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Back in St. Thomas again, recovering from the crossing and preparing for sailing to the Western Caribbean.
We lived aboard a Cheoy Lee Sailboat year-round in Maine for 8 years. In October, 2010 we set sail for the Bahamas and Caribbean.
Interests: travel, dogs, sailing, Maine, writing, sailboat maintenance, living on a sailboat, Bahamas, Caribbean, Cartagena, Grenada, Azores, Guatemala, San Blas, photography, food, more of the Azores.
Recent Activity
Every day something appears in the news, on Facebook, or on Twitter that makes at least one person say, “I hate people.” I feel sorry for that person. Sure, certain persons can go to H.E. Double Hockey Sticks but it has been my experience that people are wonderful. Now, you could attribute this belief to EW’s and my outlook on life: We like people, therefore they are wonderful. You may be right. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Harts At Sea
The Facilities Manager of the Bayview Retirement Center where La Luna ran ashore kept making a joke about all his new boats and how he was going to put a rope around them. I was not pleased. After dropping our anchor to shore (a signal that she was being tended and not available for salvage) we learned that Florida actually has a law that prevents others from claiming your boat for salvage. (First Florida boating law I’ve liked.) Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2016 at Harts At Sea
This was a 100-year storm. This is the storm that reminds us that we aren’t in control; the storm that reminds us that even the best plans for living in a hurricane zone can be wrecked by a storm that comes just 5 miles closer than we wanted to generate a surge never before experienced here. We don’t make excuses, but we aren’t beating ourselves either. One of EW’s phrases is “You make the decision, and you make the decision right.” We are together, the boat is fine, and once she’s back in the water and we check the engine, she will be 99% just as she was when we left her. That makes us very, very fortunate. Others lost their boats. I mean lost as is couldn’t find them; I’m not sure whether all have been found at this point. Others lost their boats as in being destroyed. Others will have huge repairs to make before boating again. Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Good morning from Elkton, Florida. We are safe, worried about La Luna, but safe, well-fed and loved by the cats. The power has flickered and Comcast is off, but we have cell phones, data, and a TV on an antenna. Yesterday morning we debated moving inland. EW and I made that more difficult as we would have had to use two cars for the four of us and two cat carriers. Deb packed a bag of precious things and I reduced our needs to one bag plus our precious things. We decided to stay, noted the location of a nearby... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Well, Dang him! I have promised two Matthews that we will not hold this storm against them, so this danging is only meant for 2016 Hurricane Matthew. He can go straight to H. E. double hockey sticks and the sooner the better. Knowing that this blog has been AWOL lately and that those folks not on Facebook have had no proof of life, let me confirm that EW and I are alive and well and not stupid. We will not stay on the boat during the storm. This breaks our hearts. It makes my stomach hurt. And I'm angry that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Our Mindset is more like that of Rip Van Winkle. We are missing a few years. Five to be exact. While we aren’t totally clueless, we have a decided lack of clue regarding at least three things. (This is in addition to the already much-discussed cell phone/Android/data we had issues with upon setting foot ashore.) So, in no particular order, here are three things we’ve had trouble understanding: Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2016 at Harts At Sea
On shore, there are people who recognize us as new locals and we are now “regulars” at a number of events. Well, since the majority of our events involve music, EW is the regular and I’m the “Band-Aid”. One of his favorite venues is the Saturday Market at the Amphitheater where he gets to stand in the hot sun and play for over four hours with 5-20 excellent musicians. I like the market, and have made friends with some of the vendors but I opt to arrive two hours later than EW, who is generally one of the first musicians to arrive and one of the last to leave. Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Now that I have a job or two, and now that EW is the only music guy in the mooring field, I don’t always go to his events. He’s OK with that and has expressed chagrin that he may be a bit obsessive. In addition to Saturday morning, his favorite weekly schedule includes music jams on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights. (And the perfect Monday has two events.) Sometimes I go with him and sometimes my role as a “Band-Aid” consists of simply helping get the guitar into and out of the dinghy. Such a night was last night. Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2016 at Harts At Sea
The sun doesn’t set in St. Augustine until very late. (Well, late by Caribbean standards.) The phrase “cruisers’ midnight” refers to 9:00 or 10:00 PM when cruisers usually call it a night. After all, when sunset is around 6:30 PM, that’s about 3 hours of darkness. Here, the sun doesn’t set until around 8:30, so midnight is midnight. We rarely stay up that late, but we’ve had “issues” with our pizza/movie night. I’m just not ready to watch a movie before dark, while EW is definitely ready for pizza around 7:00. We have compromised. The pizza is usually in the oven by 7, and we start the movie during daylight, It’s not the same, and we can no longer set it up on deck unless we are prepared to actually stay up until midnight. Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2016 at Harts At Sea
I think funny. I often talk funny and tell funny stories in a funny way, including things that have happened recently. I dream funny dreams. I Facebook funny. In fact, I crack me up on Facebook almost every day. Writing lately, not so funny. Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2016 at Harts At Sea
