Ke 'Ola Kai - The Nautical Adventures of "Hurricane Lisa"
RSS Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

Farewell to the Eastern Caribbean, For Now...
Catching up on 2014!
Hauled Out and Keeping it Grillin' Hot!..(After a little ChickV)
Springing Forward in St Martin/Sint Maarten
Sobbing Farewell and Ferocious Sail

Categories

Life on the Sea: The Journey
Mountain Home Land Base
Party Time
Preparing
powered by

What We're Up To....

Farewell to the Eastern Caribbean, For Now...

November 3, 2015

It is now well into the Fall of 2015 and I have completely failed once again at keeping up! I just read my last post of March, promising to put out monthly photos to go with my stories...oops! One day I will catch up the highlights...I have to, I have so many cool pictures!

For now though, let me just catch you up on some of our escapades during our last days in the Eastern Caribbean!
We finally did depart Grenada and Carriacou. It was so difficult. Truth be known, I sat inside the Grenada Customs and Immigration Office in Carriacou for over an hour...just sitting there. The officers said "do you want to checkout?" ..and I said "no, well yes, I need to, but no, I don't want to go!" Since I am friends with them all, they simply laughed and said "you're not leaving!"...and shared the Jack Iron rum with me!


When we finally left, we went to Union Island and I immediately made a new friend, Clem Ashton who was the boat boy who wanted  to take our money for a mooring ball. Since we were only checking into St Vincent and the Grenadines, we only needed the ball for 1 hour. He wanted way to much money and I told him so...as we went back and forth on prices, cost of living and inflation, he mentioned how many children he has to feed, well that led to me needing to see pictures!...and naturally inviting him aboard for a rum! Needless to say, we became instant pals...we still keep in touch extremely regularly today and we had some great times together during our time on Union Island. Incidentally, we ended up sneaking back into Carriacou the following weekend for a two day party on the beach! Great times man!
Clem having a rum and sharing family photos
Clem having a rum and sharing family photos
Going for a ride to Happy Island!
Going for a ride to Happy Island!
Happy Island, Man Made bar on a reef!
Happy Island, Man Made bar on a reef!
Having a blast with the boat boys and locals!
Having a blast with the boat boys and locals!
Lovely Union Island
Lovely Union Island
Writing postcards from St Vincent and the Grenadines
Writing postcards from St Vincent and the Grenadines
Barracuda Yacht Club
Barracuda Yacht Club
Union Island
We really enjoyed the Lionfish Derby
We really enjoyed the Lionfish Derby
Cooking up d Lion Fish!
Cooking up d Lion Fish!
Lovely Frigate Bay
Lovely Frigate Bay
Union Island
On a free excursion!
On a free excursion!
Limin with Smokey (Kishon)
Limin with Smokey (Kishon)
We went dancing!
A little something special
A little something special
...tequila!
great night out!
great night out!
Oh yes, I did do a little pole dancing!
Oh yes, I did do a little pole dancing!
why not?!


So when we did finally get going, we spent time in Union Island, stunning Petit St Vincent and Morpion, which is apparently the most photographed Caribbean Island for screen savers! Oh, we met a newlywed couple from California at a bar in Union and we ended up having them for champagne in Morpion and we went out to dinner together in PSV! Beautiful moments with beautiful people. We also went to see our good friends in Mayreau (which was fabulous!) and spent a night anchored in Canouan, where we received a radio call from a neighboring boat, inviting me to "noodle" with the lady next door! (that's exercise folks!)
The Southern Cal Honeymooners
The Southern Cal Honeymooners
Henryk and Lisa
Kayaking to Morpion
Kayaking to Morpion
Almost there..Morpion
Almost there..Morpion
Beautiful snorkeling
Here we are on Morpion
Here we are on Morpion
We took cheese and crackers and meats and chilled wine!
Petit St Vincent
Petit St Vincent
Petit SV
Petit SV
Happy Island!
Happy Island!
At anchor in Mayreau
At anchor in Mayreau
Lovely Caribbean Sea
Lovely Caribbean Sea
BYE BYE to our Carriacou friends we met up with in Mayreau!
BYE BYE to our Carriacou friends we met up with in Mayreau!
Too hard to say goodbye!
Dusk over the bay
Dusk over the bay
Gorgeous Mayreau at sunset
Gorgeous Mayreau at sunset

Then on to Bequia for the Bequia Easter Regatta! What a blast! Dave and I got recruited to crew on "The Spirit of South Africa", obviously from South Africa. The Captain was a pig, I must say and his first mate was actually the bass player from the Aussie band "Men at Work"..remember them? He looked like he died years ago, along with their music! It was one hell of a race weekend experience! Luckily, we were able to hang out everyday with our good friend Kaya, who owns a local watering hole (and makes the BEST chicken on the island!). We went to a local party on Easter with him and had him aboard KE 'Ola Kai as well. He gave me a lovely gift for Easter, a gorgeous handmade coconut necklace and earrings that he made himself and a couple of CD's of St Vincentian Soca Music and songs I love!
Love that Kaya!
Love that Kaya!
Limin on Ke 'Ola Kai
Limin on Ke 'Ola Kai
The Captain prepping for race day one
The Captain prepping for race day one
Spirit of South Africa
The Crew
The Crew
Great SVG Rum!
Great SVG Rum!
How about that for a ring toss?
How about that for a ring toss?
Dave tries his luck for a rum
Lotsa goodies to toss on!
Lotsa goodies to toss on!
Lower Bay, Bequia
Kaya pouring d rum!
Kaya pouring d rum!
Lovely Bequia
Lovely Bequia
Team Grenada wins FISRT PLACE
Team Grenada wins FISRT PLACE
Bequia Easter Regatta 2015
Cool Bequian-made double enders racing
Cool Bequian-made double enders racing
Mustique
Mustique
Mustique
Mustique

We also had the great pleasure of a new and lasting friendship (another close person I continue to communicate with, nearly daily) with the Captain of "Da Rock", local Shelton Morgan. We spent a great deal of time with Shelton , locally known as "Dumpling" during our fantastic stay in Bequia (many hours of rum and stories aboard Ke 'Ola Kai). He made me very happy by taking me to the island of Mustique one day. Here's my Facebook post about it, I think it's worth posting here:

"Yesterday we went to Mustique with a local friend, on his speedboat. We only went to the fishing village because the elite private island had "special" people so the airport and island were closed to us regular folks. The fishing village is a shit pile of shacks that the "richies" had built for the fishermen (by the fishermen) to come and stay and fish the waters for them. They must go out 12 miles to throw their nets and they sleep in bunks in the village while they are working for the rich white folks. It didn't take me long to hate the island. We never left the locals in the village... We BBQ'd fish, played dominoes and drank plenty of beer..all bought from the local fisherman who are only allowed to stay in their village or go to work in the various rich places then immediately return to their village, all the while being watched on island cameras everywhere. So many people get upset about the animals of this world... What about the inhumane treatment of HUMANS!! I am pleased to bring local friends to our home every day! We don't have much, but what we have we always share as equals."

