Underwater Sulptures

The world’s first public underwater sculpture park located off the west coast of Grenada was open for public viewing in 2006. Created by British sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park features a unique collection of ecological underwater contemporary art.

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

A couple of days after dropping anchor in St George’s Bay in Grenada, we pile up on the Rubber Duck (Mel and Caryn’s dinghy) and head for the Sculpture Park in Molienere Bay. It’s not too far, only 2 miles north from the St George’s anchorage or about 20-30 minute dinghy ride in calm seas.

It’s Saturday and at 9 in the morning there are two diving boats and another dinghy already stationed on the mooring balls in the bay. A group of divers with a guide and a snorkeling family are already in the water. We grab a mooring too, put on our masks and snorkels, and begin exploring the sandy shallows of the bay.

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

There are over 65 submerged sculptures scattered on an area of 800 square meters which allows us to swim around undisturbed avoiding the other visitors, discovering the artworks in the collection one by one.

Maya at the Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Maya at the Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

The water temperature is pleasant but visibility is not perfect. The sea is murky from the swell and currents we’ve been getting in the past few days due to Hurricane Gonzalo’s passing north of Grenada.

Mira at the Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Mira at the Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

We float on the surface of the sea. Beneath us lying down on the sea floor in 12 feet of water are the 16 bodies of one woman. ‘Grace Reef’ is the first installation consisting of 16 concrete statues cast from the body of a local Grenadian woman. It’s eerie and beautiful, as well as a bit morbid. Underwater, the inanimate human figures suddenly become lost, drowned, abandoned.

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Most of the sculptures represent human figures from life casts of actual Grenadian people: men, women and children. They have been designed to promote coral growth using techniques to reduce the pH of the cement and by applying a textured surface thus encouraging coral polyps to attach onto the surface and change the appearance of the artworks over time. Eventually the structures become sanctuaries for small marine life, like artificial reefs.

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

The most recognized and impressive installation is ‘Vicissitudes’, a ring of 26 children holding hands facing outwards into the current. Symbolizing life’s ongoing cycle and the ability of children to adapt to their surroundings, the piece is a means of conveying environmental awareness and evokes the importance of sustainable and well managed marine environment for future generations. In an interview for Environmental Graffiti, the artists said: “I am trying to portray how human intervention or interaction with nature can be positive and sustainable, an icon of how we can live in a symbiotic relationship with nature.”

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

British artist, Jason de Caires Taylor born in August of 1974 started as a dive instructor and graffiti artists to become a world-renown environmental artist, underwater photographer, and marine conservationist, combining his two passions for sea and art. “I’m very interested in public art and how an object changes in response to its environment.“

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

The artist main goal is to divert visitors away from damaged by hurricanes and human activity endangered natural reefs, like the most visited snorkeling destination on the island, Flamingo Bay, located not far from the sculpture park. He also hopes that his eco-friendly installations will provide new habitats for marine life and enhance the local ecosystems.

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

We snorkel around the sculpture and dive for a closer look. The bodies and faces of the figures are covered in new corals, marine plants and aquatic life forms. Parrot fish, yellow tails and other small fishes swim undisturbed among the concrete figures already colonized by sponges and tunicates. The undersea art collection has become their new neighborhood. We are their guests.

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

Underwater Sculptures Park Grenada

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Postcards from Martinique

Fort-de-France, Martinique

Fort-de-France, Martinique

From St. Pierre, after climbing up Mont Pelée, we sail south along the west coast of Martinique down to Fort-de-France, a big beautiful modern city with some remarkable old colonial buildings, where we stay for a couple of days, and then further south to Le Marin, the biggest yacht port we have ever seen.

Catamarans on dock at Le Marin, Martinique

Catamarans on dock at Le Marin, Martinique

We drop anchor in front of the beach in one of the few anchorages, all full of boats, and we can’t believe how many charter catamarans are stationed at the many marina docks here. An impressive forest of masts.

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The entire week we spend in Fort-de-France and then Le Marin we are trapped on the boat by a massive amount of rain mixed with yellow Sahara dust carried all the way from Africa by another tropical wave.

Rain in Le Marin, Martinique

Rain in Le Marin, Martinique

In the rare sunny moments between showers we hit the stores. Le Marin in Martinique is one of the shopping stations of the Caribbean. There are lots of marine stores conveniently located near the marinas where cruisers can find almost anything when the boat needs repairs, which is always. There are things that come from Europe as Martinique is part of France, and are much cheaper than in the USA, and other things that are much more expensive. Ivo finds parts that he could not find in America, like some little metal things for the trampoline, for example. We also find a secondhand spinnaker with a sleeve in excellent condition, apart from one small patch, for 150 euro, which is unbelievably cheap.

Our "new" spinnaker

Our „new“ spinnaker

Here is also Leader Price, one of the cheapest grocery stores since Puerto Rico where we stock up on cheap chocolate, pickles, frozen chicken, non-refrigerated milk, beer, wine, rum, and other essentials.

Because of the rain we cannot visit any waterfalls or go hiking in the mountains anywhere in the Fort-de-France and Le Marin area. But we have some good times and go exploring the St Anne area after we move there with our sailing buddies Mel and Caryn S/V Passages with whom we have been inseparable since Guadeloupe, over a month now. We sail together, hike together, shop together, snorkel together, we watch films and have dinners together, help each other, share rental cars and all the adventures that follow. We have become so attached, it’s hard to imagine ever cruising without them, the sweetest, most wonderful people.

Mel and Caryn aboard S/V Passages. Diamond Rock in the distance.

Mel and Caryn aboard S/V Passages. Diamond Rock in the distance.

In St Anne we organize a small walk along the shore. It’s a beautiful sunny day and the forest path is nice and cool, populated by thousands of colorful crabs running away panicking as we walk through.

 

Forest crabs

Forest crabs

We get to a nice long beach and campground, no one around, except crabs. We spend the rest of the morning chilling at the beach.

Maya

Maya

At the beach with our friends Mel and Caryn

At the beach with our friends Mel and Caryn

St Anne, a small quiet village with stunning beaches and a big fancy resort, is the highlight of the entire region. We spend a few days walking around, snorkeling in the waters around the anchorage, watching the most beautiful sunsets.

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The place is so photogenic, all pictures I take look like postcards.