I also talk too much when I’m stressed. And frankly, as some of you have surmised, I’ve been a bit stressed with this move to a (for now) permanent mooring, the search for a job, and this re-entry into the US thing. In November, dear cruising friends, Sandy and Jeff on S/V Magic Inspiration left St. Augustine after staying here two years for the same boat/cruising kitty reasons. We didn’t’ arrive here before they had once again headed for the Caribbean, but she offered to guide me through the transition via phone and emails. I thanked her and didn’t listen to the underlying meaning: You will be uncomfortable. Let me tell you the ways. Not my brightest moment. Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Also squirrels. Remember the movie “Up”? As dog lovers, particularly Labs, we loved the special collar that allowed the dog to express his thoughts, and how frequently he interrupted any conversation by shouting, “Squirrel!” Similarly, I have meant to write a post (or six). I’ve started a post (or six). But I haven’t finished one of them, and I’m blaming it on the squirrels. Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Let me live in my boat at the side of the river And be a friend to my mates. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2016 at Harts At Sea
We have purchased few books in the past five years, fewer still in the past two. We’ve relied on book sharing with other cruisers, which tends to be both limiting and surprising. I love reading books on my Kindle but pretty much abhor paying the full hard-cover price for an e-book. This had been a Facebook discussion among writers a couple of years ago—a discussion I didn’t have the data time for doing much other than putting in my two-cents, so I don’t know if they came to a consensus. Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Now that it’s warmer in St. Augustine, where the spring weather apparently goes from 90 to 60 in a 24 hour period, I have begun to prepare to launder all the wearable fleece and warm blankets prior to storing them under our bed for the next (fingers crossed) nine months. Over the past three months, I have frequently returned home from the laundry with one or more lonesome socks. Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Social Media can be a beautiful tool. Last week, EW and I were tagged in a Facebook post from our dear friend and former cruiser, Peter Bonta. Peter is EW’s guitar guru. We met him and LeeAnn during our first season in Grenada, nearly five years ago, and found new friends-for-life. IMG_4433 They sold their boat and are now living in Italy. (How cool is that?) Due to the miracle that is Facebook, Peter forwarded a post by a musician friend of his, David Watt Besley, announcing a private home concert in St. Augustine. Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Land dwellers we meet here worry about how we get groceries and do laundry. After five years of cruising among many island communities, we are old hands at dinghying, busing, and walking. We have a cart and aren’t afraid to use it. I drive the dinghy as well as EW, and will go anywhere he would go with it. We can dinghy to one dock near a Win Dixie and one near a Publix. Getting to the stores isn’t the problem, buying too much, stocking junk food, and finding the best deals and best produce: these are my first world problems for weekly provisioning. (We had to ask someone what a “BOGO” was—”Buy One and Get One (Free)”. It’s up to us to find out whether that is really a deal or not.) Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2016 at Harts At Sea
I’ve been having vivid dreams lately. A few nights ago I dreamt that I had to sing a particular song on stage. I knew it was a dream for two reasons: first, those in charge gave me a new outfit that magically made me 20 pounds lighter and twenty years younger; and secondly, I was sure I’d nail the song and wasn’t at all worried about singing alone on stage. Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2016 at Harts At Sea
But this isn’t about pickles. This is about our strengths and weaknesses, and about belief. I believe that I can find anything EW has lost. He believes that something he can’t find, is lost forever. This is not new. I have been finding things for EW for over 30 years. You think he’d believe in my abilities by now. But no, if he can’t find it, it can’t be found. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2016 at Harts At Sea
It’s been an interesting winter in St. Augustine. When we arrived before Christmas, we enjoyed 80-degree temperatures. In January, as regular readers know, things went north. EW had to buy blankets, and we both needed more long pants. Getting out of bed in the morning was shocking. Don’t even mention using the head. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2016 at Harts At Sea
It is no secret that I sail because EW is a sailor, and that I cruise because I adopted and fully embraced his dream, and this is true of biggest majority of cruising couples we meet. In some cases they learned to sail together, and in some cases they formed the dream together, but most we meet who are our age are cruising because the guy wanted to cruise. Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Right after that I was scurrying up the dock to dump the garbage and met a couple coming down the ramp. I said “Good Morning,” and they replied with strong southern accents, so I performed a classic double-take when I caught a glimpse of the lady’s bright yellow sweatshirt, emblazoned: “Shin Pond Established 1982”. “Is that Shin Pond in Maine?” Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2016 at Harts At Sea
For the past five years, we’ve shopped for parts and provisions by walking and riding in a a variety of local buses, so riding the clean, warm, local bus or the Port of Call Cruisers’ Bus is a joy. We have found an excellent farm stand just a one mile walk away, so I have good quality fruits and veggies at very reasonable (if not Grenada) prices. The locals are friendly, even if many are nonplussed by our cheerful “Good morning/afternoon/evening!” We were taught well by friends and strangers in the Eastern Caribbean, and still greet nearly everyone with whom we make eye contact. (OK. I admit it. Sometimes I just do it to be different or perverse. It’s kind of fun.) Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2016 at Harts At Sea
Kirsten’s first choice would have been a 9 mile round trip jaunt, something I didn’t think my legs and feet would yet appreciate, so we shortened it to 5 miles, north along the water, through a beautiful neighborhood, past the Fountain of Youth, and one third of the way across the Usina Bridge to Vilano Beach. (And yes, now I have a goal of making it all the way to the beach and back, preferably on a morning when the temperature is above 60.) Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2016 at Harts At Sea
While we are in St. Augustine I may have to get EW a guitar burgee so he can more easily find folks with whom to play music. Every time we’ve met new cruisers and exchanged cards he asks (hopefully and more and more wistfully), “Anyone on your boat play music?” Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2016 at Harts At Sea