Thursday, December 31, 2015

Growing roots in Antigua

For various reasons, not the least of which are the howling Christmas winds and high seas, we're still hanging out in Antigua. We're in good company here and content to stay put for the time being. There are always odd projects to do on the boat and beaches that need to be visited for daily swims.

Slinky, one of three black cats in Melini's dockside restaurant, is also content to stay put.
View from Saralane in Jolly Harbor
Replacing our balky windlass switch
Occasionally we move from Jolly Harbor over to Five Islands or Deep Bay and our view changes a little. In Five Islands we watched some filming going on with this big motor yacht 'Slipstream' and her toys. The helicopter chased the tenders and jet skies endlessly, swooping off from time to time to reposition. It was all very James Bond. We looked up Slipstream and found that it belongs to Simon Cowell. I guess judging/crushing aspiring talent has it's upside. 

Faster faster!
John H was in need of some TLC again and we're doing our best to keep him looking stylish. In addition to his ID numbering needing a refresher, he's starting to get a little squishy in his old age (as are we all) and we finally got around to using the patching material we snagged in Virgin Gorda to help puff him up.

We reinforced the main areas with two big fancy pieces we scavenged from the ruined beached dinghy in North Sound. First we patterned the sections with paper, then cut and contact cemented them in place with special glue meant for use on dinghies.

Port side
The tape barely keeps the paper in place with the wind blowing
Sticky stuff goes on here....
...and here.

Fancy eh?
Repeat the same process on sections on the front and in the back....

Looking good!

Skip added the extra little flashy red pieces which I'm trying to convince him to remove, though it does make John H easy to spot in a row of dinghies. 

Each year around this time there seems to be some sort of massive hatching of butterflies in the north east Caribbean. We've seen it in St Martin and in the BVI and this year in Antigua. It may be hard to see how many butterflies there are in this shot, but I can tell you there were zillions of them.

The little white specks are butterflies
Our buddies Simon and Hilda on Brisa did in fact bring us cheeses from Guadeloupe (thanks!) and we dinghied alongside them when they returned to Jolly Harbor with engine trouble. 

Brisa makes her way to the customs dock in Jolly Harbor.
Other friends have arrived from St Martin and we've met some new people who are sitting out the weather here too.

Having a dinghy chat with Fred and Dorothy from Aviva 
A Christmas day gathering on Q Queenie included, Simon & Hilda (Brisa), David & Jennifer (and furry dog Crew, from Triple Cream), Stefan & Lynne (Beyond). Q Queenie is a beautiful and spacious catamaran belonging to Barbara and Steven (that's Barbara in the dress and white flip flops; Steven is to her left).

Christmas Day on Q Queenie
Just another windy day here...
Aviva at the end of the rainbow in Five Islands.
We've embraced the local tradition of making sorrel juice for the holidays and with a few recipes I got by asking the young guys stocking the produce section of the market who shared their grandmothers recipes, I managed to make some pretty tasty sorrel juice. Just like any recipe handed down from generation to generation there were a some unknowns. There were a few "add a little bit of this or that" or "I think she put in some of this or that" directions that took some experimentation.

Start with a whole lot of sorrel flowers
Cut out the seed in the center
Rinse off any bugs or extra ick
Note to self: sorrel turns everything VERY RED
Toss the flowers into a pot with water, a few cloves, a cinnamon stick, a few thick slices of ginger and some orange peel. Simmer for a bit, then turn off the heat and let sit covered overnight. In the morning, strain out the solids, add lots of sugar and voila! Sorrel juice.

Add LOTS of sugar. Yum.
That's all I've got for now, and since I'm making the curry for tonight's New Year's Eve gathering I'll wrap it up here and wish you all a good end to 2015 and a good start to 2016. See you next year! (Ha ha ha! That just never gets old....)


Leslie said...

Well, I don't know what a windlass switch is, but the patching I can understand. A very professional-looking job.

Happy new year to you and Skip!!


Linda said...

Happy New Year to you sista...and to Skip. xoxo

Kim said...

Curry for dinner!! Wish I were there with you two. Happy New Year!!


Miles said...

Keep the red streamers... They are stylish and unique. And practical. Always go with practical. Happy New Year!

danbarnardjr said...

Great post, Maddie. I liked the helicopter shots. Very exciting. Dad and I spent last Monday working on Kate's sailboat: the kind with runners. Now if only the lake would freeze...

Bob & Janice said...

quite the patching job indeed - the finished job looks great - know that isn't an easy process and having wind definitely didn't help. I had forgotten about sorrel juice - thanks for reminding me as tried it myself and it was semi-good. Must have missed some of the bits and pieces that they didn't remember saying or I just didn't understand. Sounds like staying put is a good idea with all that wind - why move if you are enjoying where you are! That is the beauty of not having to be anywhere in particular at any particular time - the fun of cruising! Have a wonderful 2016. We moved into the house on Dec. 30th - definitely not done, but starting to take shape for us. Best wishes to you both

Eliza said...

I'm dying to know what the sorrel juice tastes like. It looks delicious. I also think Slinky would make a great boat-cat. Happy New Year!

Kelley Albert said...

I think you have a future with scrapbooking, Skip. Nice patchwork.