Liesbet Collaert

Liesbet Collaert is a freelance writer. She and her husband Mark have been cruising on Irie for almost six years. They recently left the Caribbean and are heading west for new adventures in the South Pacific. Visit her blog at: www.itsirie.com

Top Ten Reasons to Cruise the Caribbean

Natural beauty - The Baths, Virgin Gorda

You have heard it said that the Caribbean is one of the best cruising grounds in the world! But if you are new to cruising, how do you know that this area is really as great as everybody says? Whether …

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Caribbean Christmas Afloat: Unforgettable and Unique

cruisers go boat to boat singing Christmas carols in Cholon, Columbia Photo by Liesbet Collaert

  As a native of the northern hemisphere, growing up somewhere in Western Europe – the 51st parallel to be precise – Christmas resembled cold and cozy days, with a human-sized fir tree indoors and small gifts underneath the branches. …

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The East Lemmon Cays, Kuna Yala

Sunset in the East Lemmon Cays. Photo by Liesbet Collaert

What’s your favorite anchorage in the Caribbean? This is a question that’s as difficult to answer as: What’s your favorite country in the world? The Caribbean has a lot of anchorages we love, and they all stand out for different …

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Santa Marta Colombia: A Pleasant Surprise

IGY's Marina Santa Marta. Photo: Liesbet Collaert

Until not too long ago, the Colombian coast was avoided by cruisers because of its bad reputation.  The country was a dangerous place for locals as well as for visitors, whether they arrived by land, air or sea. This has …

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Top Ten Anchorages in the Caribbean

1. St. Pierre, Martinique: Impressive Mont Pelée volcano, a black sand beach and the historic waterfront comprise this number one view

We asked long-time Caribbean cruiser and All At Sea contributor Liesbet Collaert to put together a photo-essay of the ten most scenic anchorages in the Caribbean. Liesbet says: “Prep your boat, lift anchor and sail to one of these Caribbean …

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Visiting Bonaire Beyond the Bubbles

The barren land of Washington-Slagbaai National Park. Photo by Liesbet Collaert

When people – cruisers and land tourists – talk about Bonaire, they most likely will talk about diving; how awesome and unique it is. They will talk about the clearness of the water, the healthy state of the coral and …

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There’s a Boat in My Yard!

Surgery on the boot of one of the saildrives; Mark is sewing a little rip – a new skill! Photo by Liesbet Collaert

Boatyard! This unpopular word in the cruisers’ vocabulary evokes thoughts of hard work, uncomfortable living conditions, busy, long days and short, mosquito-rich, nights. It is a reminder of sweaty work-outs and being sore and dirty. It promises extra trips to …

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Catamaran or Monohull?

Irie under full sail in the Bahamas, where her shallow draft came in handy. Photo courtesy of S/V Cindy’s Island

Catamaran or monohull? It’s a hot discussion amongst cruisers. Just like those other considerations: Sailboat or power boat? Water maker or not? Solar panels, wind generator, gas generator or all three? Around Cape Horn or through the Panama Canal? It’s …

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Ten Tips for Cruisers in the San Blas Islands

Every year, more cruisers leave the comfortable Eastern Caribbean and head west. When waiting for the right weather windows, especially off the Colombian coast, the sail to the Western Caribbean is a breeze with plenty of interesting stops along the …

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Why Do We Cruise?

Sailing the Caribbean waters, living aboard indefinitely, taking your floating home from one exotic place to another is an interesting concept … To many people living a ‘normal’ life on land, living on a sailboat represents a life of freedom, …

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Tips and Costs for Transiting the Panama Canal

Motoring into Pedro Miguel Lock amongst the biggest ships in the world

After years in the Eastern Caribbean and finally sailing west, many cruisers find themselves in Panama where they face an important decision: do we go to the other side or not? Others have planned their Panama Canal transit months or …

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Hash House Harriers Hash it out On Grenada

Hashing has its own rules and traditions. Hashers, dubbed ‘drinkers with a running problem', receive hash names and use terms like, ‘are you?' when trying to determine whether they are on the right trail

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Visit Grenada The Island that Adds Spice

Visitors to Grenada are rewarded with a healthy mix of interesting sights, natural wonders and friendly people. For cruisers another compelling ingredient is added to this cocktail: plenty of comfortable and gorgeous anchorages

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Magnificent Mirabella V in Sint Maarten

This past cruising season, the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin was graced with the presence of Mirabella V, the largest single-masted yacht and the fourth largest private sailing yacht in the world.

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There is More to Marigot You Think

Cruisers tend to do their errands on the Dutch side, St. Maarten, where it is cheaper, and visit Marigot once in a while to obtain French goodies. But Marigot is more than cheese and wine...

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