Postcards from St Anne

 

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The Slumbering Giant That Awakes

The bay at St. Pierre Mont Pelee in the distance

The bay at St. Pierre Mont Pelee in the distance

On the northern tip of Martinique, on the west side, there is a wide peaceful bay populated by small wooden fishing boats. As we slowly approach it, the old buildings of a sleepy town at the foot of a massive bald mountain begin to take shape. The mountain is Mont Pelée: the deadliest volcano in modern history whose titanic eruption in 1902 killed nearly 30,000 people in this same town, St. Pierre.

Fishing boats in the anchorage at St. Pierre, Martinique

Fishing boats in the anchorage at St. Pierre, Martinique

The story of St Pierre and the volcano

Martinique was settled in 1635 by the French and St. Pierre, a vibrant colonial town, quickly became its most important city: ‘the Paris of the West Indies’, complete with an extravagant 800-seat theatre. By the end of the nineteenth century St. Pierre had a population of over 20,000, mostly local Martiniquans descendants of African slaves, but the wealth and political power was in the hands of the Creole and the few French colonial officials and civil servants. But in 1902 things were about to change. Very important elections were scheduled to take place on May 11 of that year to decide if the ruling Progressive party will maintain control of the island or the black candidate from the Radical party will take over for the first time.

Entrance to the theater ruins, St Pierre, Martinique

Entrance to the theater ruins, St Pierre, Martinique

When in February of 1902 the mountain exhaled sulphurous gases killing birds, and in April tremors shook the slopes and a cloud of ash showered the town and its residents, the officials couldn’t care less. Instead of evacuating, they declared that „there is nothing in the activity of Mt. Pelée that warrants a departure from St. Pierre,“ and ordered the voters to remain put and not to leave the town until after election day. On May 5 the rim of the crater lake whose water was beginning to boil broke and volcanic mudflow rushed down the slopes at 100 kilometers per hour killing 23 people, burying everything in its path all the way to the sea where it generated a tsunami and flooded the lowlands.

Mont Pelee, Martinique

Mont Pelee, Martinique

Hell begun. Snakes and insects fleeing the mountain slopes invaded the town and villages. Hordes of red ants, poisonous snakes, spiders, and huge centipedes crawled inside homes and barns as pigs, horses and dogs screamed with agony. Hundreds of domestic animals as well as children died by snake and centipede bites. People from the villages nearest to the volcano sought refuge in St Pierre, four miles directly under the crater, thinking it is safer there based on the government’s reassurances published in local newspapers. The population grew to nearly 28,000. Yet, some tried to leave the town of St Pierre and head south to the second largest city, Fort-de-France, but Governor Mouttet brought army troops to patrol the roads with orders not to let anyone leave the town until elections, on May 11.
At 7:50 a.m. on May 8, three days before the elections, the volcano erupted. The cataclysm started with a deafening roar, an atomic-like blast, and a black cloud of gas, ash and rock heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius replaced the sky and fell over St Pierre. Homes swallowed, people incinerated within minutes. 28,000 people… The 18 boats in the bay were also destroyed, their remains still lying on the bottom of the sea. Only few escaped in time. Only two survived the fury of the mountain.

Mont Pelee, Martinique

Mont Pelee, Martinique

A young girl terrified by the eruption jumped in a small wooden boat and managed to get to a tiny cave near the shore where she used to play with her friends. Later, she was found unconscious but alive drifting in her damaged little boat two miles away from the cave.

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A shoemaker miraculously survived in the room of his home, badly burned but alive.

Jail and Theater ruins, St Pierre, Martinique. Mont Pelee in the background

Jail and Theater ruins, St Pierre, Martinique. Mont Pelee in the background

In the local jail, a convict who misbehaved was placed in isolation in a stone cell with thick walls and no windows, which saved his life. Later, his sins were pardoned and he joined a circus to be exhibited around the world as the Lone Survivor of St. Pierre.
Today, only the ruins of the old theatre, the church and the jail with its isolation cell remain. All other houses and public establishments destroyed by the volcanic explosion and the fires that lasted a few days have been rebuilt. St. Pierre is no longer the busy extravagant town it once was, but a small quiet fishermen’s village with a few restaurants, a church, and a French pastry shop.

Fishermen, St Pierre, Martinique

Fishermen, St Pierre, Martinique

Hiking to the top of the volcano

We take the bus from St. Pierre after waiting for more than one hour at the bus stop, and get to the village nearest to the mountain. From there we walk for over an hour on a road up to the trailhead which starts from a car park at 830m (2,700ft). We begin the two-hour climb to the summit.

Hike to Mont Pelee, Martinique

Hike to Mont Pelee, Martinique

The trail is excellent, with steps and narrow paths at places, and a few rock scrambles over old magma deposits, domes, and andesie flows. There are no trees, only low shrubs and grasses and a few frail palms near the summit. The air is misty and the mountain is enveloped in a thick cloud. It drizzles. There are snails all over the place. Small hummingbirds making tiny helicopter sounds with their wings often come very near to check us out.

hummingbird

hummingbird

The dome at the summit, 1379m (4583ft), inside the crater is covered in vegetation and there is no volcanic activity, no smell of sulfur, no gases coming out of the earth. The giant is quietly slumbering again.

Maya

Maya

Maya is jumping happily up and down the trail, leading us like usually, when suddenly she jumps sideways screaming with fear and starts crying. We freeze. There is a HUGE hairy brown spider in the middle of the path, like a tarantula!

Martinique tree spider

Martinique tree spider

The Antilles pinktoe tarantula, or Martinique red tree spider is native to Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica. He lives up in the trees where he builds elaborate spiderweb tunnels. These tarantulas are not poisonous, and are very „friendly“ and docile, as well as beautifully colored, for which reasons people capture them and keep them as pets. We think that wild creatures belong in the wild, not in captivity… In any case, this little Big Guy frightened us, as we didn’t know he was harmless; we found out that later.

