Liesbet Collaert, a former school teacher from Belgium, has been an avid traveler since she was a teenager. Growing older only made this addiction worse, resulting in a gypsy life for almost 7 years now. She backpacked South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia, lived in an RV (Recreational Vehicle) for 2,5 years exploring North and Central America and ended up in a 35 foot catamaran sailing the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean. She shares, maintains, cruises and fixes her floating home Irie with partner Mark and dog Darwin. Follow her adventures on www.itsirie.com.
When Mark and I first started sailing and cruising every day was alike..."
Barbuda was our last real stop before arriving in St. Martin, on February 3rd"
“I can’t believe this. He is not making any moves to avoid us!”"
After our unfriendly episode in Jolly Harbour, checking into Antigua in its capital St. John’s was a more pleasant, albeit slow and slightly inconvenient matter"
"Marie-Galante was a nice and refreshing stop on our way north. After giving it a pass a couple of times before, the weather approved our stay this time."
To be back in the water after three months in different houses on land and over a week in a dirty, wet and hot boat yard, felt wonderful."
We are bed surfing!"
Spring 2010 was mostly spent in St. Martin/St. Maarten by Irie and its crew."
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” Rosie wisely stated during one of our Happy Hour conversations in De Big Fish bar."
This year, the Carriacou Regatta took place over the last weekend of July into the beginning of August"
In the more remote Grenadines it is a little hard to find decent wireless internet."
One of the highlights – if not the biggest one – in The Caribbean is SVG or St. Vincent and The Grenadines. This is how the country is officially called, but most sailors skip the first part of the name (for safety reasons) and only care …"
One of the highlights – if not the biggest one – in The Caribbean is SVG or St. Vincent and The Grenadines."
A previous attempt to see the country by car that resulted in a day of mostly driving, had taught us to focus on the important sights first."
Two and a half years. That’s how long it took me to finally realize (and admit to) the fact that cruising totally depends on the weather"
Last year Irie spent five months in St. Martin"
Irie had a little problem with one of her engines. Actually, Irie has a few problems with her engines, but this one became a bit more worrisome when the blue turned black saildrive oil also rose in level. This indicated one thing: salt water was coming in"
Mark and I have been very busy lately and the arrival of visitors would mean we HAD to relax and do some fun stuff, at least while they were in Grenada."
When Mark, Darwin and I left the Tobago Cays, we wanted to make a quick stopover in St. Vincent before spending some time in the next island, St. Lucia."
On our way south to Grenada, Mark and I only spent about a week in Martinique, stopping in the capital Fort-de-France and its surroundings and in Grand Anse d’Artlet, not being impressed with the country."
Point à Pitre is Guadeloupe’s biggest city. It is located on the southern edge of the thinnest part of the country and has a big harbor with a few anchorages."
When Mark and I left Guadeloupe northbound, we had two options: go “through the middle” with a visit to Montserrat and a short stop in St. Kitts and Nevis, or sail to Antigua and Barbuda for a few weeks."