Grenada

Caribbean Round-Up

My trip has now come to an end, I am home and back to (some kind of) normality. It’s been over a week since I returned to blighty and by scheduled content has all now been posted, which means it’s time for a round-up of my favourite images from the trip!

Before I start though, if you have missed any of the posts from the last 4 months then they will all be linked throughout this round-up.

Propellor - Grenada Marine, St. Davids, Grenada 07/01/2016

Propellor - Grenada Marine, St. Davids, Grenada 07/01/2016

Our trip started in Grenada, where the boat had been played up at the end of last season, and when we arrived our first full day was spent at the boat yard checking the boat over and starting to get things in some kind of order. I really love this pictures of one of the propellors, it’s closed and still and had been like that for the past 6/7months but still looked barely used. It was quite an obvious picture to take but i’m pleased with the way it came out. I actually had trouble taking this image as there was a support right in the way so I had to contort around it to get the composition that I wanted.

This picture features in my Hello Grenada! post.

Bonfire - Mount Cinnamon Hotel, Grand Anse, Grenada 08/01/2016

Bonfire - Mount Cinnamon Hotel, Grand Anse, Grenada 08/01/2016

The next picture that really stands out to me is this one of a bonfire. This was actually taken the day after the picture of the propellor. We were sat at the beach bar one evening, knowing there would be a bonfire that night but we never expected it to be as big as it was! The thing was huge! Almost 10ft tall before it was lit, and the flames jumped and danced up to well over 15ft. I had taken my camera down with me that night to photograph the bonfire but never expected the magnitude it would be. All the images came out perfect but this one if my favourite from the set.

This picture also features in my Hello Grenada! post.

Ivan & Brenda - Pitons Bay, St. Lucia 29/01/2016

Ivan & Brenda - Pitons Bay, St. Lucia 29/01/2016

After a mishap in Grenada we skipped up to St. Lucia for some emergency repairs to our water maker. Whilst waiting for the parts to arrive we headed down to the Pitons for a couple of nights. On one of the days myself and our crew headed out on a hike to find the start of the Piton trail. As we neared the trail head we came across these 2 little guys. This picture will always stand out to me when I think of that hike. I named them Ivan and Brenda, don’t ask why because I don’t know. This picture actually started the whole naming thing I do. Oops.

This picture features in my Pitons Bay post.

Tall Ship - Pitons Bay, St. Lucia 29/01/2016

Tall Ship - Pitons Bay, St. Lucia 29/01/2016

The same evening as our hike we saw this magnificent boat anchored up at the edge of the bay. Normally boats drop their sails at anchor this this one still had them up, so whilst I had the opportunity I grabbed my 100-400mm Superzoom to snap some images before the sails were dropped. I really love the colours in this picture, the sun was setting so all the colours around us were a chalky, muted tone which came out perfectly when I edited the photo.

This picture also features in my Pitons Bay post.

Old Fig Tree - Wallilabou Gardens, Wallilabou Bay, St. Vincent & The Grenadines 06/02/2016

Old Fig Tree - Wallilabou Gardens, Wallilabou Bay, St. Vincent & The Grenadines 06/02/2016

Our next stop after St. Lucia was St. Vincent & The Grenadines. We first stopped in a place called Wallilabou Bay, where some scenes in the Pirates Of The Caribbean films were shot. The place wasn’t big at all but just a short walk away was a small botanic gardens were we spent a morning. The images that stands out to me from that morning is this one of the Old Fig Tree they have there. From just the right angle the tree blocked out the visitor centre and makes it look like you’re in an abandoned village. This was a tricky picture to get because I wanted the stream flowing, so needed a long exposure, but without a tripod or flat surface it did prove difficult. I managed in the end and I am still super happy with the results.

This pictures features in my It’s A Pirates Life For Me post.

Green Sea Turtle - Tobago Cays, St. Vincent & The Grenadines 14/02/2016

Green Sea Turtle - Tobago Cays, St. Vincent & The Grenadines 14/02/2016

Still in St. Vincent & The Grenadines, but this time in a cluster of islands called Tobago Cays. Now, Tobago Cays is famous for its abundance of Turtles that live in the area and we were not let down. We must have seen dozens of them swimming around in the area. Being one not to miss an opportunity I jumped in with my GoPro and saw around with the turtles, I got so many pictures but this was by far 1 of the best. To make sure I got plenty of pictures without missing anything I had my GoPro set to time-lapse mode taking a picture every half a second.