Mont Pelee, Martinique

Mont Pelee, Martinique

Up at the summit we walk around the crater and the few domes, rest for a bit, and start heading back down. It’s a long way. We are at the car park by the early afternoon, but it takes us over an hour to walk down from the car park to the village. We are exhausted and hungry and can’t wait to get in the bus and sit down. We wait for a long time at the bus stop. People pass by. Finally we ask a guy when the bus is coming, and he tells us, there is no bus to St. Pierre in the afternoon, only in the morning. Great…

Hike to Mont Pelee, Martinique

Hike to Mont Pelee, Martinique

We start walking again down the road, hitchhiking. Many cars pass by. Big fancy cars with just one person in them, unwilling to give us a lift. If this was Saba or any other non-French island, we’d be home long time ago. We calculate how long it will take us to walk all the way down to St. Pierre. We tell Maya we will probably be back home, on the boat, in the middle of the night…

Fata Morgana at St Pierre anchorage

Fata Morgana at St Pierre anchorage

After a very long time, a very small car pulls over. The driver is a young French woman and she has two kids in the back. There are two spots left for the three of us, but we manage to squeeze in. We are so grateful. Some people with small cars have big hearts.
We can now imagine returning to our boat in the anchorage around sunset, the journey over, time to eat French baguette sandwiches, drink beer, and relax watching the clouds drifting down from the bald mountain and over the sea.

St Pierre, Martinique

St Pierre, Martinique

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Emerald Pool and Trafalgar Falls

Emerald Pond, Dominica

Emerald Pool, Dominica

The day we go on a road trip around Dominica with a rental car which we share with our good Aussie friends Mel and Caryn s/v Passages we visit many sites all over the island, the east coast and the west coats and the middle. We take our time in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. The park is an area of volcanic activity including the Valley of Desolation with its boiling mud ponds and small geysers, and the Boiling Lake which we have already visited, as well as a few rivers and waterfalls.

Trail to Emerald Pond, Dominica

Trail to Emerald Pool, Dominica

First we hike to Emerald Pool through the beautiful lush rainforest vegetation covering pretty much the entire island. It is just a few minutes walk on a very well managed trail, with steps and handrails, from the visitor’s center where we have to present our weekly park passes.

Emerald Pond, Dominica

Mira at Emerald Pool, Dominica

As we get to the pool we all go Aaah!

Emerald Pool, Dominica

Emerald Pool, Dominica

The small waterfall is a charming very delicate 50-feet chute coming down from the grey rocks above, between branches and roots, cascading into a crystal shallow pool of blue-green water in front of a small grotto.

Maya at Emerald Pool, Dominica

Maya at Emerald Pool, Dominica

We swim in the pool, shower under the fall, climb the rocks around, and just chill in the shade of the forest.

Emerald Pool, Dominica

Emerald Pool, Dominica

Ivo and Mira at Emerald Pool, Dominica Photo by Mel

Ivo and Mira at Emerald Pool, Dominica
Photo by Mel

Next, we drive to Trafalgar Falls.

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

The hike to the falls is again very short, on a path through the forest. We see the two falls from a distance, Mother and Father,

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Two spectacular waterfalls, but really hard to get closer to.

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

We climb over huge boulders and walk over fallen trees above the river which runs fast and furious here. Some places are dangerous.

Maya at Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Maya at Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Maya, like always jumps from boulder to boulder like a mountain goat and reaches the first fall before the rest of us.

Ivo at Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Ivo at Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

This chute is massive, the water is booming down loud and angry, with strong wind rushing from the canyon.

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

The pool bottom is sandy with rocks and some spots are very deep.

Mira underwater, Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Mira underwater, Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

We splash around some more and Ivo conquers the biggest tallest rock, as usual.

Ivo at Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Ivo at Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

On the way back from the falls, next to the rive, there is a hot water stream coming down from Boiling Lake, forming yellowish geothermal ponds of very hot volcanic water.

Mira in a hot water pool

Mira in a hot water pool

So hot it’s hard to stay too long. It feels like a hot bathtub. I miss hot bathtubs…It has been a long time since I have been a tub with hot water, and I really enjoy this one. We soak int the hot waters, then run to the cold water of the river to cool down. Then repeat.

Ivo

Ivo is zen

Until it starts getting late and it’s time to go home, back to the anchorage in Plymouth, back on the boats.

Plymouth anchorage, Dominica

Plymouth anchorage, Dominica

 

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Across The Valley of Desolation to Boiling Lake

Boiling Lake, Dominica

Boiling Lake, Dominica

There is a lake in Dominica where you could make a soup for giants, for it looks like a pot and it’s full of boiling water!

Boiling Lake is the second largest hot spring in the world. Some Dominicans say, it is actually the largest, as the one that currently holds the record, Frying Pan Lake in the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley in New Zealand, is merely steaming, not really boiling. We will have to go to New Zealand and confirm this. But until then, let’s see if the one in Dominica is really boiling!

Boiling Lake steaming in the distance

Boiling Lake steaming in the distance

We take the bus to the capital Roseau and from there the bus to another village, Loda, near the trailhead. At the last stop we are greeted by locals who offer to be our guides. We refuse. Guides to Boiling Lake charge 100 US$ per person but are not obligatory. We enter the rainforest without a guide and the 3-hour 8-mile journey in one direction begins.

The bridge leading to the beginning of Boiling Lake trail, Dominica

The bridge leading to the beginning of Boiling Lake trail, Dominica

In the beginning the trail is very easy, like always, gently leading us up, on steps made of wood among beautiful rainforest. But after that crazy hike up Morne Diablotin, which started all right too, we are a bit skeptical.

Maya on the trail

Maya on the trail

We reach a small river after about an hour and from there the hike gests more difficult, with some physically challenging moments, but nothing to be afraid of. The trail all the way to Boiling Lake is one of the best straightforward trails we have hiked so far, with lots and lots of convenient steps of wood or stone, a succession of sections going up and down, instead of a constant uphill hike, and just two or three a bit more difficult rock-scrambles.

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On the way, we even meet a woman in her late 70-s with her granddaughter and a guide on the trail to the lake, even though she didn’t make the final couple of miles.

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The temperature gets cooler as we get higher, and Maya puts on her rain poncho, against drizzle and cold. But as soon as we reach the Valley of Desolation it gets hot again.

Maya

Maya

The Valley of desolation… If I was a mean little troll I would live here, among the bubbling boiling smelly sulphur-water pots letting out vapors and gases. I would hide near the small spraying and hissing geysers, in cracks and holes. The small stream that runs through and beneath the ground would be my enchanted river.

Valley of Desolation, Dominica

Valley of Desolation, Dominica

The Valley of Desolation is a volcanic area with hot, steamy and moist air which smells sharply of sulphur. It is also one of the most mysterious and beautiful places I have ever seen, smelled and gone through, with hot-water streams: some milky-white, others grey like led, others inexplicably black, creating stunning abstract patterns of colors and shapes.