I mention people getting upset about animals above, because I had also posted the fact that the whalers in Bequia had harpooned a whale that day and we had the privilege of watching the locals line up and receive their share of food and oil. I had an outpouring of anger from many people, one of which  outright accused me of being a "part of the problem". Well, I was simply telling a tale of our experience with a 139 year old Bequian island tradition, which happens to be legal and supplies food for an entire  population of people. They do not catch them for commercial profit, but for sustainment. We felt very honored that Shelton showed up on Ke 'Ola Kai the next night and cooked us  roasted whale for dinner. It was amazing, just like medium rare roast beef...and he brought us whale oil to keep our meat preserved  forever and another portion of raw meat to freeze for another dinner later.
Da Rock
Da Rock
Shelton "Dumpling" Morgan
Shelton cooking us dinner
Shelton cooking us dinner
Ke 'Ola Kai's Galley
Typical Night
Typical Night
Shelton could tell stories for hours!
Mustique
Mustique
Mustique
Mustique
The bakery
The bakery
The Fishing Village
The Fishing Village
Mustique
Dominoes
Dominoes
The boys Limin
The boys Limin
Cooking us some Tuna!
Cooking us some Tuna!
Dinner
Dinner
(we ate the tuna on leaves for plates)
Shelton on the right
Shelton on the right



After Bequia, we spent a week in the most lush island of all, beautiful mainland St Vincent.  We absolutely love St Vincent. We have great friends  there and made new ones, like my beautiful Alicia, who just checked in on me yesterday and Burton, a gorgeous St Vincy native who lives in Manhatten now and tried to hook up with us a few weeks ago when we were in Long Island, NY. We even climbed the active volcano! Right to the top and looked in! I posted these words that night:

"Got up at 6:00am and hiked this baby!! Le Soufrierrre Volcano at 4,048 ft. in stunning St Vincent!... Then wandered the incredibly gorgeous Montreal Gardens. My body is exhausted, my brain is still in sensory overdrive... 2:00am and still pumped! Windward side of St Vincent is absolutely heavenly!"


I wrote many heartlfelt posts over those days, with astounding photos. Looking back on them today to write this reminds me very clearly of why SVG will forever own a piece of my heart. 

We left mainland St Vincent with loaded hearts for sure.

My sweet Alicia
My sweet Alicia
(on the right)
The stunning eastern coast of SV
The stunning eastern coast of SV
beautiful coastal driving
beautiful coastal driving
at the top of the volcano
at the top of the volcano
marijuana harvest
marijuana harvest
4 hours up!
4 hours up!
stunning Montreal Gardens
stunning Montreal Gardens
St Vincent
my friend Sonja and her son Thomas
my friend Sonja and her son Thomas
picking lemon grass on the side of the road!
picking lemon grass on the side of the road!
shedding tears as we sail away
shedding tears as we sail away
this lovely family came out to say goodbye
this lovely family came out to say goodbye
Sunset.
Sunset.
overnight sail to Martinique


Onward and upward though, north to magical Martinique for a fantastic week of French life before heading to the Dutch Caribbean, also known as the ABC's. Here's one of my favorite Facebook posts about our arrival in Martinique, dated April 13th:

"Here in Martinique... Not your average Caribbean Island... More like EuroCarib! Not 5 minutes on shore and we've got a new local pal, Alexandre...I wouldn't have guessed his name as he has a "W" tattoo on his face where the "prison teardrop" usually goes! Haha! He showed us all the way through town to the Digicel phone store for a local SIM card... And gave us both a kiss! I smacked his left cheek like I do all my local friends and went right in!...... When we were coming back to our dinghy and saw him limin where we had first met him.. I said "oh I'm sorry, you Frenchy's kiss both sides... I owe you one".. And puckered my lips for his right cheek.. He said "we French like dis"... And he kissed my left, my right, my lips, my eyes, my whole face! Hahaha... I giggled all the way home...SeaDog Dave was a good sport!"

Alexandre showing us around Fort-de-France
Alexandre showing us around Fort-de-France
The Market
The Market
F-d-F
Singers at the Ferry Station
Singers at the Ferry Station
we took a ferry to Le Anse d'Arlet
we took a ferry to Le Anse d'Arlet
Le Anse d' Arrlet
Le Anse d' Arrlet
Sadly a cruiser boat caught fire and burned overnight
Sadly a cruiser boat caught fire and burned overnight
Fort-de-France
Fort-de-France





***NOTE I will update soon with photos of the creole village!      


We departed our beloved home waters of three years, the Eastern Caribbean on April 19th...stay tuned for our adventures in the ABC's!



Catching up on 2014!

Today is Wednesday, February 25, 2015.


Two Thousand Fifteen?! What?...and the end of February? I have just logged on to our webpage to change my billing information, as my Canadian Checking account is running out of dough. In doing so, I looked at my history of posts. Pretty sad state I'd say. Wow...where has the time gone?...and my creative writing mind?  I really must apologize to my followers and fans, I've fallen and I need to get up when it comes to keeping up with the accounts of our Life on the Sea! It seems I've started the past few blogs with the same sentiment. Maybe its a pattern of laziness? Maybe it's a pattern of laid back life? Whatever it is, I'm paying every month to keep this website up and running, so I really must want it! I think it's the thought of "catching up" that overwhelms me. That coupled with the in and out WiFi we get as the wind blows! It gets awfully frustrating to say the least.


Well, enough whining and excuses...today I thought I'd post our "Christmas Letter,2014 " that I sent out electronically to our Ke 'Ola Kai Facebook page and our e-mail lists. Then I will use it to build on and add photos to tell the stories a bit better. How does that sound folks?  It's a start at catching up.


Here we go....

Christmas Eve 2014
Season’s Greetings from the lovely Caribbean. 
Captain Sea Dog Dave and I are still enjoying  fabulous days of living on the sea. There’s nothing like cool breezes on hot, starry nights  or watching the sea roll into a white sandy beach, with palms swaying. 
 
This year of 2014 blessed us with many, many  new friends, cherished memories and  awesome experiences to last our lifetimes.          
                                                                                                                                                                                  
We left the beautiful island of Grenada, and the local four generation family and friends who we love so dearly, in early January. We sailed north to Carriacou for fun in the sun with our dear local friends, including a private island BBQ and island rum tour.  

From there, we sailed to the lovely Grenadines of St Vincent, where we enjoyed good times in Chatham Bay, Union Island, our favorite “Bar Before the Jungle” on Mayreau and swam with the sea turtles in the cays. We made our late January destination of “The Bequia Music Festival” and enjoyed a 4 day weekend of  Blues, Soca, steel pan music and local fun! 
           
By the end of  January we sailed past the famous Pirates of the  Caribbean bay called Wallilabou, passed the stunning Pitons of St Lucia and spent wonderful days in the beautiful Marigot Bay of St Lucia while reuniting with our favorite racing rivals (and dearest friends) from Toronto, Canada!...and then stayed to watch Denver lose in the Superbowl, perfectly surrounded by beauty…Oh Yeah baby! 

February started out in a French way, as we headed to lovely Martinique and shopped to our delight! We anchored in both Marin and St Pierre.  

From there it was a quick stop for an overnight sleep in Dominica,  where we were remembered by the locals who came  out to greet us!...then on to Guadaloupe for more French bread,  wine, cheese and  a lovely stroll through the stunning  Botanical Garden in Deshaies.
         
