Auckland Favorites

We don’t normally get to spend large chunks of time in big cities on the boat, so we tried to maximize every minute in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city. Our conclusion: we could live there! Auckland is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with a lot to offer, from museums to excursions to food. This post details our Auckland favorites.

About Auckland

I thought it was the capital, but that’s Wellington, at the southern end of the North Island. Instead, Auckland is New Zealand’s most populated city, with nearly 1.7 million people.

Located in the north of the North Island, Auckland is on a narrow isthmus between two large harbors and is known as The City of Sails. With it’s waterfront location, Auckland is home to beautiful beaches, waterfront trails, fish markets, and scores of sailboats. It’s also based around multiple volcanos, great for hiking.

Auckland Harbor
Auckland from the water
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What’s Good In Guadeloupe

We spent a month in Guadeloupe, on foot, by car, and of course in our boat. Gwada for short, this group of islands in the southern Caribbean is an incredible destination. The variety of activities to enjoy and the fun spirit of the locals made us want to return for more stays. Here are some of our favorites, what’s good in Guadeloupe.

Good in Guadeloupe
The Memorial ACTE

One of the best museums I’ve ever visited, this brand new attraction is dedicated to the history of slavery in the Caribbean. Located on the waterfront in Point-a-Pitre, Memorial Acte is a must visit.

Upon entry to the Memorial Acte, you are handed a headset and directed to lock up all your belongings, including phones. No photos indoors, but also, no checking email or social media. It means all your attention is dedicated to the exhibits and the involved and interesting audio commentary. Expect to spend at least 2 hours in the permanent exhibition. When we visited, there was no special exhibit but the contemporary art and historical memorials were well worth the visit.

Memorial ACTe
The Memorial Acte lit up at night from our view at anchor
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Martinique Musts

After two visits to Martinique, first for a week and again for a month, we have seen and done a lot in this French Caribbean paradise! Here are my top things to do when you visit, my Martinique musts.

Why We Love Martinique

The food, the scenery, the culture, the water, the variety: all are reasons to fall in love with Martinique. You can spend a day eating delicious French food, swimming with starfish and turtles in clear Caribbean water, and end it sampling rum while listening to reggae music. It’s a pretty good life on a boat in Martinique and it could be easy to sleep and repeat day after day. Some may have less time than we did and I know what you don’t want to miss so on to my list of Martinique musts.

The Southern Beaches

Do you like long swathes of soft sand? Beach bars with great food, drinks and lively company? Both are on offer at the southern strip of Martinique, south of the lovely Sainte Anne anchorage. 

Martinique Must Saline Beach
Clear blue water and soft sand at Saline Beach, Martinique
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Our Saint Lucia Favorites

We spent 3 weeks exploring St. Lucia this November. It’s a modern island with lots of amenities, from shopping to restaurants and tons of outdoor activities. Three weeks may seem like a long time, but we had a lot to do and enjoyed our time there. This post details our Saint Lucia favorites so you have an idea of what you should do when you go.

Glad We Visited Saint Lucia

As cruisers, we have a few resources and guides designed just for us. Brian likes an app where people review anchorages, and everybody has a guide book that can be “biased” by advertisers. We’ve learned to take the advice of other cruisers we know over any other source and Saint Lucia exemplifies why.

When we were in Martinique last spring, we debated where to go next. Because of some bad reviews in Active Captain about crime and aggressive boat boys, we were thisclose to skipping Saint Lucia outright. Then I saw a fellow cruiser’s very positive instagram post from Marigot Bay and we changed our plans, for the better.

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Volcano Boarding at Cerro Negro

Volcano Boarding is one of the top things to do when visiting León, so I signed up to do it almost immediately upon arrival. Why delay? Am I glad I did it because volcano boarding at Cerro Negro is a highlight of this trip and will always be a great memory for me.

Volcano Tour

My hostal offers a daily tour of the volcano through Nicatime Nicaragua. We left at 8am on Wednesday, got to Cerro Negro Volcano by 9am, and started hiking. The uphill climb is only an hour long, but with all the sand and rocks, it’s not easy. Slippery best describes the hike.

Cerro Negro
Our group climbing up Cerro Negro

Cerro Negro means Black Mountain, and that is what it is. This fairly young, still active volcano is a pile of black sand and rock. People have been volcano boarding there for about 17 years, according to my tour guide, Oscar (just kidding, it was Lester – or Luther, damn I am bad at this. I’ll call him Oscar). Now this extreme sport is the primary reason people visit Cerro Negro, and it’s one of the top attractions in León.

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