Ivo

Ivo

The entire landscape in the valley is in fact barren and desolate, hellish, devoid of life. Not many plants grow here due to the poisonous volcanic gases constantly escaping the earth’s crust.

Valley of Desolation, Dominica

Valley of Desolation, Dominica

After spending some time in the Valley of Desolation, we continue a few more minutes, across a hot-water milky-colored river with a small waterfall and a hot-water pond, to reach the Boiling Lake, steaming in the distance.

Hot-water waterfall and pond

Hot-water waterfall and pond

Almost continuously enveloped in clouds of vapor, its greyish water forever bubbling, its temperature along the edges is 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit or about 90 degrees Celsius, and its boiling center is too hot to measure.

Mira at Boiling Lake, Dominica

Mira at Boiling Lake, Dominica

Dominica’s Boiling Lake, about 200-250 feet in diameter located at the bottom of a large sinkhole-like basin is in fact a flooded fumarole: a crack in the Earth’s crust near a volcano, which emits steam, gases and heat escaping from the molten lava below.

Boiling Lake, Dominica

Boiling Lake, Dominica

High steep rock walls create the lake’s basin. Its cliff-top ledge is about 100 feet directly above its shore. You wouldn’t want to slip here and fall in the pot…

The landscape around the lake is similarly barren and melancholic as the one in the Valley of Desolation. Perpetual mist, dead plants and low grasses, wet rocks covered with orange moss.

Maya in Valley of Desolation, Dominica

Maya in Valley of Desolation, Dominica

We eat our sandwiches on top of the cliff, the lake boiling below us, before we start heading back, feeling enchanted.

We look at the heavy green mountains around us when the clouds permit us to see, and we are speechless with awe. Nature keeps amazing us again and again

The long but not difficult trail to the lake, across the Valley of Desolation, leading us to the Boiling Lake itself became our favorite journey while visiting Dominica.

Maya at Boiling Lake, Dominica

Maya at Boiling Lake, Dominica

 

More Pictures from The Valley of Desolation and Boiling Lake trail

Wooden steps

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Valley of Desolation, Dominica

Valley of Desolation, Dominica

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Morne Diablotin. Lost in The Labyrinth of Hell

View from Morne Diablotin

View from Morne Diablotin

Dominica is the youngest of all the Caribbean islands, still being shaped by volcanic and geothermal activity. Rich with rivers and waterfalls, lush forested mountains teaming with wildlife, Dominica  offers miles and miles of hiking trails all around the island. The ultimate and most difficult hike is not The Boiling Lake, as many wrongly think, but the trail to the highest peak standing at 1,447 meters (4,747ft) above the sea: Morne Diablotin, The Devil’s Mountain.

Road to the trailhead

Road to the trailhead

After a night of abundant tropical rain, around 7:30 a.m., we take a bus from Plymouth direction Roseau to the intersection of the road leading up to the Morne Diablotin trail. The bus ride, 15-20 minutes, costs us 3 EC per person and the driver knows exactly where to drop us off. We start up the road, steep but paved, walking among farms and agricultural lands, stopping often to eat fruits.

Maya with grapefruit

Maya with grapefruit

There are mango, oranges, and grapefruit trees on the side of the road covered with ripe fruit, some of it lying on the ground under the trees.

Ivo and Maya near a fallen banana tree

Ivo and Maya near a fallen banana tree

Maya, the blue wizard,  saving bananas from rotting on the ground.

Maya, the blue wizard, saving bananas from rotting on the ground.

We have a fresh delicious fruit salad for breakfast right there on the road, and gather a few mangoes and grapefruits for later in a bag adding to the already heavy load Ivo is hauling on his back: water bottles, sandwiches, rain ponchos, and jackets for the three of us.

Mira with mango

Mira with mango

Fresh grapefruit

Fresh grapefruit

Maya and Ivo

Maya and Ivo

The higher we go the colder it gets and it drizzles every now and then, so we put on our blue rain ponchos. We meet people working on their lands, gathering fruits, planting trees, greeting us.

Planting a coconut palm tree

Planting a coconut palm tree

After 2 hours, already a bit tired of walking uphill, we reach the trailhead where a warning sign explains that the hike to the mountain summit is between 2 and 3 hours long in one direction and should not be attempted after 10:30 a.m. It’s 10:00 a.m. so we are good to go. There is no one here to present our one-week park permits to, so we simply enter the park and start walking.

Maya at Morne Diablotin trailhead

Maya at Morne Diablotin trailhead

“A certified guide is strongly recommended”, the sign advises. We don’t have a guide as they charge somewhere between 50 and 100 $US per person for this hike.

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In the beginning we walk slightly uphill on steps made of wood. Soon, the climb becomes steeper and the steps are replaced by roots. The forest is beautiful: giant wet ferns and tall trees covered with moss. The ground is very muddy from last night’s rain and our progress is slow, choosing where to step. After an hour I start thinking, this isn’t too bad. We can survive this terrain for 2 more hours.

Maya in the forest

Maya in the forest

Maya walking on roots

Maya walking on roots

The devil heard my though.

Just like that, the world transforms, like in a bad dream. Dark roots like monstrous intestines emerge from the ground to form an ugly twisted web all around us and above our heads.

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The tropical rainforest is replaced by nightmarish woods with trees that grow upside-down and sideways, twist and disappear in the swampy ground. Never seen anything like it, except maybe in horror films. The trail is no more.

Maya

Maya

We are now in a labyrinth of hell, painfully making our way up and up between these giant slippery moss-covered roots and branches, climbing on boulders, walking on trees, sinking in mud. If it was just a section that ends after 15 minutes it would be a fun experience, but this nightmare goes on forever, hour after hour. We wish we had superhuman powers, we wish we were ninjas, or lizards who can crawl, or birds who can fly, so that we could save ourselves. Even a certified guide wouldn’t be of any help here unless he can perform miracles.

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Three hours have passed and we are still in the infernal maze of roots and mud, still climbing up, still haven’t reach the summit. For the first time, I give up. I just don’t want to suffer anymore, and I know I have all this way, two hours of torture, to go back down. So I stop.

