Author Archives: Theresa

Dwight, Theresa & Mary, diving in St. Lucia

SUMMER IN ST. LUCIA – PART 2 (by Theresa)

AQUATICS CENTER

Rodney Heights Aquatic Center

Rodney Heights Aquatic Center

With school out for the summer, we enrolled the boys in a summer swimming camp at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Center, located just outside Rodney Bay Marina. The Aquatics Center has an Olympic-short (25 m) sized pool, a karate studio, a gym, a soccer field and weekly field trips to various fun places on the island, including horse back riding and Splash Island Water Park! The boys are looking forward to the end of August, when there will be an island wide swim meet with competitors from all over the island.

Rodney Heights Aquatic Center, St. Lucia

Rodney Heights Aquatic Center, St. Lucia

OPEN WATER DIVER SCUBA CERTIFICATION

While the boys were in camp, I decided to finally take the plunge and get my Open Water Diver Scuba certification. Fortunately, Dive St. Lucia, one of the nicest dive facilities that we have seen throughout the Caribbean, is located right next door to the marina. My instructor for the course was “Mary,” and my dive buddy was “Dwight.” Coincidentally, Dwight is also one of the Captains of the Dive St. Lucia dive boats, who, like me, decided he wanted to see what life was like under the boat.

Dwight, Theresa & Mary, diving in St. Lucia

Dwight, Theresa & Mary, diving in St. Lucia

After completing the preliminary online testing, and confined water diving exercises in the pool, we set out to complete the open water diving portion of the course.

"OK" signal, Mary, Theresa & Dwight, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

“OK” signal, Mary, Theresa & Dwight, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

The first day we completed two tank dives and multiple underwater exercises.

Theresa & dive buddy, Dwight, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Theresa & dive buddy, Dwight, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Theresa, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Theresa, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Theresa, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Theresa, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Our second day open water diving was extra special since Ryan, who already has his open water diver certification, came along with his Go Pro to dive with us.

Theresa & Ryan, pre-dive, St. Lucia (2017)

Theresa & Ryan, pre-dive, St. Lucia (2017)

Ryan, pre-dive, St. Lucia (2017)

Ryan, pre-dive, St. Lucia (2017)

Mary, Dwight & Theresa preparing to dive, St. Lucia

Mary, Dwight & Theresa preparing to dive, St. Lucia

Ryan diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Ryan diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Ryan, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Ryan, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Dwight, Theresa & Ryan, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Dwight, Theresa & Ryan, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Ryan & Theresa, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

Ryan & Theresa, diving in St. Lucia (2017)

SEGWAY

Since Ronan was still not cleared to go scuba diving (due to his recent tonsillectomy), he and Randy opted for a land based Segway adventure. Since Ronan had been sewaying on the island before (See, This is How we Roll, February 24, 2017), he had fun showing Randy around the trails.

Randy & Ronan, segway in St. Lucia (2017)

Randy & Ronan, segway in St. Lucia (2017)

Nigel, Randy & Ronan, segway in St. Lucia (2017)

Nigel, Randy & Ronan, segway in St. Lucia (2017)

Ronan, segway break, St. Lucia (2017)

Ronan, segway break, St. Lucia (2017)

Ronan, segway break at beach side cafe, St. Lucia (2017)

Ronan, segway break at beach side cafe, St. Lucia (2017)

As the day came to a close, both sea and land adventures intersected on the bay!

Randy & Ronan Segway in St. Lucia (2017)

Randy & Ronan Segway in St. Lucia (2017)

As the end of the summer and hurricane season approaches, we are continuing to monitor the Caribbean storm systems, all while enjoying all that the beautiful island of St. Lucia has to offer.

Lone horse & the sea on the northeast coast of St. Lucia hike

FLORIDA and ST. LUCIA, SUMMER 2017


FLORIDA

We have been remiss in posting updates lately, mostly because we have been busy travelling (land based), preparing the boat for hurricane season, and tackling various boat projects; all the while Randy finished up his post-op rotator cuff surgery rehabilitation. When the Captain’s sling finally came off, we all flew back home to Florida and had a spectacular visit with the boys’ grandparents.

