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Friends -- Mainahs and Others in Paradise

John and Dora in dinghy 7-3-2011 1-01-41 PMWhile many all of the boating friends we’ve met since Antigua have moved South, we hung in Rodney bay for a few extra days to wait for S/V Windrifter and crew, John, Dora, and Romeo the cat. They are friends and neighbors from Maine! (Well, technically they are mostly from Massachusetts, but they lived aboard in Maine right next to us, two full years, so they get extra Maine points.)

  • We left Maine in October, 2010
  • They left in November.
  • We went outside.
  • They spent time in the Inland Waterway.
  • We left No Name Harbor in Miami, Florida for the Bahamas on Christmas Day.
  • They left Jensen Beach Florida for the Bahamas in March.
  • We started in Bimini.
  • They started in the Abacos.

john and dora neighbors again 7-6-2011 1-20-03 PMThrough it all, we’ve kept in touch via email and blogs (S/V Windrifter) when we have Internet access, and EW and I were delighted to hear they were in Martinque waiting for a weather window to head to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. It was an easy decision to wait a few extra days for them and buddy boat with long time Buddies.

We’ve broken bread together.

I’ve greeted Romeo with a respectful chin rub.john and dora romeo 7-4-2011 5-31-20 PM

We’ve played euchre (Back in Maine, John and Dora had learned for EW.Here in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia the women won the first night and the men the second.)Marigot Bay from Hill 7-7-2011 8-52-23 AM

Dora and I have taken a walk – not quite the same as morning three mile exercise hikes in Maine, but definitely warmer. And steeper. We walked up for this view, came back down a different road to a dead end around the cove, so we walked back up to the view and back to the left side of the harbor. Four taxi drivers wanted stopped for us. We didn’t walk today.

It’s amazing to spend time with a sailing couple that we know. We have shared experiences from Maine – including our last big Northeaster on the docks in Maine in February of 2010. We’ve shrunk wrapped boats together, helped other live-aboards on the dock and learned from each other. We have a history.

It had been eight months since we’ve sat and talked and we fit back together like old friends.

Cruising gives us the opportunity to meet so many new people – and to enjoy learning about them,  from them, and with them. Being with John and Dora reminds us that both EW and I value all of our friends, and that staying in touch is important to us.  Over these next few months, we’ll explore with John and Dora, with cruisers we met on the way down, and with cruisers we’ll meet in Grenada.  In the future, I can envision a time when we are delighted to again meet  up with John and Dora and the friends we don’t yet know. This cruising life is like that, and that is one of the reasons I like this cruising life. 


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We were blessed with two wonderful years in South Portland with Barb and EW as the best boat neighbors one can imagine. But a small correction: Barb and EW are more than good friends – they are inspirations to us and to other liveaboarders and “someday” full-time cruisers. I mean, eight winters living aboard in Maine – that gets your attention!

It is not merely their ability to shrink-wrap a boat in the water in freezing sleet in an open dinghy that inspires us. It is their openness, their willingness to share what they know, their strong partnership, their complementary senses of humor, and their ability to really be there when the moment counts (go read that storm story again). Happy Anniversary Barb and EW – and to many more in paradise.


Blushing. Dora inspired me to shrink wrap as she was much more willing to do everything than I have been. She's also changed the oil. I have refused to learn that. We have learned much from Dora and John. Thank you for the wonderful note and very kind and loving words. We look forward to sharing more times at sea with you.

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