This picture features in my Tobago Cays post.

Trafalgar Falls - Trafalgar Falls, Dominica 07/03/2016

Trafalgar Falls - Trafalgar Falls, Dominica 07/03/2016

Heading into March we started the month in Dominica, with our first shore excursion being up to the Trafalgar Falls. We had to take the bus up from Rosseau, the capital, and by bus I mean mini-van packed with far too many people. I still feel sorry for the little girl crushed between me and her mother. Anyway, when we got to the falls we were amazed by the sheer size of them! There wasn’t much water flowing as you can see but there were so tall the water was sticking the rocks with immense force. I have so many great images from the falls but this one is my favourite as it shows the sheer scale of them!

This picture features in my Trafalgar Falls post.

Tommy Turtle - Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve, Guadeloupe 18/03/2016

Tommy Turtle - Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve, Guadeloupe 18/03/2016

Throughout March we spent time in Dominica and Guadeloupe. This next image is from Guadeloupe, and my favourite place to dive ever! We stopped off at the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve specifically to do diving as we had heard it was world class. Boy did it live up to the expectations! We did 3 full days of diving and this picture came from the very last dive. I must have been 3ft from this turtle and could have easily reached out and touched him, I didn’t as I didn’t know how he would react. I did name him, like many other animals on this trip. I gave him the name Tommy, doesn't he just look like a Tommy?

This picture features in my Diving Guadeloupe post.

Archway - Deep Bay, Antigua 03/04/2016

Archway - Deep Bay, Antigua 03/04/2016

From Guadeloupe we headed up to Antigua to change crew. While we were there we headed round to a place called Deep Bay, a beautiful anchorage not too far from Jolly Harbour. One morning I hiked up to the fort to catch the sunrise. As I got to the fort the sun had already started to rise but it was no big deal. I found this archway, which actually led me to the very top of the fort, and it made the perfect image. The way the light comes in at an angle and falls onto the wall and floor just mesmerised me, and the landscape and water in the background just top it all off.

This picture feature in my Deep Bay Photo Mission post.

Ripples II In Deep Bay - Deep Bay, Antigua 03/04/2016

Ripples II In Deep Bay - Deep Bay, Antigua 03/04/2016

This next image is also from Deep Bay and makes us look like we have the bay to ourselves. We didn’t but with careful composition it worked just the way I wanted. The hotel slightly ruins the picture, and the area for that matter, but the bar is right at home. Like I said careful composition lead to the result I got, but mainly thanks to dad liking to be close to shore and brave enough to only have 1.5m of water between the keel and the sand means that all the other boats were far enough away that I didn’t have much to hide.

The picture also features in my Deep Bay Photo Mission post.

French Angelfish - Fran Jack Wreck, Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve, Guadeloupe 10/04/2016

French Angelfish - Fran Jack Wreck, Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve, Guadeloupe 10/04/2016

April ended with another trip to the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve as we made our way back south from Antigua. Our first dive site was the Fran Jack Wreck, which is where we met the French Angelfish you see above. It was pure luck that this picture came out the way it did, again with my GoPro in time-lapse mode taking pictures every 0.5seconds this guy swam straight past me as if I wasn't even there! He then hung around as we snapped some more pictures at the bow of the ship.

This pictures features in my My Favourite Place To Dive post.

Lenny Lizard - Indian River, Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

Lenny Lizard - Indian River, Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

From Guadeloupe we were back in Dominica, and that meant another trip down the Indian River. I have actually done 2 posts about Indian River but this image is from the second trip. At the halfway post of the trip you stop at a bush bar with a small nature walk. This guy was hanging around on a fallen tree and just let me snap away as many pictures as I wanted of him. I named him Lenny and he wasn’t the last animal I named on this trip.

This picture features in my Exploring: Indian River - Round 2 post.

