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Solwezi
Zambia

a photo record of our sailing and travel missions around the world - currently in africa.

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tobago cays

kate brand

Tobago Cays is a small group of islands in the Grenadines, famous for its (mostly) untouched beauty and my favourite: turtles and manta rays! It is a protected marine park so there are no human residents. The cays are surrounded by beautiful reefs and the islands themselves are home to large tortoises and iguanas.

We stayed one night and swam with the turtles as soon as we arrived. It's a special experience and I wouldn't have thought it but those little guys have quite a lot of personality. Some of them are very relaxed and not phased by us weirdo looking humans, all googled and finned up. Others are more grumpy and don't like to be disturbed while they're having dinner (most of them were eating while we were there). The rest are kind of playful and you can swim with them as they cruise around their little bay.

Unfortunately the bay was quite rolley and it wasn't comfortable to stay very long. We anchored in a protected channel for the night and were greeted by a family of manta rays, around the stern of the boat, as we prepared to motor on to Union Island the next morning. I've seen larger rays before, off Grand Cayman island, but never babies like the ones in this group. Too cute for words. Unfortunately I left the camera below so no shots of the rays. Next time!

 

entering the Cays

entering the Cays

the water really is this colour and this clear

the water really is this colour and this clear

the locals are always ready to "help" and accept a cash "thank you" after

the locals are always ready to "help" and accept a cash "thank you" after

the Marine Park has strict rules about not getting too close to the turtles, even when they came towards us we moved away to maintain the right distance. can't say the same for the other disrespectful tourists. 

the Marine Park has strict rules about not getting too close to the turtles, even when they came towards us we moved away to maintain the right distance. can't say the same for the other disrespectful tourists. 

every couple needs and under water selfie ;)

every couple needs and under water selfie ;)

unfortunately the focus of this dive was cut out of the shot (we dont have a screen on our go pro yet) but I was pointing a giant bright red starfish, the biggest we've ever seen. 

unfortunately the focus of this dive was cut out of the shot (we dont have a screen on our go pro yet) but I was pointing a giant bright red starfish, the biggest we've ever seen. 

view no 1, from our anchorage for the night

view no 1, from our anchorage for the night

anchorage view no 2

anchorage view no 2

and one of my favorite views ;)

and one of my favorite views ;)

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night lights

kate brand

This post is a bit out of sequence (have a few more posts to do before we get to Trinidad) but I felt like putting these up now.

We did a night sail from Grenada (Prickly Bay) to Chaguaramas in Trinidad last week. We're here to do some maintenance and upgrades on the boat, in preparation for the Pacific leg of our trip. 

Night sailing can be quite boring, not much to see, and if you have an autopilot doing the work for you, not much to do other than look out for the odd boat/ship on the horizon.  

Just off of Trinidad's northern coast however, there is an oil field populated by huge oil rigs and at night they are quite spectacular with all their lights. We sailed quite close to this one and in my sleepy haze (it was 2am after all) I battled with the night settings on my camera. I obviously tried to get a clear focused shot but in the end, with all the rolling and heeling of the boat, most were out of focus. Ultimately my favorites are the more fuzzy ones, not the one I managed to get "right". This is the result... 

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saltwhistle bay

kate brand

Mayreau is one of the Grenadines islands and Saltwhistle Bay was our first stop. When we arrived there were very few yachts and so we could pick a good spot, nice and close to the beach. This was the first destination, since we returned to Melody, that we truly experienced the "deserted tropical island" feeling.  

None of these photos have been edited to enhance the colors of the water etc. This is exactly as we experienced it (just a little more spectacular in person).

It's  easy to get used to palm trees and white beaches but water this colour, this clear and warm never gets old. It was so good we returned a second time, a few days later, on our way to Tobago Cays.

crystal clear - we could see our chain and anchor without having to do a dive check

crystal clear - we could see our chain and anchor without having to do a dive check

we anchored nice and close, swimming distance, to the beach

we anchored nice and close, swimming distance, to the beach

the only (tiny) resort in the bay - closed for renovations in off season though

the only (tiny) resort in the bay - closed for renovations in off season though

super windy on the other side of the bay, but we were nicely protected

super windy on the other side of the bay, but we were nicely protected

frog man. 

frog man. 

more sea angel-ing

more sea angel-ing

this is Ruf's rendition of Campari & orange juice 

this is Ruf's rendition of Campari & orange juice 

bequia

kate brand

staring at our new main sail never gets old

staring at our new main sail never gets old

autopilot means we can chill more during passages

autopilot means we can chill more during passages

motoring into Admirality Bay - thank you to our friends Miki & Francesco for the shot

motoring into Admirality Bay - thank you to our friends Miki & Francesco for the shot

view from the dinghy dock

view from the dinghy dock

the walk home from town, along the water's edge

the walk home from town, along the water's edge

 

 

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the whale bar, with whale vertebra for seats- limited whaling is still permitted here, but only for local fishermen using traditional methods 

the whale bar, with whale vertebra for seats- limited whaling is still permitted here, but only for local fishermen using traditional methods 

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view from the tender on our way back to Melody

view from the tender on our way back to Melody

Princess Margaret beach

Princess Margaret beach

1st early morning swim off the boat - this photo has not been edited fyi

1st early morning swim off the boat - this photo has not been edited fyi

relaxing under a palm tree, enjoying the view ;)

relaxing under a palm tree, enjoying the view ;)

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth

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Bequia was a beautiful stop. We anchored just off Port Elizabeth in front Princess Margaret Beach. This stop was extra special for us because we finally got to reunite with our great friends, Miki & Francesco!

We met them almost 2 years before, in Simon's Town, South Africa, while both our boats were on the hard. These two have been sailing for about 8years now - they started in the Pacific then Asia, South Africa and now the Caribbean.

The beaches here are beautiful and there are small caves to explore in the bays. There is currently a big drive to eradicate the alien Lionfish. They were accidentally introduced to St Vincent & The Grenadines waters and are seriously threatening the indigenous marine life with their voracious appetites and rapid reproduction. We didn't manage to spear any during our stay but we did enjoy a delicious Lionfish pizza!

pitons

kate brand

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On our way down to St Vincent we sailed past the Pitons of St Lucia. It's a protected area and rather pricey (for us) to stop and anchor there. 

The islanders named their local beer after these rock cones and apparently they are quite famous. The beer is good though, my favorite is the lemon flavored. It's only 2% alcohol so our lunchtime beer time doesn't send us into nap time ;)

I must admit, they look a whole lot cooler (greener and more "tropical-islandy") in the photoshopped brochures & cruising guides. Maybe we got them on a bad day...