After leaving  Guadaloupe, we were on a straight shot to St Martin/Sint Maarten.  En route, we sailed passed Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis, St Kitts, Sint Eustatius, Saba and St Barths. 
While anchored in Simpson Bay Lagoon, St M, Dave flew to Toronto for 10 days and for a much needed visit and stay with his son Mike, while I caught up on wood oiling, long mountain and beach hikes and simple relaxation.  

Upon his return, we hooked up with so many old, but not forgotten friends and new wonderful friends while partying at Mardis Gras,  wine tasting, casino traipsing, touring and eating  every kind of international food imaginable!     

We developed close relationships with many locals, got to know our yacht club folks like family, hooked up with a guy from Dave’s childhood hometown now serving the best pizza on the island!...and managed a couple of big projects! We got a new (huge) arch and davits custom built onto Ke’Ola Kai and I rekindled my wood carving with some fun projects! We also entered AND WON (in our class)…the internationally renowned Heineken Regatta!...What a time we had…right through Easter Sunday and beyond!    

We departed St Martin/Sint Maarten at the end of April, with a new found love for each other, as well as the island. We chose to  make a long run back “home” to Grenada.  It was a 3.5 day non-stop journey at sea  and it was perfection!        

After being spoiled by the men of our Grenadian family on Mother’s Day, we left our floating home in their care and flew back to our stunning home on the mountain, “Ke ‘Ola Mauna”. We went from a horizon of never ending blue sea to the never ending forest trees…for as far as the eye can see.  
In the 2.5 months we were there, we truly felt that we became part of “the mountain” and our community.  We joined the Moose Lodge and immediately felt the love of a tight knit family. We got to know our local vendors, contractors, employees and neighbors. I joined the Volkswagen Club, got established with health care providers and even managed a part-time job! We got to spend much needed time with family, went on two camping trips, a reunion and special visits.
    
Our big highlight was the drive through Northern California and up through Oregon. You have not seen the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest until you’ve made that drive! This drive brought us to great times with our family in Oregon and reunited us with all of my siblings for my Dad’s 85th birthday…and we got to meet and get to know our great-nephew, Jantzy for the first time in his life! We even got to go to an Oakland A’s Game up in Seattle (thanks to my bro!) where the day included a boat ride in the San Juan Islands and a reunion with my smiling cousin who I hadn’t seen in 30 years!   

We arrived back on Grenada at the very end of July, just in time to head back up to Carriacou for their annual regatta (which rocks!!!!) and then right back up to Grenada for the arrival of my cousin  Wendy for our traditional “decade” birthday visit.
           
I turned 50 (she 51) on Jab Jab morning (the start of Grenada Carnival)…and we celebrated as hard as we did ten years before when she came to Toronto for my 40th! Of course it was much more grandiose…as it was Carnival! 

September and October proved to be very busy months for me, as I was honored to be the Maid of Honor in my honorary Grenadian sister’s wedding on October 25th. That meant creating bouquets and favors and sizing and shopping…and the great fun of throwing the bachelorette party!!...we actually had several pre-wedding bashes for both sexes…so it was quite a busy month! 
In November, we said our tearful bittersweet goodbyes to the family in Grenada that we have come to love with all our hearts and respect  so dearly.  Our destination: The Western Caribbean                  via the  ABC’s… Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. 

We only made it to Carriacou (ok, so that’s still technically the nation of Grenada) to see and say farewell to our dear friends there… and ended up staying and enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving dinner on Ke ‘Ola Kai with  three beautiful young local girls and their Mom….and quite a few local guys who stopped by  throughout the day! It was genuinely special and a day I will cherish always.  After that, we could not resist the Grand Opening of our dear Grenadian friends’ new bar, so with sealed lips…we snuck back down to Grenada and SURPRISED everyone on the Saturday night! 
We tried, oh how we tried, once again to depart Grenada. It was simply too difficult. I mean no insult when I say this, but it was a million times more difficult to say goodbye to Grenada than it was to say goodbye  to 16 years of living in Toronto. I say it all the time, the people  of Grenada are the most loving, caring and kind people I  have ever known, as a whole, in my lifetime ….warm, generous and sincere.
       
So we prolonged our stay through December…which worked out perfect because as the holidays set in, I realized that I needed my son. I was blessed to have gotten to travel to Chicago for a week with the greatest love of my life, my son Mickey…and to enjoy the beauty of Christmas in Chicago. (Don’t worry folks, Dave was well managed by the family back in paradise!)… 

And here we are today, Christmas Eve.  We had our Christmas Family Dinner and gifts for the children in Grenada  last Sunday and we sailed on Monday back to Carriacou. Since we spent Christmas in Grenada last year, so we promised our dear friends in Carriacou that we’d spend Christmas with them this year. So we are and it’s been so special.  

Last night we listened to local children sing, we sang along with Christmas carols and we watched the kids dance and enjoyed  an entire evening (to the wee am  hours)of traditional  Carriacou Christmas at “Paradise Beach”. 

 As usual in our Grenadian life, we didn’t see any other yachties at this event.  It’s somewhat unfortunate that many cruisers see the cruising life when they visit many of the islands but don’t engage in the actual local life of the island. This is what we do and what we love…and the reason why it’s so hard to leave. It’s like leaving home, family, loves. I don’t know why I even typed that…it IS leaving home, family and loves!  

Last night was the first time I felt Christmas inside me this year (except for the moments with Mickey) and it felt wonderful. Dave and I were both singing and dancing on the beach and consistently getting hugs and holiday meal invitations from local folks we know and love! It’s a wonderful life!
            
This was intended to be a brief Christmas note to wish you the Merriest of Christmases, the Happiest of New Years and any other holiday your family traditions bring you. As always, I just have so much to say. I’m glad it flowed though, so you know how it is, our Life on the Sea! (Bonus for me, that I now have a “year at a glance” Blog story…I’ll just add the photos!)  
             
We wish you  a Merry Christmas,   a healthy and prosperous New Year  and  Happy Holidays!
                                                              
With Love and Aloha,                                                                    
Dave and Lisa                                                                  
S/V Ke ‘Ola Kai




Ok, so that was our Christmas Letter outlining 2014. Not bad...but not too detailed and no pictures! I've decided to make each month into a seperate post, otherwise this would just be too long and I'd never finish! This way, I can do the laborous part of attaching pictures during the day and picking up the wifi strength to post at night! As it is...today is Saturday, March 7th!!..and I am only now getting this posted from a week ago...aaah, the life of sailors, what can I say!


Stay Tuned for January 2014!....









































Hauled Out and Keeping it Grillin' Hot!..(After a little ChickV)





I've been getting lots of messages wondering where we are and what we're up to...

We are 12 Degrees North!


And it's that time again. Time to give our beloved Ke 'Ola Kai a nice rub down and manicure...more like a bottom scraping, sanding and anti-fouling paint job!



