When Michelle, my roommate from college, and I were much younger and very ambitious, we set a goal to visit every island in the world. Well, we were obviously very naive as well, having no clue how many thousands of islands are out there. We have since adjusted our vision to be a little more realistic - now we are on a mission to visit every island chain e.g Hawaii, Philippines.
So, when Michelle invited me to sail with she and her family through the windward islands in the Caribbean, a one way sail from the beautiful island of St. Lucia to the "Spice Island" of Grenada, I jumped at the chance. We chartered a 40' catamaran for 10 days, sailed 150 miles, visited 12 islands and had quite the adventure!
We started our journey in St. Lucia, where Piton is the locally brewed beer and Bounty is the local rum. After traveling 24 hours from California, on top of an hour and a half drive from the airport to the hotel, Michelle and family were ready for a little of both. We took a little time to unwind around the pool, read the cruising guide (Sailor's Guide to the Windward Islands), and planned our itinerary.
I'm an early riser, usually up at first light, so in the morning I grabbed a cup of coffee and walked to the charter boat base next door, excited to see the boat we would call home for a while. Along the way I spotted a few cute colorful local fishing boats, all handmade.
We were all anxious to load our gear onto the boat and get going, but first we had to go through our checkout where we were shown all the important things about the boat, specifically air conditioning! Although the breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean is generally strong enough to cool the boat, we wanted to be sure we knew how to operate AC while anchored, just in case. Finally, after loading our pre-ordered provisions, we threw off the lines and got underway. The feeling of finally getting underway, after planning, traveling, stocking the boat, stowing the gear, and safety checks is just exhilarating. We could finally breathe in that fresh clean salt air!
A three hour sail south brought us to St. Lucia's Pitons, two majestic mountainous volcanic spires. We picked up a mooring ball in between the two of them, secured the boat, and sat back to soak in the surrounding beauty. After a refreshing swim, we cooked burgers on the grill, grabbed an ice cold namesake Piton beer, and watched the sun go down and the stars come out.