Mira

Mira

Ivo and Maya persist, determined to reach Dominica’s highest dome. I wait for them for one more hour, unable to sit anywhere, mud and roots covered with damp moss all around me. When they return, Ivo tells me it gets even worse further up and there is nothing really to see on top, especially with all those thick clouds. He had to carry Maya on his back a few times climbing up huge boulders and more of those hateful roots.

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I can’t believe they are calling this “a trail”. How is this a trail in a national park?

mud

mud

Maya

Maya

We have walked to a cave in Guatemala up the mountain through a jungle without trail, cutting vegetation and making steps in the steep ground with machetes in order to pass, walking across precipices and fallen trees. We have hiked for two days, across different climates and terrains, to the highest Caribbean peak with guides and mules, sleeping in mountain shelters. But we have never seen such an impossible “trail” as the Morne Diablotin one. We have never felt so defeated by mud and roots, so at the end of our strength.

Maya

Maya

Somehow we manage to get back down to the trailhead without any of us getting injured, even though we all fall in the mud over branches now and then.

Maya fell in the mud

Maya fell in the mud

Ivo fell over branches

Ivo fell over branches

It’s 5:00 p.m. and we haven’t had the chance to stop and eat anywhere. We are starving, tired, destroyed. We sit on the road for a while and eat our sandwiches, then we hitch a ride in the back of a pickup truck returning from a day’s work at the farms, loaded with avocados, pumpkins, oranges, and bananas. Then back on the bus, and back home, on the boat.

Maya at the end of the journey

Maya at the end of the journey

It has been a crazy hike in the most surreal terrain ever and Maya, 11-years-old, did really great. She remained positive and enthusiastic the entire time, leading the group, jumping from branch to branch. And even though at the end of the journey she cried a little bit, from exhaustion and pain in the legs, she was really happy she made it. I didn’t cry, but I also didn’t make it all the way to the top, and I felt miserable most of the time. Yet, now, looking back at this unique journey, I feel proud and glad we went there. One more incredible story to tell, one more unforgettable memory. (Just don’t ask me to go hike up to Morne Diablotin ever again…)

Maya

Maya

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Mountain of Magic

-by Mira

For our good friend Nikolay Tzanevski

 

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In august of 1976 there were indications that La Grande Soufrière volcano in Guadeloupe will erupt with an expected explosion the size of 6 atomic bombs.

In August 1976 all inhabitants of the island’s capital and biggest city Basse-Terre situated right at the foot of the western slope of the mountain were evacuated, for, the scientists agreed, a catastrophe of great magnitude was inevitable.

 

La Grande Soufrière, Guadeloupe

La Grande Soufrière, Guadeloupe

A filmmaker and his crew were allowed to fly to Guadeloupe and film the final moments of its deserted capital. That filmmaker was Werner Herzog who found an eerie ghost town full of starving dogs, a bay full of dead snakes who have fled the mountain only to drown in the sea, and a homeless person who has refused to leave.

There were tremors and shock waves, 1257 earthquakes recorded, dense poisonous sulfuric clouds gushing from the mountain craters, yet, magically, nothing happened. Never before seismologists had measured signs of eruption of such magnitude, yet an eruption never occurred. The people who thought they would never again see their homes in Basse-Terre returned. La Grande Soufrière went back to slumber.

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In August 1976, back in Bulgaria, my mother gave birth to a baby-girl. That baby was me. I am a Leo.

This year, to celebrate my 38th birthday and the 38th anniversary of the active volcano’s failed eruption, we climb La Grande Soufrière in Guadeloupe.

The Life Nomadik family at La Grande Soufrière volcano, Guadeloupe

The Life Nomadik family at La Grande Soufrière volcano, Guadeloupe

The top of the volcano is also the highest point on the island rising 1,467 m (4,813 ft) above the sea.

The hike starts from a road east of Basse-Terre. There are no entry fees to the park and tons of visitors swarm the mountain slopes, especially on sunny cloudless days.

We start early in the morning sharing a car from Deshaies with our Australian mates Mel and Caryn. We have a long steep walk ahead of us.

Our volcano-climbing shoes. We are ready!

Our volcano-climbing shoes. We are ready!

The climb to the top is about two hours starting with an easy walk in the rainforest on almost flat terrain. The path is paved and shady. We pass by a small stone pool with hot volcanic spring water. Many people come here just for the hot springs and don’t go hiking further.

Hot volcanic springs in the forest.

Hot volcanic springs in the forest.

As soon as we are out of the forest we see the volcano, heavy and silent, standing before us, with a mantle of thin grey cloud. It’s all very strange and mysterious. It’s also a lot colder.

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The nature here is out of this world: low vegetation, damp orange moss over huge boulders adorned with small purple flowers.

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From the slopes, when the clouds clear, we can see Basse-Terre, the sea and Iles des Saintes in the distance.

 

Free Million Dollar View

Free Million Dollar View

But most of the time it’s foggy and the landscape is mysterious. Giant rocks are sticking out of the ground vertically, like teeth in the the low clouds, the result of some terrific Jurassic event millions of years ago.

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The walk up is now steep and narrow, at places difficult, but pleasant all the way to the top.

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We pass by deep shafts, ancient cracks on the slopes of the mountain, the result of seismic tremors and earthquakes.

Lava shafts

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We reach the summit, the highest point in Guadeloupe. We are now standing on top of a volcano.

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The smell of sulfur near the craters is so strong it burns the eyes and sticks to the throat.

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There are a few craters and a maize of small paths among jagged boulders, and in the mist of the fog we become disoriented and restless.

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Evo heads for one of the craters gushing dense yellow steam of sulfur with horrific industrial noise. The sound is deep and muffled coming from the underearth, like suffering. I start after Evo but Maya is left behind, she doesn’t want to breathe the intense poisonous gas.

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She is worried and I hear her voice calling us. Evo cannot hear her anymore, so I go back. We lose each other for a moment, each one of us looking for the others in a dense cloud of sulfuric smoke and mist, on an unfamiliar strange, unstable volcano.

Crater

Crater

I find Maya, Evo finds us, everything is OK. We are just a bit cold and bit scared.

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We are also awe-stricken like never before. The place, the entire experience is sublime, beyond explanation.

Picture A Volcano: La Grande Soufrière

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Maya

Maya

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Volcano Paintings

 

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Island of Beautiful Waters

Guadeloupe

River in Guadeloupe

River in Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe, one of the biggest and most populated islands of the Lesser Antilles island chain, is an overseas region and an integral department of France. French language only is spoken here, and the euro is its currency. Like pretty much every other Caribbean island, the main industry is tourism, but agriculture is also well developed, with vast banana plantations on fertile volcanic soil.

Guadeloupe consists of two islands in the shape of, most people say a butterfly, but to me they look more like human lungs. Basse-Terre to the west and Grange-Terre to the east are joined, almost like Siamese twins, separated by a narrow strait crossed by bridges. There are two smaller islands also part of Guadeloupe: Marie-Galante and Iles des Saintes.

Evo with dorado

Evo with dorado

Guadeloupe is our next stop after visiting the sovereign state of Antigua and Barbuda. Sailing there on a beam reach in moderate tradewinds from English Harbour is a sheer pleasure, and we even catch a small dorado. Evo has been hoping to catch a dorado for months now and it’s funny that his first one is so tiny and doesn’t fight at all. Small, but fish, one of the tastiest out there, and it feeds us all that evening.

Deshaies

We arrive in Deshaies, a main port of entry to Guadeloupe on the northwest side of Basse-Terre and a charming little fishermen village, and are happy to find s/v Passages already moored in the bay there (mooring balls in the bay are available free of charge, for now).

Desaies

Desaies

We met Caryn and Mel briefly when we were checking out from Nevis, and then again in Montserrat. With them and with the crews of two other boats in the Deshaies anchorage: Bev aboard s/v Aseka and Mark and Tina aboard s/v Rainbow, we organize our first waterfall expedition.

Deshaies Waterfall

Guadeloupe was once named Kerukera, The Island of Beautiful Waters, by its first known inhabitants, the Arawak Indians, for its abundance of rivers, lakes, and waterfalls.

River near Deshaies, Guadeloupe

River near Deshaies, Guadeloupe

Not far from the Deshaies anchorage there is a small river flowing through the forest, and a waterfall. But to reach the waterfall, which has no name (or maybe it does but we don’t know it) we have to walk beside and inside the river, over boulders and fallen trees for what seems an eternity.

Cruisers on a waterfall expedition

Cruisers on a waterfall expedition

Maya

Maya

Evo

Evo

We stop for a short refreshing splash-around in a small pond up river. Everyone is happy to chill before heading up and up again until we reach the place.

Maya and Evo in the river pool

Maya and Evo in the river pool

Cruisiers in the pond

Cruisers in a pond

It’s a beautiful miniature canyon with dark mossy walls dripping with water, a green pool and a small waterfall hidden in the dark behind a huge rock.

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We are really glad we have finally reached it, it was not an easy walk-in-the-park kind of hike. On the way back we pick up a few coconuts and lots of mangoes from the forest.

Mira

Mira

Ecrevisses Waterfall

A few days later we hire a car with our new best friends Caryn and Mel s/v Passages, very sweet people form Australia, and visit another waterfall, this one really popular and very close to the road, Ecrevisse Waterfall. You can park your car on the side of the road, get your towel, enter the forest, and walk 2 minutes to the place.

Ecrevisse Fall

Ecrevisse Fall

It’s full of people even at 6 in the evening, and everyone is cooling down in the pool under the cascade and in the small ponds formed here and there in the shallow wide river.

Maya having fun at the river, Ecrevisse Fall

Maya having fun at the river, Ecrevisse Fall

Most visitors are locals enjoying the refreshing waters in the afternoon, and we join them for a dip.

 

Cabret Falls

Days later we share a rental car again with Caryn and Mel and drive to the Cabret Falls for another expedition. The Cabret Falls are a series of waterfalls in a national park and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Guadeloupe. There is an entrance fee to the park of about 3 euros per person which is well worth the excellent trails with wooden paths and steps in some parts of the path.

Maya

Maya

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Maya on the trail

Maya on the trail

The first cascade is about two hours of uphill walking from the visitor’s center and descends from the Soufriere Volcano’s slopes dropping 125 meters (410 ft) in a deep pool of green waters surrounded by yellow and red rocks.

Cabret First Cascade

Cabret First Cascade

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Mira

Mira

Mel and Caryn

Mel and Caryn

It is not an easy hike to the first cascade and not too many visitors go there. Most people are content with the 15-minute walk from the visitor’s center on a paved wheelchair-accessible path to the second cascade which has a 110 meters (360 ft) drop.

Cabret Second Cascade

Cabret Second Cascade

Evo and Maya

Evo and Maya

The access to the third cascade, the one with most water volume, is currently restricted after an earthquake in 2004 and heavy rains caused landslides and cut off the trail.

Maya

Maya

We spend the day walking up and down the slopes of Soufriere volcano amidst the intense green vegetation of the tropical rainforest, going from one waterfall to another, eating sandwiches, singing and dancing among giant trees, enjoying Guadeloupe’s beautiful nature.

Maya

Maya

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Maya

Maya

Mel and Caryn

Mel and Caryn

Maya

Maya

Maya-elephant

Maya-elephant

Evo

Evo

Mira

Mira

Maya sleeping on a rock

Maya sleeping on a rock

Evo's blond-forest hairstyle

Evo’s blond-forest hairstyle

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Maya dancing and singing: I Will Survive!

Maya dancing and singing: I Will Survive!

The Life Nomadik family in Guadeloupe

The Life Nomadik family in Guadeloupe

 

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English Harbour, Antigua

English Harbour Antigua

After a short but unforgettable stay in Barbuda we sail south back to Antigua in moderate east winds between 18 and 22 knots, and waves 4 to 6 feet. Fata is happy galloping with 6 to 7 knots on a beam reach surfing sideways on the North Atlantic swell.

After 4 hours we are back in Antigua rounding the island from the east. This time we anchor on the south side just outside English Harbours in front of Galeon Beach.

English and Falmouth Harbours, Antigua View from Shirley Heights

English and Falmouth Harbours, Antigua
View from Shirley Heights

Both English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour, two side by side bays considered the yachting capital of Antigua and a major Caribbean yachting center populated by sailing megayachts , offer boaters some good and secure hurricane protection with a few winding channels among mangroves.

Nelson’s Dockyard

English Harbour, a main port of arrival for sailboats, also presents one of the most dramatic-looking still functioning old ports in the Caribbean. Built in 1723 and perfectly preserved, here was Britain’s main naval station in the 18th and 19th centuries known as Nelson’s Dockyard, a national heritage site. Its large complex of beautifully restored old buildings houses customs and immigration, a marina, a chandlery, a museum, hotels, restaurants and many businesses: a bakery, a sailmaker, a gift shop with impressive woodcarvings, and more.

