Montserrat, a story about how mankind will survive

“On 18 July 1995, the previously dormant Soufrière Hills volcano, in the southern part of the island, became active. Eruptions destroyed Montserrat’s Georgian era capital city of Plymouth. Between 1995 and 2000, two-thirds of the island’s population was forced to flee, primarily to the United Kingdom, leaving fewer than 1,200 people on the island as of 1997 (rising to nearly 5,000 by 2016).[5][6] The volcanic activity continues, mostly affecting the vicinity of Plymouth, including its docking facilities, and the eastern side of the island around the former W. H. Bramble Airport, the remnants of which were buried by flows from volcanic activity on 11 February 2010.

An exclusion zone that extends from the south coast of the island north to parts of the Belham Valley was imposed because of the size of the existing volcanic dome and the resulting potential for pyroclastic activity. Visitors are generally not permitted entry into the exclusion zone, but a view of the destruction of Plymouth can be seen from the top of Garibaldi Hill in Isles Bay. Relatively quiet since early 2010, the volcano continues to be closely monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.[7][8]

A new town and port are being developed at Little Bay, which is on the northwest coast of the island. While this construction proceeds, the centre of government and businesses is at Brades.”

This is a quote from Wikipedia, which sums up the recent history of Montserrat very well. I especially like the “relatively quiet” which got a completely new meaning, when we visited the island. Here we spoke to the local people, who actually spoke about small eruptions and disturbances, as late as 2015.

But we arrived into Little Bay in mid March of 2018, probably a day or two too early. The weather had still not calmed down and the bay was rocking roll, but we endured the first 24 hour on board. Then the weather allowed us to safely leave North Star, while we explored the island with a tour guide, who has been there for more than 30 years.

Joe Phillip, Avalon’s Tours, Phone/WhatsApp: +1-664-492-1565,

Pictures from Little bay

Restaurant owner and cook on the beach. He opened only for us and we had a fantastic evening

This is an island divided into a northern and southern part. The northern part has since 1995 been dedicated to show the human will to survival, in spite of any hardship. The southern part testifying that nature is stronger than man and it can retake anything at anytime, whatever man has created.

The northern part of the island is where some 5000 people today, has created their new home. The southern part is where the volcano has erupted and left Portsmouth, the former capital and several small villages and the airport total destructed. Today it is a no go zone and it is closely watched, in order to be able to forecast and warn for a next time.

Map of the zoning on Montserrat

It is a very beautiful island with wonderful hikes spread out around Salem the town in the North, with traditional colourful houses. The population is clearly looking to the future and trying to create more turisme and more jobs – in spite of everything and we saw the resilience. They have done a remarkable job in a very short time and they will keep fighting.

The volcano in Soufrière Hills
Portsmouth in March 2018

Hiding on St. Kitts and St. Nevis

It was a wonderful sail and very hard to imagine that we were running away from bad weather and seeking shelter – but we were. The swells were finally coming towards us from the North west, and making the normally protected westerly coast of the Caribbean islands insecure!

The next island towards the South from Saba is St. Kitts and we found a tight spot in the marina in Basseterre, the main town on the island and center of the cruise ship tourisme.

North Star in Basseterre marina

It had been awhile since we last spent time in a marina where water and electricity were available and we had to do some maintenance, so the timing was fine. The Basseterre marina is managed by a very friendly and customer oriented harbour master, Tim. But for other yachties, it is foremost a fishing harbour and hiding place as the facilities are not great. Our fifty feet managed to get in, but there is not a lot of room.

Our friends sailed down on the South side of the island, and as it turned out the shelter in the bays down there were fine. Later we spend some time on the South coast and it is probably the better option.

We had a nice stay on the island and especially enjoyed the North west coast which is pretty with the old english fort overlooking the bay and a botanic garden.

