Friday, March 2, 2018


        Ricky and I were thrilled to have his mother, Carolyn Wright, and both sisters, Becky Winovitch and Darlene Marullo, meet us in beautiful French Martinique. Becky was brave enough to spend one night on the boat, but, due to seasickness, the girls elected to sleep in the resort and spend their days with us. The weather was unseasonably cool, overcast and rainy, hence the umbrellas. 
        Even though Ricky and I have visited Martinique several times, we've never taken a guided island tour. Here are some highlights of our special week together.  

Sugarcane and bananas are planted all over the countryside

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Balata c1920's

Jardin de Balata - Botanical Garden

        The historical port of St. Pierre lies at the foot of Mount Pelee, looming in the background of this photo. Mount Pelee is an active volcano that last erupted in May 1902, wiping out the entire town's population of 30,000 people. St. Pierre was known at that time as the Paris of the Caribbean, the social and cultural center of Martinique, surrounded by plantations producing products for export such as rum, sugar, coffee, and cocoa. 
        The volcano  began rumbling and sending ash and boiling volcanic mud in early April. Why, then, did the townspeople not flee? Evacuation posed a problem with primitive roads and very few ferries, plus many believed the prediction of a local science teacher who concluded there was no real danger. 
        Only two men survived in the town center, a cobbler and a murderer in a stone cell. Twelve ships in the bay were destroyed as well.

Drawing of Le Theatre of St Pierre, remodeled in the neoclassical design shown.

The theatre sat 800, with shows ranging from Classical to Vaudeville and Opera

Darlene performs for the crowd

     We toured the ruins of Dubuc Plantation, a progressive sugar and coffee plantation that recorded 850 acres planted in sugar and 250 acres planted in coffee in 1725. Over time, a sugar factory and distillery were built, along with a coffee mill, drying areas and warehouses.

Sugarcane press

     Josephine, renowned wife and crowned empress to Napoleon Bonaparte, was born on the island of Martinique in 1763. Her father was a French naval officer who owned a sugar plantation there. A hurricane wrecked the plantation in 1766, leaving the family without the money to rebuild.
At 16 years old, she accompanied her father to France, where she married and had two children. The marriage did not last.
She met the young general, Napoleon, in 1795. He fell madly in love with her, writing passionate love letters, and they married the next year. She was 32, he was 26.

Reconstructed kitchen and museum

Tour guide

Ruins of sugar factory

Lunch at Havana Cafe in Anse Mitan


Relaxing on Always Sunday

We anchored in the quaint town of Anse de Arlet

Fun bay to swim and snorkel in!
Awesome view of the Atlantic from the resort

Friday, February 2, 2018


           Everyone loves turtles!!! We see them pretty often while diving in Bonaire, and, because there are so many divers in the water, I think Bonaire turtles are more tolerant of our human obsession to take their photos. They keep right on eating while we swim closer and closer, taking pictures and video to our heart's content.

          The STCB (Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire) hosts a free turtle talk a couple of times each month at Yellow Submarine Dive Center, It's very informative, complete with slides and local statistics about the turtles that live and nest on Bonaire. Basically, there are two turtles that are commonly seen in Bonaire, the Hawksbill and the Green Turtle. Green turtles have a round face, while Hawksbills have a pointed beak-like mouth.

          Turtles normally start breeding between 15-25 years of age and can live up to 80 years. Young turtles have to surface pretty often, while larger turtles can stay underwater for hours. As males mature, they develop a visible tail and claws. 
       Females return to the same area where they hatched to breed and lay their own eggs, which is pretty amazing! They breed for 3-4 months and lay multiple nests each season, with about 100 - 150 eggs per nest. Once their eggs are laid, their job is done. About 60 days later, aided by the light of the moon, the nest erupts as little turtles emerge and instinctively crawl to the safety of the ocean. 

Some turtles travel 4000 - 5000 miles to lay their eggs 

       Octopus are the most intelligent known invertebrates, and can change color and the texture of their skin to match their surroundings in the blink of an eye, often blending so perfectly that we swim right over them. I like to look for a pile of empty shells left right outside their den, a sure sign that an octopus lives there. 
Hiding in the sponges
Jetting away - photo taken in The Saints
Long armed Octopus hiding in the grass in Martinique


           Truly a rare find! We found three seahorses in Bonaire with help from Brita at Dive Friends BonaireDid you know that the female lays her eggs in the male's front pouch, so he's the one who is pregnant and who gives birth???

           Another miraculous find while diving in The Saints!!! Ricky and I have logged 200 dives and this is the very first frog fish we have ever found, even though we've searched diligently. Notice the fishing lure on the top of the frog's head that he uses to catch his prey.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


We all love to eat, and most boaters love to entertain as well. I've discovered some really simple recipes over the years that everyone seems to love, so I thought I would share them. I especially like yummy recipes that require no cooking and feed a crowd since we go to a lot of pot-luck diners as cruisers. I love pot-lucks! 

I also want to introduce our new sailing friends to something found in all good Louisiana kitchens, Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Tony's is the perfect blend of cajun seasoning already mixed and ready to use. 

If you can't find Tony's in your area, you can order it from the states, or mix your own blend of something similar. I found this copycat recipe on-line:

COMBINE 1/4 cup fine sea salt, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 5 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 5 teaspoons garlic salt, 4 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 1/2 teaspoons celery salt, 2 teaspoons ground mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage, 1 teaspoon onion salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano, 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme.
SEAL in a resealable, air-tight container and SHAKE until thoroughly blended. STORE in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture. 


