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November 2011

I Don’t Think We’re in Grenada Anymore, EW

Location: 18.20.110 North, 64.55.583 West - or in Long Bay, Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas

We are having a wonderful time in St. Thomas—but it isn’t Grenada, and we love Grenada. As you know, the only way EW got me out of there was the promise of a terrific Thanksgiving with dear family here in St. Thomas. But many of our sailing friends have also begun heading north, so the Grenada we knew and loved since July had begun to change before we left.

It started with the arrival of the first cruise ship. One of the local taxi drivers has a VHF radio and let us know one morning on the Grenada Cruisers’ Net that, “All you cruisers, just want to let you know there is a cruise ship in town with twenty-five hundred passengers. If you have to go into town today, you know what to do: Get in and get out.”

We did have to go into town that day and had the opportunity to feel superior and knowledgeable around folks with white legs and weird outfits. We got in and got out as quickly as possible, and were thankful that we had done our touring, hiking, and waterfall jumping before cruise ship season.  In contrast, we have arrived in St. Thomas in cruise ship season and before many sailing cruisers. Most of those who are currently here on sailboats came up to work during the winter to fill their cruising kitties. As a result, we have few folks to “play” with during the day, there is no St. Thomas Cruisers’ Net, and no cruiser organized events. This isn’t Grenada anymore.

Here are some other differences between St. Thomas and Grenada:

  1. It’s cooler here. We are still wearing shorts and tees, but my chin is no longer sweating. I never knew my chin could sweat until we spent the summer in Grenada. It felt as if I were drooling. I don’t miss that, but am willing to put up with it when we are in Grenada.
  2. There are no “Push to Walk” Buttons in Grenada. In St. Thomas, they save your life. They also have signs on the cross walks reminding us to “Look to the Right” before stepping off the curb.
  3. There are good laundry matts in St. Thomas and you can wash a double load for less than $10.00. That’s nice.
  4. There is a “movie” night in St. Thomas, as there had been in Grenada. In Grenada, the folks aboard S/V St T Grenada Movie Screen 11-28-2011 5-51-03 PMUltra showed movies off the stern of their boat in Port Louis. We took chairs and pop corn and enjoyed Avatar and other films. In St. Thomas, the folks who live on Water Island offer a free movie night on Honeymoon Beach. The island folk arrive in four wheelers and golf carts and hang a huge screen between two palm trees. They present music videos and a cartoon before the featured movie. There is a snack bar with hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and popcorn. We’ll attend whenever we’re in town. It’s a 20 minute dinghy ride from the anchorage off of Yacht Haven, but a cheap date night: $10.00 for soda and hotdogs for two.
  5. In Grenada, the Coke and other soft drinks are made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. I’m not into sugared drinks, but those with real sugar taste better and are slightly less sweet. Just sayin’.
  6. Wi-Fi is definitely better – and cheaper in Grenada. This is just wrong. Ricky and Kim of da Big Fish need to open a Cruisers’ Wi-Fi in St. Thomas. (NOTE: This was written prior to a phone conversation with the president of World Wifi in St. Thomas. We’re going to move the boat and try out their service. I’ll let you know.)
  7. St T Grenada Bus in Grenada 8-19-2011 7-00-41 AMJust like in Grenada, there are excellent local buses in St. Thomas. Here they are called “Safaris”, and cost $1.00. They do not have conductors and there is little communication between the driver and the passengers. I miss that. The locals do respond nicely to “Good morning”  or “Good afternoon”, and willingly give directions and aid.  The two buses in the top photo are from Grenada. The bottom photos are of a safari bus from St. Thomas. PB290085

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Here’s a shot of Honeymoon Beach before sunset. I may love and miss Grenada, but (except for lack of Wi-Fi) I have nothing to complain about, and I know it.

 

St. T Grenada Honeymoon Beacn 11-28-2011 5-49-27 PM


Thankful Every Day

Current Location: 18.19.576 North and 64.57.175 West. That’s Elephant Bay in St. Thomas, USVI

When are you thankful? How does it feel?

On Thanksgiving morning, I made a pecan pie, curried pecans, coconut chips and bagna cuda for raw vegetables. (The coconut chips are at left.) The galley was a mess, but I was happy. I found myself grinning at nothing, humming out of tune, and pausing to kiss EW at every turn. At one point it occurred to me, this is what it feels like to be truly thankful for your blessings: pure joy.

Thankful Under Sail 11-19-2011 10-49-14 AMIt also occurred to me that I feel that way very often. We’ll be in the cockpit sailing, or on the anchor enjoying sundowners, and I’ll look across to EW and say, “This doesn’t suck.” He’ll laugh and agree. We’ll take a second or two to appreciate how fortunate we are to share a dream and to have followed it. That’s being thankful for our blessings. It even happens when I’m working on a boat project—particularly one that is going well—and I’ll pause with brush in hand or at the sewing machine and think, “This is right where I want to be.” That’s being thankful.

 

(At left, a view from our recent sail to St. Thomas.)

 

I’m thankful for EW, for Favorite and for the many other loved ones who are back in the states, and for the wonderful friends we’ve made in the Caribbean sailing community. I’m thankful EW found this boat, and that he has the skills to keep her looking good and working fine. I’m thankful that he has an excellent sense of humor and allows me to use him as The Topic in this blog.

Certainly Thanksgiving reminds us to pause and be thankful, but this year it reminded me that EW and I have reason to be thankful every day, and we work to recognize that—and to express our gratitude, and our joy.

I’m also thankful for all who read this blog and I have a wish for you and all of our friends and family:

May you find the joy in your life every day, and may you follow your bliss. I wish you excellent adventures, and dreams you can achieve. When you’re thankful, smile and kiss your honey. That’s a good thing.

 

Thankful Coconut Chips 11-24-2011 11-39-09 AM

Coconut chips.

 

 

Thankful Galley 11-24-2011 11-38-38 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the messy galley. It wasn’t as bad as it looked.

 

Thankful pie transport 11-24-2011 1-45-28 PM

I’m thankful the Texas Bourbon Pecan Pie made it to shore in one piece and without a salt bath. It’s in a basket that Lynnelle gave me, surrounded by a clean sheet. I told EW to take the waves slooowly. “No spray on the pie, please.”

EW was just thankful I made his favorite pie.

 

Thankful dining area for Thanksgiving 11-24-2011 3-03-45 PM

 

 

 

 

At our cousin’s home, we had three options for dining. One was on the deck.

 

Thankful EW off watch 11-19-2011 10-48-18 AM

 

 

 

 

 

This is an appropriate post-Thanksgiving pose, but I took this while we sailed to St. Thomas. Our off watches weren’t too tough. I’m thankful for that.

 

 

Finally, Check out the November/December edition of Latitudes and Attitudes. I have an article on page 47, their humor section. Our friend, Carl Butler has an article on page 164, their sailing pets column. We are both thankful for that. 


In Which We Remember How To Sail

On my second night watch after leaving Grenada, I checked the sky noting the stars and occasional puffy clouds. The night before I’d finally had the opportunity to track squalls on the radar, watching the green blobs pass ahead or behind us, knowing that we would not experience the wind or the rain this time . When EW had helped friends sail from the Canaries to the Azores a number of years ago, he had described watching squalls, knowing when to reduce sail, or steering around them, all based on images on the radar screen.

We did that on the trip from Grenada to St. Thomas and it’s fun. Chris Parker, weather guru,  had predicted squalls, saying that some would be simple rain storms, and others would have winds to 30 or 35 knots. We prefer to be prepared for strong wind and so were watching for squalls, as well as ships, when we checked radar on the quarter hour. On the first night, EW saw a squall coming during our change of watch, so he showed me how to track it.

During my midnight to three watch on the second night I looked forward and saw towering clouds marching from mostly west to mostly east a mile or so ahead of La Luna. Nothing showed up on the radar, and the clouds were high above the ocean, with clear skies beyond;. As we drew closer, I was reminded of the bridges in Nassau. These clouds were light and puffy white, towering into the sky, similar to lacy bridgework. The dense, darker bottom appeared to be the solid underpinning of the road way. Would we hit? If so, instead of damaging the boat, would our mast open a joint and cause it to rain?

We had a brilliant half moon for the three nights, and I could clearly see the ocean chop under the cloud and beyond it. There was no storm here. La Luna drew closer to the towering cloud as I continued to scan the horizon, then focus on the view above: mast, dark moist cloud base, towering white mountains, topped by clear starry sky. This is why we travel on a sailboat.

Before leaving Grenada we had joked about whether we would remember how to sail. Perhaps those folks who were sailing a day-hop to Carriacou had the right idea, taking a day to get back in the saddle, so to speak. We opted to get ‘er done, and (finally) raised anchor on Thursday at 7:00 AM. We negotiated our way out the channel, unfurled most of the main and all of the jib, and turned west to sail along Grenada’s southern shore. This allowed us to pass by all of the bays we’ve visited, Mt. Hartman, Clarks Court, Port Louis. We waved to our friends, though they couldn’t see us and softly said, “Good-by Grenada. We’ll be back.”

We sailed. We kept watch. I made bread. We read. We sailed. I learned a few new things and discovered that I’d retained all I’d learned on the way down. We hadn’t made an overnight passage since the one from Guadeloupe to St. Lucia,  We hadn’t spent three or more days at sea since sailing from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. The weather predictions were tenuous due to a low merging with a high and a possible tropical storm forming north east of the Caribbean islands. Those folks coming down from the states to the USVI were experiencing heavy weather. We gleaned that we could sail into that, or have light and variable conditions, or strong northerly winds and swells making it hard to reach our destination. If a real storm had turned in our direction, I had plotted the forty, fifty, or sixty mile jaunts to the east to safe harbors in St. Lucia, and Guadeloupe. None of that happened. The winds were largely steady.  Though we were teased each day with one hour of little or no wind, it would return 10-15 or 15-20 from the northeast. We were on a fairly comfortable beat or a close reach all the way to St. Thomas.

We sailed.

It was the perfect journey after a nearly perfect hurricane season in Grenada, concluding with the perfect anchoring job. Evidently we are where we should be, when we should be, and I’m thankful.

 

A few photos from Grenada:

 

Goodby Grenada 10-31-2011 7-03-04 AM

  La Luna is the third boat from the bottom in the row of four boats on the left. This is Prickly Bay, where we were anchored for most of our stay in Grenada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A "Castle" In Grenada

 

A castle on Grenada.  I loved it. Dora thought it reminded her of Legos. She has a point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Officiant Bag at Nimrods - An Interesting Local Bar

 

Here (finally) is the Officiant Bag in Grenada, sitting on the bar at Nimrod’s. Nimrod’s is an interesting local bar, owned by the same family for three generations. One of our friends says it reminds him of the bar from Star Wars. In a good way.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon took this photo of EW

Here’s EW with his walking stick, at the parking lot of the Seven Sisters Falls. Sharon L., a dear friend we made in Grenada, sent this photo to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One year at sea and another trip around the sun

Another trip around the sun, and the anniversary of the start of our sailing adventure. We celebrated with bubbly, cake, and stir fry (not necessarily in that order) with dear friends John and Dora, and Jeff and Sandy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We carry Grenada in our hearts.

We will carry a piece of Grenada in our hearts forever.


When a VHF Net Goes Bad or Garbage In-Garbage Out

The other day I had a conversation with a woman who mentioned that she felt there was a lot of “childish” behavior on the Grenada Cruisers Hailing Frequency, Channel 68.

