Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Magazine Article

Just to let everyone know. Wendy's new article, The Cruising Life 10 Things They Don't Tell You, is now published in Blue Water Sailing. Congratulations!
Jim and Bailey

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in Paradise

We had a lovely Christmas on this beautiful island. I was asked recently if I missed snow at Christmas? I'm not sure if Jim and I have ever missed snow! But having grown up in the midwest, I do associate snow with Christmas. Also the smell of a Christmas tree, baking cookies with my friend Marcia, singing "Sisters" from the movie White Christmas with my sister Connie, wrapping lots of presents and then spending time with family and friends. But even without that, this was a good Christmas spent with some very special people we've come to think of as our cruising family.

There were 12 of us together for a potluck dinner. We decided there wasn't a boat big enough for all of us so we gathered at the Prickly Bay marina. As usual, it was a feast! You've seen our friends before, here they are again!


Manon (Le Bete) and Randy & Lynn (High States)

Kathy & Kerry (Bellagio)

Gervais (Le Bete), Marie France & Gilles (Phoenix III) and Yvon (Taima)

Marie France and Gervais. The photographer was busy eating so Wendy had to step in. I goofed and cut Tom (Spiritus) out of the picture. Sorry!

Jim trying to keep all of Gilles baked ham for himself!

While the snow blew back home we celebrated under blue skies with a temperature in the mid 80's. Later, back at the boat it was time for a swim under a star-filled sky. No, we don't miss the snow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Grenada

Once again, we've decorated Merengue for the holidays. This year we've added 12 volt LED Christmas lights which we've strung around the cockpit. It's quite pretty and festive when we're sitting on deck or when viewed from our neighbors boats.
We began our celebrating by attending a Christmas Concert at a church in Grenville. Valerie Daniel, an opera singer from Grenada puts on a concert every year. It was a mix of classical music and Christmas carols. As we sat in the church, looking out through the windows to the view of palm trees and ocean, I couldn't help but think how lucky we are to be doing what we're doing. This is a beautiful place. We have a very good life.

Here we are before the concert with a couple of Kiwi's, New Zealanders Judy and Barry from S/V Bodacious.

A smiling face of Grenada and our usher for the evening.

The inside of St. Andrew the Apostle church. The priest said something in his blessing that was so perfect. "When words fail us, music takes over."

Several videos of the concert appeared on youtube.com. One is of Cecil Bartholomew, an incredible guitar player. The second is of Aixa Miguen, a 23 year old violinist from Cuba. You can hear them via the links below:

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/grenada-cecil-bartholomew-on-guitar/1072509672

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj2X8Lk7254

We'll leave you with this picture of Bailey. As we get ready to celebrate the holiday, we'd like to wish all our family and friends a very Merry Christmas.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Trip to the U.S. Consulate

We've been hearing from more and more people who enjoy reading our blog. Thank you for your comments. We love hearing from you. We know that many of you follow our blog for the sailing and you've probably been wondering when we'll get around to that again. We will, we promise! We're not ready to settle down in just one harbor as of yet! If you had told me that we would be in Grenada through New Years I would have said you're crazy but here we are!
There have been several reasons for the delay. First it was the haul-out to repair the cutlass bearing then it was friends arriving from Trinidad. The latest is the renewal of our U.S. Passports. Our passports expire in 2009 and we had researched how and where we could do the renewal. The U.S. Department of State website listed Trinidad, Barbados and Puerto Rico as the locations in the Caribbean where we could do this. There is a consulate in Grenada but it isn't listed as a site for passport renewal. Several cruisers also told us that they had inquired about renewals but had been told not in Grenada. Then last weekend as I'm doing laundry at the marina in preparation for leaving another cruiser happens to mention that they just had their passports renewed through the consulate. "Quick and easy, only took about 2 weeks." !!%#**!!!What!!! You mean the website is wrong? We've been here for 5 months and could have taken care of this! So Monday morning we called to inquire about the renewal and were given an appointment for Wednesday. With forms and photos in hand we headed off to the consulate. A trip through the metal detector and a search of our backpack (no cameras or cell phones allowed in the consulate) and we were in. The staff was very helpful and we should have our new passports in 2-3 weeks. We are so glad we can have this taken care of here. But still frustrated that we didn't learn about it sooner. We thought we did our research. We thought the website would be accurate. But, I also realize that part of our impatience is a habit or character trait learned from living in the states. We've learned to live slower, take things in stride, just be limin'. But every now and then we regress. 3 more weeks in Grenada is certainly not a bad thing! We love it here. Christmas will now be spent in the company of good friends, another bonus.
So yes, you sailors out there will get to see us sailing soon. When we leave Grenada in January we'll head north through the Windward and Leeward islands going no further than St. Martin and returning to Grenada for next hurricane season. At least that's the plan for now! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hey, Hey, the Gang's All Here!

