Archive for the ‘Grenadines’ Category

Happy New Year!

I wanted to get this posted in January, and it looks like I just made it!

I can’t believe just how fast January has flown by. We spent the final days of December and the first few days of January in Mary’s happy place…the Caribbean, specifically in the Grenadines aboard our favorite ship the S/V Mandalay owned and operated by Sail Windjammer.

Mid-January Sail Windjammer shared their plans for the future of the S/V Mandalay, and sadly past 2020 those plans will not include passenger vacations.. and sadly we don’t have enough vacation days in 2020 to add another week (or two) on our favorite ship.

So, our last Windjammer photos have been uploaded into our online photo album under the 2019 folder.

Here are just a few of photos of that trip:

Another great Sail Windjammer vacation

We just got back from a weeks sailing thru the Grenadines with the Parrish Heads in Paradise & Limin’ Place on board the S/V Mandalay.  Here are just a few photos (more coming soon)…enjoy!

We made a few new friends.

A lot more friends….

Jimmy Parrish and Limin’ Place entertained us all week!

For the most part the weather was great and the scenery was beautiful.

Snorkeling did not disappoint either.

Sail Windjammer is not known for gourmet cuisine, but we didn’t exactly starve either.

One particular “snacks & swizzles” was made 10x better when some passengers bought a few local fresh fish to share!

It was a great week to be aboard the S/V Mandalay!

Shopping list…

When we get down island to Grenada and the grenadines, we have a few things that we always like to find to bring home. The first is Jack Iron rum which I previously posted about.

The second is Nut-Med. What is Nut-Med? Nut-Med is spray on comfort for aching muscles, joints and nerves. I’ve had planters fasciitis in the past and this little potion provided some much sought after relief from the pain (at least for a little while).

The third is Grenada Chocolate….and well, chocolate doesn’t really need an explanation, does it!

Mandalay meanderings….

The Sail Windjammer pamphlet that I have lists Carriacou after Grenada in the selection of Grenadine Islands that we may visit during a week sailing on the S/V Mandalay.   

Each time that we have sailed the Grenadines, Carriacou is a morning stop quite close to the end of the week.
It is no coincidence that most of the 100+ establishments that serve the notorious Jack Iron rum do not even open their doors until the sun is much higher over the yardarm. This is part of the captains master plan to keep to a minimum the amount of time Jack Iron will be on the Mandalay!  

Jack Iron rum is described by the ministry of rum as a light brown rum distilled from fermented molasses. Of course that description doesn’t do it justice at all. Jack Iron is legendary stuff not to be messed with or taken lightly. It is said that one can use it as engine fuel, paint stripper and, in small portions, it is the cure to what ails you…oh and the real stuff will make your lips and tongue go numb with just a sip! 

The real Jack Iron Rum out of the oak barrels (stored in various containers under the local bars in Carriacou) is 99% strong; t-shirts and labels warn to keep it away from open flames. It quite literally can light up your life. And thus the captain is quite right in his efforts to keep “Jack” off his ship.

We, however, on occasion, have brought back to the states a bottle or two of the tourists version of Jack Iron. The “Tourist Version” of Jack Iron bottled by Westerhall is watered down to 140 proof to comply with airline regulations. 

It is perfect for Pete’s Chocolate Rum Cake.  

A tasty reminder of our island vacation. 

Soon we will be at Roger’s Barefoot Beach Bar again

No shoes, no power, no roads… And somehow the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Locals, expats, and tourists will arrive by dingy for an afternoon of limin’.

Roger will serve up various rum drinks. And dominoes will be sitting on the table waiting for players.

“Life is just a tire swing” according to lyrics of a Jimmy Buffet song.  

Mary will serve up a BBQ plate that keeps people coming back another Sunday for more deliciousness (for us it has been a few years).

Stories will be shared, drinks drank, and games played…it will be another wonderful day on Hog Island, Grenada.

Sail Windjammer – S/V Mandalay photos

Still working on the full online album, but here are some of my favorites so far.

Happily Every After (Every Now and Then)

To quote a Jimmy Buffett song “Some never find it, Some only pretend… I just want to live happily every after every now and then”.  The moment I stepped foot onto Windjammer Sailing Advertures’ S/V Mandalay’s deck I had that “happily ever after” feeling!

The crew has a contagious smile.  They are truly having the time of their lives welcoming long time Jammers home and showing those new to Windjammer what the Caribbean really should be.  In the 2-weeks I spent on board, Captain Sly and the crew did their best to ensure that each passenger had the best vacation ever.