2 packages Pepperidge Farm Chessman Cookies
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1-5 oz box Instant Vanilla Pudding
1-8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1-14 oz Condensed Milk
1-12 oz Cool Whip, thawed

Line the bottom of a 9X13 dish with cookies, then layer sliced bananas on top. Combine milk and pudding mix, blending well using an electric mixer. In another bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk, mixing until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture, then add to the pudding mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour over cookies and bananas. Arrange remaining cookies over the top and refrigerate several hours before serving.


1 can black beans, drained
1 can blackeye peas, drained
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 small can chopped chilis (optional)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes (use salsa if you can't find Rotel)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
Salt, Pepper, Tabasco and Tony's to taste
Tortilla Chips

3/4 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar

Mix the dressing and set aside. Combine all of the canned vegetables and chopped fresh vegetables, then add dressing. Season to taste and serve with chips.

Recently, I had leftovers, so I mixed some cooked rice in with the beans, heated some flatbread, and sliced some fresh avocado for a quick meal. 

1/3 C oil
3 T flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb shrimp, small count, deveined, remove shells
Parsley flakes
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can sweet corn
1 C water
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning to taste

Mix flour and oil together, heating over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, corn, water and seasonings and simmer for 1 hour. Add shrimp and simmer for 10 minutes.

I normally double this recipe and put some in the freezer!


Mix equal parts honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and honey Dijon mustard. Keeps a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.


1 package Tri-colored spiral noodles, cooked
1 baked chicken, meat taken off the bone and chopped
1 bottle Italian dressing
Salt and pepper to taste (Or Tony Chachere's)

Add your favorite veggies, like chopped broccoli, cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes, black olives, chopped or dried parsley, chopped bell pepper, chopped purple onion, chopped cauliflower, chopped carrots. The more you add, the better! Season to your taste. Enjoy!


1 small head shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 C chopped almonds (can substitute cashews, sunflower seeds, etc)
1/3 C dried cranberries (or raisins)
1/3 C olive oil
1/4 C red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 T sugar
1/4 C mayonnaise (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine oil, vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise first, then pour over cabbage, carrots, nuts and cranberries. Mix well.


1/4 C honey
1/4 C soy sauce
1/3 C onion, minced
2 T grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T dried parsley
1 (3 lb) whole chicken
Oil or cooking spray
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine first 6 ingredients and marinade chicken for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally. Coat the roasting pan with oil. Place chicken, breast side up, in pan and pour marinade over chicken. Bake, covered with foil, at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 45 minutes.

                                  HOMEMADE GRANOLA 

4 cups old-fashioned raw oatmeal
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
1 T water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Pour oats, nuts, raisins, coconut, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt into large mixing bowl.
In another bowl mix oil, honey, water and vanilla well.
Combine the two and mix until dry ingredients are well coated.
Spread on an ungreased cookie sheet in a thin layer. Bake 7 minutes, stir, bake another 7 minutes, stir, bake another 7 minutes (21 minutes total).
Let granola dry before storing in an air tight container.


1 lb small or medium-size shrimp ( I prefer precooked, already cleaned)
1 T grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 t olive oil
4 cups chicken broth (I use bouillon cubes)
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
2 1/2 T fish sauce
1 T light brown sugar
1 T fresh lime juice
2 t red curry paste
1 package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 med red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 C chopped fresh basil
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 C sliced green onions
1 Thai Chile pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

Peel shrimp and devein if needed. Saute ginger and garlic in hot oil in a large pot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add broth and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Add mushrooms and bell pepper, cooking and stirring for 5 minutes, then add shrimp for only a few minutes, just until shrimp turns pink. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and serve hot. Serves 4-6 people.

CHANGE IT UP: Substitute frozen snapper fillets in place of the shrimp and serve over rice.


1 - 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lime juice (can substitute lemon juice)
Graham crackers or another type of cookie
Raspberries or blueberries (optional)

Mix together cream cheese, condensed milk and lime juice until smooth. Crush cookies and put a thin layer in the bottom of small decorative ramekins for individual desert servings. Pour filling over cookie crumbs and chill for a few hours. Fresh raspberries or blueberries on top make this desert extra special. Makes 6-8 servings.

Garnished with Pirouette Chocolate Hazelnut Wafers - YUMMY!

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Two crazy girls at once?
Sharon (24) and Rebekah (27) come ready to play! 

So, what's there to do in Bonaire anyway???
Windsurfing in Jibe City

Lac Bay is known as one of the best places to windsurf
with warm, knee-deep water,
sunshine all year, and steady trade winds 

Hanging in Loc Bay with Zim and Kim on Someday and Rick and Brenda on Amara

Panorama of Loc Bay. Spectacular!!!
Girls heading out for lessons

Snorkeling every day!!!

So many new sea creatures to observe

Making a new friend at the Donkey Sanctuary

Some donkeys are friendly, and some are not!

This guy likes Uncle Ricky

Ice Cream before lunch??? Why not.

Looks a lot like Texas on the west side of Bonaire

Girls love to explore
Marca Indian Inscriptions

Tiny houses used as sleeping quarters for slaves working in the salt mines 
Salt getting ready for export

If there's a rock, Sharon will climb it!
Sea spray coming off the rocky east coast

Girls climbing to the top of the
Klein Curacao lighthouse
And then there's sailing!!!
And shopping...

Cactus used as fencing around properties to
 keep out wild goats and donkeys
Flamingos digging for shrimp in the salt ponds

Church on the hill in Rincon

Dinner aboard Ad Astra with
Kate, Kyle, Max and Eric
We played Google Feud
Brenda on Amara also prepared healthy snacks for us
The Last Supper
The Gouverneur

We splurged on deserts!
Farewell, Curacao!