Picture of fort and botanical gardens

Basseterre mainstreet

Basseterre is a very typical small town and somewhat run down. But we met nice people, as we do everywhere. We had a long conversation with a gallery owner, whom arrived to the island 35 years ago and got married. She is still here and her daughter is taking over from her. The daughter has been back to London for education and work, but still comes back to the island! She has now started a few small business of her own and just feels that quality of life is better here.

National Museum Basseterre
Everybody shares the internet where we can find it

It is not a wealthy island, but probably as they mostly come around here. In Basseterre it seems that the generel opinion of the newly build Cruise ship terminal is negative. The small local business’ has been forced out, and now all the turist shops around the terminal are owned by big business’, from far away. So instead of creating local growth and jobs, the opposite seems to be happening.

Whether this is true I do not know, but the town have been disintegrating over the last few years and unemployment is going up. In generel we have experienced that it seems to be difficult to grow the economy on many of the islands. Of course tourisme plays a major role on all of the islands, but in order for the tourist to find an island attractive, there is a need for offering other attractions, beyond the beautiful beaches and that is the challenge. On most islands the tourism is not enough to keep every local citizen in a job, so high unemployment and related difficulties are common. The two major storms in 2017, does not improve on that situation of course, but many of the island are fighting the fight with an impressive stamina and I am sure they will succeed over time.

But as our gallery owner points out, with her personal choices. There is maybe something here, which is very valuable and difficult for us from the high speed societies to experience?

Botanical Garden
From a gallery where they make these beauties themselves

After a few days the worst of the swell had passed and we tried to visit St. Kitts, the next island over, but unfortunately it was impossible to anchor safely and the dinghy access to the island was dangerous in the roaring condition of the sea. Even our tough Australian friends, whom are used to must tougher condition, found it impossible, so we saved St. Kitts for the next time.

Instead we enjoyed the southerly bays and saw a new superyacht marina, they have build on St. Nevis, which also for the time being receive smaller size boats. 

Finally we forecasted that the swell situation had improved so much, that we could approach the rather exposed anchorage of Little Bay at Montserrat.

We wanted to see Montserrat, as this is a seldom visited island and one which have endured nature as well as Dominica. We wanted to meet the people, whom had decided to face a currently active volcano and had lived through an eruption in 1995. Many of these were of Irish origin or descendant from former slaves – so I guess they are as though as they get.

Saba, a visit to a big rock in the ocean

Last time I wrote, we were just about to decide whether the beautiful Anguilla should be the most Northerly point of our journey in the Caribbean. We have had a wonderful trip going north from the Leeward Island to the Windwards, and even though BVI is a special place, it must be saved for the next time – when we are back from our circumnavigation.

So quickly our attention was moved from the BVI’s towards the less travelled Islands to the west of us, and the first of those were just arising from the sea, right in front of us. Saba, an island most people have not heard about. A very well protected place with high cliffs all around and no harbour to visit for protection. Not only geographically, Saba is far away from the more well known islands in the Caribbean, but it also the lacks the beaches and bays. The first impression is a large inhospitable rock in the middle of the ocean – and that is very wrong.

The view from our approach to Saba
Our very good Australien friends on a mooring just west of us

We were lucky or well planned when we arrived just in time for a few days of relative calm seas and we could use one of the five mooring buoys on the North westerly coast. 

The staircase to heaven from the coast line

In the old days there were a small landing platform right here on the coast where you could land with a small rowing boat, having the larger vessel on anchor in safe distance from the cliffs. From the landing platform the staircase led you 396 steps up and over the massive rocks, into the village. And this were the access to the island for everything.Even  when Queen Victoria visited the island she was carried into shore and walked the staircase, together with a few cars and everything else the island could consume. Today they have build a very small peer on the South westerly coast with an access road, so a car can do the transportation. But it can still only be used, when the weather cooperates, and it is like the weather all over the world, hard to predict. So often boats will be waiting for days, before they are able to offload and the ferry will be cancelled – so there will be very few options off getting in or out of the island.