We are currently hauled out in a beautiful southern bay in St David's Grenada. It's hot as hell these days, with lotsa of rain...of course resulting in standing water and those damned mosquitoes

Sunday Night on a Mooring at Grenada MarineWe're right out there...Very beautiful little bay
Originally, our planned out haul-out and painting was to be done in Carriacou, the little island of Grenada's chain that we love so very much. That is where we did it last year. We had sanded and put on an ablative antifouling that we had read would do the job best. It was a "red" Seahawk brand that had scored the highest points all around on "Practical Sailor" a site that tests competing items that are necessities to sailors. It was supposed to be long lasting and stay on! It wasn't and didn't. Within a year, it looked worse than it had after not being done for two years! We even had our bottom cleaned by a diver at the end of July and when she was lifted end of Sept, she looked like a REEF! And I find I really must highlight "red" because the paint was the farthest thing from it, in my opinions! This is RED!! Our bottom used to stand out so beautifully in it's FIRE ENGINE RED (as well as remind me of my Ohio State Buckeye and Firefighter son!) but Seahawks version is a rusted out old wagon...yuk!...anyways...


Haulin' our girl!
Haulin' our girl!
Nasty!
Nasty!
Critters were growing...even crabs!
Critters were growing...even crabs!
Yuk...Poor prop!
Yuk...Poor prop!
We had to change our haul-out plans for two reasons. First off, our main sail kept getting stuck in the mast. We have an in-mast furling which is great for double-handed sailing and not having to raise and drop the main or reef in squalls! Unfortunately, over time and by having our backstays pulling a little too tight, our in mast furler got broken. It also caused our forestay and genoa furler to become too long and way too flimsy! As it turns out, our sweet little marina in Carriacou does not have a mast hoist, so we sadly are missing out on great times with all of our dearest local friends there during maintenance time.

We also had to cancel and rebook our scheduled haul-out due to those damned mosquitos! Well, I'm guessing it was just ONE of those little buggers! You see, Dave had the miserable misfortune of having his meager blood sucked by one of those little suckers with The Chikungunya Virus! "ChikV" in cruiser-talk! At least he did the popular thing and got it at the peak epidemic level!  Seriously though, it has been an excruciating experience for him, to say the least. There is no treatment and no cure! You just treat the symptoms and endure.



DayOne: His neck and shoulders started getting very achy and his whole body was just in exhaustion mode.

Day Two, Three, Four: extremely high fever (nothing brought it down except for one dose of ibuprofen gave him a 35 minute relief on Day 3), complete lethargy, severe joint pain in every joint on his body.  No appetite, no taste buds, just misery. It was difficult to watch. Even more difficult was the fact that he's a stubborn old salt! I nearly had to strap him into his bosun's chair and drop him in the sea the cool that fever!!! Why are men so damned stubborn when it comes to being sick?!

Day Five, Six, Seven: Fever gone YAY!...Severe headaches, joint pain and new rash on his torso. Also serious swelling of toes, feet, ankles. (Since the onset of symptoms and still through now, he cannot even fit his ring on his finger anymore...not even close!)


The symptoms began to taper after that. He is passed the two week mark and still has somewhat debilitating joint pain, exhaustion and swelling. (I started this post 5 days ago) Today, this morning after more than 3 weeks his torso is absolutely covered in a bright red , itchy rash! Yes...those damned mosquitoes! We know many, many friends who have had it, or are suffering from it now, including at least half or more of our Grenadian Family! Luckily for some, the symptoms are shortcoming and not so severe. But for others, as in my poor Sea Doggies case, it can be quite horrendous and ultimately, the effects can be long-term and/or lifelong. I'm so sorry Dave...I know it sucks!


Back to the job at hand. Dave is off scrubbing and polishing our prop and shaft, while up to 6 guys begin sanding our hull, after a week of scraping barnacles off her! The rigger is awaiting parts (should come today) for our mast and the glass guys are resetting our two large starboard windows hat have been leaking in big storms. Whew! ...and here I am, FINALLY doing my job as Communications Director and blogging away! I've got lot to catch up on!



Our new home for 3 weeks!
Our new home for 3 weeks!
Working it...
Working it...
They work, They Drink, They Play Dominoes!
They work, They Drink, They Play Dominoes!
Life is good in Grenada!
Boy did they drop this one in close!
Boy did they drop this one in close!
Too close for comfort!
As I mentioned up there somewhere, it's freaking hot! Our temps have been in the high 80's but with lots of precipitation, it's muggy hot and feels like 100. I'm actually cheating in my air-conditioned bedroom right now at our Grendian family home! (sorry again Capt Dave), but really, I'd just be in the way at the marina today!
Cruisin' the yard!
Cruisin' the yard!
Hoisting our mast off!
Hoisting our mast off!
Super wash job!
Super wash job!
Had to throw in the ASS shot!
Had to throw in the ASS shot!
Scraping the reef!
So Close!
So Close!
Yikes!!
Give her a push away Davey!
Give her a push away Davey!
There was quite a swing as they lifted her!


We have been blessed with such generous and loving members of our Grenadian Family, who we just can't say enough about. Rubin and Virginia have so kindly offered us the 2 bedroom, fully furnished apartment below their family home for us to live in while Ke 'Ola Kai is on the hard (Sailor's term for a boat on land). We are treated as if we are their own children (maybe sibling in Dave's case) and cannot be more appreciative. It's wonderful sitting on the front porch and playing dominoes with the girls at night, or being handed a huge plate of food when you walk up the stairs.

Yesterday I was called over to shuck corn...a couple of hours of chores with the family made me miss my grandmother and the days of family unity. I love it here. I just love it and my only wish today is that I could bring my Chicagoan son, Mickey here...even for a few days...to see all the family love, respect, work and simplicity. He has three out of four of those in his life, as I did too...but the simple, easy, laid back life of the island is beyond explaining in a mere blog. growing fruits and vegetables and tending livestock for to feed your family is also common in the Midwest...but the level of community is paramount. So many come here, to this home and pitch in and these folks give and give...if someone is hungry, they will get food, if someone is thirsty, they will get drink, if someone needs shelter, they will have a home...it's all so simple, so kind, so everyday life in Grenada.


Now...when I speak of this loving Grenada Family of ours, I can't forget to throw in the "Fun-Loving" part! Not only does the family own a bar, here on the property, that we frequent regularly (now daily)...but we also get all together for all kinds of fun times from BBQ's to Beach Days to entertainment venues, etc. We have a family wedding coming up this month too...which is also why I am at home planning a bachelorette party (I am a Maid of Honor)! I have to mention last Saturday's island event "King of the Grill". Last year's was in August and it was when and where we met our rockin' Grenada Family...so even though this years was pretty far out of the way and in the wetter month of October...we couldn't miss it! We loaded up a friend's bus with all family and a few friends from the hood "Westerhall" and Oh My God!!!...what a great time we had! I laughed so hard and my hips were sore on Sunday...yes from winding it up...in the bus...all the way home!
Our Chariot Awaits...
Our Chariot Awaits...
It was a long drive up island to St Andrew's Parish
It was a long drive up island to St Andrew's Parish
Complete with Rum Shop stops!
Uncle Jonah Keepin' it safe
Uncle Jonah Keepin' it safe
Buckle Up Rum and Campari!
BBQ Pigtail
BBQ Pigtail
A Grenadian Favorite!
Paradise!
Paradise!
Pork, Chicken, Fish, Ribs..even Lobsta!
Pork, Chicken, Fish, Ribs..even Lobsta!
Who's the King of the Grill?
This could be a winner?!
This could be a winner?!
On it's way to the judges booth...
Part of the gang...
Part of the gang...
(Our Grenadian Family gang)
The David's
The David's
The news was there...
The news was there...
TT (our bus owner/driver and friend)
The Beer was cold and plentiful!
The Beer was cold and plentiful!
(and cheap)
FREE RUM!
FREE RUM!
Yep...the free rum booth was hoppin!
They even gave us wet wipes!
They even gave us wet wipes!
(I preferred lickin' my fingers...the sauces were so dang good!)
mmmmmmmmmmmmm
mmmmmmmmmmmmm
chicken was awesome!
Getting down to the island tunes!
Getting down to the island tunes!
Kato and Alesha
Kacey and the Boys...
Kacey and the Boys...
party on the bus!
party on the bus!
EVERYONE was singing...
EVERYONE was singing...
Kenny Rogers! hahaha
The DJ's were rockin!
The DJ's were rockin!
(DJ competition all day!)
Now this is how you drive a bus!
Now this is how you drive a bus!
Karen getting a foot rub...all the way home!



































