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February 2015

Life in France Has That Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi

> There haven't been a lot of American boats here at Ilet Du Gosier so we hang out with the Canadians. French Canadians and French sailors flock to Guadeloupe just as American, British, and the rest of the Canadians prefer Antigua, and the Virgins. I won't say that we haven't have language challenges getting work done here, but EW and I have spent most of the last six months in non-English speaking countries and we are developing patience and a deep appreciation for those who are multi-lingual.
> We try to add to our vocabulary every day and we use our new words and phrases aboard La Luna, so I wasn't surprised when EW complimented me by saying that my outfit, "had a certain je ne sais quoi." Since I cannot be taught to never look a gift horse in the mouth, I asked wether he knew what that phrase meant. He didn't, but we both had used it for years, influenced by one of our favorite NPR shows. (I think it was from Prairie Home Companion, EW thinks it was from Whadda Ya Know. ) We resolved to ask our friends from Toronto on Triumph and from Quebec on Sakti, and actually remembered to do so while enjoying sundowners with the four of them that evening.
> EW posed the question. There was a pause, and three of the four said, "I don't know." I interjected, "You must know what it means!" It was an Abbott and Costello moment. "I Don't Know" played third base, and "I don't know" completed EW's morning compliment. We imagined we were saying "you have that certain mystique"; or "You have that certain unique beauty".
> It actually means that "You have that certain ...I don't know..." Which could really be a good thing or a bad thing. It's all in the delivery.
> I am positive EW was giving me a lovely compliment that morning, but from now on I'm going to listen carefully on his delivery.
> The French language is tricky like that.
> Sent from my iPad

It's Hard to Have Pigpen MomentsWhen You're Tigger at Heart

Most who know me would agree that I'm a pretty upbeat person. Good thing most of you didn't see me during the first two weeks in Guadeloupe. Things were much better after Lynn and Ken joined us and led a number of adventures and somehow opened the floodgates for sailors from America, Canada, and Great Britain.

Still, EW and I found ourselves uncharacteristically melancholy, and I discovered one day that instead of my normal enthusiasm, I felt a bit like Charlie Brown's friend PigPen, who walked around followed by a cloud. Things improved when we motored three miles to Ilet Du Gosier, a beautiful sandy anchorage surrounded by beaches, and just offshore from the charming town of Gosier. This is my new favorite anchorage in Guadeloupe. (My apologies to Deshaies and Isle Du Saintes, my former favorites.

Here, We finally went swimming in the Caribbean. Here, there is free WiFi at anchor. Here ...well I'll wax euphoric over Gosier in a later post. Lets just say, that here we became cruisers again. But that cloud still rained down. Both laptops have died and the cushions we ordered are inferior. We will forfeit our deposit and return them. It won't be pretty. Another PigPen moment.

However, we have made new friends from New Orleans and Canada, and EW is ecstatic to meet another guitar player, Alan, who also spent many happy afternoons in Grenada playing music with Peter on Two Much Fun. As I struggle to write this on the dang iPad, EW is playing music with Alan.

We are making do, making tough decisions, and making plans to do something fun every day. Every day, I have fewer PigPen moments and more Tiggerr moments. (Is it acceptable to mix cartoons, or is that like mixing metaphors?)
While you ponder that, I will sing that "I'm Tigger with an 'eh' not Tiger with an 'I'. T.I.Doubble Grrr. TIGGER!

Here me roar.

(Now I have to apologize to Helen Reddy, too.) A Tigger bounce to anyone who gets that last reference. Feel old, much?

Barb Hart

Sailing. Find out where by going to:

Calming Caribbean With Pigpen and Tigger

After four weeks in Point a Pitre we finally moved the boat to Ilet Du Gosier---just three miles south and a world away from the hustle, speedboats, cruise ships, and tankers. The grocery shopping is nearly as good here, and even better in some cases. There is a tiny little hardware store that exchanges the camping gas bottles; the friendliest, most competent English speaking tourist office person; and multiple places to purchase baguettes and pain du chocolate.

All that and more, including beaches and an amazing "floating"salt water swimming pool are on the "mainland". Can islands have a mainland? But the most important feature for me is the Ilet with its beaches. I have finally swum in the Caribbean. Bliss. Warm water. Sand. Turtle grass. Sun. Gentle waves. Bliss. (Oh, I already said that, didn't I?)

It has made all the difference for me. Fortunately Lynn and Ken are still with us, as EW has a cold and didn't feel like exploring or swimming. We will stay here until the cushions are done and then come back so EW and I can play together At Ilet DU Gosier. Even more bliss in my future. That's a good thing because a part of me feels like Charlie Brown's friend Pigpen. You know the guy---the one with the cloud following him around? This isn't good because I'm more of a Peppermint Patty or Tigger person. (I know it's a sin to mix metaphors. Is it also a sin to mix characters and literary genres? If so, I apologize.)

The newest challenge is that both laptops have died. Really. I am writing this n EW's iPad. You know it's serious when I deign to stoop to the iPad. We have sent the SOS to Favorite, but probably won't have new laptops until St Thomas, later this month. Once the cushions are done we still plan on some cruising stops along the way, but won't stay in one area for more than three or four days before moving on (providing the weather cooperates), and will make our way to St Thomas land of US Mail and shipping, and dear loves Jeff and Barb plus many cruising friends.  

I was in the midst of writing a new book, magazine articles, and better blog posts with photos. Nothing has been lost as I have been the Queen of back-ups. The writing will just have to be relegated to notes and outlines and organizing my thoughts. I can do boat projects instead and get back to serious laptop work when we get to St Thomas. A cloud over my head or just another learning moment? I am choosing learning moment.

Deep calming breath. Oh! Lets go swimming. At a beautiful Caribbean beach.

This does not suck. 

"I'm Tigger with an eh not Tiger with an I. T I double grrrr. TIGGER

Whatever Happened to Barb and EW?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Hell, I want to know. We are mostly absent on Facebook, correspond rarely on email, and you have every reason to believe I've forgotten the blog.

We find it hard to believe that we've been in Guadeloupe for six weeks. The first four weeks were definitely not a case of time flying when you are having fun. We were not having fun. I have a list of 17 significant things that went wrong or broke on the crossing. EW and I have recovered but some things are still not fixed and others have joined the to be deep-sixed pile. Most recently, both laptops died. Both.

So here we sit in a beautiful anchorage with free WiFi and no laptop. This is the second post written on the iPad. The first one was lost. Typing on the screen is much easier than typing on a French Keyboard. Trust me. They don't like periods, so one must use the shift key to end a sentence. And don't even ask me where all the letters are. You know I'm on a French keyboard when many of my "a"s are "w"s.

 That's why the blog is behind. The book I'm working on has been relegated to outline form using "gasp" ink on lined paper. Maybe my penmanship will improve. (Like that would happen.) Favorite is researching laptops and notebooks and we probably will go without until we get to St Thomas. If this post actually gets saved to the iPad, EW swears I will be able to email it from Notes. Since I have loudly proclaimed my displeasure with Apple in general, iTunes specifically, and this iPad, I am very afraid that the universe which is Apple isn't queuing up to help me. Call me paranoid.

Lately, every time I ask EW whether I may use his iPad, he always replies, " It's our iPad." Trust me, this is not my iPad.

Life is good in Guadeloupe and we and the boat are healing. Bit by bit. Now if I can just figure out how to save this file.......

Barb Hart

Sailing. Find out where by going to: