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24 Jan 2017

Bonaire, Netherland Antilles

 

 

Bonaire is a small Island very far south in the Caribbean, just off the north coast of South America.

Allyn got her exercise with a 12-mile plus bike ride.

 

 

 

It’s population of less than 20,000 hosts 250,000 tourists a year who are either visiting by cruise ship, coming to dive or both.

 

 

I, on the other hand, took a Tuk Tuk around today with a guide who filled me full of interesting facts.

 

 

For example they grow flip-flops here.

History – Spanish conquered the island in 1499 looking for gold. They found none and lost significant interest.

However, they still fought an 80 year war with the Dutch (called the 80 years war) and finally lost control to them. The Dutch mined salt big time, as they do today.

In 2010 they legally became fully part of Netherlands in all respects.

Prisons – Other than the most outrageous crimes, prisoners are incarcerated locally. Interestingly enough, they are virtually given life sentences because when they are released, they are ostracized from the community so much that they have to steal to eat and get thrown right back into jail. Not very enlightened.

 

 

The cemetery is above ground because the surface is lava.

 

 

The beach is coral (illegal to take even a small piece.). The only sand is from the poop of the parrotfish that feeds off the coral.

 

 









22 Jan 2017

Granada

 

 

Given that Grenada is known as the Spice Island, and even has a nutmeg prominently displayed on its flag, we thought it made sense to take a tour emphasizing spices.

We were greeted by a fun steel band upon arrival that started us out on an upbeat note.

 

 

We visited a major farm where spices and herbs are grown and learned what they cure as well as how they taste.

 

 

Then we sampled many jams, jellies, spreads and drinks.

 

 

 

Next up was a rum factory. It’s history and rum making going back 250 years was the most interesting. The obligatory tasting of their seven varieties followed.

 

 

 

 

We visited a small “relics” museum. I must be really getting old seeing a telephone and a typewriter in a museum of relics.

 

 

 

 Alas, there is just so much fun I can take on one tour.









21 Jan 2017

Martinique, French West Indies

 

  

It was a beautiful day, today, in Martinique.

 

We did kayaking through the mangroves. That allowed us to enjoy the weather, get some exercise, and learn a little bit.

 

Mangroves are salty wetland found in the tropical areas. They are transition zones that protect the coast from ocean aggression as well as protecting animals and fish.

 

All over the Caribbean human development has raised havoc with mangroves.

 

 

 

 

 

The ship prepared a special dinner under the stars for us 26 people who are doing the entire 71 day voyage.

 









20 Jan 2017

St. Barts, 2017

 

 

St. Barts is about as upscale as it gets in the Caribbean. It reminds me of Saint Tropez. Then, of course, they are both French beach resort areas.

 

 

 

 

Sign of the times - Today when we reboarded, there were 12 people reading books by the pool - all seniors. Yet only one had a print copy. The others were all digital.









18 Jan 2017

Seven Seas Mariner

 

Hello from Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner, our home for the next two and a half months. It’s been almost eight years since we have stayed in this cabin, one of the best on any cruise ship.

It is particularly fun in that we have half of the front of the ship, immediately below the Captain's bridge.

Today’s highlight was Allyn dropping her phone in the toilet and the stewardess retrieving a bowl of rice almost instantly for drying purposes. It’s too early to tell whether it will work, but previously we read that is how to dry a wet phone.

Good bye Miami.