Most particularly when things are challenging, EW and I
evidently have to have friends who speak our language. We were getting testy
during our first three weeks here---and a little bit manic. While reading my
blog when they were in St. Lucia, Lynn from Silverheels III realized that we
were isolated. Bless her. That same day, I was delighted to return to the
anchorage to see an American flag fluttering from the back of a sweet cruising
boat. I sped to their transom to see that they were from Maine! No
kidding. We were thrilled to meet Elaine and Dutch, who graciously invited us
on board for a drink. They were only in for a quick stop and leaving the next
morning, but I squeezed in another chance to chat by offering Elaine a ride to
the market while Dutch readied the boat.
For. The. Win.
Thus began the trickle of English speaking sailors to
Pointe a Pitre. (The Ruling Brits on the Cat mentioned in the previous post did
not count.) A couple of days after Elaine and Dutch left, EW and I were walking
back from a shopping jaunt and heard American accents as we neared the dinghy
dock. Normally outgoing, we may have bordered on maniacal as we introduced
ourselves to Andy and Sally. Fortunately, they both have a great sense of
humor. Even more fortunately, they had been expecting to meet us, and
informed us that Lynn and Ken from Silverheels III were in the
anchorage and had left their boat card in our dinghy.
I am not ashamed to say that I did a happy dance on the
dock. Lynn and Ken, regular readers of the blog, and solid cruising friends
from our time in Grenada, had traveled from St. Lucia because Lynn thought we
could benefit from having friends nearby. How sweet is that? They also seemed
to break the language logjam as other US, Canadian, and English boats began to
join our neighborhood. While we were on the dock, EW met JoAnn and Gene, who
also have Maine ties; Andy and Sally introduced us to Mike and Jean, also
from the US; Gene and JoAnn introduced us to James and Claire from Great
Britain; and then we stopped by to introduce ourselves to John and Shelly from
New Zealand. All of a sudden we had to plan play time around boat projects and
organized or joined cruiser excursions for parts and the market.
For me, cruising is more about meeting new folks at
sea and on shore than it is about actually sailing. (Don’t worry, EW knows
that). Cruising offers a unique social life and an instant community of
like-minded folk from different countries and backgrounds. After three weeks
tackling our issues alone, we finally had cruising neighbors to offer advice,
help, sympathy, and fun. We even took a full play day to take the bus to Basse
Terre with Lynn, Ken, John and Shelly.
Imagine it. We had a day off from any boat projects or
shopping for boat projects. We played tourist. We took photos. We ate glace.
We. Are. Cruisers. Again.
EW and I are more relaxed, and things are moving forward.
The fridge is totally repaired, and EW rewired it as had been suggested by the
local expert; we will have new salon cushions next week; EW plays his guitar
every day. We are nearly back to normal---or to as near to normal as we get.
And I’ve rediscovered that I still love my EW and this
Whew.By the way, both laptops have issues, hence no photos: Sorry