Sunday, May 19, 2013

Onda Boa and the Sanctuary of Rock (part 1)

Dear Friends,
I want to tell you about Montserrat, that is to say, you all can look it up on Wikipedia(, so there you have all the facts and figures. This is about my Montserrat expedition:
Yesterday I left St Maarten, heading for Guadeloupe… The wind direction was such that I could maintain
the course, sailing about 6-7 knots in rather strong headwinds, and a wave pattern that was faraway from being comfortable.. But hey you cant have it all…at sun set I had Montserrat on my starboard bow, and had to decide.. either I continue sailing during the night and be in Guadeloupe the next morning, or call it a day, and anchor out in Little Bay (Montserrat)… This volcanic island (still volcanic activity) has a very nice ring to it… and I vaguely remembered about a concert in London, to come to aid for the habitants of the Emerald Island.. and as I was not in hurry, I thought.. great, just anchor out, and have a good nights sleep.
This afternoon, I made it to shore, and learned quickly that this is not an island you want to clear in during the weekend, as you have to pay the overtime for the customs officials and all. For almost US$ 60 I was custom cleared and had my passport stamped and on my way…
A few meters outside de gate, I met Joe… (had read about him in the sailors guide) and we started talking. I decided to take the tour, as I wanted to see the Island, the volcano and everything else. Joe turned out to be the best guide ever as he has  precious pictures on his tablet, of how things looked like before the volcano eruptions , and so that was awesome… Joe educated me on different things that happen when you live near a volcano.. It is not all about hot burning lava, but also pyroclastic mud flows, and hot ash (full of sulphuric acid), so hot ash and mud slides was what destroyed Plymouth and its surroundings.. Ghost cities and villages.. literally covered with ash and mud. And as this debris is very fertile.. in no time trees and shrubs take over again.. a green waste land wilderness…
to be continued….

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