compass rose

 Accidental Cruiser in the West Indies

Back on the Water again.

This journal is a log of all the messages from Susie & Lance. For pictures, please see the Gallery.

Ste Anne, Martinique 4.12.13

Anna's first day

Anna's first day
(with Aya, Yuki and Karl)

DJ with Anna

It was particularly difficult to tear ourselves away from Berkeley this year. Grandchildren beckon. Our oldest, DJ, started high school this year and is the star of his football team. Unfortunately he is achieving stardom by knocking his head into hard things and seeing stars. He apparently still has a few brain cells left as preliminary reports from B-High are excellent. Our youngest, Anna, caused us to reschedule our flight back to St. Lucia a month later and even then, she made her entrance barely a week before departure. Susie coached her birth and I bonded with Aya. Anna took her sweet time, backing into the world 8 days past her due date much as did her father. However, all agree it was worth the wait. Meanwhile, the cousins Lance and Aya are growing by leaps and bounds. They are talking up a storm and blazing a brilliant path through pre-school. Aya seems to be taking up Japanese and English without confusion and Lance is galloping through the worlds (both real and imaginary) with vim and vigor.

Lance's first haircut
Lance's first haricut
Aya takes a message
Aya takes a message.

Hard to leave such a clan behind. Life was hectic this summer with a new house purchase leaving Grandpa Lance busily biking between the new house, the old house and the house we stay at when all the tools and parts required for repairs obstinately stayed in which ever house he was not working on. If this is the last house we ever buy, it will be too soon. I don't really believe that boats take more maintenance than houses, its just that dirt dwellers don't think of calling the washing machine repairman or taking the car into the shop as maintenance. At least the problems on a boat are all bounded by the hull and don't involve permits and over large corporate entities. I mean you PG&E!

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Simon and son Garreth
Simon and son Gareth

But this is supposed to be a boating report. We are getting much better at putting the boat away. This year we had our favorite boatwright, Simon, polish the topsides and deck and do a lot of varnishing. Things are looking brilliant. It was a real treat to come back to a shiny clean boat and have her in the water and in Rodney Bay in four days. Partially this is due to our excellent job of putting the Queen Emma away for the summer and partially because Simon and his minions were on the boat quite a bit. We did discover that the water tanks had turned into a weird biological experiment and required draining, cleaning, bleaching and rinsing. Fortunately, Simon comes equipped with an energetic teenager who beavered away at the task without too many cell phone breaks.

Emptying the tanks
Emptying the tanks
Gareth cleaning tanks
Gareth cleaning tanks

Rodney Bay was jumping with action. The first ARC boats are coming in from the Cape Verde Islands and the Yacht Club was holding its second annual "Mango Bowl Regatta." There were quite a few J-24's in the fleet making for an excellent one-design race between identical boats. Nothing much has changed. Sparkle is happy to take and return your laundry over a mile out into the bay. The boatyard is still incompetently run. Mary, the flag lady, still has an eye out for a handsome man. Johnny and Vernelle are still counting their blessings. The biggest change was in Prudent, the refrigeration man. He cut off his dreads! This is huge; without all that hair, no one can find him.

J-24s, clouds and Frigate Bird
J-24s, clouds and
Frigate Bird
First meal aboard
First meal aboard

We have taken a little shakedown sail to Martinique. Skies of blue, indigo seas, clouds of cotton. Winds on the beam at 10-15 knots and the seas not yet up. Here we will fill the bilges with French wine, the larders with cheese and chocolate and then sail back down to St. Lucia for Christmas. This is what makes it all worthwhile. One day like today is worth a year of work and they say it is not even counted against your allotted days.

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