Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sailing Around the World? Check!

Arriving in St. Martin on January 7, 2015!
It's hard to believe that after a little less than two years ago, we have reached our goal... TO SAIL AROUND THE WORLD!

It was an amazing feeling to be arriving in St. Martin (where we left from in March 2013) knowing that Martin was able to achieve his dream by sailing around the world.  I have to pinch myself just thinking about this whole experience.  If you haven't guessed by now, when Martin sets a goal, he meets it!

It's not to say that it hasn't been a little tough along the way, especially for Martin. He has been going full speed ever since he got back on AMARA in March of last year in Australia.  We knew that it couldn't be another year to keep sailing because we have other projects in the works and we needed to be back in 2015.

So, here we are... DONE!  It's a strange feeling knowing that after all this hard work and long days sailing, we're done.  Well, kind of.  Martin isn't actually done.  In fact, once we arrived in St. Martin, Lily and I left for home to Utah and Martin headed to Argentina to board a tall ship and join a sailing expedition that was sailing to Antarctica.  I don't know how he does it and where he finds the energy?  I'll talk more about his experience in Antarctica in another post.  For now, let's focus on the remaining days of our trip through the Caribbean, eventually arriving in St. Martin...

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Lily and I joined Martin in Grenada where he, David and John had sailed from Brazil arriving in Grenada on Christmas day.  (That's a lot of sailing!)

The first thing, once we arrived in Grenada, was to go to a hotel where Martin and Lily got in some swimming, while I got to do some lounging by the pool.

Next, we went and did some snorkeling and saw the underwater statues just off the coast of Grenada.
Martin is like a fish now.  He would dive down and
 just swim around without coming up for air. 
I, of course, instructed Martin to swim down and snap a photo of
me quickly as was able.  As soon as he did, I would

 swim as fast as I could up to the surface.
Again, me holding on so that I didn't
float right back up to the top!
It was also fun to just drive around on AMARA's tender and check out Grenada.
We even had time to go to the local Mormon church and pay the congregation a visit. 
This is always a lot of fun for us.
After visiting Grenada for a few days, we left for the Grenadine Islands, first stopping in Mustique.  All I can say about Mustique is that it is an absolutely beautiful island!  Mick Jagger, Shania Twain, Tommy Hilfiger, as well as, the Royals all own homes on this beautiful island.  It is very exclusive but be prepared to spend some money if you go, but so fun.  After Mustique, we headed for the Grenadine Islands.  

Our sweet girl enjoying the sun while we were visiting Tobago Cays.  So fun!
Lily and Martin taking a much needed respite on the island of Nevis.
If you ever get a chance to visit the Grenadines, I say go for it!  Each island was beautiful and pristine.  But because we had to be in St. Martin by the first of the year, we didn't have much time to visit each island for more than a day.  I have some great photos but I forgot to pull them off of the card of the camera that Martin took to Antarctica.  So, I will for sure do another post so that you can see some of the beauty of the islands.

We travelled from St. Vincent, to Union Island then on to Martinique, up to Dominica and past Guadalupe and over to St. Kitts and Nevis (Beautiful).  It was some of the roughest sailing that I have experienced.  It was supposed to be all down wind, but the sea has a funny way about not working with you at times when the wind shifts.  Martin and David did some amazing sailing during those long days and I am in awe of how they were able to muscle through it to get us safely into the harbor of St. Martin.  What a feat!

It was such a weird, wild and intoxicating feeling to reach the bay right outside of St. Martin.  We had to wait a bit for the bridge to open before we could enter the harbor.  We lined up behind the other boats and I wanted to scream out to everyone and say, "Hey, we just sailed around the world!  Can you believe this?"  Instead, I kept my head about me and Martin and I just kept high-fiving and hugging each other.  I have to admit, I really teared up because I was just so proud of Martin and this accomplishment.  It really was so hard in spite of his love for sailing.  Me putting a timeline on his effort probably didn't help matters, but he DID it!  HE DID IT!

Once we arrived to St. Martin and found a place to tie her up, we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned up AMARA getting her ready for another sail to the Bahamas.  More on that later...
Goodbye, AMARA until we see you again in April.
Enjoy the rest in St. Martin.  You've been good to us.
Lily on the flight home from St. Martin to Utah.
She was one tuckered gal but such a trooper.
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Meanwhile... Martin can be found on this tall ship on his way to Antarctica.

Martin called the other day (actually, he brought his handheld satellite phone, so we talk everyday.  So convenient!).  Anyway, he is loving his time on this ship.  He is crewing from the coast of Argentina (starting from Ushuaia) over to Antarctica. He has already crawled out on to the bowsprit and even climbed up the rigging all the way up to the top of the mast.  While at the top, he was able to furl the royal sail and then went out on to the yardarm.  (A little too brave for my liking.)
To give you an idea of what a yardarm is.  Martin crawled
out to the edge much like this guy in this vintage photo.
Martin said that he is thoroughly enjoying this expedition and loves that he is able to have the same experience as sailors had over 100 years ago.  

More on his adventures along with photos once he gets home at the beginning of February.  I am so glad that he is having the time of his life, but so anxious to have him home soon.

Stay tuned for more, but in the meantime, we are going to just bask in what Martin was able to accomplish.