Last week we went on a taxi tour of Grenada. The first stop was Concord Falls. It was a waterfall about 55 feet high. There were stepping stones across the pool below, and then there was another waterfall below that. I am looking forward to swimming there another time.
Then we went to the nutmeg factory. They process and prepare nutmeg for shipping all over the world.
Next, we went to the Jouvay Chocolate company. We saw how they sort, roast, grind, melt, and mix chocolate. We got free samples; my favorite was the 60% dark chocolate. We also stopped at Carib’s Leap where the natives jumped off a cliff rather than becoming captives of the French.
Last, we saw how they make rum the traditional way at Rivers Rum Distillery. The vats of fermenting cane juice were disgusting!
Finally, we drove back to St. George’s through the Grand Etang Rain Forest, but we did not see any of the Mona Monkeys that live there. It was a long day!
In St. Lucia, Mom, Dad, Sarah, Rachel, and I hiked up Gros Piton (peak on the right) while Eli and Aaron climbed Petit Piton (peak on the left).
It was maybe the longest and steepest hike in Sam history. It was steeper than the Quill, but took about the same amount of time. Also this hike had log stairs, which made it harder.
At the halfway point, we stopped for granola bars. Meanwhile, I saw a bird spying on us in case we dropped any food, so I held out my hand with some granola crumbs in it and the bird hopped down and ate out of my hand.
It took about two and a half hours to get to the top of the mountain, but getting down was the hard part, because it was raining and the stairs were slippery. I was pretty sore from the hike, but the view was well worth it.
We anchored in Pond Bay in Virgin Gorda. Fortunately, it had nice beaches. Unfortunately, there were nudists on the beach in front of us. Fortunately, there were two beaches. Unfortunately, we had to dinghy past the nudists on the way to the other beach. Fortunately, they were behind a bush. Unfortunately, the bush was small. Fortunately they were far away, and fortunately I had a great time at the beach. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), we didn’t take any pictures that day.
Last week we hiked on El Yunque Mountain on the eastern side of Puerto Rico. El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. park system. We hiked down La Mina River trail and climbed on rocks and fallen logs in the river. At the end of the trail we swam in the pools of the waterfall, which were surprisingly cold. Then we hiked back up the hundreds of stairs to the road that led to the car. It was a great day and I highly suggest visiting the park if you are ever in Puerto Rico.
Photo by Mary
On April 2, we caught a thirty-three inch Mahi-mahi on the way to George Town, Exuma. It was the first really big fish besides Barracuda that we have ever caught. We were trolling with a cedar plug, which is a piece of wood with a led cap on the front end. It is made especially for catching Mahi. When we got to George Town, we invited friends over for dinner to help us eat our fish. We still have half the fish for another meal.
On our way into Puerto Rico this week, we caught a second Mahi and what we think was a Tuna using a couple of squiddy lures. Although the Tuna broke the line, we managed to reel in the Mahi and ate him fried that night for dinner as a celebratory meal for arriving in the Caribbean. I plan to try to catch more delicious fish in the near future.
When we were near Staniel Cay, we went snorkeling in Thunderball Grotto. There were four or five entrances to the grotto, with two of them being bigger than the others, and the rest small. At high tide, they are underwater. I swam through the smaller holes in the grotto wall, which were covered with coral. There were fish everywhere. There was someone who jumped in through the top of the grotto. I wanted to, too, but Dad said it was too dangerous. Still, it was really fun. Later, we watched the James Bond movie that was filmed there.
Yesterday we came to Highborne Cay in the Exumas. On the way, my mom and I rigged up a dead flying fish we had found on deck after our Gulf Stream passage with a hook and leader and threw it in the water. Later, it started to whiz. We reeled it in until the fish got away and the line went slack. It bit off the body of the fish, leaving the head to cut loose and throw back. Then we fished with a plain fake squid and we got to reel in a barracuda until it got away. Luckily we kept the lure!
Two days ago, I was fishing off the back of the boat. A couple of minutes later, I had a mangrove snapper on my line. It was twelve inches long. I ate it for dinner!