I hadn’t thought much about it, but she’s right, and most of that behavior can’t be attributed to the children on the boats. I’m not talking about the delightful fun on Halloween when the children aboard in Hartman Bay traveled from boat to boat Trick or Treating. The cruisers really got into the “spirit” of things, many took a trek to town for goodies and some dressed up in costume. On channel 68 during the witching hour from five to six, we heard a number of screams and spooky laughs. We smiled at every deep-voiced “Bwaaaawaaaa”.

The childish part that irks me are those anonymous complainers and curmudgeons who feel compelled to broadcast their displeasure (and their supposed superiority) without identifying themselves. Be warned, if you tick me off and I know who you are, I will answer with your boat name. I’m often wrong, but I’m wrong out loud, and accept responsibility for it. I make apologies when they are warranted. I do not take well to anonymous criticism.

A bit over a week ago we moved from Prickly Bay to Clarks Court Bay. In Prickly Bay, we were invited to leave our garbage in the containers at Spice Island Marine, a service for which we were extremely grateful. While in that garbage-convenient anchorage, we grew used to hearing this broadcast on Sunday mornings around eight: “For those of you in Mt. Hartman, Raymond is in the area to take your garbage.”

Now garbage is an issue on these islands, as you can imagine. In every anchorage, we’ve made sure to confirm the appropriate place and method for disposing of our waste, The French islands have a recycling program and  when there we separate our the tins, glass, and plastics. Some of the other islands have separate bins for cardboard. We ask, and we comply. Before we moved to Clarks Court Bay, we had talked with a cruiser who has been here for years who pointed out Raymond one day. “He’s the guy with the garbage business in Clarks Court and Mt. Hartman. I suggested he provide this service.” I asked, “So he takes it to the dump, or makes sure it goes to there?” and was assured that Raymond handled it correctly.

So, when in Rome … on the first Sunday after we anchored in Clarks Court, I eagerly awaited the announcement that Raymond was in the anchorage. My bagged garbage reposed on the back deck. My $3.00 EC was in hand, and I waved Raymond and his helper down as they came by. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurship in Grenada, but there are a lot of canny self-employed people who provide good services to the cruisers. Whenever possible, EW and I support local businesses and service providers. On my second Sunday in Clarks Court Bay, I again waited on deck with my bag of garbage and money, flagging Raymond down, gently tossing my garbage onto the pile and handing him the money. I thanked him and wished him a good week.

Ten minutes later came a broadcast on VHF 68, “Those of you who just gave your garbage to the man in the red dinghy. He has taken it ashore south of the blue steamer and tossed it into the Mangroves.” That would be a bad thing, and that started the conversation on the net. Full disclosure: The gentleman who made that anonymous broadcast is a friend, and EW was actually on his boat at the time. EW had seen it as well. Folks came on the net to question whether we were talking about the same garbage guy, as Raymond pilots a small, brightly painted local workboat, not a dinghy. Others defended Raymond, without actual knowledge of what does happen to the garbage. One person came on, unidentified, and commented on people who were “too lazy” to deal with their garbage properly.

That just ticked me off. We all have some one thing in our core that defines us or our background. For me, that thing is a work ethic. My dad was a sweet man, who rarely judged others, but he had no patience for lazy people. On the other hand, there could be no higher praise from him than, “He’s a workah.” He would sometimes use it as a qualifier, “She sure talks a lot, but she’s a workah.” (Believe it or not, that wasn’t said about me – but it could have been.) Now, I may not be the best housekeeper, and I have been known to serve popcorn for supper, but I, too, am a “workah”. All of my siblings are as well, and I married a “workah”. If you’re going to call me lazy, you’d better do so to my face, or at least identify yourself.

I reached for the VHF mic and broadcast: “This is La Luna. I think we should discuss the garbage issue and suggest we all go to 67, including the anonymous person who thinks I’m lazy.”  I clicked over, as did a number of others, including our friend, Tony, who had started this. We all expressed opinions, and ideas. Many supported Raymond as a local man who they wanted to recommend. Others told us of alternative and appropriate ways to dispose of the garbage here. I listened to all, commented on some, and made sure to ask Tony of Ragin’ Cajun to clarify exactly what he’d seen, taking away his anonymity. (Tony is an Australian, with a distinctive voice, who has ably run the Cruisers’ net. He wasn’t really anonymous. He also later apologized to me for not identifying himself during his initial broadcast.)  After everything had been said two or three times, we all agreed to find out for sure what happens to the garbage left with Raymond. We’re going to check, talk with Raymond, and go  to the beach where he unloaded it to make sure it isn’t simply left there to rot. None of us want to prevent someone from making money by providing a service, as long as he disposes of the garbage properly.

On the Monday Cruisers’ Net, Tony stated that he’d gone to the shore where he’d seen Raymond take his garbage and had found that it is left in a large pile, under a tarp. After some weeks, it is taken away by truck, but the opened bags are not cleaned up. As you can imagine, plastic bags of garbage are inviting to dogs, birds, and wild animals. I imagine many bags are broken open over the course of one week.  Being curious and an interested party, I took the dinghy to shore on Monday and took this photo:

PB140026

That isn’t acceptable to me. As I write this, I don’t know of any other cruisers who’ve checked out the site, but I do know that there are cruisers who’ve known Raymond for a few years and who plan to talk with him. One has said he’d like to see if they can help Raymond retain his business, and handle the garbage more correctly. I hope they can.

In the  meantime, when in Clarks Court Bay, we’ll be taking our garbage to shore at Island View. It’s a short walk up to the main road where I’ve been told by a in the nearby convenience store that we can just leave tied bags next to others on the curb on Tuesday mornings.

As for childish behavior on the radio. There has been one cruiser, in particular, who has abused the radio, threatened cruisers on air and in person. That isn’t childish behavior; that’s rude bordering on abusive. But those folks who sit back, and make snarky anonymous comments are behaving childishly. They remind me of Jr. High School – and I pretty much hated Jr. High.


Another Trip Around the Sun

11.6.11 EW Singing 2 11-6-2011 3-59-36 PM

 

 

EW celebrated his 65th birthday on November 6, at the jam session at Whisper Cove Mariana. He played music and ate cake. He was happy. Four days later, EW celebrated his 65th birthday by jumping from a the top of a 35-foot waterfall into an 18-foot deep pool. We had no cake, but he was happy.

The celebration with cake was my idea. The jump was his.

 

 

11.6.11 EW playing and smiling 11-6-2011 4-00-31 PM

 

Let’s talk about the jam session party first. It was a cinch to pull off, since he’s made so many nice friends here. This is how you plan a party for EW at a jam session :

1. Ask Marie, the co-owner of Whisper Cove Marina and Restaurant whether it is OK to bring cake to the session in honor of EW’s birthday.

2. Mention said birthday to a couple of the musicians, and one says that his wife Leeann will make a cake. (I thought that was a generous offer of Leeann's time, and still expected to make two carrot cakes.)

3. Tell everyone we know to pass it on – birthday for EW at the jam session.

Birthday Card 11-13-2011 1-52-43 PM4. Decide to print a photo of EW playing in a jam session and put Happy Birthday on it for folks to sign. Ask Sharon, artist, boater-on-land, and Spanish class friend of EW, where I can have said card laminated after the party. She says, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have his photo surrounded by a guitar. Do you have a photo of his guitar?" She proceeded to paint an incredible card with guitar, space for two photos, and the Grenadian colors. A photo of the jam session will be inserted under the four hearts. Isn’t that wonderful?

5. Ask musicians Tony, Peter, and Jess to keep EW off the boat on Sunday morning so I can make one carrot cake. Indeed, Leeann was eager to make her amazing Decadent Chocolate Cake. (My mouth waters as I write this. That cake is delicious.)