Yes...we have been having some serious fun, even though we are "Laid up" at the moment. As I write tis I am laughing at so many photos from the past week and anticipating another awesome day tomorrow with the family! We only have another 3 weeks here in Grenada, so we are making every day a "FAMILY DAY and spending as  much time as we can with our very dearly loved ones here. We talk to each other about the fact that Dave and I are departing soon and no one is happy about it. Oh they are happy that we are continuing the "dream" but so want us to remain here with the family where they all tell us "we belong". Life's greatest challenge is saying farewell to your loved ones, it never gets easier, the pain is never less potent. The gives and takes are oh so hard. But we must move on or we are cheating ourselves. I know  in my heart and soul, there will never be another island or cruising destination whose people own our hearts like this...not ever.


Back to the lighter side...

An added bonus...Dave has gotten to watch (and re-addict himself) to his beloved "Coronation Street" and I've gotten my Buckeye's and NFL! Oh yeah baby!!



And there you have it...what we're up to. Living Life and Loving Living!




Aloha from Ke 'Ola Kai!









Springing Forward in St Martin/Sint Maarten

Today is August 23rd!! I have just gotten my new computer up and running and my website on it and ready to work with! I have made a mess of my last Blog writing, which is THIS one, as it is so outdated and there is so,so  much more to add to it by now! It doesn't take long to write a blog story, but adding photos and actually posting it is a painstakingly long process! It actually takes HOURS to get the photos into one post and I find I give up on many of them halfway through!

I woke up this morning endeavoring to finally finish this one post from MARCH and have actually been at it for over 3 hours now, just trying to get the photos in!! As I read it, I feel terrible that I am leaving out so much and so many. So I will post it as is, because I am nearing the 4 hour mark and am tired! Now that I have my new computer, I will make a mental agreement with myself to really work on being a better blogger and somehow catching up our past years' adventures! There's so much to show you, the world! I am sending this off as is, but know that I will write a volume Two to SXM 2014! 

 HERE'S WHAT'S BEEN SITTING FOR MONTHS!!!...


Today is Tuesday, July 1, 2014.


I wrote my last Blog story way back in March, while at anchor in the very cool Caribbean island of Sint Maarten...but for reasons beyond me I never posted it!! Now that I read it, there was so much more to the story of St Maarten! Oh so much more...plus I needed to add photos! So here's my original story, complete with photos and a couple of little addendums I added today. But I will work on a continuation of our time there, in what turned out to be fantastic!...also, our 3 day non-stop journey back to Grenada where Ke 'Ola  Kai is awaiting our return, as we continue to enjoy our mountain cabin, Ke 'Ola Mauna!

  
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
 
We are at anchor in the Dutch waters of St Maarten.
 
We had no intention of spending this much time in and around this dual nation island, but circumstances have kept us here. So…we make the best of it.

 
I say that because we have always made it known that St.Martin/Sint Maarten has historically been far from our favorite island. Dave and I have been here three times now and the first two times we really did not care highly for it,other than being someplace new to see with cheap beer and a better variety of groceries and restaurants than most other Caribbean islands.



 
Trade Winds Cat SXM Mar 2011Our first visit here was to be a romantic few days in a beautiful condo (which it was) and a week on a Trade Winds Cruise Club catamaran (a cruising club we belong to), with three other couples we would meet aboard. The cruise ended up being mostly rainy, hardly any snorkeling and a captain and first mate who basically sucked!


St. Maarteen-St Barts-Anguilla Trip Mar 2011This was totally untypical of aTrade Winds cruise, so we remained upbeat and positive about it and ended up making very dear friends, Bill and Michelle from Connecticut. I actually wrote about them in a blog post in September of 2012, when we spent some time with them while cruising their shoreline.

We also took another Trade Winds cruise with Bill and Michelle in Guadeloupe a year later which very much a typical Trade Winds CC awesome time.







Our Welcome Party! Pat and Darnell S/V Island Dream.Mar 2013Our second visit to Sint Maarten/St Martin was March of 2013. Upon arrival, we were welcomed through the bridge by our dear friends Pat and Darnell of S/V Island Dream, who we had originally met in Puerto Rico, and joined up with again in the BVI, along with Stacy and Rene of S/V Pipe muh Bligh and Troy and Deana of S/V Storyville. We also met John and Jolanda of S/V JoJoHo for the first time there and what a fantastic connection that was...we just spent visit number three (this one) with them as well!



These are the very friends who have since become our beloved cruising family and have been very much a part of our lives ever since. In that visit, we attended many cruiser events from jams to potlucks, and met so many new faces, including Vee and Silvio of S/V Blues Breaker and Ian and Jackie of S/V Black Thorn Lady, among many others, who we continued to meet up with again and again in our travels. We did have really great times with everyone here last year and they are part of what made it alright to visit the island again.




















The biggest treat and great memory of last year’s stay was our visit from my bestest pal in the world, Michelle from Keswick, Ontario, Canada. She and her high school aged son, Nick came during Nick’s Spring Break from school.


Let me tell you, there is nothing in this world as fantastic as doing nothing with your best pal!








I never did write a blog post about it though, as that was about the time I stopped writing our every day adventures. I guess I had burned myself out and should have learned to just do highlights. I became so behind that I got overwhelmed at just the thought of catching up…so I just let it disappear. I will one day sit down and write those highlights from 2012, who knows; maybe I’ll even start today after I finish this post…
















That second visit here was nearly a month long. We had arrived within the first week of March and left the last week. Our last week consisted of a visit from a Canadian couple Art and Bonnie, who had been long time friends from our Yacht Club in Toronto. They joined us in St Maarten for a multi island tour that included Saba, St Eustatius, St Kitts, Nevis and ended in Antigua.



Along the way we saw beautiful diving sites, historical forts and churches, botanical gardens, rum factories, sugar cane plantations, volcanic cliffs, whales showing off and even a local cat house!
 





But I am so getting off track now, aren't I? Back to St Martin/Sint Maarten.



It was a well known fact among our cruising family, that Dave and I had not intended to sail back up the Antilles chain and return to SXM. In fact when people have always asked "what's  your favorite island?" We've always answered in sync: "Carriacou", likewise "what's your least favorite?" the answer was always, again in sync: "St Martin", even though we always thoroughly enjoyed the food and French Quarter street parades. Those weren't strong enough to bring us back for a third go in the island lagoon! We had to come back because we made a deal with Rene and Stacy for one, we also entered into the world famous International Heineken Regatta with those four as our crew, for two.