Cannon - Pigeon Island, St. Lucia 29/04/2016

Cannon - Pigeon Island, St. Lucia 29/04/2016

When we arrived back in St. Lucia we took a trip over to Pigeon Island and up to the fort. Pigeon Island was actually the first fort I visited in the Caribbean when I visited in 2015. The cannons at the top of the fort lay there broken and battered but they make great subject to photograph. With this image I wanted a different angle to the rest of the cannon pictures I had taken throughout the trip. The angle makes the cannon look sad and lonely while the wall draws your eye towards the tip of the cannon.

This pictures features in my Exploring: Pigeon Island post.

Glowing Trees - Tobago Cays, St. Vincent & The Grenadines 08/05/2016

Glowing Trees - Tobago Cays, St. Vincent & The Grenadines 08/05/2016

From St. Lucia it was back to St. Vincent & The Grenadines which meant back to Tobago Cays. Towards the end of the trip I really got into making Long Exposure Time-Lapses, you can see a couple on my Instagram. This particular picture though i thought had been ruined! Some people on the beach, bearing in mind it was about 10:30pm, decided to shine their torches towards and in front of my as my shutter was open but in actual fact it really improved the picture! I only found this out as I came to editing all the images and putting the time-lapse together.

This picture features in my Time-Lapsing: Tobago Cays post.

Driftwood - Sandy Beach, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

Driftwood - Sandy Beach, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

The last image I chose for this round-up was the above one of a piece of driftwood. Our final destination before getting back to Grenada was a place called Carriacou and a little sand island, aptly, named Sandy Island. This piece of wood was left after a storm that pretty much destroyed the island a couple of years ago. To me it made an interesting subject and I only actually took 1 picture of it, this one. It came out perfect and the black & white edit really makes the picture.

This picture features in my Sandy Beach post.

So there you have it, my favourite pictures from the past 4 months. If you would like to read any of the posts from the last 4 months most of them are linked under their respective picture but you can check out my Caribbean Archive for the rest.

If you would like to see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.

If you would like to see pictures before they hit the blog then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

I’m also on Bloglovin’ so follow me over there to be notified when new posts go up.

Which of these is your favourite image? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

Sandy Beach

Before I start just let me say I know “Sandy Island” is a boring title and a pretty obvious description of a beach, but that’s what the sand spit is called. Now let’s begin.

A quick introduction to Sandy Island. Sandy Island is a sand spit off the coast of Carriacou, Grenada and is readily described as a desert island, and a slice of paradise. In 2004 everything on the island was destroyed in Hurricane Ivan and since then the government designated the island a nature reserve. Famed for its marine life, bird watching and it’s beach, the island is a local hotspot and a must do if you’re nearby. Access to the island is strictly by boat.

Myself, mum and dad get dropped off by CP in the dinghy to snorkel the northern end of the island. We have with us a dry back with flip-flops, cameras, towels and shirts in so we can have a walk on the island after our snorkel. We drop in and are greeted by the most dense population of fish and coral you can imagine. There’s coral growing on coral it’s that dense. There is a slight current flowing south so we swim around the top end for a short while before letting the current carry us towards the other end. As we drift I dive down to chase some fish with my GoPro. The first fish I chase is a rather large Scrawled Filefish, with it’s beautiful blue marking and elegant shape. Obviously the fish is faster than me and I can only hold my breath for so long, so I give up the chase and carry on with the current. 

Scrawled FIlefish - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

Scrawled FIlefish - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a rather large, creamy white fish hanging around near some coral. Turns out it’s a Balloon Fish, I dive down to get some pictures but it retreats back into the coral with only it’s head poking out, just enough to get some good pictures. From there we’re faced with the biggest school of fish I have possibly every seen! There must be thousands of these tiny fish and I have no idea what they are, but what I do know is that they are being chased and rounded up by some Permit. The permit aren’t that big and dad later informs me that they are a game fish and grow rather large, a few feet top to bottom, and are mainly fished for in Cuba. After watching the Permit hunt for a while were swim ashore on to Sandy Island.

Huge School - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

Huge School - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

There isn’t much to see on the island but it’s long enough to have a good walk up and down. There are plenty of things to take pictures of though with driftwood scattering the beach and shells and rocks littered around.We leave or snorkelling gear where we exit, dry of, get our cameras out and set off on foot to explore a bit. We walk from midway to the south end of the beach, cameras snapping away as we go. As per usual I’m lagging behind as I’m trying to get the most interesting and artistic shots I can, this has become a common occurrence where ever I go.