Nelson's Dockyard

Nelson’s Dockyard

Nelson's Dockyard

Nelson’s Dockyard

Nelson's Dockyard

Nelson’s Dockyard

Galleon Beach

As there are port charges per day per foot in both English and Falmouth Harbours, we anchor outside the main harbor in Free Man’s Bay in front of a nice all-inclusive beach resort off Galeon beach, for free.

Fort Barkley stands on the rocks to the north of our new anchorage, dramatic rock formations known as the Pillars of Hercules are to the south, Galleon Beach and the trail to Shirley Heights are only a short swim away from our boat, and Nelson’s Dockyard is across a small channel. Our kayak Agent Orange takes us there when we want to visit the town which, during this time of the year (hurricane season) has a very quiet village atmosphere.

Galleon Beach, Antigua

Galleon Beach, Antigua

Fata Morgana at anchor in front of Galleon Beach, Antigua

Fata Morgana at anchor in front of Galleon Beach, Antigua

Fort

Fort Barkley, Antigua

The Pillars of Hercules

The Pillars of Hercules

JB

Here we meet JB sweeping the sidewalk, to the sound of Elvis Presley, in front of a small stone shack he has built singlehandedly on the east bank of Falmouth Harbour. He is planning to start a little restaurant with a few tables on a small terrace overlooking the bay. JB invites us inside to show us his place and after half an hour of mutual confessions we are fascinated by each others’ stories.

JB's place

JB’s place

JB used to have a sailboat and he has been sailing almost everywhere in the Caribbean. He knows much about boats, sailing and navigating, much more than us. He lost his boat but is hoping to get one again and sail to Cuba. Che Guevara is one of his heroes; the other two are Bob Marley and Jimmy Hendrix. We tell him all about our sailing adventures in Cuba last year.

JB

JB

JB also tells us about his hermit period. After his wife and two kids left he went to live in the forest. There he built a small cabin and lived removed from society and its consumerist ways, without running water and electricity, eating only vegetarian food.

Outside JB's restaurant

Outside JB’s restaurant

fire stove

fire stove

He says there is a Rastafarian community in Antigua called One Luv, where people live off-grid, producing their own food (and cannabis), where the mothers give birth in their homes, the kids don’t go to school, everyone plays the tam-tams, and crying is not allowed.

Inside JB's restaurant

Inside JB’s restaurant

– Comeback around 5 p.m., JB invites us for supper that day.

We bring beers and some vegetables: a few potatoes, carrots, a piece of pumpkin and some leeks, to throw in the stew he is cooking over a fire in an old clay pot. The tastiest healthiest vegan stew containing at least a dozen different local vegetables and herbs and the most important ingredient: coconut milk and grated coconut. It’s delicious, served in calabash dishes with coconut spoons.

Evo and JB

Evo and JB

Mira eating hot coconut stew

Mira eating hot coconut stew

Some of JB’s friends and extended family show up too and JB offers them a bowl of steaming goodness.

– I cook for the family every evening, he says.

Hopefully soon his restaurant will be finished and tourists too will be able to enjoy the authentic Antiguan atmosphere and JB’s coconut stew.

JB cooking

JB cooking

Maya and friends

At JB’s place Maya meets two girls her age, Lia and Raggaeney, JB’s nieces, great kids and she returns a few times to play with them at the beach near their house.

Maya, Lia and Reggaeney

Maya, Lia and Reggaeney

Maya, Lia, and Reggaeney

Maya, Lia, and Reggaeney

Maya also meets Keiki and Jay, a brother and a sister who live in Antigua not far from the anchorage where our boat is, and she spends entire days playing with them too, at the beach and at their house.

When Maya has new friends she is the happiest kid, and when Maya is happy we are happy.

Mia, Keiki, Maya, and Jay

Mia, Keiki, Maya, and Jay

Shirley Heights

A short pleasant walk from Galleon Beach is the famous Shirley Heights.

There are no tropical rainforests in Antigua, the vegetation on the island is dry with lots of different species of cactus plants best enjoyed along the footpath to Shirley Heights.

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It’s only about a 15-minute easy hike to the top from where the view of English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour is magnificent. We see Fata Morgana quietly floating in her little bay facing the beach.

Free Man's Bay, English Harbur, and Falmouth Harbour View from Shirley Heights. Fata Morgana is one of the three boats in the first anchorage.

Free Man’s Bay, English Harbur, and Falmouth Harbour
View from Shirley Heights. Fata Morgana is one of the three boats in the first anchorage.

There is a restaurant and bar serving fresh mango smoothies and rum drinks, among other delights, awaiting us up on the hill.

It’s 9 a.m. We order a mango smoothie for Maya, and a rum punch for Evo and me. We usually wouldn’t drink alcoholic beverages so early in the morning but we promised April and Harley.

Maya and Mira at Shirley Heights Bar

Maya and Mira at Shirley Heights Bar

They told us, when you get to Shirley Heights tell the girls to mix you one of their famous rum-punch drinks. Cheers, April and Harley! Here we are up on Shirley Heights, slowly sipping rum punch, marveling at the view bellow, thinking about you. See you in New Zealand, guys!

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Back Home

Some months ago I asked Viktor to write a free text as an exercise in writing within the homeschool experiment. I gave him the topic ‘Home’ thinking that after so many months living on the boat he would write about the boat as his new home.

He sat down very inspired and wrote uninterruptedly for a few hours producing the following text:

 

The Good Old Ways of Home

-by Viktor

My home back in Canada was just like any other big old country house but mine was transforming depending on the seasons.

In summer, staying inside was like staying in prison: I lacked oxygen and I felt depressed, like I was missing out on things. So I would go outside where life was welcoming and vast. I could take a stroll around the house and I would see my dad mowing the lawn, my sister singing on the swing, birds pecking about, or even a little grey rabbit staring at me. It was green, it was bright; the summer feeling was greatly appreciated, and I would never have the same experiences repeated since every summer something new would always happen.

