little baby bird tweet, our guest for the night in the Indian Ocean
Beautiful cloud formations across the Indian Ocean passage which took us 26 days!
6th January 2010! Phuket, Thailand- HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Mark does a great James Bond off James Bond Island of all places!
Lighting a paper lantern on Sea Life at Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand for New Years Eve.
Elephant trekking in Nai Harn Beach, Phuket Thailand, an amazing experience.
FOR MORE PHOTOS SEE OUR HOME PAGE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF OUR 2010 CRUISING YEAR! THE MEDITERRANEAN, EUROPE, GREECE, ITALY, FRANCE ETC.