Driftwood - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

Driftwood - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

Once we reach the south end we about turn and make our way back to our gear, again cameras snapping as we go and me lagging far behind. We reach our gear, swiftly pack our cameras away, don our snorkelling attire and make our way back into the water. Once in we are faced again with that huge school from before with the same Permit hunting them down. As we swim though the school I grab some pictures of the Permit as they go about their business. We head back up to the north end of the spit, against the current to have another look around the north end.

 Permit - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

 Permit - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

As we make our way back to the Ripples II, again with the current, we come across a group of Stingrays. There must have been 5 of them and they had no care in the world that we were on top of them staring down in amazement. We’ve never seen Stingrays in the caribbean before today so just hang around and enjoy the moment. 2 of the 5 swim off in the direction of Ripples II so we follow as we are going that way anyway. I dive down to a safe distance, GoPro extended on the pole as far as it will go snapping away catching all the action. The Stingrays again have no idea I’m above them and glide gracefully away into the distance.

Stingers - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

Stingers - Sandy Island, Carriacou, Grenada 11/05/2016

By now we are back in front of Ripples II so make our way to the back to climb back aboard. I can only describe our outing as magical, I’ve never walked on a “desert island” before and I’ve never seen Stingrays in the wild before. I really do think we came at the right time of year and were beers-on-the-beach-at-sunset short of the perfect experience.

If you’re ever in Carriacou I can’t recommend enough visiting Sandy Island and I’m sure everyone else who has been would join me in saying that.

If you would like to see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.

If you would like to see pictures before they hit the blog then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

I’m also on Bloglovin’ so follow me over there to be notified when new posts go up.

Have you ever walked on a desert island before? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

Launch Day

I left my last post saying that I was saving these pictures for a stand alone post, and you will see why as you read on.

So today was the day we checked out of Mount Cinnamon Hotel and the day we launched the boat (Ripples 2).

Ripples II Pre Lift - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

Ripples II Pre Lift - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

We arrived at the boat yard at around 10:30am and chatted with the staff about what time our Ripples was to be launched. There was still some work that needed to be done before we could launch the boat, as well as another boat being launched before ours. The work was finished at around 2pm so we started to get the ropes and fenders in position so we could moor up to the jetty whilst we checked the engines, generator and water maker were in full working order. Once we had the ropes and fenders in position we started the major task of clearing the boat of any cockroaches that and made home in the various crevices and nooks and crannies around the boat, as well as cleaning all the surfaces we hadn’t got to do the other day.

Lifting Winch - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

Lifting Winch - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

At around 3pm the lift arrived to pick Ripples up to move it to the water. The lift was huge! Like really, really huge! The picture above is of one of the winches used to pick the boats up. Moving Ripples from where it had been on the stands to the water was quite a long process as the lift moved extremely slowly. But you can’t blame it as a catamaran typically weighs about 25 tonnes, yes 25 tonnes!

Lifted - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

Lifted - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

When Ripples had been lifted there was only about 1/1.5m of clearance between the Keel and the ground. This surprised me as I thought that the boat would have been lifted much higher than that to ensure none of the underside was damaged. The whole process took about 30/40mins to transport it from the stands to the water, again much longer than I thought but I guess you don’t want to rush a 25 tonne boat incase it falls.

Man vs Machine - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

Man vs Machine - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

As you can see above everyone was really calm about the whole process, even when others were wandering around, and even in front of, the boat. You may be able to see under Ripples one of the members of staff sat on the strap thats supporting the boat, having a cigarette to pass the time. That is a testament to how calm and chilled out the people over here are.

Almost There - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

Almost There - St. Davids, Grenada 09/01/2016

This final photo is of Ripples in front of the dock, and it’s last moments of being dry before the season ahead. The boat was held here for a few minutes whilst everyone got into place with the ropes to moor it up when it was finally in the water. As Ripples was lowered into the water we got to climb aboard, when it was safe obviously, so we could help work the lines and effectively be launched with the boat!

