Dominica ~ Michael

 After Ile Des Saintes, we traveled to Dominica. We were just passing Terre de Haut when we started fishing. I let out the line and a minute later we hooked a tuna.  We brought it in and put it in the bucket. That night we invited everyone over for sushi rolls. While we were eating sushi, a man on a paddle board came by and sold us some small rock hard mangoes. We only bought them because he looked like he could use help.

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We caught our first edible tuna on our way to Dominica. We made sushi rolls that were

The next day we met a boat called Love and Luck which had 3 kids aboard. We met them on a beach and were having fun until a 40-year-old man offered us weed and went on and on about his weed. He was attracted to the older girl that lived on Love and Luck. He sang a song to her and asked her parents if he could live with her. The dad said no and they left. After they quickly left, he asked us if he had a chance with her. We were worried he would swim to our boat the whole day.

The next day we took a tour throughout Dominica. We went through a river that made a crack in the ground (a gorge where they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean).  It was very pretty. It was not worth a tour guide because all he showed us was how we could walk under the small waterfall. After that, we got scammed at a restaurant with each meal costing $20. They did not give us menus, which was unfair. We visited other stuff too, like a natural hot tub, a hot water stream, and volcanic steam vents. Everyone did not enjoy the end because they were upset that they got scammed. After that scam, we decided we didn’t like the island and left quickly.

Guadeloupe ~ Katelyn

We left Antigua in the early morning. The sea was a little rolly, but the wind was perfect for sailing. The day before, Michael and Simon (Simon is from Britican) wanted to compete to see who could catch the most fish. Michael was so excited to beat Simon that he let the rods out and monitored them constantly. Every second the line would go zzzzzzzzzzzzz, and Michael would reel it in only to catch seaweed. Unfortunately, Simon got lucky and was able to catch a mahi-mahi (it was mostly Doewe). Rondo did not catch one fish that day. 

We came into Guadeloupe early afternoon. It was our first French island! Croissants! Baguettes! That was what I was thinking in my head as we came into Guadeloupe. I had an idea of what my mom was thinking. Wine! Wine! Wine! We grabbed a mooring ball while our friends on Britican tried to anchor. When they finally saw no good spots they came to a mooring ball super close to us. The mooring balls were different in the French islands though, so it was harder to get tied off. To tie off, you actually had to lift the mooring ball up. Once you got the mooring ball up, there was a metal ring on top that you had to stick the lines through. We had a difficult time getting tied off because of this. 

After that, Pura Vida came by to say hello and Britican swam over to Rondo and had drinks while Michael, Sienna, and I played inside. That night, we met up with our friends from Pura Vida, Britican, and Carpe Ventum on Rondo. We had a potluck with barracuda, lion fish, and chicken. I was too scared to try the barracuda, but the lion fish was amazing.

The next day, we stopped by a bakery that Pura Vida told us was good. They served all different types of cake, bread, croissants, etc. I got two chocolate croissants and a muffin. It was the sweetest thing I have ever had for breakfast. I couldn’t even finish everything. We met up with another kid boat there, and all of the kids went to the dock to swim. Doewe dropped us off, and Sienna begged him to give her ten dollars. Eventually, he gave in, but we had to pay him back. All the girls and Heyward went off to the gas station to buy some candy. We bought two bags of sour gummy worms and two bags of non-sour gummy bears. We all walked to the bakery and ate our candy.    Later, we swam some more, and when the day was almost over, we were picked up by our parents and taken home.

The next day, we ate a bakery breakfast, again, and then we met up with Britican and Pura Vida to rent cars and go on a hike to a cool waterfall. All the girls rode in one car while the boys rode in another. Once we got there, we had to go behind this really creepy house to get to the trail. It was a steep downhill trail the whole way. It was soooooo muddy. Lots of people (mainly little Heyward) fell and got themselves muddy. It was so muddy that it was slippery. We had to hold on to trees and roots walking down. Once we got to the creek, we had to walk through it to the other side. I was so hot that I sat down in the creek with my clothes on. After we crossed the creek, we walked a little farther to see the waterfall. It was super cool. Then, the dads saw another trail leading to the bottom of the water fall. We all crossed the creek and hiked to the bottom of the water fall. Once there, we ate our packed lunches and then got on our bathing suits. We wanted to see if we could go behind the waterfall while we were swimming, so my dad and Simon went out to take a look and make sure it was safe. It was not. There was a cave behind the waterfall sucking in all the water and creating this super strong current. Simon got a little too close and realized the current was too strong to walk back. He had to swim across to the other side. After they told us that it definitely wasn’t safe, we floated down the river, and then we would grab onto a big rock that was to the side, climb on, and walk back to the beginning and do it again. We did this for about an hour before we started heading back into the muddy forest.

The kids went up ahead, so we didn’t hear when our parents found stairs leading all the way back to the top. My dad ended up having to go back and hike with us on the muddy trail. We came up all muddy and tired with scratches and leaves in our hair, while the other parents were standing at the cars completely clean, no scratches, no messy hair, and not gasping for air. All the kids had to go to the side of the road and wash off in a puddle that was completely brown. We felt like bums. We drove all the way back to the bakery where the dads let us off. The kids jumped off the dock almost instantly.  

The next day, we returned the cars and untied the mooring lines to head for Iles Des Saints, another part of Guadeloupe. All the kids rode on Britican on the way there. We had a giant piece of paper that we all took turns drawing on and made a very weird picture.