Ryan, Jim (GrandpaSir), Lorraine (Nana) and Ronan

Ryan, Jim (GrandpaSir), Lorraine (Nana) and Ronan

The boys enjoyed going to the driving range with their “Grandpa-Sir,” the movies with their Nana, and over all being spoiled by both their grandparents.  As always, we all had a TERRIFIC time!!!

Ronan and Ryan, FL 2017

Ronan and Ryan, FL 2017

While in Florida, our youngest crew member, Ronan, had to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. The procedure went smoothly, and he enjoyed all of the recovery ice cream that followed! Regrettably, that means no scuba diving for him for at least the next several months. Once he was cleared to fly, we all returned to the Pilots’ Discretion back in St. Lucia.

We were thrilled, upon our return, to find our dear friends on M/V Seamantha were still tied up in Rodney Bay Marina. That meant lots of shared adventures ahead.

HIKING DONKEY BEACH ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF ST. LUCIA (9.37 miles)

Our former Grenada hash (hiking) pals on M/V Seamantha suggested a “short” hike to Donkey Beach on the Northeast coast of St. Lucia. From Rodney Bay Marina (on the west coast of St. Lucia) we hiked across to the eastern side of the island and then headed up the northern coastline.

Ronan, hiking the mortheast coast of St. Lucia

Ronan, hiking the northeast coast of St. Lucia

Our hike led us to several peninsulas and across open fields filled with free roaming and grazing horses.

Lone horse & the sea on the northeast coast of St. Lucia hike

Lone horse & the sea on the northeast coast of St. Lucia hike

Horses on the northeast coast of St. Lucia hike

Horses on the northeast coast of St. Lucia hike

Our hiking buddies logged our hike, and other hikes on St. Lucia, on Wikiloc at: https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=18443065

DIVING THE PITONS AND TURTLE REEF ON THE WEST COAST OF ST. LUCIA

After recovering from the arduous hike, we decided to set out with Dive Saint Lucia to explore the famous St. Lucian Pitons from below the sea. The Pitons dive is nick-named the “Superman dive” because of the strong current that runs along the base of the Pitons.

Theresa, Ronan, Ryan & Randy, dive boat, St. Lucia

Theresa, Ronan, Ryan & Randy, dive boat, St. Lucia

The second dive of the day was at “Turtle Cay,” appropriately named for the numerous sea turtles that inhabit the reef.

Sea snake, Turtle Reef, St. Lucia

Sea snake, Turtle Reef, St. Lucia

M/V Seamantha eventually set off to Martinique. Randy volunteered to tag along as crew (and  for a mini-vacation) in Le Marin. Details on that adventure to follow.

MOVIE TRAILER by Ronan(10) and Ryan (11)

Ronan (10) and Ryan (11) made a “movie trailer” for our Caribbean cruising adventures. We added it to our “VIDEOS” page at: https://pilotsdiscretion.com/videos/. We are also sharing it here, below. I think we found our new videographers! They had a lot of fun making it. We hope you enjoy watching it! Click on the below image to play.

We have also created a dedicated YouTube channel  where we have compiled the videos from our blog, and uploaded additional videos from our journey.  To view the videos click on the link below (or copy and paste into browser):

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC94z5hCIrRiEvY8MTJegTbA.

Theresa on the zip line, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

Ringing in the New Year with Rain Forest Zip Lining Adventures in St. Lucia (by Theresa)

For Christmas, Ryan and Ronan found in their stockings, certificates for a day of Rain Forest Adventures in St. Lucia, including an aerial tram, hiking, and adrenaline driven zip lining, high atop the rain forest canopy. Rainforest Adventures aims to promote environmental consciousness and conservation awareness while striving to provide world-class eco tourism. (See http://www.rainforestadventure.com/st-lucia/). Putting aside my general distaste for heights, I strapped on the required safety helmet and gear and set off into the rain forest with the boys.

