Monique Burgess

Naples, FL
Saturday, November 11, 2000

Wow! I can't believe that here I am sailing around the world with the Burgess family. The past month and a half has been so much fun. With Cammi and Cole around there is never a dull moment.

Living on a boat is not as difficult as people may think, actually it is "simple". Everything has a place, so there is not much room for messes. Privacy, well that is another story. Growing up I was used to sharing everything that was mine, but Cammi and Cole take it a step further. They like to share bathroom visits and showers too. Actually it is pretty funny. I never have to worry about loosing them because they are right near me.

Sailing has been tons of fun. Watching Tom and Monique sail the boat together is amazing. They really know what they are doing. It is pretty neat.

Over the past few weeks we have visited many great places. We spent most of our weeks in Annapolis, St.Michael's, and Oxford, Maryland. They were great places to visit. There atmosphere was very peaceful and we met some wonderful people. After leaving Maryland we sailed to Hampton Virginia. We met up with other boats that were in the Caribbean 1500. The kids had the opportunity to trick or treat from boat to boat. It was so cute to watch them. They had a blast!

Now the kids and I are in Naples, Florida. We are visiting Tom's parents while Tom, Monique, and the crew sail to Virgin Gorda. Getting here was a site to see. We had a close connecting flight so we needed to move fast from one gate to the other and Cammi needed to go to the bathroom. So there was Cammi and Cole in the stroller with a carseat on top and one over my shoulder. It was tough getting help,surprise, so I began running to our gate. The jogging stroller was put into good use. It was pretty funny! Cammi and Cole did not know what was going on. Cammi kept saying "Carla go faster". Needless to say here we are in the warm sunshine enjoying beautiful beaches, pools, grandparents, and Harley. The kids are beside themselves. Tomorrow we are leaving for Disney, that should be tons of fun!

Friday December 29,2000

Here I am once again on Uliad. Warm weather, beaches, and the Uliad crew, it feels great to be back. Going home for Christmas was so nice, although I could have done without the cold. It was as though I had not left. Tracey and Robby, my sister and brother, enjoyed having me to "pick" on. I know they MISSED ME. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was of coarse filled with family, friends, and tons of food. We all had some good laughs thinking about the past and the future. Being home made me realize how much my family means to me. To some my big Italian family may seem overwelming, but it always brings many good times to me.

Hanging out with my friends was great too. It is nice to know that no matter where we are or what we are doing, when we get together we can pick up right where we left off. That is true friendship! I wish I could have spent more time with many of you, especially Amy, but with limited time I hope you all understand.

I arrived back in St.Martin yesterday afternoon. Monique and Cammi were waiting at the airport for me. It was great to see them again. I missed seeing them everyday. Well, now everything seems to be back to the way things were before I left. Monique is still cooking up some delicious meals, today we had pizza with her new pizza stone YUM!, Tom is off helping friends on Enterprise, Cole is taking his afternoon nap, and Cammi is playing her new pretend game. Tomorrow we are planning on heading over to St.Barts. We all can't wait to explore a new island. Keep in touch and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! xo Carla

Sunday January 14, 2001
Jolly Harbour Marina, Antigua

Wow, the past few days have been one great big adventure for the Uliad crew.

It all started in Anse de Columbier, St.Barts were we spent Wednesday snorkelling in the beautiful clear waters. It was amazing! Cammi even swam around with us. I also learned how to get into the dinghy from the water. It was sight to see! Oh ya, and Cole pooped and peed in the potty- HURRAY! It was truly an eventful day.

On Thursday I woke up with sore muscles. I wonder Why? Good thing we were sailing over to Nevis. Since our sail was calm and easy Monique decided she wanted to fish off the boat. To our surprise she caught one. Since we were all unfamiliar with the local fish we were not sure what kind it was. At first we thought it might be a Baracuda- ouch! Luckily, when we arrived in Nevis our friend Don from Enterprise brought over pictures of different fish to help us identify our catch. We all agreed that it was a wahoo (local caribbean fish). Next thing we knew Monique was gutting and cooking the fish. Uliad smelled like a fish market. Rich and Ann from Amazing Grace and Don and Karen from Enterprise came over for a late afternoon snack. It was delicious! The kids enjoyed it too.

Friday we woke up bright and early, nothing unusual, and headed ashore with Don and Karen to the Golden Rock Plantation for a hike through the Rainforest. It was soooo hot and we were hiking for hours. Of course we choose to go on a day that it doesn't rain. Go figure! Cole was fortunate to be carried the entire way. Cammi, at first enjoyed hiking, but quickly learned the advantages to being held. It was a neat hike. Everything was so green and if you stopped to look around you could see monkeys sitting in trees staring back at you. The views were unbelievable. It was like being in a movie.

