Dive Sites in St. Lucia

For my 50th birthday, I went with 8 friends to St. Lucia.  Five of us are divers, and we bought the dive package at Anse Chastenet which includes a room, all-inclusive food, and 14 dives for the week.  We didn’t get in all 14 dives, as American Airlines stranded us for a day, but we did make several.

In general, the diving for my birthday week mid-April featured a significant amount of marine life, but the visibility was mediocre and at times the currents were strong.  I’m certain both the new moon and the erupting volcano in St. Vincent. had something to do with it.

SUBMERGE!

Our Stay at Anse Chastenet

My original plan for my 50th birthday was to visit Fiji in September, six months after I turned 50.  But of course, COVID interfered.  And frankly, I think I’m glad.  I had so much fun with eight friends at Anse Chastenet on St. Lucia.  Everyone meshed so well despite politics, age gaps, and extremely different backgrounds and lives.

And in honor of my celebration, the volcano on St. Vincent blew the day we were leaving! This, however, wrecked havoc on our travels, not because the ash closed the air space.  It didn’t.  But because American Airlines used it as an excuse when they had 17 airplanes called in for maintenance.

RELAX!
On the summit of Gros Piton

Hiking the Gros Piton in St. Lucia

For my 50th birthday, a group of friends and I visited St. Lucia for a week, minus one day, thanks to American Airlines.  While most of our trip was focused around water sports and enjoying the amazing food and accommodations at Anse Chastenet, I really wanted to hike the Gros Piton.

With the COVID outbreak in St. Lucia, the regulations consistently changed.  About a month before our arrival, the rules kept the guests from leaving the resort.  Fortunately, the restrictions lightened up, and we could be escorted from Anse Chastenet to the Gros Piton by an official driver from the property. Of course, I suspect our excursion cost a lot more than if we did it ourselves, but at least we got to take the guided hike up the Gros Piton.

HAPPY HIKING!
Annie at Estabrook

Postcard Apps for Writing Notes from Afar

Given most of the world is in lockdown due to COVID, this is probably not the best time to write an article about postcard apps that let you mail a note with your own photo from all over the world.  At the same time, they may still be used to cheer someone up during this difficult time and for the holiday season.

When I began traveling internationally for extensive trips, I wanted an easy way to say “hello” to my friends and family back home without having to hunt for a postcard, find a post office, and get the appropriate postage.

SAY HELLO!
sunset on airport beach in sint Maarten

Things I Discovered About Sint Maarten

About Sint Maarten

  1. Sint Maarten is the Dutch side of the island.  Saint Martin is the French side of the Island
  2. The Dutch side is the southern part of the island and the French side is the northern part of the island.
  3. Phillipsburg is for the cruise ships
  4. Simpson Bay is for the airport
  5. The area near the airport is not safe
  6. Taxis need to be ordered, so showing up at the ferry dock without a taxi nearby is not a good choice
  7. Maho Beach is famous for watching the planes land.  What is enjoyable about this?  Not relaxing!  At least the sunset is nice
  8. Airport Beach is long and good for walking, but see 7 above
  9. The international line on the water between the Dutch and French side is marked by an anchor line with bikini tops hanging from it indicating the French topless area!
TIPS!
SCUBA diving in Saba

Top Things to Do in Saba

About Saba

Saba is a Dutch island in the Caribbean Sea.  Only five square miles with a population of 2,000, this small island is known as the Unspoiled Queen. With little commercialization and no cruise ships, Saba is a tropical paradise!

Saba was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 but he did not consider the mountainous landscape important enough to colonize.  From its discovery until 1816, Saba changed hands many times…from the Spanish, to the French, and to the Dutch who took final possession.

The island includes four small settlements, the world’s shortest commercial runway (1,200 feet), the tallest mountain in the Netherlands which is the potentially active volcano Mt. Scenery, and world class SCUBA diving.

EXPLORE!
runway at the bottom of the rocks

Hiking in Saba

Hiking in Saba on Our Dive Trip

A few years ago, I heard about an island called Saba in the Caribbean that had good SCUBA diving. I mentioned it to my dive buddies Rootie and Julie, and soon we ended up on a girls’ trip diving in Saba.  I didn’t know, however, that there are a lot of opportunities for hiking in Saba.  How perfect, we turned our dive vacation into a hiking trip too!

While we spent the mornings diving, we spent many of our afternoons as well as our last day on the island exploring.  As such we got to hike many trails in Saba.

GO HIKING!
filefish in Saba

SCUBA Diving in Saba

About Saba

Saba is a Dutch island in the Caribbean Sea.  Only five square miles with a population of 2,000, this small island is known as the Unspoiled Queen. I’d have to agree with that…with little commercialization and no cruise ships…this island is a tropical paradise!

Saba was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 but did not consider the mountainous landscape important enough to colonize.  From its discovery until 1816, Saba changed hands many times…from the Spanish, to the French, and to the Dutch who took final possession.

The island includes four small settlements, the world’s shortest commercial runway (1,200 feet), the tallest mountain in the Netherlands which is the potentially active volcano Mt. Scenery, and world class SCUBA diving.

Continue reading “SCUBA Diving in Saba”
Little Bay, Anguilla

Three Days in Anguilla

It has been a few years since I’ve been to the Caribbean, and I always like visiting a tropical destination during Colorado’s snowy months.  This year I selected a combination of three nearby islands; Anguilla, Saba, and St. Maarten.

Getting to Anguilla

My first stop was Anguilla via St. Maarten.  There is not a direct flight from Denver to St. Maarten, so I had to go through Charlotte.  Short layover times for winter delays encouraged me to fly to Charlotte the previous night.  Good choice!  The Denver airport shut down due to the bomb cyclone winter storm the day after I left.

GO TO THE BEACH!