At the lion fish barbeque in Carriacou I was so lucky to meet Anne-Laure and Amaury who were going to sail down to Grenada the next morning and let me hitch a ride with them.
Compared to other boats I have been on, I must say that theirs, la Orana was the most relaxed which I thought was really nice. Sailing started after we had all had some coffee and cigarettes- and it was a smooth sail from then until we reached Grenada almost seven hours later. There were probably more adjustments that could be made to get even higher speed, but instead we just relaxed, had some beer and a good pasta salad that Anne had made and passed the time talking.
Anne and Amaury were living and working on the boat together with their four kids who were well adapted to the routines on the boat and eager to help out with the sailing. It seemed like a way healthier life for kids at sea, being outdoors and learning practical skills that a normal class room would not have tought them. Seeing this kind of gave me the inspirational feeling I had after watching the movie Captain Fantastic where I asked myself why not more families chose to adapt a more alternative lifestyle.
Their kids Aurore, Maxime and Xavier in charge of the flags
We had been lucky with winds and except for some currents that made the kids a bit nauseous, we had the best possible day sailing. After this experience I felt like I could fully understand the famous expression “it’s all about the journey… not the destination”
The frenchies started their trip in Marseille and have been sailing for over a year now. You can follow their journey on (in French): www.larguons.com
Arriving Airlie Beach at seven in the morning I had only an hour before the boat left, so I jumped into a taxi from the train station and made it just in time for my sailing trip.
I had booked the British Defender, a boat accommodating as much as 30 people, but still being quite a fast and steady sailer. Steadier meant having a deeper keel, so we could not go into the more shallow and turquise waters like the catamarans, but we still got to see the beautiful waters from a distance.
Our first stop was a part of the Great Barrier Reef where everyone got an hour of snorkeling and some lunch. Visibility was poor and the coral were mostly dead which was dissapointment, but it was all made up for when we got to our next stop at Whitehaven Beach.
Whitehaven is known for having the purest silica sand in the World, making it crystal white, always cold even on the sunniest days and as turquise as the waters in the Maldives.
The city where the Whitsundays boats are departing from, Airlie Beach, was pretty small so I jumped on a train continuing up north the same night.
I have put together a short video of last week’s trip to the Maldives:
This weekend I will travel to South and North Korea and the Silk road from Beijing to Istanbul by rail, so stay tuned!
Our trip had just the perfect ending with a sail trip to Ari Atoll, a trip arranged by Rasdhoo Dive Center. Ari is one of the biggests of the twenty Maldivian atolls, laying just a couple og hours South West of Rasdhoo. Sailing from the Northern part of the atoll to the Southern part of the atoll with the boat we were on would take ten hours, which is quite a lot more than each of the legs that we covered last week on the Dhoni cruise.
The first place visited was a coral reef where we saw sharks and rays at just a five to fifteen meters depth. Afterwards we sailed over to a beutiful spot in the middle of the ocean where it was a really shallow sandy bottom, so that we would have the light turquise color all around us while eating lunch.
The rest of the day was spent snorkelling around and visiting one of the other local islands called Ukulhas. While the crew prepared a barbeque meal on the boat we were let off to have an hour of exploring and watching the sunset from the tourist beach on the island.
On the way back we were just laying silently on deck watching the stars brightly lit up on the sky above us. Looking down at the side of the boat we could also see the bioluminecent plankton sparking up around the boat as the water splashed off the boat, also leaving a trail of light behind us. The sound of the water splashing and the pitch dark, with only some light of the stars and the plankton made it feel like we could easily have fallen to sleep. At the same time it felt like we were already in a dream. A dream that we would first really wake up from when getting on the plane home.