We decided to make a stop at Pigeon Cay on the way for snorkeling. We all went out to this huge reef and saw really cool eels, fish, crabs, etc. Once, we saw a big flounder. After snorkeling, we climbed aboard Britican and the fishing contest began. It was looking good for Simon because he reeled in one mahi-mahi, but then it bit him on the foot, so he dropped it in the water. Then, Rondo had two mahi. Then Pura Vida had two mahi. Then Rondo had four mahi. Britican still had none. Then, Rondo won with five mahi-mahi at the end of the day. 

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Mikey with some of the mahi mahi we caught.

We had a dinner with everyone on our boat that night eating one and a half of the mahi we caught. Next morning, we did our school work and invited Sienna to go to the fort with us. We headed out to eat some lunch and bumped into some people at the customs place. They were from Port Aransas. We couldn’t believe we met people who lived thirty minutes away from where we used to live. We headed out to lunch afterwards and bumped into Pura Vida. We had lunch together, and then we all headed to the fort. Half-way up, Ansley and Katie Grace headed back down. We saw lots of goats. When we got to the fort, we saw that it was closed. We headed back down and on the way saw a goat stealing someone’s baguette. We saw tons of baby goats too. One of the babies even let me touch her. We headed back to Britican and dropped off Seinna and had a relaxing night.

Next day, we did our school work then swam over to Britican and swam and played on their boat. We made a fort out on the deck, and then the adults decided to go have a night out. All of the kids stayed on Rondo and watched movies, played games, etc. When the adults got home, most of us were “asleep,” so the parents had to drag them out of bed and put them in the dinghy. 

The next day, we undid the mooring balls and headed for Dominica, the island on which they filmed part of Pirates of the Caribbean! 

Antigua ~ Michael

After Montserrat we headed to a more cheerful place, Antigua. On the way there we tried to fish, but there was a ton of seaweed. Our neighbor-boat set a competition for who could catch the biggest fish. We tried, but every time we let out our lines, a batch of seaweed would get hooked on our lures. One time we brought out an old lure that was just collecting dust and let it out. It was a foot long and all green. Ten minutes after, a big fish must’ve gobbled it down because it almost spooled our rod, and it did snap the lure. The lure must’ve been so old that the line was weak. After that, our competitor caught a 2.5 foot mahi mahi. 

Finally, we arrived at 6 o’clock.  We moored just as the sun was setting. The next morning we got up out of bed and looked outside. There was a huge pirate ship docked that had those pirate crows nests that always seem so cool to climb. We ate breakfast and went to customs and immigration to check into the country. 

The next morning we went on a tour around the island. Our friends had already been here, so they wanted to visit their donkey they “adopted.” This place is an animal shelter for cats, dogs, and donkeys. The cats and dogs lived in jail with iron bars and prison guards. The donkeys on the other hand live in a 50 meter by 50 meter fenced in field. You were allowed to pet and brush them. We also found out that the donkey that our friends adopted was still up for adoption (costs $10 and you can’t take in out of the pen). Seven people own this donkey and they pay 10 dollars. I thought that was a scam. After my sister adopted one, we headed off to a marine boating store. 

I thought every thing was super expensive because it was in EC which is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (three EC = 1 US Dollar). The girls headed out on a hike while we were at the store (I needed some fishing gear for my fishing lure business). We headed back and relaxed at the boat. 

The next morning we signed up for a mini sailboat sailing class. The instructor did not arrive, and we waited half an hour. Then we left the harbor and traveled to the next island.

Monserrat ~ Katelyn

Have you ever been on a volcanic island? Monserrat is one of the many volcanic islands in the world. It also erupted not too many years ago.

We were staying in St.Kitts, another volcanic island, when we got sick of the loud music. We headed towards the island of Monserrat. Once there, we realized the anchorage was like riding a rollercoaster . We saw our friends Britican tipping almost all the way over. We had to get pretty close to the beach to avoid the swell. Once we found a sandy patch, we noticed tuna jumping out of the water. There were tons of tuna. My dad went to go check in, so we would be allowed to fish, but the tuna were all gone by the time he got back.  That day, Michael and I had to finish our school while my dad went to have a drink with our friends from Vela. The next day our friends Britican (a.k.a. Sausage Time) stopped by, and we went with them on a tour of Monserrat. Britican has a YouTube channel.

When we arrived at the dock, we noticed all the cool fish swimming just two feet away. There were tiny little reef fish everywhere. We waited for our guide, and when he showed up, we all had to cram in the back. To make it worse, my dad had to sit in the back with us. We drove around for about an hour as our guide pointed to places and said, “You won’t believe me, but there used to be house there! The volcanic ash made the plants grow like crazy, so you can’t see it!” Finally, we went to a viewing area of the volcano. We came inside the viewing area and watched a movie about the volcano. Apparently, the volcano had never shown any signs of erupting until 1995. It started smoking a little bit, and the people of Monserrat got worried. Some scientists came to study the volcano and said it was going to erupt soon. The people of Monserrat had to evacuate. Since then, most of the people have not come back. Right now, they are trying to get more people to move onto the island. Before the eruption, 12,000 people lived on the island. Now, only 5,000 do. Most people flew to England. 

After the movie, we headed towards the old town of Soufriere. We drove around the old town, but unfortunately, we could not walk around. We saw five story buildings half way sunk into ash. We saw roofs in the ground. After the old town, we headed back to the boats and got ready to leave for Antigua. Once we picked up our anchor, Rondo and Britican headed out for Antigua. We talked to Pura Vida on the radio trying to get them to come with us, but they hadn’t seen Monserrat yet and really wanted to. Then, we said goodbye, but we were positive that we would see them in a  week or so in Guadeloupe, the first French island. We headed out to Antigua in very rough seas with our boat slamming into the waves.   

Katelyn Blaine.