Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blog-free Month

I've had an unintended month off from the blog... mostly due to the untimely death of my hard drive (is there such a thing as a 'timely' death of a hard drive?) but also because we're sort of in a holding pattern for a while. Since leaving Dominica last month we spent a little time in Antigua getting organized for our haul out in August and hanging out with our Dutch friends Theo and Irene from s/v Sotirius who were there to be hauled out.

Irene is an avid cook and since one of the rites of a haul out is handing off all your perishables to those still in the water.... we really lucked out! We finished the fruits and veggies in a few days (I'd forgotten how much I like pomegranates!) but we're still trying to figure out what some of the Dutch items are. (Thank goodness for Google Translate.) There was one package that looked like cookies, but tasted suspiciously like something healthy.

Sunrise departure from Jolly Harbor Antigua
From Antigua we had a great downwind sail to St. Barths. After so much upwind sailing it was a treat to have a nice downwind sail. Better still, our fishing luck is holding. We caught four tuna on the passage from Antigua to St. Barths. We kept the bigger ones and tossed the little ones back.

After a short stay in St. Barths to swim and clean up the boat, we moved on to the not very swimmy waters of the lagoon in St. Martin again. We both have traveling to do and it's just easier and more affordable to travel to and from St. Martin than from farther down the island chain. So.... here we are in St. Martin again. We've made friends here so it's nice to be back, but it's also a a bit of a ghost town.

I've already been to the states and back - my trip was to Florida to celebrate my Aunt B's birthday with (almost) the whole family. Aunt B made an appearance in the blog back in December of 2010... and though I've seen her a few times since.... it's good to have her back in the blog. Happy birthday Aunt Barbara!!

FYI - the cake was GOOD!!
Almost everyone....
It was really good to see everyone and hopefully it won't be so long before we get together again. I can't believe how grown up my cousins kids are. They're not even kids anymore (causing some minor confusion about just who should be sitting at the 'kids' table").... they're traveling, teaching, working, attending medical school and more. Talking to them, I realize I may have wasted some of my time when I was their age. I have a pretty inspiring bunch of relatives and it was great to reconnect, talk about our shared history and about what's possible for our futures.

I'm missing a lot of people in these photos (sorry guys, these are mostly from the 'ladies luncheon'!) but I wanted to include at least a few shots from the weekend. *Note to my cousins: I'll email photos soon.

In the top two photos, from L to R: Ashley, Sarah, Carly..... then Andy, Lisa, Mitch, Peter.

L to R: Lisa, Annie, Sarah, Ashley, Amy
L to R: Carly, Ruth, Rebecca, me, Leslie, Sarah and Ashely
We took some of the girls to the turtle rescue center in West Palm and they posed at the "How big are you compared to a turtle?" chart.
Ashley, Carly and Maya
Maya takes a solo turn.
Parting shot: me with my three sisters, two nieces, dad and stepmom.
Goodbye West Palm Beach...
Back in St. Martin, TS Chantal passed us by earlier this week with hardly more than a few gusts of wind. The air is still and hot and full of Sahara sand that's blowing across the Atlantic leaving layers of red dust on everything. We have to remember to wipe down the solar panels each day to keep them clear of the dust.

Not long after we arrived in St. Martin we stopped in to say hello to Mike and Sally at Shrimpy's by the French bridge; Mike knows where to go for just about anything on the island and we were looking for info on where to pick up a new hard drive for my Mac. Remember their new little puppy Floppy? Well, being a puppy, Floppy is a bit of a handful, nipping hands and running into traffic...

Flipflop (Floppy) looking sheepish and sad and still adorable, as only a big puppy can.

.... and getting HIT BY A CAR. Poor Floppy. He was due to have his cast removed the next day and at the same time he was having some other, ahem... 'elective' surgery. Mike said Floppy's been constantly nipping at his hands and he finally scolded him, "If you don't stop biting me I'm going to have your ****s cut off!" And he did. Let that be a warning... don't get on Mike's bad side.

As for the demise of my hard drive.... I can't say I wasn't warned. When I had it replaced in St. John back in July 2011, boy genius Evan, who did the job for me, shook his head and said, "Just keep your computer off the boat and it'll be fine." Sorry Evan. Lucky for me I found another boy genius (they're just everywhere!) on St. Martin who replaced this one for me. If I wasn't already a devoted data backer-upper - I would be now. I didn't lose any original data, just some photos I had prepped for the blog.

In between running around for computer fixes and doing boat chores, we fit in an afternoon at the Best of St. Martin this past weekend. It's a food festival only in it's third year, but there were plenty of restaurants offering tastes and we tried just about everything.

At the food festival - chef/owner from Lagoonies doing double duty... making paella and being a dad.
This is a pretty compressed version of events since the my last post, but it brings me more or less up to date. With my big new hard drive and time on my hands I guess I'm out of excuses for not posting again soon. I'll try to do a few posts before we get hauled out at the end of August...