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February 2012

We Lost Our Sense of Humor. (Don't Worry. We Got it Back.)

When you lose your sense of humor, where does it go? Since laughter bubbles up out of a person, perhaps a lost sense of humor sinks into the bilge and waits to be invited back into the main living areas. We both lost our sense of humor last week, and in retrospect, it was pretty funny.

At the time, I said, “You can be sure that I won’t write about this!”  Evidently, I lied.


Honeymoon Beach

We were good-humored at Monday Movie Night on Honeymoon Beach. We had gone in early with Carl and Carrie so that we could enjoy the French fries from Joe’s. Not sure why it’s called Joe’s as Britt seems to run the place, but in any case, word was out about the fries and there were too many orders ahead of us before the movie started. No worries. We trooped across the sand, chatting with new and old friends, set up our chairs in front of the screen, and bought our hot dogs and sodas. The movie was Captain Ron, a sailor’s classic. It’s a funny movie, even though it gets most sailing, boat repair, and Caribbean geography horribly wrong. It was even funnier because two couples in our group know all the good lines and have the comic timing to speak them in that split second before the actor, causing us to laugh even more.

The next day, I gradually felt a bit icky.  By afternoon I had a mild intestinal “issue”. EW was perky, perky, perky.  Around five I said, “I’m not feeling great and don’t feel like eating at all. Do you mind taking care of your own dinner?”  “No problem, My Sweet,” EW said. “What’s wrong?” So I told him I had an intestinal thing and cramps. Said I didn’t feel like eating and didn’t really want to even cook anything. I went back to my book.

A while later, EW said, “I feel like French fries!” I assumed that he would take the dinghy into the island and get some from Britt. But no.  “That’s fine,” I said.

“I’ll make them!” He said. “Wouldn’t you like me to make you French fries?”

Um. No. Actually, I could think of few things that were less appealing than a pile of greasy starch.

“No thanks,” I said with a bit of an ‘are you kidding me?’ tone.

EW proceeded to haul the hot dogs out of the freezer and hum and bustle in the galley. “Do we have any butter open?”


“Which oil should I use to make the fries?”  I couldn’t  have cared less and requested that he leave me out of it. He was hurt. Really. After all, he had offered to make me homemade French Fries. He was happy. He had cleaned the bottom of the boat and needed a high carb meal. He was making that meal. Wasn’t he wonderful? What was my problem?

I was crampy and somewhat sick to my stomach. I had an intestinal bug. But at that moment in time, EW was my problem. He hummed. He bustled. He carefully cut and peeled the fries and placed them in a bowl of cold water. When I saw that, I paused. “You really know how to make French fries.”

“Yeah,” he said, in a tone that meant ‘Of course, why wouldn’t I?”

Well. “We’ve been married for 26 years. In that time can you remember ever making French fries for me?” I asked, with a tone.

“Nope, guess I can’t”, he said.

Now I love French fries. We had even had a discussion once about not making them on the boat due to the large amount of hot oil in a moving galley. He had never made them for me in all of our married life and there he was, happy, happy, happy, about making French fries when I didn’t feel up to eating them. What part of this reality didn’t he understand? What was left of my sense of humor scurried into the bilge under the forward cabin, as far away from us as possible.  I took my book and moved to the cockpit so I didn’t have to smell the sizzling oil and the fries in the making.

He popped up into the cockpit and stated as Britt does, “Fries take 10 minutes. Extra crispy fries take 12,” smiling cheerfully. I didn’t give a … well you know. There was nothing left to give. I glared at him. He was hurt by my defection.  I went back to my book with a sigh that meant, ‘leave me alone.’

Mr. Happy couldn’t let it go. Once his meal was prepared, he once again popped up into my supposed fry free safe seating zone, waving his plate of loaded hot dogs and sizzling hot crispy fries. “Doesn’t that look good?”

“Get away from me!” I had lost it. He was stunned, stunned I tell you, by my rejection.

What part of “I don’t feel like eating, cooking, or looking at food” did he not get?

And frankly, I was ticked off that he had actually made fries on the boat when I was ill and couldn’t eat them. I was more than ticked off. I was not in a loving mood.

That morning, when EW had single-handedly cleaned the waterline while I had gone ashore to do laundry, he had scraped up his right hand on the barnacles. He had cleaned his wounds and applied anti-bacteria cream and adhesive bandages. Normally, I would have been sympathetic.

After his repast, the galley looked – well -- messy. I am normally the dishwasher and don’t (normally) mind at all. But I had decided early in that evening’s war that there was no way I was going to assist in cleaning up that mess. Ever.

Here’s how that conversation went:

EW asked, “What should I do with the fry oil?”

I charmingly replied, “I don’t give a damn.” He was not pleased.

A while later, he said, “I don’t think I can do the dishes with my hand like this.”

And I smiled and said, “Then they’ll sit there until your hand heals. I’m not doing them.”