Old Windjammer traditions of captains story time, dancing on the decks to island music, crab races, sea hunt and raising of the sails to Amazing Grace were honored.  We rode in the widows net (in a safety harness) while under sail back to Grenada.  Sly held several star gazing classes. I finally saw the Southern Cross and now can easily identify it (Thank you Sly).  A very special Mandalay pirate flag was raised, and we even fired the canon on the Diamant. We visited Bequia, Tobago Cays, Carriacou, Chatham Bay & Clifton on Union Island, Palm Island, Happy Island, Sandy Island and Mayreau.  Sea life was abundant.  The turtles did not disappoint, as we visited them on Bequia at the sanctuary, swam with them in the Tobabo Cays, and also, the purser, Ciara arranged a special tour for us to see Leatherbacks nesting & hatching on Grenada (very awesome)!  We saw lots of stingrays and even had a special appearance by a large eagle ray while swimming with the turtles at Tobago Cays.  There were lots of tangs, parrot fish, trumpet fish, puffers, squid, a few eels and even a juvenile shark was sighted.  The Grenadines gave us perfect robins egg blue sky and calm seas both weeks.

I don’t remember seeing the Mandalay in better condition.  We had the King cabin with its huge bed and a shower sized for a normal home.  Every cabin that we took a peek at, looked to be very comfortable.  Every morning Captain Sly asked if there were any problems with the cabins; any issues raised were addressed and corrected… duct tape is no longer needed to adjust the temperature in your room like in the old days!

Philbert and Ren did their best to see that we all gained weight during our vacations.  I can’t think of one meal that I did not thoroughly enjoy.  I even threatened that if I win the lottery I’m coming after those two for my personal chefs!  One passenger had a wish to assist in the galley and it was granted.  His comments were “it is clean back there” and about what an amazing job they do difficult conditions… the ship was under sail and while he was sliding all around as he worked, Philbert and Ren were steady and a rock.

I can’t tell you enough how much the crew makes the trip.  I’m not sure that I can name all 20 of the crew… I know I will miss someone and everyone of them worked so hard to make our trip, but here it goes.  Captain Sly doing his job (which is to look good, just ask him).  Blaze making sure that Sly didn’t get us lost.  Ciara organizing all the paperwork and great tours.  Grandpa (Marlon) and Rocky serving our meals and making towel animals for our cabins.  Rocky had a birthday that we all celebrated, too.  Mashup and Conrad served up creative drinks and potent rum swizzles.  Philbert and Ren making such awesome food.  Quinty and Spice kept us safe as they shuttled us to and from shore in the launch.  The deck hands and engineers that we didn‘t see as much but appreciate all their hard work keeping the Mandalay in such fine shape:  Brian, Squall, Yellow, Chippy, Blair, Lennox, Browne, and Joseph.  Joseph, also, had a birthday that we all celebrated.  Squall made a new rope anklet for me.  Thanks everyone for the best 2-weeks!

For those reading this; two things…

1) We took many photos and will post as soon as we can.

2) I would like to echo Jimmy Buffett’s advice:

Take it from me ‘cuz I’ve found , If you leave it then somebody else is bound, To find that treasure, that moment of pleasure, When yours, it could have been“.

Go find the Mandalay and “that moment of pleasure”. Don’t let it become a “could have been”.

Lots to blog about tonight

Last night we had our monthly Sea Turtle Dive Club meeting.  Some potential new members showed up.  One even brought a delicious homemade pound cake.  Yum, sure wish I had a slice right now, and maybe some fresh strawberries and whip cream.  We had a great time discussing past trips and future plans.

Tonight Mary’s Pirate Tote & luggage tags arrived in the mail.  What is a Pirate Tote?  It is Captain Casey’s newest project. 



We spent Christmas 2006 with Casey on board the SV Yankee Clipper.   Casey introduced us to Mayreau (one of our favorite islands of all times) on this trip.   The island of Mayreau and its children hold a special place in Casey’s heart.  Windjammer Barefoot Cruises has gone out of business now.  And Casey is in the battle for his life fighting cancer.  The proceeds from the totes help with his medical bills.  The proceeds from the luggage tags are being donated to Mayreau’s school.     If anyone out there is interested in getting their own tote or tag contact Casey at:

One neat story to share about the trip on board the Yankee Clipper.  Before leaving on vacation, Mary’s office held a little Christmas decorating contest.  Everyone on her floor cut out paper snowflakes and they were hung from the ceiling.  When we left on vacation, Mary took those snowflakes with us.  The snowflakes and some other school supplies were donated to the school in Mayreau.  So, when the kids came back to school after their Christmas vacation, they were treated to the very first snow storm in the West Indies!

Back to tonight and what’s going on here & now.  Pete put to use the new chipper thingy.  He started by trimming the hedges by the driveway.  Well he didn’t get very far into that projoct when he discovered a birds nest in the those hedges.  Hopefully there is still enough shade covering the nest, so that these babies can grow up. 

Momma bird in the tree

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