 
Third, Dave had an inexpensive round-trip flight to/from Toronto for a much needed visit with his son, Mike. I had the blessed privilege of flying to Chicago to see my son, Mickey (and Danielle) in the fall so I know very well how wonderful and necessary it is for time with our sons. Incidentally I made a brief side trip to Ontario back then as well, to spend the Canadian Thanksgiving with my best pal Michelle and her family which allowed me to also got to spend a great deal of time with Mike myself…extra blessed I am!

 
Fourth and finally, (and the reason why we are still here) is because we have contracted a really great guy, by the name of Havin, to create and install an aluminum arch and new davits to our aft deck and stern. The arch will house our much needed and brand new solar panels and wind generator, aswell as our radar, Wi-Fi antenna, American Flag, life raft, snorkeling gear, fishing poles and my ass in new corner bench seats…oh yeah baby! We have been living with the constant burning of fuel from our generator (sometimes needing to run it three times in a day!), because our current solar panels have only given us a mere 100 watts of energy from our vibrant sunshine. Living on the sea, we have the opportunity to take advantage of God’s wondrous elements without burning that fuel, so we are finally endeavoring to make that happen.We will soon have 500 watts of solar energy, plus another 400 watts from wind created energy! Yup, worth the stay in St Maarten!

 
Now, I have to make an honest admission here. I have changed my negative feeling for this island. There are so many reasons for this. Oddly enough, it’s not even the dollar beers! I do love watching the brand new Causeway Bridge with its brilliant light show reflecting on the water every night. It’s quite superb, and at times, truly magical.

 But that’s not entirely it either, despite the fact that I posted in Facebook one night that I was enjoying old country songs, sipping on red wine, watching the bridge’s light show and reflecting water colors and thinking about all the cherished memories of my son’s growing up with me. That was really something. Dave was away and I was having a special solo evening of motherly love and pride in my baby-turned-incredible man.

 
I think the first sign of my liking it here was when I had the opportunity to hike the mountains above the cities. Although Dave was away, I was able to join a group of cruisers (both times included Stacy, Rene, John and Jolanda, of course) on two Sundays. The views were incredible, the forest was beautiful and the trails were fun. I made great new friends and found myself knowing folks from other various islands we’ve cruised. I even reunited with a fellow from the UK who raced on the very same boat with Dave and me in the Antigua "Round the Island Race" last April! He maintains that we did, in fact beat the King of Norway on corrected time…how about that?! (I still think we “officially” took 2nd place to him.)


I have to mention meeting Tim, Jessie and Allie on the hikes…and later their Mom, Robin! They are a terrific family on a sailboat from Windsor,Ontario, Canada. Robin is American and originally from the Pacific Coast, like me. Tim is from Ontario. Jessie is in her first year of college at the University of Maine(she came on a 2 week break), on a soccer scholarship (way to go Jess!!) and Allie, took her sophomore (grade 10 for you Canadians) year off high school for the adventure of a lifetime at sea.

The second I met them, I knew they were special and I can’t wait to stay in touch always with them! I miss you guys!! Sheryl and Paul Shard were also on the first hike. They too are from Ontario, Canada and produce an informative television series called Distant Shores. Dave and I originally met them in Toronto several years ago, but have maintained our friendship with them during Hashes and events in Grenada as well as sharing our stories online.


 
Without doubt, the largest reason for my change of heart has been in getting to know local folks who live and work here. I truly believe that living in Grenada for seven months (including our time in Carriacou) has made me see things much differently on the way up island, than I saw them on the way down.I have learned to become a local when I essentially live in the islands’ waters rather than being a tourist or visitor. We raise each country’s flag when we arrive and we try to engross ourselves in the culture and ways of the island.This is so much more gratifying and educational. It makes us appreciate the blessings we have and our material needs, wants really, so much less.
 

Here’s a brief highlight of some of the folks here in StMartin/Sint Maarten who come to mind right now, they certainly aren’t everyone,but this will help paint my picture a bit.
 
Hongying “Annie”, our special gal who takes extremely good care of us at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  She always has a huge smile when we walk in, no matter how busy she is and gives hugs and laughs and makes us feel like we are a happy part of her life.
 

Abraham and Kathy of New Jerusalem (I’m pretty sure I talked about them in last year’s blog post) who treat us like family when we come forShawarma’s. Abraham has always called Dave “young man”, which he clearly loves! Often times Abraham gets so excited to see our gang that he gives us more beers…on the house! Kathy always has a beautiful smile and has introduced us to all their collective children.
 

Marina is the liveliest sexy little blonde Texan and is a commercial diver, now living here on the island. She always has a huge kind words whenever our paths cross. She stays in touch and offers her friendship graciously. Addendum: Aug 2014...currently Marina's adventures took her to the Azores, where she has been for just over 95 days now!


 
Greg
Greg clamping my piece of mast for carving! Apr 2014Greg, of S/V Providence. He built his wooden boat fromscratch over 30 years ago and sailed it across the Atlantic with his beloved wife (who he is still crazy about) and continues to make it his home in theSimpson Bay Lagoon. He is my wood carving teacher and is so dedicated toteaching all he can to his students. A real superb being, he is.
 
Mike, the refrigeration fixer and his brother, who fixed our issues last year, always stops in his path to say hello and chat with us. Also always with a smile on his face and in his beautiful Middle Eastern eyes.
 
Margarita from Venezuela, who cut my hair and speaks only Spanish. She tries real hard to get me to go salsa dancing at La Bomba with her. Whenever I pass her salon, she always hollers for me to come back and chaten espanol with her!
 
Carl and Sunshine who live aboard the “Pink Iguana” (an old Tugboat made into a local bar) and left me in charge of their bar one night,while I was staying late to await Dave’s arrival at the airport. They actually trusted me with their home and full service bar (yes even scotch and fullystocked beer!) to close it for the night after Dave got back and while theywent out on the town.
 
Havin has become our great pal. He had way too many workorders to take on our project, which is a huge one at that. But, he decided he really liked us and wanted to become friends with us, which in the end made his decision to put some local jobs on hold and take really good care of us. He is a special guy for sure (addendum: we found out that he bought a car for his worker with the money we paid him...as a gift!!)
 
Mike at Shrimpy’s is kind of creepy, but he has been fair and very friendly with us. We bought our new dinghy from him this past week andhe has bought our old davits. Nice doing business with people that treat you fairly and are friends when you see them on the street!
 
I had some time apart from Dave and met some locals who helped me tremendously. Joel, Sam, his brother, Sean, Sylvain…all sincerely great folks who assisted me in my time of need without question or expectation of remuneration…along with a couple of divers and a few dock dudes. Then there’s sweet Cheryl at the airport beach bar and restaurant, Louis the extremely accommodating French taxi driver, Elvis and the girls at the BBQ joint in the French Quarter, and the cool Rasta dude with Englebert’s voice who always holds my hand and sings to me at the Grand Case street fest parade nights.

 There’s Miley and the girls at Barnacles who always remember our name….and this year, there’s all the staff at the St Maarten Yacht Club, whoalways treat us like we are members there!
 


Yep, quite a few reasons to have a positively renewed opinion of this half French, half Dutch Caribbean Island.
 