Pictures from the local museum, showing the “good” old days

Anyway, we hooked up to the mooring, which were fastened to a concrete block 20 meters below North Star, so we could only inspect it if we geared up to dive. We agreed to take the chance and believe in the chain, we could not see. The journey to the access peer was about 30 minute in our dinghy, in rather large swells. When we arrived it was a fantastic contrast to the image you have of this island at arrival – the check in procedure was very welcoming and friendly and just outside the Harbour office a young man was sitting in his truck, as we asked for direction. He offered to take us and ended up touring us around on the island, and guiding us for about an hour. And everybody we came into contact with, was exactly like this.

A street view from Saba

The island of today has very few tourist, but a daily ferry connection and a flight comes in from Antigua. There is a few hotels, so for someone who just want to drop out of the speed of the current world, this is a marvellous place.

The view of the town with the dirt airstrip in the back

But that said, we also had a very serious conversation, with the local policeman whom gave us a story of an island fighting alcohol’s and drug addiction, high unemployment and the related crimes. Unfortunately, all very unfortunate side effects of our current lifestyle, when it does not work well. 

We had a wonderful stay on the island and enjoyed to see a small local community which in spite of the isolation, manage and live. The combination of the very speciel geography and the friendliness we met, made this a memorable visite.

Just plain beautiful evening at Saba

Another goodbye on our journey, as the weather was changing and the big swells were moving in from a storm on the North American coastline.

Local house on Saba seen from our hiking

Further North to St. Barth and St. Martens

The weather has been unsteady this season in the Caribbean, very windy and with changing and surprising direction. It is maybe so, but for us it has meant winds in the twenties and waves most often against, and so it was a very nice change when we left Barbuda going downwind to St. Barth. We arrived into the

bay in front of St. Barth capital, Gustavia. It is uncomplicated going around the island and anchor either south or north in the bay in 10-15 meter of water. The bay has a reputation for being rolly, especially when the wind is coming from north and as we approached the forecast during the next 24 hours said that the wind would go into north even north west. That meant that a strong depression in the North
Atlantic would create 3-6 meters of swell in the bay!! At least that was the forecast, so we hurried into Gustavia to enjoy this wonderful little half swedish, french and english island.
Today it reminds you about a small swedish town on the west coast of Sweden, with houses and street names to match. But fortunately the bakeries and restaurants has long been occupied by the french, not to insult Marie, who flags out of Stockholm. But, fresh bread and croissants was in the waiting!

We spend a wonderful day walking the town, seeing the old houses and wondering why all the super yachts which St. Barth are renown for, was leaving one by one. The harbourmaster was very direct with us – when the wind goes into NNW, no one wants to be in this bay, it is dangerous.

Ok, we assume he knows what he is talking about, so the following morning we left going to the northerly bay of Colombier, which is very nice. Buoys are laid out for boats up to 20 ton ( and they did hold our 23 ). I dived on it as usual, and it looked really great, but we did reinforced with a rope directly into the concrete on the bottom. We then enjoyed the turtles and stingrays, the hike to town and the refreshing swim in the sea. It is a very beautiful bay to visit.

We could see St. Marten only 12 nm away and we had to run to hide as the blow along the US East coast had developed into a storm. The forecast was a NNW swell 3-6 meters. During the winter season Caribbean is usually blessed with winds from NE to SE and a-lash leaving a very well protected westerly coast of the Island. But when the swell decides to change, it is time to find cover – and we did in the St.Marten lagoon.

We reached the entrance to the lagoon around 1730 and were just in time for the bridge to open to let us into our reserved slip in the Island Waterworld marina. Unfortunately hurricane Irma had scattered most yachts and marinas in the lagoon, so as we slowly glided into the calm water there were masts sticking out of the water and damaged wrecks spread across. We grounded three times on our entrance into the reserved slip and decided it was enough and ended up in a slip in the superyacht marina. Yes for a price, they take really good care of you and your boat and we stayed nearly a week, before the swells had quiet down and it was time to continue North.