6. Make my cake and deliver both cakes to Whisper Cove Marina while EW is off with Tony and Peter. (EW did later say that he could still smell something sweet when he returned. He figured there was cake somewhere.)

That’s it.  When Sharon arrived with the card, Tony sent the musicians over one-by-one to sign it, and we spread the word around the bar. Marie cheerfully let us into the kitchen to place the candles on the three cakes. Gabi, our outstanding yoga instructor had arrived with an amazing chocolate swirl pound cake.

11.6.11 Cake! 11-6-2011 4-41-33 PM - CopyWe sang a rockin’ Happy Birthday”, EW blew out the candles with a lot of help from the overhead fans, and Leeann and I served cake. EW was delighted. Everyone got cake.

Happy Birthday, Baby.

 

11.6.11 Peter and Stew 11-6-2011 7-19-07 PM

 

 

 

 

 

11.6.11 EW and Card 11-6-2011 4-42-58 PM11.6.11 Urs, Peter, EW, Rich 11-6-2011 4-29-55 PM

 

 

11.6.11 Tony and Jess 11-6-2011 6-27-35 PM11.6.11 Happy Birthday Stew 11-6-2011 4-42-30 PM

 

 

 

11..6.11 Rich singing 11-6-2011 4-03-51 PM11.6.11 Chris singing 11-6-2011 3-59-50 PM

 

 

11.6.11 The band playing 11-6-2011 4-30-18 PM

 

 

11.6.11 EW and the Band 11-6-2011 4-45-58 PM.11 11-6-2011 4-45-58 PM

 

PB100189

 

Four days later, EW celebrated his birthday, by jumping at Seven Sisters Falls. As he said, “I have no interest in jumping out of an airplane, but I want to do this.”  I’d had no idea this had been on his list. We’d hiked to the falls a number of weeks ago, taking the easy walk down to the pool without a guide. This time, a fellow cruiser planned the day and engaged one of the better local guides, Super Butterfly, because she knew a guide was needed for the jumping part of the trip. PB100174PB100176Super Butterfly led twenty-two of us through the plantation and down the trail to the two beautiful pools. Many swam, and quite a few jumped off a small cliff from the upper pool into the lower one. After we’d snacked and relaxed a few minutes, Super Butterfly gathered the six who were going to do the jumps.

PB100186Here’s the deal about the jumps: It’s a commitment. You do them one, you do them all.

 

 

 

 

 

The guide led the six up a very steep, treacherous trail to the falls at the top of the gorge. Some of us had expressed interest in climbing up with them to take photos, but Super Butterfly didn’t “advise this”. Afterwards the jumpers all said that the trail would have been dangerous and difficult going down. At the top, SB led the group into the water and over a few smaller falls. They weren’t allowed to jump from one as the water was too shallow, but were directed how to safely jump from other falls in the 8 – 12 foot range. Many said that their favorite part was a long swim through a narrow stone canyon. They also negotiated a sluiceway involving rushing water, boulders, and Spiderman maneuvers.

PB100192Finally, they appeared at the top of the 35 foot falls above our pool. SB gave instructions to the group, then showed each where to stand, as one-by-one they stepped out into the air and fell into the pool below. PB100194 EW said later that SB had tried to discourage him from going on the trek at the start, and seemed to feel that he was “too old” to participate. That displeased EW, but didn’t discourage him. He was determined and excited. He jumped perfectly and rose from the pool smiling.

 

 

 

 

Remember those flamboyant trunks? Here’s EW!

PB100202

 

PB100202

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations, EW. Happy Birthday and many more.

I hope you have that jumping thing out of  your system, now.PB100203


Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana Again?

It’s not my fault, but I saw it coming.