We also have met many new cruising friends here this year,just as we did last year. It was St Maarten that introduced us to our dear friends Silvio and Vee on Blues Breaker (who are still in Grenada) and Gary and Barbara of Pa La ‘Ola and John and Robin of Out of Africa…and several more last year.
 
This year we have met Susan and LA of Genesis, from Mississippi; Jeff and Debbie of Sea Sparrow from, Halifax; Dave (aka George Clooney) and Wendy of Simple Life, from Florida; John and the sweetest of sweetie pies, Susie of Chelone, from Wales; Tony and Sharon of Hoofbeats, from East London and California; Len and Annette of Mandalay, from Long Island; and Sandra and Jay of S/V Long Reach from North Carolina and New Jersey (who are physicians that sail to volunteer their time, knowledge and profession throughout the Caribbean islands). We have also crossed paths again with our very dear friends Bob and Christine of Virginia Dare, who we’ve known and loved for about a year and a half having met in Annapolis, Carriacou, Grenada and St Martin, as well as Jack and Linda of Xanadu IV, from Port Credit (Toronto area) who we have had the sincere pleasure of hooking up with in Quebec, PEI, Nova Scotia, Maryland, Florida and now again in St Maarten!

We went on numerous hikes with our Aussie Cruiser friend Mark of S/V Sea Life and met a fabulous couple from the UK who just completed the famous ARC across the Atlantic...Troy and Madeline, who shared Easter Happy Hour with us on Ke 'Ola Kai.

This post so far is not even close to doing justice to the friendships we've made and I will promise myself to create a Volume Two of great times in SXM 2014. I especially have to touch more on the yacht club, the regatta and Mardis Gras in the French Quarter!


Addendum July 2014: the day after I wrote this we hooked up with our old friend Charlie from Jackson Hole, Wy of  S/V Bette Lane, who we shared Christmas with in the Bahamas in 2012!!!...and finally got to me his lovely wife, Bette Lane herself!  and then our friends Bob and Deb from Carriacou (really Utah) showed up and we made many happy memories with them, including sharing Easter brunch. I can't even get started on our dear friends at the ST Maarten Yacht Club...that will have to be for the next story...Volume Two SXM 2014!

 

And then….there’s the 34 Annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta! It took place March 6th through 9th. Dave and I have raced in several regattas in the Caribbean, but this is the first one that we entered Ke ‘Ola Kai in! We raced three days in a row in what is called the “Lottery Division”. There were 14 competitors in this race, all supposed to be Live-Aboard cruisers, essentially racing our “homes”. Our crew consisted of Rene and Stacy, who have some experience racing in the Gulf of Mexico; John and Jolanda, who have never raced before; and Susan and LA, who came out day one only, finding that racing just wasn’t their thing, but that’s ok, at least they got to see what it’s like.

 
We did quite well on Day One until disaster struck. We blew our Genoa track and block on the port side, then blew the head of our Yankee sail, causing it to drop instantaneously as if we lost our halyard!...a mere 3/10’s of a mile from the Finish Line! That took us out!

 
Day Two, we rocked the waters of SXM! We raced from Simpson Bay in Dutch St Maarten to Marigot Bay in French St Martin…it was awesome!There were giant and FAST Gunboats crossing our bow and stern as if we didn’t exist…super close calls that had a certain word flying past my lips several times! What a rush!...but the best rush was seeing Ke ‘Ola Kai on the board finishing in FIRST PLACE!!!!!  We did it, we got a First Place in the Regatta! In that particular division, every day wasa new race day, so it wasn’t based on accumulative racing. We were FIRSTperiod! We are so proud of all of us!

 
Day Three we took 6th in the end, I think. We had an incredible start and were right up there with those who crossed before us,it was quite competitive. The awards and after party on the beach was grand. It was really cool to see so many racers from countries all over the world. There were many Russians, Canadians, Americans, Italians, Germans, Dutch, French,South Americans, South Africans, Aussies, etc. We are glad we entered it; we only wish we would have behaved a bit better for our crew…Dave and I still have that ugly streak of strong competitors in us and that makes for uncomfortable scenes with serene retired folks! Sorry guys!!


 
Yes, French St Martin and Dutch Sint Maarten have been very good to us. I have been here to get to speak on the phone with my greatest joy, Mickey on both his 25 and 28 birthdays and have been blessed to have found a renewed love and stronger bond with my life partner and Captain Sea Dog, Dave.

 
I have also renewed my love of woodwork through this island…yeehaw, I have a creative productive and hobby that’ll keep me from a naggin’…a plus for everyone!!

 
So there you have it…this leeward island ain’t all that bad afterall. We are well, we are happy and we are busy. Hopefully we’ll be off the hook and sailing south soon again. We miss our famileeeee tremendously and will be seeing them all soon. We have plans to get back to Grenada and our California home soon.
 

Until the next time…
 

Stay Calm and Live Aloha, From Ke ‘Ola Kai

















 

 

Sobbing Farewell and Ferocious Sail

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
 
Well we are on the hook, once again, in the lovely island of Carriacou. It seems so long ago that we spent such great times here. This island is and always will be a very favorite of ours. It is part of Grenada,part of our home on the sea.
 
 
Before I fill you in on our sail up island, I think I'll simply paste (and enlighten) a few of my last Facebook posts, as they are pretty descriptive and say what I want to share here.
 
 
January 4th
 
 
The morning grew dark, the skies opened hard, the liquid sunshine came like daggers. Grenada is grieving, because we are leaving. You can see the palm trees waving their goodbyes. Tonight we share a bittersweet and certainly emotional farewell affair with our beloved Grenadian family, then we will continue on our adventurous nautical journey. But make no mistake.... We shall return Grenada.
 
 
 
 
Our Farewell Party was that evening. Trevor,  our friend and driver picked us (Dave, Stacy, Rene, Pat, Darnell and I) up at Clark's Court Bay Marina in Woburn Bay, our usual  pick up spot. Richard and David were incapable, as they had spent the entire day (since 10:00am) liming and drinking in town, with with none other than the SeaDog and Red Cock too. Supposedly Dave went in to do some banking in St George's and coincidentally "ran into them". Two cases later...and surprisingly grocery shopping at the market for me too!...Dave made it back just in time to meet us at CCBM, and the boys, well they got to Rubin's Place just minutes before us! Needless to say, Dave's first drink in the SeaDog House was a cold Coca-Cola! In all honesty though, I was sincerely happy that they got to spend a special, albeit raucous day together!
 
 
Here are just a few photos of the evening. As you can imagine, it was quite emotional. When Shaquille brought out the champagne and the toasts to eachother got started, there was not a dry eye in the house. I can  say without exaggeration, some moaning and wailing could be heard among us as well...especially once the "pimping" started! Relax folks, "pimping"  is when us girls share a bottle and shoot em straight up! We had a Vodka, then a Whiskey...yes, bottles poured into straight shots for me, Stacy, Alesha, Kato, Stacy and Abbie! (NO I'm not still high, we have two Stacy's!)
 