Ryan on the zip line, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

Ryan on the zip line, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

Ronan on the zip line, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

Ronan on the zip line, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

After a few practice runs on the training low/short zip lines, we graduated to the aerial tram. The aerial tram took us from the forest floor, through the understory, and over the rain forest canopy. Our knowledgeable guide provided an encyclopedia of rain forest facts along the way. The panoramic views were nothing short of majestic.

Rain Forest Adventures tram, St. Lucia

Rain Forest Adventures aerial tram, St. Lucia

Aerial Tram, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

Aerial Tram, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

At the top, we hiked through the rain forest viewing and learning about the many different plant and animal species.

Hiking through the rain forest, St. Lucia

Hiking through the rain forest, St. Lucia

We then spent the next couple of hours zip-lining from one tree top platform to another.

Tree top platform, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

Tree top platform, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

Ryan, Theresa and Ronan, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

Ryan, Theresa and Ronan, Rain Forest Adventures, St. Lucia

VIDEOS

The system of automatic brakes, double cables, triple redundancy clasps and chest harnesses made us feel secure while whizzing through the tropical paradise.

Click image below for GoPro videos of zip lining adventures.

Wishing everyone peace, prosperity and many adventures in the new year!

Invest 97L becomes named Tropical Storm Matthew (by Theresa)

Update: Earlier today, Invest 97L became named Tropical Storm Matthew. Winds are currently at 60 mph and it is heading west at 21 mph.

Invest 97L becomes named Tropical Storm Matthew

Invest 97L becomes named Tropical Storm Matthew

Tropical Storm Matthew headed our way (our position is indicated by the blue dot on the map above)

Tropical Storm Matthew headed our way (our position is indicated by the blue dot on the map above)

It is eerily quiet out side at the moment, perhaps the calm before the storm. We are all hunkered down and waiting for the arrival of Matthew.  The storm is still 120 miles out, but history has shown that tropical storms are notoriously unpredictable. Some of our dock mates have dismissed the likelihood of any significant impact here as Mathew has taken a slightly more northern track. We do not intend to let our guard down until he is well past Grenada. We have some very good friends whose 55′ Californian Motor Yacht was cut in two by a monohull sailboat that had not prepared for an approaching storm in Florida, broke loose from her mooring and rammed “Wings” at a 90 degree angle, damaging her beyond repair. Our policy has been and will remain, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Fortunately the boats directly to our port and starboard share our view and seem well prepared.

MountCinnamon BeachClub, Grenada

MOUNT CINNAMON RESORT (by Theresa)

A couple of weeks ago we had our boat hauled out of the water for general, annual maintenance. During the time the work was being performed on Pilots’ Discretion we opted to treat ourselves to a stay at the luxurious Mount Cinnamon Resort and Spa. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel like family returning home. Jesma, at the front desk, greeted us with an infectious smile and escorted us, via golf cart, to our two (2) story, two (2) bedroom, two (2) bathroom,  and two (2) balconied villa.

Mount Cinnamon Resort villa, Saint Georges, Grenada

Mount Cinnamon Resort luxury villa, Saint George’s, Grenada

Upon entering, one’s eyes could not help but be drawn to the spectacular panoramic view of the turquoise blue waters of St. George Harbor, and the white sand, palm tree-lined crescent Grand Anse Beach stretched out down below.

Upper balcony view, Mount Cinnamon Resort villa, Saint Georges, Grenada

Upper balcony view, Mount Cinnamon Resort villa, Saint George’s, Grenada

While the boys were ecstatic with the spaciousness of the villa, they were elated, equally so, by the deliciousness of the welcome pastries (delivered, much to their delight, every subsequent evening)!

As spacious as the villa was on the inside, the impeccably manicured grounds outside seemed also, to go on forever. While golf carts were available to take you anywhere on the property, we relished strolling through the tropical gardens taking in the vibrant colors and exotic scents.

Impeccably manicured grounds

Impeccably manicured grounds

Even our car park had a great view!

Even our car park had a great view!

The array of available activities likewise seemed never-ending! Ryan and Ronan enjoyed sharpening their shuffle board and croquet skills, and even challenged Mom to a lawn chess match.

