Saturday, July 19, 2014

Musings on Cruising

Sunset over Anegada

Yesterday we sailed (yes actually sailed, main sail up and all) out of St Thomas Harbor for the last time this trip. We turned West for a change and headed back to Culebra. Culebra is a small island about 17 miles East of Puerto Rico and 12 miles West of St Thomas. A 20 mile sail anchor up to anchor down. Even though we had 4 - 6 ft swells from the aft quarter it was wonderful to be sailing with the trades rather than against them.

It's been quite an adventure for us, more than I ever thought we'd do. When we fly out of San Juan on July 31st we'll have been aboard Wahoo for 8 1/2 months. That and a question posed by John Edward and Laura while they were visiting made me start to muse about this new life of ours. Just how did we end up doing this? Why has it become so addictive? Do I still miss my New Orleans life?

Snorkelling trips are what I love

As Roy and I talked about it we realised that we just sort of fell into it, no real plan at all!! Yes we'd always loved being near the water and yes Roy had always wanted to own a big sailboat, but we realised we'd never really thought of living aboard. Sure long cruises of 2 - 4 months but not this. When we left New Orleans in 2012 there was no doubt in our mind that we'd be back August through Mardi Gras that year and every year to come. But Hurricane Sandy happened and we went to New York for the winter. Then after picking up the boat in Rio Dulce another summer in Belize seemed called for. Of course, when John Edward needed help in July of 2014 it was only natural to stash Wahoo and go to Houston instead of New Orleans. So re-renting 7th St again and again and returning to Wahoo became the new norm. Somewhere along the way I began to find it thrilling and discovered a totally buried adventurous spirit. Where in the world did that come from?!?  There were two magical moments that will always stand out. A night at Cayo Campo in Cuba with a big full moon above us and the water below as clear as air - it looked like you could walk on the bottom of the sea. Seven weeks later, crossing the Windward Passage and seeing the Southern Cross hanging low on the horizon for the first time...

This laundry and its 1 working machine was a welcome sight!
Seems unclogging heads and fuel lines, studying the weather, taking salt water baths to conserve water, getting excited when we find a laundromat and fresh vegetables was something we'd been secretly yearning  for. Who knew?!
If on top of all that fun we get to sail to exotic places, meet new people and have new experiences along the way all the better.

But every now and then I fish out my New Orleans Girl T shirt so we remember that "I'm a New Orleans girl and New Orleans girls ALWAYS return to New Orleans that's just the way it is; end of discussion."
Cousins! Roy, Susie and husband Dean - these are people we hope to sail with again.

Of all that we get to see and do what we love the most are visits from friends and family. We'd been missing that this year but our stay in the Virgins filled that void. First came Austin and friends, then Roy's cousin Susie and her family came on a cruise so we arranged to spend their day in St Thomas aboard Wahoo sailing, lunching and snorkelling. Lastly, John Edward and Laura took a needed vacation after the trials and tribulations of building his music studio and came for a visit.

Visit to Foxy's is a Must!
Laura, happy, happy, happy on St John
Annaberg Plantation Ruins on St John

All in all we were 7 weeks in the Virgins mostly in the BVIs looking for places to do laundry and find fresh veggies. But we managed to get in lots of snorkelling, twice we went to the Full Moon party at Trellis bay plus a sail out to Anegada - the only coral island in the Virgins. Roy even managed to spend a lot of time fixing heads and unclogging our water tanks.

"The lights of St Thomas are 20 miles West, I see General Electric's still doing its best"
From Jimmy Buffet's "MaƱana"