I know all this may seem a bit boring to some readers but for my parents and I it was an exciting day as it was the first day of the season for us and the first night of many aboard Ripples

If you would like to see more photos from the day then check out the full gallery below.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr for pictures before they hit the blog!

I would like to know if anyone has experienced launching a boat before? If so what did you think, was it exciting for you too? If not would you like to experience it?

Thanks for reading!

Rob

Hello Grenada!

I’ll start with a quick introduction as to why this post is titled “Hello Grenada”. I’m currently on a sailing trip with my parents in the Caribbean, our first destination being Grenada. Why Grenada? My dad owns a sailing boat and Grenada is where he left it at the end of last season (May 2015). The idea was proposed to me last summer and I couldn’t jump at the opportunity quicker. Our plan is to island hop all the way up to the British Virgin Islands (B.V.I’s) before making our way back to Grenada to store the boat again at the end of this season (May 2016).

So there you go, that’s why I’m in Grenada.

Our journey to Grenada started on Jan 5th 2016 with a 4 hour drive from our home in Preston, England to London’s Gatwick Airport. Our outward flight was 10:05am the following day which meant we had a very early start. Flight day arrived and we were up and checked in by 8:30am, the usual mooching around the departure lounge ensued with a quick stop for a coffee before the flight. We made our way to the gate with enough time for me to stop to take a picture of my boarding pass in an ‘Artsy’ way, as you do before a flight.

Boarding Pass - London, England 06/01/2016

Boarding Pass - London, England 06/01/2016

We arrived in Grenada roughly 11 hours later, just before 4pm local time, which meant we headed straight to the hotel, Mount Cinnamon in Grand Anse, and didn’t really want to explore much that evening. The following day my dad and I headed to the boat yard in St. Davids, about a 30 minute taxi ride from our hotel, to check out the boat and make sure everything was in order and our plans were still able to go ahead.

Propellor - St. Davids, Grenada 07/01/2016

Propellor - St. Davids, Grenada 07/01/2016

After spending most of the day at the boat yard we headed back to our hotel for some relaxation. Spending that amount of time in the heat is really tiring on your mind and body so we just spent the rest of the day in our room until the sun went down and the temperatures dropped.

Mount Cinnamon Entrance - St. Davids, Grenada 07/01/2016

Mount Cinnamon Entrance - St. Davids, Grenada 07/01/2016

Later that evening I spent some time taking long exposures of the nearby village and the night sky, because why not? I do love doing long exposures but I had some slight issues with composure due to the small amount of light pollution that was escaping above the mountains stopping the stars just above them from being visible.

Grand Anse Long Exposure - Grand Anse, Grenada 07/01/2016

Grand Anse Long Exposure - Grand Anse, Grenada 07/01/2016

January 8th was just a day spent on the beach as we had no other jobs to do on the boat until it was in the water. The walk to the beach was a beautiful garden path that was almost a symmetrical dream, if only there were some tiki lights on both side of the path.

Garden Walk - Grand Anse, Grenada 08/01/2016

Garden Walk - Grand Anse, Grenada 08/01/2016

That evening was spent in the beach bar enjoying the bonfire and musical entertainment. Now when there is a bonfire, I believe, there is an unwritten rule the you must photograph it. There is something so beautiful and majestic about the way flames move that makes them so enticing.

Bonfire 1 - Grand Anse, Grenada 08/01/2016

Bonfire 1 - Grand Anse, Grenada 08/01/2016

On the way back from the bonfire I noticed that the Tiki Torches, that lined the path, had been lit to illuminate the path back to the hotel. Naturally I hung around to take a few photos of the flames dancing in the gentle breeze that made its way through the trees and bushes that also lined the path.

Tiki Torch 2 - Grand Anse, Grenada 08/01/2016

Tiki Torch 2 - Grand Anse, Grenada 08/01/2016

I’m going to leave this post here as the following day was an exciting one, for us anyway as that was the day the boat transferred from the "hard" (stands) to the water (launched).

If you wold like to see the full gallery check it out below.

Following on with the end of post questions, this time thought I have a couple. The first being, have you ever visited Grenada? What did you think of the island? The second question is, what do you prefer photographing? Long Exposures or Fire?

Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook to see pictures before they hit the blog.

Rob