I just returned from the most relaxing vacation and am having the WORST back to work blues :(
I spent four days on a catamaran named Lazuli off the coast of St. Martin and Anguilla with the bf Ben, roommate Connor and bff Jessica. We had no itinerary and instead spent most of the day eating, swimming, laying around and wondering what time it was or where the heck we were in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. It was pure magic and can only be described as a once in a lifetime trip.
PS- If this blog seems short on pictures, that's because it is! I didn't take many (because live in the moment, duh!), but these ones are some of my faves!
When I was searching for a Caribbean vacation, I knew I didn’t want to do the norm, which for me means staying at an all-inclusive resort. I wanted a vacation where I could completely forget about my troubles, be “one with nature” and relax to the fullest.
I started my search by deciding on an island. I heard great recommendations from friends about St. Martin and made up my mind. From there, I started searching Airbnb for accommodations and stumbled on Lazuli, a spacious catamaran/house boat captained by Belgian couple Gi and Lien. The description alone “wake up in paradise, dive into the sea and have a healthy breakfast!” sold me instantly. I couldn’t wait to wake up in the middle of crystal blue, warm waters and booked it almost immediately. Gi charges an inclusive fee for food, docking fees, boat maintenance, etc and it was completely affordable. He was wonderful communicating beforehand and provided us with a packing list, and was accommodative to picking us up at an easy location.
About Gi and Lien
Gi and Lien are a Belgian couple who quit their lives in Belgium 7 years ago to pursue their dreams of sailing around the Caribbean. As life coaches, they love hosting travelers on their boat, getting to know them and helping them pursue their dreams. They are warm, wonderful and gracious hosts. We loved spending time with them – whether it was preparing and enjoying our meals together, learning how to sail, or talking about our life dreams, it was wonderful being together. Lazuli is their home and it is so wonderful that they open their home up to so many strangers. We can’t wait to spend more time with them in the future!
Day 1: Sailing to Scrub Island
Gi and Lien picked us up on their dingy at St. Martin Yacht Club and we took a short ride to Orient Bay where Lazuli was docked. We took a quick tour of the boat where we saw our two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and living space. My favorite parts of the boat were the trampoline on the bow of the boat, which provided for wonderful island sunset views, and the back lounge/cockpit area for dining and chatting.
We departed the bay for a 4.5 hour sail to Scrub Island, a deserted island off the coast of Anguilla. The views were spectacular as we drifted away from St. Martin and splashed in the sapphire waters. We arrived at Scrub Island just before sunset. OMG it was the most beautiful island I have ever seen. The sand was untouched – no footprints, animal tracks or trash – just unaltered, pure nature, and the water was crystal clear. We watched tropical fish swim beneath our boat as Lien cooked a wonderful vegetarian curry for dinner and swam as the sun sank into the ocean behind us. Pure bliss.
Day 2: Scrub Island and Sail to Ile Tintamarre
Waking up in the bay of a secluded island is paradise. It’s a feeling of peace and relaxation I hope to hold on to for the rest of my life. We leisurely got on with our day by enjoying coffee and breakfast in the warm Caribbean morning sun and looked on to the clear water to see what kinds of animals were out to play. We swam to the beach on Scrub Island with nothing but ourselves, our snorkeling gear and our bathing suits, laid in the sand and splashed in the water taking in the scenery. It looked like a calendar picture – white (with a hint of pink) unbothered sands reaching out to crystal blue water and bright green brush.
When we felt we had enjoyed the island enough, we swam back to Lazuli for a fresh salad and decided to sail off to our next destination – Ile Tintemarre. As we were leaving, a four-foot barracuda swam up to our boat. It was an amazing reminder of the pure and natural setting we were in!
We sailed to Tintamarre for two hours. After some instruction, Ben took his turn sailing and successfully navigated us to the island! We landed just before sunset and were able to enjoy spectacular views of the sun setting behind St. Martin. Tintamarre is known for being a snorkeling hot spot, so there were a few boats docked beside us. We enjoyed another wonderful dinner made by Lien – this time, it was a couscous and vegetable stew. Yum! We went to bed early so we could wake up early to enjoy our last full day together.
Day 3: Ile Tintamarre and Sail to Pinel Island
Tintamarre was spectacular in the morning. The sun was shining and water was filled with wildlife! I enjoyed my favorite breakfast of toast and Nutella with bananas :P and jumped into the warm water for a swim. We saw so many animals as we snorkeled to the island including stingrays, turtles and dozens of varieties of fish. The sand was warm and we laid around until our skin was too hot and then swam back to the boat for another afternoon of eating, laughing and lounging around.
As sunset approached, we sailed to popular party island Pinel. The bar had closed for the day but we were still able to walk around the island and enjoy the beautiful view of St. Martin. We were shocked to find thousands of hermit crabs in the sand – a nightmare for some, a childhood dream for others! We finished the night with a final dinner, pesto and pasta, and laughed on the deck of the boat as a full moon rose out of the ocean.
Day 4: Sail to Orient Bay and Farewell to the Caribbean!
I woke up early on our last day to capture the sunrise from the boat and was not disappointed. Caribbean sunrises are truly magical.
After our morning swim, we packed up and headed for a final sail to Orient Bay. We laughed with Gi and Lien as they told us tales of their first trip crossing the Atlantic Ocean. I was so inspired as they told us about a “run-in” with two whales halfway through the crossing. They spotted two whales playing in the water and stopped the boat. One of their boat mates fell in the water while taking a picture of the whales and started to swim with the whales who gently played around him. The rest of the crew jumped in and were shocked at the gentle nature of the pair who seemed to be thrilled to have a few friends for the day. I am constantly in awe of our planet and our connection to nature and hope to have an experience like this once in my life.
We parked in Orient Bay and said farewell to our new friends. It was a bittersweet goodbye, but I am excited for my next travel adventure. I can’t wait to see what’s next.