After total exhaustion we headed back to the plantation for lunch were we saw some more beautiful scenery. In the distance we could see the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupting on the island of Montserrat. Pretty amazing! As if that was not a long enough day for us we then headed to the Botanical Gardens. There we saw the Mayan Rainforest Conservatory, breathtaking flower gardens, and much more. It was great to see a different side of paradise that the Caribbean islands have to offer. We all had a wonderful time.

So here we are now in beautiful Antigua docked near friends from Enterprise and Amazing Grace. We will be spending the next couple of weeks here. I am looking forward to exploring this island. Since Tom and Monique have visted here before so I am sure I will see all the highlights of the island. I can't wait!

Keep in touch the new email system works great, Carla

Saturday Feb.10th 2001
Les Saintes, Guadeloupe
10:30 p.m.

Hurray! We are back to the wonderful French islands where visiting a bolangerie has become once again our favorite past time. We are in a beautiful anchorage and I am excited to go ashore tomorrow.

While in Antigua we visited an island nearby called Barbuda. This was a fantastic place. We were in an anchorage with one other boat. They seemed to be professional windsurfers shooting for a magazine. We enjoyed watching them. The anchorage was quiet, peaceful, and beautiful. At night the stars were so bright that we found ourselves mesmerized by their light. It was truly an amazing anchorage. Ashore the only thing in sight was a donkey, and there were many as we could tell by the presents that were left behind.

After spending a couple of days in Barbuda we traveled back to Antigua. We anchored in Nunsuch Bay near a friend's boat, Enterprise. We enjoyed ourselves reuniting with Don and his friends, as well as spending three very passive days there.

We left this great anchorage to meet Tom's parents at the St. James's Club in Mamora bay. It was nice seeing Mr. and Mrs. Burgess again. We had a wonderful time with them. We spent each day enjoying all the wonderful activities the resort offered us. A typical day started with a visit to the beach or pool and then returning to the patio for "Tea Time" around 4:00 p.m. After filling ourselves with tea, cakes, and sandwiches we made a visit to the Jacuzzi. Naturally this routine became one of Cammi and Cole's favorite things to do, reluctantly Tom, Monique and I took them each day-hahaha. I also had the great opportunity to enjoy one of the other luxuries that the club had to offer. Yes, I visited the spa and got an unbelievable massage. I knew I could not pass this opportunity up. Who knows when it would come up again?

While staying at the St. James's Club we met this great family from Philadelphia. They had two girls 5 and 2 . Cammi and Cole of course immediately took a likening to them. Luckily they also had an au pair from Poland named Kasia staying with them. This was great. We all had the opportunity to make new friends. The kids enjoyed playing together while Kasia and I got to know each other. One night the two of us went out to a bar/disco. We had a great time laughing and joking. It was neat to learn about the customs in Poland and Kasia found what I had to say about the United States very interesting. Needless to say we exchanged emails and have been keeping in touch. Hopefully this summer we can meet up again.

So now I am sitting hear listening to sound of the wind while Uliad rocks slowly in its glory. I can't wait to get into my bunk. There is nothing like being rocked to sleep!!!!! Goodnight, Carla

Tuesday, February 27th 2001
Pte. du Bout, Martinique
Somatras Marina

Ok, so this summer when I was planning this trip I immediately thought, how lucky I was to have the opportunity to see different cultures and traditions around the Caribbean. I was correct. Fortunately we were in Martinique for one of the biggest holidays, Carnaval (Mardi Gras).

Since we have arrived, we have been seeing people dressed in costumes and figured that something interesting would be going on soon. Once again we were correct. In Fort de France, the capital, there was a huge parade scheduled to happen. Knowing that this would not be a place for Cammi and Cole, Tom and Monique decided to stay on Uliad. Rich, Ann, and Ann's sister Mary Gail all wanted to go. So naturally I went along with them. It was so neat. Everyone was dressed in red and black and wearing some outrageous costume. We found ourselves laughing at most of the costumes, after all seeing men in women's clothing can be hilarious. Cars painted and half beaten, nothing that could be driven on any other day, were driving down the street with people singing and cheering. "Floats" came by carrying dancers wearing unbelievable costumes. It was neat! Bands came in from all over the island and played some great Caribbean music. Although they were all singing foreign songs, we all got into the clapping and singing mode as well. It was great to see people of all ages enjoying in the fun. The town was packed. I swear the entire island was there.

Knowing that it was going to get out of hand and crazy as the night continued, we all decided to return back to the Marina. As we were getting onto the ferry we turned around and could not believe what we were seeing. People dressed in red and black had now swarmed the streets, sidewalks, and gazebos. It was a memorable sight. Can you believe that the entire time we were there we saw only two police officers? That is totally different from the U.S

I hope you all had a great Mardi Gras as well! Xoxo Carla