Yesterday was a pretty important day aboard the Pilots’ Discretion. Patton, our intrepid, world traveling Cocker Spaniel turned fifteen (15) years old. Way back when we initially left the comfort zone of our home marina in Tarpon Springs, Florida (2 and 1/2 years ago) we had some concerns with how well our then 12 year old buddy would adapt to a life at sea. Our concerns were completely unfounded. Patton is the first one up every morning and the last one to turn in each night after surveying the boat to assure himself that the entire crew is accounted for.
He loves excursions in the dinghy and he has his favorite spot picked out under the Captain’s helm chair for long passages.
Patton driving the dinghy in the BVIs
Randy & Patton in front of the Indians, B.V.I.
The story would not be complete without acknowledging there have been some concessions made due to the decision to cruise with Patton. We do not patronize places along the way that are not dog friendly. We have on rare occasions had more difficulty clearing immigration as a result of declaring Patton as part of our crew but all in all, he has been a very positive addition to our crew and we would not consider having it any other way.
Cable Car, Loma Isabel de Torres, Dominican Republic
El Yunque Rain Forest, Puerto Rico
Randy & Patton, La Mina Falls, Puerto Rico
Patton, Randy, Ryan, Ronan, Cow Wreck Beach, BVI
Patton, Fat Virgin, Biras Creek, Vigin Gorda, BVI
Patton pointing the way on the Quill volcano trail, Statia
R,R, and Patton-Port Louis, Grenada
Mount Cinnamon, Grenada
Family Concord Waterfalls, Grenada
Patton reading Tricks of the Trades by Bruce Van Sant
Randy andPatton exiting the Boiling House, Rum Distillery, Grenada
Patton & Randy at the Hope Town Light House, Elbow Cay, Bahamas
Patton enjoying touring the fort, Gustavia, St. Bart
Patton taking Mom for a hike around Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua 🙂
Patton, Fort Berkeley, English Harbor, Antigua
Patton taking Randy for a hike in Antigua
Patton taking in the view from his jet pack perch at Fort Berkeley, Antigua
Patton relaxing on the beach, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada
Patton watching the Hawksbill turtles in Bequia
Patton and Uncle James, hiking to Fort Rodney, St. Lucia
Ronan, Theresa, Ryan and Patton, Fort Rodney, Pigeon Island, St. Lucia
Ryan, Patton and Ronan, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Patton and Randy on Patton’s 15th Birthday, St. Lucia
For those of you following our blog who are not dog people, I am sure you just scratch your head when you see me acting like a very proud papa when talking about Patton. To the dog people following us, I know that I need to say no more.
Happy birthday Patton, the crew of the Pilots’ Discretion loves you❤️
Patton enjoying the sunset from The Bight, Norman Island, B.V.I.
Capt. Randy, arm in a sling, on the bow, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Two weeks post-rotator cuff surgery and the Captain seems to be recovering nicely. Tethered to an ice machine, watching the sun set over Rodney Bay in St. Lucia, is not a terrible way to navigate the post-op rehabilitation process. The hardest part has been keeping the arm immobilized. Anyone with a boat knows that there is always some project that needs to be attended to. Luckily, we have a capable crew willing to take care of, or assist with those never-ending projects. Mom, Ronan and I are becoming ever more familiar with the engine room and various boat systems!
Roland and Ryan, Segway training in St. Lucia
In the meantime, with the Captain resting and recovering on the boat, Mom, Ronan, and I decided to take a field trip to explore more of the beauty that St. Lucia has to offer. Friends of ours, Rita and Ralph off S/V Calypso, suggested aSegway Tour that sets out from Rodney Bay (http://lucianstyle.com/featured-tours). Just a short walk from the marina, we mounted the Segways and received initial maneuverability instructions. Having never ridden a Segway before, the motion control was initially unfamiliar. After a few minutes of practice, circling around the practice track, we all seemed to get the hang of it and set off!
Roland, Ronan and Ryan, Segway in St. Lucia
We rode along the well-maintained nature trails on Mount Pimard until we arrived at our first stop where our guide, Roland, let us smell the spice of Bay leaf off of a local tree. He also put flowers in all the ladies’ helmets. Next, we stopped at Pebble’s Point looking across Rodney Bay. Roland explained some of the island’s history while his assistant took our Segways out of beginner’s mode and switched them into advanced mode.
Rita, Ryan, Roland, Ronan and Ralph, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
In advance mode, at a top speed of 14 mph, we kept gliding along the trails (built by the U.S. military during WWII) and stopped to check out a WWII bunker 30 feet underground.
Climbing into the bunker, St. Lucia
WWII bunker, St. Lucia
We then proceeded to fly on a straight away dirt trail at about a 40o angle as fast as the Segways could go! We got to an opening with spectacular views!
Rita, Ralph, Ryan, Ronan, Theresa and Roland, Segway in St. Lucia
Ronan, Ryan, Theresa, Ralph and Rita, Segway in St. Lucia
Ronan and Ryan, St. Lucia
Although not mentioned in the Segway tour brochure, we took a small hike up to a pond. We fed bread to the fish and then came back for Roland’s surprise! Just in case anyone reading this decides to do the tour I will not tell you the surprise. You will just have to find out for yourself! Hint: it came out of a WWII bunker and it was not dust. After that we flew back down the hill and visited yet another spectacular view point. It overlooked Rodney bay and you could see Pigeon island in the background.
It was literally all downhill (the trails) after that. We next visited the South end of Reduit Beach and got sodas at a beach front restaurant.
In the end, we did a victory lap and then returned to the track. We all got official Gliders Licenses for mastering the skill of gliding on a Segway X2. With the license if (probably when) you decide to do this 5-star tour again they put you in advanced mode from the beginning. By far this is the best tour I have taken in the Caribbean! We are hoping to do this tour again, but with the Captain when his arm is better, so he can enjoy this excellent tour as well!
Click image below for GoPro video of our Segway adventures.