But when those pretty lime-colored leaves camping on the trees fell down to my knees, I knew that summer was over… A new season would take place. Some called it fall or autumn, others called it the time of sickness and disease, an unforgiving season that brought coughing pain and confusion about what to wear. Me? I yelled: “Yes! My birthday is finally coming!” All those season-names were telling the truth. Leaves would fall, people would get sick, and I would celebrate. I think, if it wasn’t for my birthday, this would be the worst season of all times because all it brought was misery, viruses, and a handful of cheap candy and broken potato chips.

This next one will break your heart. You will need a box of tissues at your side. Winter will not help your coughing but it will help you feel better if you have good friends and entertaining games…mostly virtual.

After a crushing blow of a snowstorm and an overnight earthquake of machinery, I would wake up in the morning and I would see a bright white light shining through the curtains. I would look through the window feeling like someone had injected ecstasy in my system. No more dead leaves, no more grass. I would see snow. Mountains of snow. I would take a deep breath of happiness and then suddenly I would hear a series of pounding knocks on the door.

I would smile, run down the stairs, run across the corridor, and I would approach the door while glancing through the glass at the dark sinister figure outside. I would reach for the door knob and quickly open it to make way for my frozen friend. Over my pajamas, I’d put on my black snow pants, my heavy winter boots, my gloves and Russian hat, slip on my jacket, ready for battle. Next thing, I’d be beating the crap out of my friend with snowballs and then we would return home for some video games and hot chocolate.

There were tons of other great events happening during this joyous season of ice and fire but I will have to write a book the size of the holy bible to describe my full emotions on this topic.

Sooner or later, the glorious white element melted into our sewers and that marked the start of the season of rebirth: spring. Almost everything was reborn anew: the grass, the sickness, school. I have mixed feelings about this season for it gave me joy as it would bring an end to the never-ending cold wrath of winter, but I was also sad to think that I had to wait six months to play with snow again.

Honestly, I miss my old home and friends. Now I will have to adapt to my new life at sea and Neptune’s anomalies, stuck on a boat with my family.

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After a little over a year stuck on a boat with his family, cruising aboard Fata Morgana and visiting many countries and islands all over the Caribbean region, Viktor, almost 17 now, decided it is time to return home. To his friends, to school, and to all those places and things he missed so much in the past months.

Cruising is a great learning experience for families with young children and we have met countless little sailors everywhere we have been, children with a unique sense of adventure, exploring, and love of the world that school-based and land-based kids lack.  We wanted to open the world for our children as well, to show them an alternative way of life more disconnected from the civilized material world and more connected to nature, more free. For Viktor, a very shy and introvert person, we hoped that our travels will provide a way to unplug from the computer and video-games which were at the center of his interests through a healthier, more active way of life. That he will accumulate knowledge and acquire new skills. And surely he did, despite his nostalgia. He became a good sailor, and will forever keep the good memories of our travels, the moments we enjoyed together, the places we visited, the people we met. But at his age, he is anxious to begin his own independent journey, to follow his own dreams back in Canada.

We can only wish him good luck, help him and support him in any way necessary.

Farewell Vik!

 

 

That day Viktor caught 10 flounders

The day Viktor caught 10 flounders

Evo and Viktor

Evo and Viktor

 

Viktor and Dylan

Viktor and Dylan

Dylan and Viktor

Dylan and Viktor

Viktor and Evo taking a rain-shower

Viktor and Evo taking a rain-shower

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Viktro with a puffer fish

Viktro with a puffer fish

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Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas

Viktor "pushing" Maya off the roof of the fort

Viktor „pushing“ Maya off the roof of the fort

Viktor, Maya, and Ivo walking with bug-repellent palm leaf hats, Cuba This is how we showed up at the beach.

Viktor, Maya, and Ivo walking with bug-repellent palm leaf hats, Cuba
This is how we showed up at the beach.

Ivo, Viktor and Maya, The human pyramid

Evo, Viktor and Maya, The human pyramid

Viktor on the helm, Maya keeping him company.

Viktor on the helm, Maya keeping him company.

Viktor swimming from Fata Morgana to the beach with a bag of shoes (because we forgot the shoes on the boat...)

Viktor swimming from Fata Morgana to the beach with a bag of shoes (because we forgot the shoes on the boat…) Mexico

Viktor, Agua Caliente, Guatemala

Viktor, Agua Caliente, Guatemala

Viktor Jumping from Agua Caliente waterfall, Guatemala

Viktor Jumping from Agua Caliente waterfall, Guatemala

Walking in a canyon, Guatemala

Walking in a canyon, Guatemala

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The epic ride downriver in a cayuco.

The epic ride downriver in a cayuco.

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Best swimming pool, Bahamas

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The swimming pigs, Bahamas

The swimming pigs, Bahamas

Viktor and Mira with iguanas.

Viktor and Mira with iguanas, Bahamas

Viktor in Thunderbolt Grotto, Bahamas

Viktor in Thunderbolt Grotto, Bahamas

Viktor

Viktor

Vick and Maya building a small fire.

Vick and Maya building a small fire on the beach, Bahamas

Maya and Viktor (Ivo behind them) with burgers.

Maya and Viktor (Ivo behind them) with burgers.

Viktor and Nick

Viktor and Nick

Viktor, Maya, Mira

Viktor, Maya, Mira

Viktor, Maya, Nick

Viktor, Maya, Nick

Vick and Nick

Vick and Nick

Vick and Nick

Vick and Nick

Up on the mountain El Mogote

Up on the mountain El Mogote

Damajaqua Cascadas

Damajaqua Cascadas, Dominican Republic

Viktor on the way to Pico Duarte, Dominican Republic

Viktor on the way to Pico Duarte, Dominican Republic

Viktor with the mules. Hiking to Pico Duarte, DR

Viktor with the mules. Hiking to Pico Duarte, DR

Viktor and Evo

Viktor and Evo

Viktor and Maya at the summit. Pico Duarte

Viktor and Maya at the summit. Pico Duarte

Damajaqua Cascades, DR

Damajaqua Cascades, DR

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Viktor

Viktor

The Nomadiks & Friends at Caja de Muerto, Puerto Rico

The Nomadiks & Friends at Caja de Muerto, Puerto Rico

Maya and Viktor, The Baths, Virgin Gorda, BVI

Maya and Viktor, The Baths, Virgin Gorda, BVI

Viktor, The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Viktor, The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Viktor, The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Viktor, The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Viktor

Viktor

Viktor hovering above baby fishes

Viktor hovering above baby fishes

 

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