In the Spice Islands we have found excellent locally grown fruits and vegetables. Many, like callaloo are new to us. They have fertile soil here, a favorable climate, and green thumbs. Of course many locals have mango, lime, orange, lemon, banana, and coconut trees in their yards. The mango trees bear fruit twice a year, and others like bananas and coconuts seem to bear year round.

We’ve stayed in Grenada into citrus season, and I’m delighted. While we’ve been able to purchase limes all year, we hadn’t seen a lemon in months. Now they are available everywhere, as are different varieties of limes and oranges, and the sweetest white grapefruit we’ve ever tasted. These are fruits unaltered by genetic engineering, so they have seeds--and  a lot of them, and they don’t look like the fruit back home. One morning, EW ate breakfast while I was at yoga, but left his grapefruit plate on the counter displaying all of the seeds he’d removed. There were at least thirty.

There are varieties of bananas, including the small, sweet fig bananas and some green ones used just for cooking. There are plantains and something that is neither a plantain nor a banana. There are a number of fruits called apple or with apple in the name, but they are nothing like any apple we’ve ever had. There are melons, papayas, star (or five-fingered) fruit, and sour cherries with three pits.  Juice is a specialty here, and we’ve enjoyed the juices the locals make from any of the local fruits. The grocery stores don’t have excellent produce departments, so it’s best to purchase from a  vendor, and you can find them selling in the market, in private stalls along the road, or from trucks and vans. They all take pride in their wares and will gladly tell you how to prepare and eat anything they sell.

One day, I returned from visiting the Veggie Van, which Cecil and Rosie drive to the different harbors two days a week.When I got back on board,  I interrupted EW’s reading and pointed out the citrus fruits. “This large one, of course, is a grapefruit.” Orange 10-29-2011 4-46-28 PM

“Well I know that,” he said, clearly not sure why I was wasting his time.

I held up a small bright green fruit. “This is a mandarin orange,” I said.

“Really? It looks like a lime.”

“I know. This yellow one is a lime.”

“Oh,” said EW. “I’d have thought that was a lemon.”

“I know. That’s why we’re doing this. This large lumpy one is a lemon.”

“Really?”

Yes, really. “You got this, or do you want me to go over it again?”

He was slightly insulted or distracted or uninterested, but I’d done my duty as chief provisioner and stowed the citrus in the net over the fridge.

A few days later, I returned Lemon 10-29-2011 4-46-28 PMfrom yoga to find  three quarters of a cut citrus fruit in a bowl on the counter and an EW who wanted another lesson. “Can you go over those with me again?”

I smiled. “What happened?”

“Well, this was yellowish and large and it looked like an orange. I cut it in half and it looked orange, so I cut it into quarters and put it on my plate with my peanut butter toast. “

I saw the train wreck coming down the track. EW relishes a juicy orange. Once cut into quarters, he uses both thumbs to peel back the pointy ends of the quarter, clamps his teeth around the flesh, and takes it all in, savoring the sweet juice. But this time his orange was a lemon, and there was no sweet juice. He scrunched up his face as he told the tale. “Blech! That was a rude awakening. Took me a while to get over it.”

It took me a while to stop laughing.

 

Citrus Fruits 10-29-2011 4-46-59 PM

 

The first photo is an orange. It’s a larger one than the ones I had purchased the first time. The second photo is of a lemon. In the group photo, the grapefruit is a twelve and going clockwise we have a sweet orange, a mandarin orange, a lime, and a lemon.

Among the cruisers there is an “urban legend” often repeated that claims the color of fruit in the states is due to chemicals applied by the growers. According to Wikipedia, citrus fruits turn colors only in areas where there are cooler winters.

The colour (sic) of citrus fruits only develops in climates with a (diurnal) cool winter. In tropical regions with no winter at all, citrus fruits remain green until maturity, hence the tropical "green oranges". The Persian Lime in particular is extremely sensitive to cool conditions, thus it is not usually exposed to cool enough conditions to develop a mature colour. (sic) If they are left in a cool place over winter, the fruits will change colour (sic) to yellow.