Friends keep arriving in Grenada! It's wonderful!
First Kerry & Kathy on "Bellagio" arrived from Trinidad. They said it was a rough crossing with confused seas and a broken alternator belt. Changing the belt while underway is a sure recipe for sea sickness. But they arrived safely and we're glad they're here! I few days after they arrived, I arranged for a taxi to take 11 of us to the Aquarium Restaurant on Magazine Beach for the afternoon. I had been there with a Ladies Day tour last summer but I wanted to go back with Jim. I knew he would love it.
This is the beach in front of the restaurant. After lunch we relaxed in the sun, walked the beach and snorkled. We should do this more often!

Enjoying the day with us, crew from Half Moon, Bellagio, High States, Enee Marie and Primrose.

On Thursday, December 11th our friends who we affectionately call our "French Connection" arrived from Trinidad. All three boats, Phoenix III, Taima and Le Bete hail from Montreal. Even though they had been up since 2 a.m. they still wanted to meet for pizza. It was Manon's birthday and a celebration was in order. Thanks to Becky (Half Moon) for getting these pictures.

Here's the birthday girl opening her presents.

Manon lives life to the fullest everyday! She enjoys every moment!
A good lesson for us all.
I'm glad we waited in Grenada for our friends to arrive. Phoenix III and Taima plan on heading west so we didn't know when we would get to see them again. I've said it before, I'll say it again. The people are the best part of cruising.
I just realized that I never mentioned the early Christmas present we bought ourselves. We have a new dinghy to go with the new outboard! It's small, only 8.5 ft but big enough to carry both of us with lots of groceries or one of us with 5 jerry cans of water. We would have liked the 9 ft model but again, in the islands you buy what's available. She looks like a little sports model so we call her our Miata. I can't believe how nice it is to have a new dinghy and dry feet! We even managed to sell our old engine and fuel tank for a few bucks. The dinghy was gifted to a local man who does things like wax boats and polish brightwork. It will give him more mobility which will hopefully mean more work for him. It worked out well for everyone.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Craft Fair

Early morning and Bailey wakes us up. That either means my food bowl is empty or wake up and give me some attention. Luckily, we can just reach up over our head and open the screen in the hatch so she can jump out and explore on deck. But this morning she just kept staring in at us. Did you know you can't sleep when someone (or some cat) is staring at you!
Saturday was the Christmas Craft Fair at the True Blue Bay Resort just one bay over from where we are. We walked over in the morning and browsed through the clothing, jewelry, decorative items and baked goods that were on display. We saw all kinds of things we'd like to buy if we were still living in a house. It's easy to resist when you live on a boat. You just don't need more stuff.
Scott and Sue (Eene Marie) had a booth at the fair. Sue was selling cards and calendars that feature her photography and Scott was selling his book "The Why Book of Sailing". Hey Christmas shoppers, Scott's book is available on www.Amazon.com.

Lunch with Peter and Eileen (Appleseeds). We first met Peter and Eileen in Bimini, Bahamas back in March 2007 and just recently met up again here in Grenada.


Music while we dine. The band played a medley of Christmas carols with an island beat. People were actually dancing to Silent Night, O Holy Night and more. Only in the islands!
Check out the sound on the video below.

video


Back on Merengue and Bailey supervises while Jim peels a breadfruit. We're having one of Jim's great curry dishes for dinner! Can't wait.