St. Marten is a destroyed island, it is sad to see and I believe the pictures speaks for itself. These sights of the island and our delaying re-rigging project, made us decide to drop the BVIs and turn to a southernly course, after visiting our next island Anguilla. We still really want to go to the BVIs, as it is one of most beautiful cruising grounds in the Caribbeans, but it will have to wait.

This opened another option, to experience the least travelled islands of Saba, St.Kitts and St. Nevis.

But before that adventure, we drifted a few miles further North to Anguilla, and did nothing for two days, except being alone, in love, enjoying the lonely anchorage and the beautiful quiet scenery.

Antigua and Barbuda

Here we are! At 0640 in the miserable harbour of St. John, it is windy and cold ( below 23 degrees ) and trying to find an officiel immigrations officer who will check us out of Antigua, before we head north towards Barbuda and St. Barth.We are sailing together with Greyhound, our german friends, which we have tacked along with for nearly four months by now.

We sailed bow in and Marie jumped of nearly two hours ago in an attempt to track down the authorities. She is looking for the port authorities, custom and immigrations. They are placed in three different parts of the town and you never really know, which to visit first! So do not say that cruising is all about sundowners and beaches!

But this follows a fantastic nearly three weeks stay in Antigua, which is the nicest and most civilised place in the Caribbean, we have been visiting until now.

Finally new sails, made ready on the grass in Nelsons Harbour

Firstly, a celebration – we have now received and mounted our new sails. They came into English Harbour in Antigua, only three days late and with the fantastic service of A&F rigging, we got them mounted on North Star. After looking at our delaminated three years old EPEX laminat sails for eight weeks it was fantastic to say hallo to the new radial-cut hydranet and spectra reinforced sails – reinforced in all the right places under the advice of John Neal from Mahina Tiara. Together with Amanda, they run a sailing expedition school in a HR 46 and sails 10-15000 nm every year. So I guess, that is what is called experience.

Even though it is very disappointing that a very expensive EPEX sail, rated to 7-10 years of life and 30000 nm, break after only three years and 6000 nm, Elvstrøm did their best to get us new sails, which was perfectly fitted from day one. All the sailmakers we have been speaking with on five Caribbean islands have said to us, that laminated sails is not the way to go, in this humid and warm climate. Ours certainly proved that.

J-Boat from the 1930 ies – just beautiful
View from Sandy Hills over English and Falmouth Harbour

Antigua is an old British colony. Admiral Nelson spend a long time fighting wars against the French and discovered some of the best hurricane protected harbours in all of Caribbean. He build a few forts and harbours here, to be able to defend the island against the French and was very succesful. The island was at the center of the war between England and Spain and France for several hundred years, and certainly have much history to show.

The old sail loft

We did spend some time in English Harbour, mostly constructed by Nelson and his crew, hiding for strong winds. has been spectacular to be among the historic buildings and enjoy the same facilities as the many super yachts, which spends a lot of time in Antigua. We visited many of the beautiful beaches on the island. Pigeon Beach in Falmouth harbour is one and you should have lunch at Catherines cafe, Halfmoon Bay, where we got some of the best mahi hamburgers, in the shack on the beach. We saw the capital, St. John which is not a lot, but still a small local town with a great supermarket – Euperian.

When it is best!

Finally we found the real Caribbean, as we sailed up to anchor inside the reef at Green Island, where you snorkel with turtles and reef fish and the water is crystal clear. You are either looking out on the Atlantic thundering in on the reef right in front of you or you seek a bit protection for the wind and hide behind one of the small islands in the lagoon. I am mean, what not to like? You can also learn to kite surf, as Lisa and Johan, two swedish sailors, set up a kite school five years ago and they are still here! It is really good fun, so try it. Henrik and I went for it during three hours! I got hooked, but even my dear wife don’t believe me, when I say that I nearly got out of the water!

Marie is rowing and training for the next Tallisker Race
Home coming after 47 days on the sea

We also experienced the finish line of The Tallisker whisky rowing race across the Atlantic, which finish in English Harbour. Especially a young 19 year old guy who finished as number two, after he had been rowing for 44 days alone, comes to mind. He had capsized mid ocean 7 times and had been in two gales and 5-7 meters of waves. Yes, I thought we were crazy, but this beats everything. None of the participants I spoke with, would ever repeat this fantastic ordeal.

Marie is training for next years version of row boat across the Atlantic

On a more spectacular note, we sailed a day with one of the super yachts which later competed in the Antigua superyacht race. Big boats and big crews, but even if we had the offer we would not exchange our double handed experience.

Super yacht we sailed on for a day
Henrik took great care of North Star

We had great visits from Denmark, where Henrik a sailing friend of ours, were on board for two weeks. Unfortunately we did not sail a lot as we first awaited our sails and then the weather prohibited us leaving the harbour. After Henrik left, Bettina and Søren visited us for a few days and again we enjoyed their company, fresh news and spareparts from Denmark.
We also met with Peter and Rosie, a sailing couple which we first met during the ARC Baltic. They run a super yacht and spend five months a year in and around Antigua. A big thank you to them for their valuable advice on what to do and see on this island.

But now it is time to move again and we were succesfull checking out and are now on our way to the most devastated island over here, after the two hurricanes in September. But even so, we want to visit Barbuda in order to support the island and see one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
We arrived early afternoon to the most beautiful beach and the cleanest clearest water we have ever seen. The arriving bay is immense and the water was behaving.

The beach at Barbuda

When you come ashore you understand why people have left the island and it will take sometime before it become inhabited again. But look at the pictures below, it speaks better than our words.

This is how everything looks at Barbuda – devastation

Guadeloupe and Ile de Saintes

Early morning we woke up to the usual quick rainfall in Prince Rubert’s bay on Dominica and cast off from a buoy and left one of the most original and beautiful islands, we have seen in the Caribbean.

Next stop was a quick 25 nm crossing to Iles de Sainte’s, for which we had great expectations. It is part of Guadeloupe and is beautiful, french and peaceful. Good restaurants, great snorkelling and fine hikes – and we did it all.

We truly enjoyed six days on a buoy in the bay in front of the small town, where we enjoyed lazy afternoons reading and swimming. USD 30 a night and free internet where you check in – MULTI SERVICE in the southerly end of the mainstreet. The bay is very nice, but a bit rolling, when the wind is in NE and stronger than 20 knots. If you want it more quite, you can move to Ile de Caprice, 1 nm away and be left completely in peace – you and the sea turtles….

We hiked around on the small islands, and the trip to the fort was spectacular. The view and the old fort was a joy. We also walked across the island to beautiful beaches. Do this in the morning before the ferry comes in with the “tourists”.

After the previous island we had seen, we felted pampered and spoiled in this relaxed upscale Anholt environment – and it was easy to become landlocked here. Especially when our friends from Greyhound arrived.

On Saturday it was time for the yearly carnival parade, which were fun, and very local. We walked with the parade and tried to blend in, but it is really difficult for a Dane to act quite the same way, as the locals. Later we learned that their was a much bigger parade in Point a Piedre and suddenly it time to leave for Guadeloupe.

It is a short 20 nm sail, but upwind in the Atlantic waves and 20 knots of wind, so for the first time our damaged and rather reduced sails, were perfect and we made it into a very nice marine called Bas de Fort, which answer on ch. 9. Just use the buoyed entrance and you will come right in. It cost € 30 a night and it is well protected, all services available, lots of activityinand around the marina. You properly should reserve inadvance. In generel, we have learned that sending an email afew days before arrival always help, even though you often do not get an answer.

There is a good restaurant with a norwegian chief, which can be highly recommended. Ask for the norwegian – they all know him!And then we were off to two great days together with Henrik and Louis. Henrik was going to sail with us for a couple of weeks and Louis is a pilot for Norwegian, living on the island.

First we saw the local carnival and enjoyed the vibrant sounds and colours – happy, happy people! They started the processions at 1500 and continued to late evening, and just kept going.We were lucky to get a table at a very local restaurant, so we could enjoy local food and watch the many hours of procession. It is carnival in a way we are utterly and completely unable to celebrate, in the same spirit as here. The colours and the sounds are all more, much more and the people here really enjoy.

The day after Louis was our tour guide and picked us up. Thanks very much.


We drove along the South coast and enjoyed the beaches, sawsmall towns and got an impression of the island. We will come back in March to see Basse Terre, the other part of the island.


Early morning we left for Antigua with a nice easterly breeze. We went around the southern part of the island to go north on the western coast, protected from the atlantic swells. We made ashort night stop in Deshaise, before we made the 40 nm crossing to wonderful Antigua.

Dominica – a very friendly and beautiful island

A newly build hotel for foreign money
The dock for the cruising ships
The dock for the cruising ships post Irma
Always open for business
Rebuilding everywhere
The coastline in Portsmouth
The PAYS boats

When we left the bay of St. Pierre on Martinique, leaving the 1902 erupted volcano behind us, which caused this Paris of the Caribbean to deteriorated and never to blossom again, we were a little insecure whether we should make a stop in Dominica. Especially one report about lack of security have roamed the internet. We sailors are concerned with many things, but security probably takes first price and when a report about a boarding of a boat reach you – yes, it gets a lot of attention. The reaction from most in the sailing community is to avoid any exposure to an area, which have received a bad reputation.

In this case the rumours turned out to be very wrong and we truly enjoyed our visit! Dominica is probably as safe as they get and with some of the most friendly people we have met, here in the Caribbean. Even the petty theft which haunt Martinique, St. Lucia and most of the Grenadines is probably not happening here.

When we saw Roseau in the horizon, we sailed together with Osprey, a Finnish boat which had decided to visit Roseau, the capital. We were not that brave and carried on to the northerly bay of Portsmouth, but we watched the enormous destruction of the town from the sea. Later when we met with Osprey, they did report that safety had been much better, than in the Grenadines and it had been an extraordinaire experience, which they would recommend to all sailors.

As we sailed slowly along this very raw and unspoiled island, under our delaminated sails, we were met by Andrew from P.A.Y.S, which is the local security association in Portsmouth and Prince Roberts bay. He came to offer us a buoy in the bay for USD 10 a night and of course direction and and other services.
P.A.Y.S take care of your every need, when you visit the island. The security during day and night is for free, but when they help you to clear customs, renting a buoy, arrange tours, take care of your garbage and many other services, it of course comes with a price for service rendered. But in generel, it is not expensive and immediately makes you feel very welcomed and safe. They also screen you from lesser able service providers – so all good.
The buoys are all good they say, but the yellow ones where newly inspected and upgraded and you should not expect to be able to buy much. Maybe one or two restaurants are open with a one dinner choice.

We spend three wonderful days on Dominica, seeing the rainforest after the impact of a hurricane, we hiked up to a beautiful waterfall, had a river tour on Indian River, which was very impressive and of course took a walk in Portsmouth.

Everywhere the Dominicans are working to clear the paths and rebuild their island and still knowing that this will happen again, they are friendly and resilient. We heard reports about 20.000 people leaving the island in the aftermath of the last hurricane Irma, leaving 50.000 for the rebuild. Those we met where staying!

Dominica was also the first raw and unspoiled island we met, with very clear waters and few yachts on anchor. It feels as if you are of the beaten path, but it is really just on the way north, except that many yachties have decided not to visit this year.

We can only encourage to visit the island, because it is really nice and that way you will support the rebuilding of the island.