These were not my finest hours.

He was stunned.

I remained uncaring. “Did you get all cut up like that with your gloves on?”

“No. I forgot the gloves and just kept going anyway.”

“I have no sympathy for you. I’m going to bed.”

Oh, I can be nasty.

EW cleaned the galley and washed the dishes. I went to bed and slept very well, thank you.

The next day,  I imagined all of this as it would be played by one of those British comedies. He would be waving a hot platter of crisps under her nose. She would turn green and run for the loo. The audience would laugh uproariously.

It was kind of funny.

Our sense of humor peeked up through the floorboards and gradually came back to live with us, but we haven’t yet actually laughed together over this episode yet. Maybe someday.

He owes me a batch of fries. I’ve found the fry oil in a bottle in the fridge. I’ll wash the dishes.


NOTE: Yes, EW has read and approved this message. He even laughed. I love EW. He also took me to lunch at XO in Redhook once I felt better. I had a marvelous CBA – Chicken, Brie, and Apple sandwich. 

NOTE 2: The photo of honeymoon beach was taken from the website, If you don't have a sailboat, this is a marvelous property to visit when in the islands. You can find out more about Honeymoon Beach at this website for beach lovers

 NOTE 3: If you like my sense of humor and haven't checked out my book -- Harts at Sea Sailing to Windward -- you can find it on Amazon for Kindle for just $2.99. Tell your friends. Heck, tell your enemies. Thank you.

Harts At Sea Sailing to Windward

Our Afternoon

EW is standing in the salon, practicing his numbers for Wednesday's open mic night at Tickles. He said that it just occurred to him that he never plays standing up and should try it.

image from

Sent from my iPhone

Songs of Love

In a post on October 17, 2010 "Where did We Go Right?" I introduced you to three of our favorite songs. Here's a recap, with the addition of our fourth favorite song (which is actually our first).

We've enjoyed two Valentine's Day celebrations "at sea" and a lot of water has passed under the hull. Currently, we are at 18.19.054 North and 64.57.563 West, anchored off of Water Island in St. Thomas.

Music has always been a part of our lives together. In fact, our first official date was a B.B. King concert. EW got me to commit to that date when we first met, then wooed me for the three weeks leading up to the concert. During that time, we saw each other every day except for two days when I had business engagements in Augusta.During the second day, I arrived home to change for a reception to find a hand written note from EW. He hadn't the words to convey his feelings, so he wrote out the lyrics of a Martin, Bogan, and Armstrong song, Honey, I'd Do Most Anything For You. Prophetically, one of the lines is "I'd cross that ocean wide." At the time I didn't know he meant with me instead of for me.

Much later, after we moved aboard La Luna, EW picked up a Guy Clark CD and Boats to Build became an instant favorite. I played that CD over and over the year we bought La Luna while I made a new dodger. (A task known as the "Project from Hell".) Still like the song, though. EW sang it with David Jacquet at our public farewell party shortly before we left Maine. David kindly sent him the music for the song, and EW has continued to practice it and played it during many of the Sunday jam sessions in Grenada. 

Here's Guy with Verlon Thompson performing Boats to Build:      

Love that song.  "It's time for a change ..."

Our new song is one written for us by David Jacquet AKA MoJoCaster on Twitter and Mojo Twanger on YouTube. David is a singer, songwriter, and guitar teacher who ran the open mic night after our part at J. P. Thornton's. The next day, David sent us this song:     

Gonna sail around the world, just me and my girl, we'll team up with the winds and the tides and the seas. Don't wait for me. Don't wait for me. When the sun goes down just know that we are smiling.... We're living the life. Me and my wife. 

Wonderful. David isn't a sailor and has no first hand knowledge of our dream, but he got it right in this song -- except for the "we'll fish when we're hungry part", and I can't hold that against him.

Two years before we left Maine, one more song found a place in my heart, Where Did We Go Right? as performed by Jonathan Edwards. Jon hadn't performed this song for a while but I heard it on a CD of his and asked him to sing it for us when he played at Jonathan's in Ogunquit. He has since performed it again when we are in the audience and graciously dedicated it to us. Here he is. 


"And what we have is what everybody's trying to find

Peace of mind

In a world turned upside down

Our love keeps spinning around.

And you know it makes me wonder

As the rest run for their lives

Where did we go right?

Where did we go right?"

        Song written by David Loggins and Don Schultz

Somewhere we took a right turn found ourselves heading in a new and adventurous direction. Thank you for following along with us.



EW is Good. He's Really Good.


On February 12 and 13, my eBook - "Harts At Sea Sailing to Windward" will be available for free at Amazon. If you haven't purchased it yet, get it for free on one of those days -- and please tell your friends and fellow sailors. Once you've read it, please take the time to post a review on Amazon. Thank you. 

And now, back to our regularly scheduled post.

Location: 18.20.241 North 65.55.745 West

EW thinks about boat projects. I think his mind goes from bow to stern and stern to bow, thinking of what needs work below the waterline and above the waterline. He doesn't always make lists, but he knows what needs to be done. Most of the time, he gets to things before they get annoying. Sometimes he waits until he absolutely has to fix it - whatever "it" is. 

He's always been like this. He fixed my little Toyota before our third date, and told me that my mechanic hadn't changed all the spark plugs. When we lived on shore, he found the car mechanics, and prompted/urged/nagged me to get my vehicle serviced in a timely fashion. When we had a house, he repaired things that I didn't know were broken. I love EW.

Our Tohatsu dinghy motor has run very well so far. We had one issue with the pull cord that we finally got help with in Grenada, and EW frequently makes sure that the water pump is working well. Other than that, we gas 'er up and go. The manual suggests that in a perfect world she get serviced every year, and she did when we lived in Maine. Like all normal sailors, we'd haul the dinghy and store it, and would leave the motor with a shop for service and storage. Now that we are cruisers, she's not that well treated. She also isn't loved by motor repair people in the Leeward and Windward Islands. They haven't yet made the switch to four stroke engines. (In fact, the farther south you travel, four stroke engines are stolen less than two stroke engines. That works for me.)

There is a Tohatsu repair shop here in St. Thomas, and EW has been determined to have a professional do a thousand hour check-up on our 9.8. Of course the challenge was to get the 9.8 to the professional. Actually, getting the motor to the professional was relatively easy. The challenge was getting the motor to the truck. 

We are anchored in Charlotte Amalie Harbor and use the dinghy dock at Yacht Haven Grand. I am thankful every day for that dinghy dock. It's crowded, but it's free. Free is good. Yacht Haven Grand is an IGY owned marina and they largely cater to really big private yachts.

For example, Athena, the worlds largest private sailboat was recently anchored there. Those people don't use the dinghy dock. Those people ride golf carts from their slip to the gate. Really. P2110025
Even so, IGY provides a dinghy dock and lets all of us cheap cruisers use it. Thank you IGY.

EW arranged for Cousin Jeff to meet him and the motor at 6:30 AM. Jeff actually goes to work that early and his shop is right across the street from Gary's Outboards. (How perfect is that?) So it was up to EW and me to get the 88-pound motor up to the parking lot. EW and Jeff would drop it off, Gary promised to get it serviced that day, and EW would go to work with Jeff. I, of course, would row back out to La Luna, getting my exercise for the day. (SIDE NOTE: I am the only person here who rows an inflatable dinghy for fun. We don't have a kayak, so I row. Get over it, people.)

So, EW spent a lot of time working on how to get the motor off of the dinghy - without dropping it in the water. He decided that if we went in really early in the morning (like we had a choice) we would be able to tie up next to one particular piling. He brought a strong rope and a block and tackle. He tied a really, really tight clove hitch --n amazing tight clove hitch --around the slick metal post on the dock, tied the block and tackle to that and used this system to lift the motor from dinghy to dock. Worked like a charm. Unfortunately I had forgotten the camera. 

Gary did, indeed, service the Tohatsu before the end of the day. EW helped Jeff with some errands, and I worked on board the boat. Late in the afternoon, EW emailed me from the iPhone to let me know they were approaching the marina, and I rowed in from La Luna - again eliciting a number of comments. (The new West Marine dinghy actually rows very well -- particularly when there isn't an 88-pound motor on the back.) This time, the dinghy dock was three deep at our morning access point, so EW rigged the block and tackle on the railing of the ramp. We needed one person to help protect the motor blades while EW hauled the motor up and swung her over the dinghy and a father and son from Australia jumped into the action at just the right moment. Ta-da! 

EW had thought about it, planned for it, and brought a tote bag of tackle. Everything worked like a charm. 

I love EW.


View from the Deck

I've recently "discovered" the "First World" meme -- finally. This week I'm having First World At Sea issues. We have to send the laptop back to Toshiba, which is one of the companies that chooses to exclude the USVI from shipping, so I will send the laptop to Cathy in Florida who will kindly send it to Toshiba and then back to me when they return it to her. Our other two old laptops have issues and I will have to rely on our cousins and use their PC a day or two each week until the Toshiba returns home.

There's a rant blog post partially written with the working title of "Toshiba, You Are Dead to Me", and I've been grousing and complaining, and OK, using bad language. Then, I looked out the port and felt stupid.

This is my view. We are anchored in the harbor off of Charlotte Amalie. EW is preparing Buffalo Wings, and at two, Cousin Jeff will pick us up for an afternoon at their lovely home and a evening enjoying the Superbowl.

Not only are my problems First World problems, I get to rant about them (or accept them and move on) on our sailboat. Tomorrw we'll anchor off if Honeymoon Beach, and swim, and attend the free movie on shore. I am not suffering.

So here's my challenge: To post this week from the IPhone. That's my First World problem.


image from

Sent from my iPhone