Shaquille pouring that evil whiskeyfor us girls
Shaquille pouring that evil whiskeyfor us girls
Time to Pimp Again...
Yes, Stacy is dancing!
Yes, Stacy is dancing!
After her double pimping!
Alesha with her Stag Chaser ready!
Alesha with her Stag Chaser ready!
Kato loving her whiskey!
Kato loving her whiskey!
Abbie, getting every drop!
Abbie, getting every drop!
Stacy doesn't need that chaser!
Stacy doesn't need that chaser!
They'll kill me for this one!!
They'll kill me for this one!!
Go Abbie!
Everybody's dancing now!
Everybody's dancing now!
Alesha n Bruce
Alesha n Bruce
LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
We LOVE you too RUBIN!
We LOVE you too RUBIN!
Most of us
Most of us
David and Stacy are missing...they're taking the pics!
And the toasts begin....
And the toasts begin....
And keep on going...
And keep on going...
and going...
and going...
And now the tears come...
And now the tears come...
...and keep on coming
...and keep on coming
More Toasts...
More Toasts...
More Love...
More Love...
...and more champagne!
...and more champagne!
Oh What a Night...
Oh What a Night...
What a Grand Farewell!
 
 
For the first time in a very long time, we had Trevor pick us up that night. It simply wasn't safe for any of our brothers to drive us home after those flood gates had opened. We even had a teary goodbye for Trevor, but the four of us already have him booked in June again! Hahaha!
 
 
As "See You Later's" with loved ones go, we weren't ready to not see our family for months just yet! So us four who departed yesterday (Dave, Rene, Stacy and I), loaded up in Bruce's truck and spent a relaxing, winding down day at the home and land of Kathleen and David, Snagglepuss, Dukie, Little Bits and Bella...Jonah and Nesta, Ronnie, Sean and Stacy and sweet Shaunnia. Shaunnia is three years old and spent the morning asking everyone.."Is SeaDog coming? Is SeaDog coming?"...Ah she loves her SeaDoggie G-Pa!
 
Sweet Shaunnia
Sweet Shaunnia
The girlies  in the kitchen!
The girlies in the kitchen!
Stacy, Alesha, Kato
Another great day in paradise!
Another great day in paradise!
Jonah
Jonah
Bruce
Bruce
Limin' Under the trees
Limin' Under the trees
Sharing Photos
Sharing Photos
Shaunnia
Shaunnia
One of the best parts of the day for me...aside from the feast fit for kings, queens and the whole damn castle!!!...was the picture sharing! We all got to see family pictures from David and Kathleen's wedding nearly four years ago...and then Jonah brought out the old family album...about 40 years of love! What a giant treat!!!  We left with gifts, sweet memories, fresh tears and Shado Beni and basil plants!! Life will go on...and on...and on.  Then we'll come back!
 
 
Monday was our day to sail. The weather guru's got it all wrong in giving us that day for an open window. But I say it was just what we needed to snap us back into sailing shape. After all, we live on the sea!
 
 
Here I am, back to the present, January 7th...and my morning FB post:
 
 
Here we are....waking up to a beautiful morning in lovely Carriacou! Why is there a knot in my stomach?...and an ache in my heart?

We got up bright and early yesterday, donned the wetsuit and scraped the prop and shaft. We departed the safety of our Sago Cove, waving goodbye to Island Dream, Blues Breaker and Black Thorn Lady. We were nearly 2 hours behind Stacy and
Rene on Pipe muh Bligh. As we exited Woburn Bay and made our turn to starboard, heading North up island, we unfurled the main sail. It was a bit stuck after months of being tightly wound, so all of a sudden it came flying out to FULL SAIL. No sooner did our main hit full and the wrath of the East Wind God hit us...42 Knots BAM! Instant heel all the way over...YEEEHAW!!! It actually felt good! Finally sailing again! The wind for the next hour or so varied from 28 to 40 knots, as we passed all the southern anchorages (and many cruising friends) of Grenada. The trip for us wasn't bad at all. Yes the swells were big, but I was still able to cut up fresh paw-paw and serve buttered sweet bread for breakfast, with coffee. I was still able to cook us lunch, have a nap and read a good book out on the deck!
 
 
We were pounded by 4 squalls, one of which Pipe looked back upon us and only saw a wall of gray! That's all we saw at the time too! We definitely saw 30's more than 20's for the majority of the sail, probably until we passed the volcano exclusion zone (of which we skimmed over en route).

It was, however, a smooth sail into Tyrell Bay. Of course, it was three phone calls from our beloved patriarch Rubin, back home in Grenada later, making sure we were safe! As we sailed in, friends here came out of their boats hollering "hello", one on a dock jumping up and down waving, one standing in front of Lambi Queen doing the same thing! Allison, a lovely local lady was waving as she fished. Then Sherwin, our long time local friend pulled up in his speed boat with a huge smile yelling "Hey, hey, hey!!!" Apparently, we weren't a surprise arrival as we had intended...Trevor, our friend and driver in Grenada had called to say to watch for us, as we were on our way in stormy seas!

It's good to be loved. Life is Awesome!!! Thank you to whatever Lord is up there watching over us.

(MISSING OUR FAMILY BACK HOME IN GRENADA already!! I already bragged to at least 10 old pals at Lambi Queen last night that I am going to be a Godmother and Maid of Honor, next time I pass this lovely little island! hahaha...get busy sista's!)
WE ARE ONE FAMILEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
 
 
So that's what I had posted first thing this morning.
 
 
Today, we met Rene and Stacey for lunch at a new place where Sherwyn's girl, Kimmie works. On the way there and back, we ran into many old friends.Most of them locals, a few of them cruisers. It was back to familiarity all over again. However, I did mention to Stacy over lunch that I was feeling melancholy. There was just still  a cloud over my feeling of moving on. Perhaps it's because we have already travelled to the places we are heading, perhaps I am still feeling the pain of leaving loved ones behind. But then....then....as we walked I heard my name...I looked up and there was Uncle Levi...my very favorite of favorites of all of Carriacou!...
 
 
He came running, I went running...every ounce of this Hurricane was flying into his arms....both feet off the ground! He caught me mid-air and held me in his arms, feet flying until I realized "I must be cracking his spinal chord!". That was what I needed. this man radiates so much peace, love and happiness it's unreal! I literally jumped up and down and onto him like a 4 year old heading to the 25 cent horsey ride at K-Mart! What a great afternoon we had, just limin' over Stags and catching up. Of course, once she heard my voice, Big Mama came running too for the giant hugs and kisses!
 
 
 
 
Big Mama is my favorite lady here...well her and Mary and Allison and Donesha and Tante and, well...it's good to be back in Carriacou!!!
 
 
 
I'm sure you won't here from me again until after the weekend. We have stuff to do...Dinner on Pipe tonight (Kato's lasagna,yum!), beach day and pizza night with cruiser friends tomorrow, Hillsborough and a visit to Christine at Patty's Deli and JB's new restaurant, Moringa Thursday, Friday Night Pans at the Lambi Queen, Saturday RUM SHACKS!!! (This is the very island known for its 100 rum shacks and 1 gas station!) and a visit to Bernard and the family at Windward, Sunday Boat Launch...wait, we need to add a BBQ on White Island in there...oh so much to do!!! The cloud has lifted!   The beautiful clear water is calling me, I'm heading overboard for a swim before dinner....
 
 
 
 
Until the next time....ONE LOVE.
 
 
 
 
 
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint