Thursday, May 31, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

One place we sailed to was Norman Island. Legend plays a large part in the history of Norman Island with tales of pirates and treasure caves, although the role of the island as the model for the epic “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson is perhaps the most famous legend of all. With an area of 610 acres, the island is approximately 2 ½ miles long with a central ridge extending along the length of the island creating gently rolling hills with Norman Hill the highest point on the island at 427 feet above sea level.  The coast line comprises a number of bays and offshore reefs providing excellent snorkeling and diving within proximity to the island.  The Bight where we anchored (and is pictured here) is one of the most protected anchorages in the region.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Tortola BVI - The islands were first settled by the Dutch West India Company in the early 1600's. Each time they established a foothold the Spanish came ashore and drove them off or simply wiped them out. Though the BVI did not come under the full control of the English until 1672, some of the greatest English sea captains, explorers, pirates and privateers sailed the surrounding waters and made use of the BVI. Admiral Sir John Hawkins of the Royal Navy came through the BVI numerous time in the mid 1500's as he developed England's lucrative slave trade. One of the most famous English sailors, Sir Francis Drake, used the British Virgin Islands as a base from which to sail and wreak havoc upon the Spanish Treasure Fleets. The main channel between the islands is named in his honor (Drake Channel). In homage of these sea captains of yesteryear we went sailing through these waters on this sailboat.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eastern Carribean Sea

Tortola is one of the three main islands of the fifty that comprise the United Kingdom's Dependent Territory of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Though Tortola is the largest and most populated it remains a quiet, peaceful island with a leisurely lifestyle. The beautiful port of Road Town is the capital of the BVI. Here is their welcome sign.
The BVI has been claimed at one time or another by most of the major powers who were involved in Europe's expansion into the Caribbean beginning in the early 1500's. The islands eventually came under British control in the late 1600's and despite some early legal battles as to rightful ownership, they have remained a part of the empire ever since. The slave-based plantation economy is long gone and it was not until the last few decades of the 20th century when tourism and offshore banking combined to slowly strengthen the BVI economy. Today the British Virgin Islands are one of the most popular vacation destinations for pleasure sailing and scuba diving to be found anywhere in the Caribbean.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Here is a typical Caribbean Sunset as we sail away from Antigua toward our next destination. Next week - Tortola.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Antigua, also had many colorful flowers. Here is one.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

This wouldn't fit in my suitcase so all I got was this picture.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Some people wanted to know what about before Europeans "discovered" these islands. Well archeologists believe that as far back as 2500 BC Amerindians known as the Archaic People made their way to the island now called Antigua. Very little is known about them, when they came or why they left. They were eventually replaced by Saladoid Indians from the region around Venezuela. Now, on to today's colorful sign from one of the shops.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Next we visited Antigua which means "ancient" in Spanish and was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Antigua — St. Mary of the Old Cathedral. The first settlement on the island was not established until the 1600's, when English settlers arrived. Antigua remained a part of the British Commonwealth until its independence in 1981. Today, Antigua is a popular vacation destination, attracting tourists with its ideal climate, amazing landscape, leisurely lifestyle and 365 beautiful beaches - one for every day of the year! You have to go through Heritage Quay (shops) which were very colorful as you enter the island from the port.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

I shot a number of flowers on St. Lucia. Here is one.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

I like finding old rustic items to photograph as in this image. The only thing I can imagine about the holes in the back were for ventilation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

At Caribelle Batik they demonstrated the fine craft of the creation of fine batik. It is an intricate and fascinating process.  A design is stretched onto white cotton or silk.  Then with infinite care, molten is applied by means of a 'TJANTING' tool.  The wax, a mixture of bees and paraffin wax, acts as a resistant to the dye.  Color is then applied by either painting or dipping into dye, the wax covering the areas not requiring color. This process is then repeated as many times as is necessary.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Come with me as I explore the lush beautiful island of St. Lucia and its bustling capital Castries. Castries was founded by the French in 1650 as "Carenage" (meaning safe anchorage), then renamed in 1756 after Charles Eugene Gabriel de La Croix, Marquis de Castries, commander of a French expeditionary force to Corsica that year. Here is a view of Casries shot from atop Morne Fortune (Hill of Good Luck) where the French surrendered to the British in 1796.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

The sun was setting so it was time to leave the lush unspoiled Dominica. Next week - St. Lucia.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

The day passed by quickly and it was time to head back to the Capital city of Roseau where I added this to my sign collection.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

No visit to Dominica is complete without a visit to Jacko Falls which is nestling under the rainforest where nature rules supreme.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

I don't know what this plant was but I loved the contrast of their black/purple leaves against the green of the rain forest.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

The Rosalie River drains the eastern slopes of Morne Trois Pitons (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), flowing east to the Atlantic Ocean on Dominica's eastern coast. It was a wonderful place to stop and have a picnic lunch.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Here is a before and after picture of a coconut palm.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Dominica's east coast receives prevailing winds off the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the coastline is rugged and the roads twist and climb over many ridges and cliffs between frequent river valleys. Picturesque coves nestle between jagged headlands and there are the occasional stretches of shallow beach where the surf rolls in over fine, dark, volcanic sand and where turtles often come ashore to lay their eggs at night. It was the wrong time of the year but here is where the turtles lay there eggs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Yesterday was flora, today fauna. Here is a Frangipani Hawkmoth caterpillar (Pseudosphinx tetrio).  As Woody Allen said in Annie Hall "it's the size of a Buick"! They are a little more than 1″ thick and almost 6inches long.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Sea

Here are a couple of flowers from Dominica for May Day.