Monday, January 5, 2015

A few of our favorite things

This is a long overdue thank you to my sister Leslie's friend Penelope who's been following along since our early days out here. Penelope sailed with her family as a kid and is perfectly happy to never ever, ever have to go sailing again. Perhaps alarmed by my post about Skip modifying our old dying grill back in 2013, Penelope very kindly offered the brand new Magma grill from her family's boat (that was otherwise destined to sit unused forever) to us. Thanks Penelope... we love it!! It took about a year for it to make it's way to us... it hitched a ride on a boat from the US to Bermuda, then to St Martin and finally to us... and we've been using it ever since.

No mods needed on our brand new grill (yet)

In action!
Directions for marine grills say to remove them before sailing. Not gonna happen. So Skip reinforced the bracket that holds the grill on and we just take care to keep the exterior salt free and the interior clean so gunk doesn't drip onto the stern while we're underway. When we haul the boat, we take the grill off and let the chickens do the tough clean up. I hope they don't realize exactly what they're eating.....

Tastes like.... chicken?!
We have other friends keeping an eye on the blog and sending things our way too. Like, Oliver for one. Our SSB hasn't been transmitting as well as it ought to and a few conversations with Oliver later we had a hand me down ICOM tuner that matches our ICOM radio. Thanks Oliver!  

New ICOM tuner.... now we can talk to friends far away.
Thanks to our friend Geoff on the Outbound Wynot, we now also have a fabulous new cockpit light. We're always searching for the perfect cockpit light that's bright, lightweight, easy to put up and take down, and most importantly, isn't an energy hog. We have solar string lights that do a pretty good job but they're not quite bright enough. We spent New Year's Eve on Wynot and was admiring Geoff's very funky inflatable solar light (I guess a little too much?!) and he took it down and handed it to us as we left. Thanks Geoff.... but be careful.... we may start admiring other things on your boat too!

Solar everything... comes on at sunset
Last but not least of my new favorite things is a thermos given to me by Tina on the Outbound Pneumatic. I've been wanting to make yogurt on the boat and with some guidance from several yogurt making goddesses I've met out here, I thought I'd give it a try. Now with my brand spanking new Thermos, and a few initial failures under my belt, I'm a yogurt making goddess too.

Thanks Tina!
Homemade yogurt, with my homemade granola, of course!
I think our new grill did more traveling to get to us than we've done in the past few weeks. Sometimes we sail a lot.... sometimes we don't. Lately - we don't. Partly because it's been windy as hell and partly because there have been lots of friends around and we've been on a social binge. If I were more of a people photographer I'd have lots of great shots for this post, but.... I'm not, and I don't.

Our days have been starting with some variation of the following conversation:

Skip/Me: So.... d'you want to go somewhere today?

Me/Skip: I don't know.... d'you?

Skip/Me: I don't know. Where would we go?

Me/Skip: I don't know.

Skip/Me: How about a swim?

Me/Skip: Hmmmm... seems like a lot of work.

Skip/Me: It does, doesn't it? Maybe later....

To be fair, we have moved from the BVI (where the blog last left off) to the USVI, and then back to the BVI, but that's about it. We spent a few days on the south side of St John, which we haven't done since we first came here back in 2011, and this time we hiked trails from Little Lameshur Bay up to the petroglyphs. The petroglyphs are carved into rocks above a spring fed pool in the hills and according to the info near the site, they are thought to have been left here between 900 and 1500 AD by pre-Columbian Tainos and their ancestors.

Great stone walls along the path


More petroglyphs
Saralane on the south side of St John
Sunset from Little Lameshur
Bonus this year... Skip gets his national park senior citizens pass which gives us half priced moorings in St John! Yikes.
The trade winds are higher than normal so we'll probably hang around the BVI for a little longer, but we'll be looking for a good opportunity to sail east again to get back to beautiful Barbuda and beyond.