Welcome to our site. This is a travel journal describing Daphne and Joel Gould's two week trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in July of 2004. On this and the following web pages, you will read all about our adventure and look at the wonderful pictures we brought back. If that doesn't sound like a great way to spend a little of your free time, maybe you will be more interested in visiting here.
The text on this site was written both by Daphne (who kept a journal during the trip) and by Joel (who edited the journal and added additional text). I leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out who wrote what. Joel took all the pictures and put together the web pages.
We were married on June 10th, 1984. That meant that the summer of 2004 was our 20th anniversary. For both our honeymoon and our 10th anniversary, we spent a week on Bermuda. But for this occasion we wanted to do something different, and longer. Anyone who follows our travel journals knows that we like to visit the Caribbean (Grand Cayman in 1998, Eleuthera in 2000, St Thomas in 2000, Virgin Islands in 2002). It's warm and inviting, the snorkeling is good, the flying time is reasonable from Boston, and you do not have to change time zones (1). So the Caribbean was an obvious choice, but which islands?
Well in advance of the trip Daphne started the research. A visit to the local Barnes and Noble results in a general guide to the Caribbean (Fodor's 04 Carribean). Daphne studied this book over the course of a few weeks to select which islands to visit (2). We like to snorkel, so good snorkeling and coral reefs was a must. But, there also had to be some interesting hiking. Also, I like to take pictures so we wanted a picturesque island. That meant that we wanted one of the the volcanic islands, instead of the flat islands like you find in the Bahamas. Finally, we were looking for some place that we hadn't visited before (3).
After working her way though the guide books. Daphne proposed two possible trips. One idea was to spend a week on Dominica (an unspoiled and underdeveloped natural island, just north of Martinique) followed by a week on St. Lucia (a more upscale island, just south of Martinique). The plan was to spend the first week snorkeling and hiking around Dominica, then the second week in a fancy resort on St. Lucia recovering from the first week.
The second possible trip was to visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including a sailboat trip among the islands of the Grenadines. With two weeks at our disposal, we could take our time and visit many of the different small islands that make up the Grenadines. Daphne also like the idea of including a multi-day sailboat trip after our successful sailing trip in the Virgin Islands (4).
I went online and ordered all the books on Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines that I could find. These islands were off the beaten track so the book choices were limited. We ended up with Adventure Guide to Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Diving and Snorkeling Dominica, Dominica & St. Lucia Alive!, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
After reading the guide books, and talking about it, We decided on option 2 -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Our thinking was that we could see either Dominica or St. Lucia when we had only one week to spare (look for these trips in future years); but two weeks gave us time to see lots of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at a leisurely pace. The next step was to work out the itinerary.
To get started, Daphne read the tour books to get the names of possible places to stay in the Grenadines. But then used the internet to fill in the details. On the internet you can find the web sites for each of the hotels we considered, as well as other people's travel logs and comments which can give you better insight than the hotel's own web site. Daphne also researched places we should see and day excursions we should consider, again using a combination of the guide books and the internet.
When the dust finally settled, we decided on the following itinerary:
On the left, you can see a map, showing where we stayed, and all the places we visited.
The next 14 pages are a journal of our trip, one for each day, along with some selected pictures, and some general comments about the various places we visited. Within these pages, you will read all about the trip -- the good, the bad and the ugly. You will learn all the details you need to know about the basics including sections on eating, drinking, sleeping, washing clothes and even using the toilet. The last page of this web site lists the photo galleries, from which you can browse through the hundreds of digital photographs we posted. Not everything will be of interest to everybody (especially if you are an employee of US Airways), but I hope everyone finds something they like.
Footnote 1: Daphne has trouble adjusting when we change time zones. When we went to Hawaii in 2001, she needed almost the entire two weeks just to adapt to the six hour time shift. So while Hawaii is very nice, we can get almost everything that Hawaii has to offer (and more) in the Caribbean.
Footnote 2: Our copy of Fodor's 04 Caribbean still has red post-it notes marking pages of interest. Specifically, I found post-it notes on the following pages: 15 (Anguilla), 97 (Barbados), 169 (Anegada), 215 (Curacao), 241 (Dominica), 547 (Nevis), 573 (St. Lucia), 609 (St. Martin), 649 (St. Vincent), and 691 (The Turks).
Footnote 3: You might notice that we researched specific islands, not cruise lines. Although this may change in the future, we generally turn up our noses at the thought of visiting the Caribbean on a cruise ship. Something about spending a week on a ship with 2000 of your closest friends just bothers us. We have also been in many Caribbean towns that were visited by cruise ships and we have been turned off by the hectic port call -- where thousands of people all get off the boat at the same time and rush around trying to find some way to see something on the island before the boat leaves port. A vacation should be relaxing.
Footnote 4: As an alternative way to see the Grenadines, we also considered just ferry-hoping among the islands instead of chartering a sailboat. However, when Daphne suggest ferry travel, Joel recalled his experiences with the Martha's Vinyard bike trip, and how much he hated dragging luggage around on a ferry.
Introduction | July 14th (travel day) | July 15th (Falls of Baleine) | July 16th (Petit Byahaut) | July 17th (La Soufriere hike)
July 18th (sail to Bequia) | July 19th (Union Island) | July 20th (Sandy Island) | July 21th (Tobago Cays) | July 22th (Petit Tobac)
July 23th (arrive at PSV) | July 24th (West Side Beach) | July 25th (Atlantic Beach) | July 26th (Mopion) | July 27th (travel day)
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Text and images © Copyright 2004 Daphne and Joel Gould. All Rights Reserved.
For comments or suggestions about this site contact Daphne Gould.