Finally we are heading North

After a month of celebration and many visits from home, we are leaving Martinique where we have been sailing since mid December. We are now looking forward to sailing North and being just the two of us. Sailors are a sort of Gipsies and like to move on and experience new places, and so do we. So next stops are Dominica, Ile de Saintes, Marie Galante, Guadeloupe and Antigua. We have planned to be in Antigua by the 24/1 to pick up our new sails, after a delamination problem, which happend around Xmas.

Martinique is a wonderful green and very civilized French island. You can repair your boat, you can buy anything and people are very nice. The communication is as if you were in Europe, so very convenient and they do mostly speak french…

We have been hiking, seen the East coast, visited a sugar plantage and a rum manufacturer and many more. We have anchored in St. Anne, Grande Anse, Le Marin, Fort de France and St. Pierre and all were very nice and convenient bays. Our favorite is Grande Anse. A few tips. Deep Turtle diving in Grand Anse are really great – ask for Max. Their is also a great restaurant called Ti Sable, all the way up in northerly end of the beach, call for reservation! In Saint Anne you should enjoy the beach and a restaurant in the bus station! No you are right, it looks like a place you would not eat, but their meat is fantastic. Le Marin is very good for repairs and have experienced people, and ask for Philippe at Caraibe, he will absolutely sort you out.

We learned the hard way, that it is important to tie up your dinghy safely, as one night we were heading in for dinner – it was gone. It was in Saint Anne, and from there next stop is open sea all the way to Saint Lucia. A very friendly boat next to us volunteered their dinghy and against all odds we found it after a couple of hours search and despair in the dark and windy evening. Another sailor, just 300 meter from us had picked it up, when it came drifting. It was great to feel how helpful our fellow sailors were.

When Martinique had to vote for independence and decided to stay in France, they made the right choice, it is a much more affluent island than others and it has kept its beauty.


The Caribbean

We have now spent the last few days anchoring in small bays around Martinique and St. Lucia, enjoying the sunset, reading books, and of course having the occasional G&T – we are now ready for the next adventures to begin.

We have visited Fort de France, which is the capital of Martinique and a French department with its own administration – fully financed and very French! Fort de France is a run-down coastal city, with just a church, a library and a Carrefour, but still worth seeing. If you go further into the center of Martinique, it turns out that the island is wealthy and has several shopping malls, if that is needed. The nature is very green and towards the North, you will see mountains and water falls.

We can recommend Grande Anse d’Arlet, Le Marin and Sainte Anne as very nice anchorages – well protected and with small towns or with a few restaurants on the beach. The water is clear and blue, and the temperature is around 26 degrees with the occasional refreshing shower coming from the mountains. All in all, a very nice and safe place to visit.

Christmas was lovely. Yes, it took a little longer to find the Christmas spirit, but when the girls arrived on the 21st and 23rd, and Marie started to decorate North Star with our mini (plastic) Christmas tree and the allowances of three “nisser”, it all helped. On the 24th, we were invited by our German neighbors on Greyhound for coffee and traditional German Christmas bread. Dietmar and Dagmar are a very friendly couple from Hamburg, which we enjoy sailing with with on and off. In the evening, we managed to pull off a traditional Danish Christmas dinner with duck and risalamande – some adjustments had to be made, but it was just as tasty as if we were home. On the 25th, we invited Lykke , HR46 from Germany, and Greyhound over for homemade gløgg and gingerbread cookies. It’s funny how important traditions become when you are far away from home, so we do our best to keep as many as possible.

Up next, we will tour the coast of Martinique and St. Lucia – but whether we go North or South yet is still to be decided. We have planned to go diving, swimming and hiking until New Year’s Eve, which we will probably celebrate in Marigot Bay, if we can find an anchoring spot.