R&R Shuffleboard

R&R Shuffleboard

Ronan playing croquet, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. Georges, Grenada

Ronan playing croquet, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

Ryan playing croquet, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. Georges, Grenada

Ryan playing croquet, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

Your move Mom

1. e4 – Your move Mom

There was ping-pong and beach volleyball, both in the shade of the palm trees.

Ping pong in the shade on the beach, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. Georges, Grenada

Ping pong in the shade on the beach, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

And, as if living on a boat didn’t give the boys enough time on the water, we could hardly keep them away from the all included water activities.

Ryan tackles the stand up paddle board, Mount Cinnamon, Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Ryan tackles the stand up paddle board, Mount Cinnamon Resort, Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Ronan paddles out to join his brother, Mount Cinnamon, Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Ronan paddles out to join his brother, Mount Cinnamon Resort, Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Ronan catching a wave on his stand up paddle board, Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Ronan catching a wave on his stand up paddle board, Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

The boys put their sailing lessons to use taking the Hobie Cats out in the ever blowing trade winds. Randy also went out sailing with them, while Patton and I enjoyed some quiet time on the beach (yes, Mount Cinnamon is dog friendly!!!)

 

 

Patton relaxing on the beach, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George's, Grenada

Patton relaxing on the beach, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

With all the activities, the boys worked up quite the appetites. The two on premises restaurants served up amazing cuisine.

Lunch at Savvy, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George's, Grenada

Lunch at Savvy, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

General Manager Mark Kitchen introducing the Mount Cinnamon management team

General Manager Mark Kitchen introducing the Mount Cinnamon management team

On Wednesdays, General Manager Mark Kitchen hosts a poolside meet and greet cocktail hour to introduce the  Mount Cinnamon Resort management team and staff. It is readily apparent that this team is a cohesive unit working hard to ensure their guests have a great experience while at Mount Cinnamon, which we surely did.

On Friday evenings, Savvy hosts a beach bonfire dinner under the stars. Feet in the sand, we listened to Caribbean calypso and steel pan drums. Graham crackers, marshmallows and Grenadian chocolate are provided to all for delicious, mouth-watering s’mores.

Friday night, blazing beachside bonfire, Mount Cinnamon Resort, Grand Anse Beach, St. George's, Grenada

Friday night, blazing beach side bonfire, Mount Cinnamon Resort, Grand Anse Beach, St. George’s, Grenada

Savvy is also available for special “private” dining occasions. Our stay at Mount Cinnamon coincided with Randy’s and my anniversary. Chef Kareem, and the team at Mount Cinnamon did an outstanding job making our anniversary a romantic and special day to be remembered!

The Mount Cinnamon Resort team preparing the flower pedal walkway to the anniversary dinner at Savvy, private beachside-waterfront-sunset, dinner for two, St. George's, Grenada

The Mount Cinnamon Resort team preparing the flower pedal walkway to the anniversary dinner at Savvy, private beach side-waterfront-sunset, dinner for two, St. George’s, Grenada

Putting the finishing touches on the flower pedal heart for the private beachside-waterfront-sunset, dinner for two, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George's, Grenada

Putting the finishing touches on the flower pedal heart for the private beachside-waterfront-sunset, dinner for two, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

 

Private beachside, waterfront, sunset, anniversary dinner for two, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George's, Grenada

Private beachside, waterfront, sunset, anniversary dinner for two, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

Anniversary dinner at Savvy, private beachside-waterfront-sunset, dinner for two, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George's, Grenada

Anniversary dinner at Savvy, private beachside-waterfront-sunset, dinner for two, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

Anniversary dinner at Savvy, private beachside-waterfront-sunset, dinner for two, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George's, Grenada

Anniversary dinner at Savvy, private beachside-waterfront-sunset, dinner for two, Mount Cinnamon Resort, St. George’s, Grenada

Eight days after she was hauled, the Pilots’ Discretion was safely back in the water, maintenance items complete and our brief landside stay at Mount Cinnamon Resort was over. We truly cannot say enough good things about Mount Cinnamon Resort. Whether you are taking a break from life aboard your boat or you need some really special accommodations for visiting guests, Mount Cinnamon gets our highest recommendation.