Cruising Life

Trinidad, West Indies

CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler Ah, Trinidad! We spent over five weeks there from May 17 until June 25, when we left Chacachacare Island, which was formerly a Leper Colony (yes it is spelled correctly). We sailed to the north coast of Venezuela, South America. All of the Caribbean Islands have a unique charm and beauty about them. However, we ... Read More »


CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler We left the Grenadines and sailed directly to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou which is an island that belongs to Grenada. Because it was still rolley here, we only stayed one night. We were anxious to get to Grenada and took advantage of a weather window which opened up and we sailed to Prickly Bay, Grenada. This ... Read More »


CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler My last article reported us leaving St Lucia and sailing to the island of Bequia which is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Wow, what a sail we had that day! As long as we were in the lee of the islands, we had little or no wind and a calm sea. We poked ... Read More »

Saint Lucia

Life aboard GRENDEL continued to keep us diligent and aware of our surroundings at sea. We had weather gathering capability, but not like you would have today. At that time, all we had was a SSB single sideband/ham radio. Each morning we would tune in and listen to David Jones in AM and Herb Hilgenberg in the evenings. We would ... Read More »

Voyage of Moonbeam

by Fran Diebler I will be following s/v Moonbeam and her crew as they sail from Marco Island and through the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand completing a Pacific Circuit. Moonbeam is a 52’ Island Packet Cutter. There will be updates from time to time as they push forward to achieve their objective which is from Marco Island to New ... Read More »


Unbelievable is the only way I can explain the contrast between Dominica and Martinique! The two islands are only 26 nautical miles apart in open passage, but the 76nm from the harbor of Portsmouth, Dominica to Fort de France, Martinique are worlds apart. Nothing can compare to the civilities and attention to yachts found in the French Islands. Dominica provided ... Read More »


CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler The incessant wind had not let up and the anchorage at Iles de Saints was a bit uncomfortable so we decided that we had to move on to Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica. Wow! We just left the very French, sophisticated, upscale island to make a landfall at Portsmouth, Dominica, which is one of the poorest and ... Read More »


CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler We loved Antigua for its history, living museums, friendly people, snug anchorage, facilities and so much more. However, after an 11 day stay, we reluctantly had to move on. Our next port of call was Deshaies on the French island of Guadeloupe. Deshaies pronounced “Day Hay” is on the northwest corner of Guadeloupe. From the anchorage, ... Read More »

Welcome To Antigua

CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler Whew! We finally made it safely to Antigua after our last visit from “HELL,” Montserrat. I’m sure that nowadays life is very different from when we were there. However, the wind still blows and the seas still rise. That is just a small part of life on the sea. You do have choices to make during ... Read More »


CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler We stayed one day too long on Nevis. The Trade winds began to build up and we would have to plow to windward to go on to the next island which was Montserrat. We decided to stay one more and moved GRENDEL to Pinney Beach anchorage. This too was a roadstead, but at least there was ... Read More »

The Islands that Brush the Clouds

CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler Along with St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, Redonda, and Montserrat are known as the “Islands that Brush the Clouds.” Nevis and St. Kitts are one country. We checked into customs at Charlestown. That was how it was when we were there. Charlestown then was the only town of entry in Nevis. Nevis is a rather ... Read More »

St. Eustatius and St. Kitts

CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler After leaving St Barts, we sailed to St. Eustatius, Netherland Antilles, better known as Statia. It was a “Chamber of Commerce” day. The sun was brilliant, puffy pure white clouds touched the bright blue sky which came down to a blue green sea. We just glided along on a beam reach with an east wind of ... Read More »

Gustavia, St. Barts, French West Indies

CRUISING LIFE  Frances Diebler AH! St. Barth to the locals and St. Barts to the Americans was just breathtaking as we sailed into the harbor of Gustavia. It is a small French Island, whose history includes being a Swedish possession hence the name Gustavia after King Gustave. Columbus named the island Barthelemy after his brother. It seems as though ... Read More »

Anquilla British West Indies

CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler Reluctantly, we had to say “au revoir” to St. Martin and sailed a short distance about 15 nm to Anguilla, British West Indies, (BVI). This is a jewel of an island with magnificent white sand beaches. The warm, friendly, gentle people made us feel as though we were guests in their homes. The sign on the ... Read More »

Saint Martin: French West Indies

CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler The French West Indies refers to specific, formal French possessions in the Caribbean region. The term refers to: Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barts, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia, French Guiana, Dominica, and Haiti. This area is also known as the French Caribbean because of the mix of French and Caribbean culture in their architecture, cuisine, and languages. The ... Read More »

Under sail again to Saint Martin

CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler We’re on the move again. After spending two months in the beautiful Virgin Islands, we finally sailed over to Marigot Bay, St. Martin, French West Indies. The Christmas winds were blowing for two whole weeks now and the sea state was rather rough. This next passage was a serious open ocean passage from Anagada Passage, aka, ... Read More »


CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler The British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands collectively make up the whole of the Virgin Islands. They have separate governments. The US Virgins is a US territory while the British belong to England. The BVI’s, aka British Virgin Islands, are made up of about sixty separate islands. The four main islands are Tortola, Virgin ... Read More »


CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler After spending at least two months traveling throughout the British and US Virgin Islands, we reluctantly had to prepare to sail on down the island chain. Thinking back to all the islands we sailed to in the Caribbean, from Dominican Republic to the north coast of Venezuela, each island had its own special charm. The US ... Read More »


CRUISING LIFE Frances Diebler My husband and I never sailed or ever thought about this subject until one day out of the blue he said, “I want to learn how to sail”. “Okay” I said. “Why?”? We didn’t live on the water at that time. We weren’t associated with other sailors or owned a boat. I was perplexed. We were ... Read More »

Puerto Rico to Virgin Islands

Frances Diebler  We are underway again sailing from Puerto Rico and Culebra to St. Thomas, USVI. We left GRENDEL, “on the hard”, which is a phrase for having your vessel hauled and stored on land. This is probably the best way to protect your vessel when you will be away for a month or more. We left Puerto for ... Read More »