The joy of this adventure is also the people we meet along the way. We continue to bump into people from the last few years of sailing – from the ARC+ and other events. It is very giving to belong to this community of cruisers. We meet many interesting people from around the world, all with different stories and reasons for sailing, and then it is a great source of information for just about anything – especially for tips on where to go and when you need some advice on boat reparations. We have had an unfortunate mishap with our 3-seasons old sails from Elvstrøm. The genoa is delaminating in about 20 % of the sail. We bought them just before our departure in Denmark with the intention of them lasting for 35000 nm, but unfortunately, that did not really happened. Thankfully, Elvstrøm have been very service-oriented, and we will hopefully be able to pick up a new sail  in Antigua on January 20th.

With that said, we are learning the skill of not focusing on the things that don’t work – because when you use the boat this heavily, things need continued maintenance and fixing. Therefore, we have made two lists: (1) need to fix and (2) nice to fix. But especially the Captain finds it difficult to accept the imperfections! Sadly, our Hallberg Rassy sister boat Lykke was not so fortunate, as they lost their mast crossing the Atlantic and have had a lot of trouble with their alternator and generator. They have taken a year off for a sabbatical with the family, so it is very unlucky and sad that this has happened. But their spirits are still high and we admire them for that.

Finally, as all other cruisers, we are learning that making a plan is important in order for the real world to follow us or us it, but it has also become obvious that the plan needs to be very flexible. So here is a rough outline of the plan so far:

Our daughters and Sarah (Micki’s friend) will leave us on the 3rd and 5th of January in Forth de France and then our friends Lars and Helle with their wonderful kids will join us for a few days of cruising before we go North on the 10th. We plan to go all the way to the BVIs and visit as many of the islands as possible. We will be in Antigua for a week towards the end of January, where we will pick up our new sail and our friend Henrik for two weeks of cruising. Around March, we plan on travelling in Cuba for a couple of weeks. Following Cuba, there is a slight gap in the plan until mid-May, where we will be in Clarks Court in Grenada. Here, North Star will be tucked away for six months while we travel around South America before we plan on returning to London sometime before Christmas 2018 – hopefully together with our daughters. In the beginning of January 2019, we will continue towards the ABC Islands and Columbia, and finally Panama. The only absolute certain part of this plan is that it will most definitely change! So call this an aspiration. I still admire Mahina Tiara for many things, but their ability to make a sailing plan two years out in the future and stick to it – that is beyond me.

But there you have it – life is good with plenty of activities and interesting people in beautiful surroundings.

We all wish you a peaceful New Year with many opportunities

Greetings from the North Star crew.

( Internet cannot handle pictures – so they will come soon )





After crossing the Atlantic

We arrived on the 1st of December at 1504 local time after 16 days at sea and had a fantastic reception. 20+ people were shouting and waving with flags at the pier, when we arrived. It was a great experience to feel welcomed and see all the friends we had made either in Las Palmas, in Cape Verde or on the SSB radio across the Atlantic. The welcome committee served rum punch and it kicked of a week were the lever were damaged. Plenty of parties, lots of friends and Caribbean life style.

It was good to have time to say hallo and goodbye as well as reflect over our first crossing.

3100 nm from Las Palmas and additional 950 nm from Gibraltar to Las Palmas via a few of the Canary Islands – and this since beginning of September. I did take a brief look at the pictures and no surprise that we now will enjoy a few quite days for reflections. We had all kinds of conditions from gale force to a mirror like Atlantic.  The crew were in the beginning longing for more wind and when we got it, they knew that the first half of our trip had been very comfortable.

I have made several attempts describing how it feels to cross the Atlantic, and it is very difficult to make the experience justice. So you will have to take my worth for it – go for it!

We have left St. Lucia and are now on Martinique which is very civilized with great food, clear water, and internet – and that will keep a cruiser happy for a while until the internal wanderer again seduces us out there on the oceans of the world.

I have included a number of pictures below which will give you all a feel for the beauty and day to day sea life, I hope you will enjoy them.