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October 2017

Where Did We Go Right? Every Step of the Way

So, one of my current projects here in October of 2017 -- seven years after leaving Maine--is cleaning up this blog. That project involves going through all nearly 900 posts, editing, categorizing, and putting in the location of La Luna when the post was written.  At some point in St. Thomas, I decided to rewrite a post begun in 2010. That new version was not published. Here it is—a post written for Valentine's Day 2013.

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. We are meeting with LeeAnn and Peter Bonta, friends we met in Grenada and going in to listen to Grandsons perform at Tickles. Music has always been a part of our lives. Our first official date was a B.B. King concert. EW has had a guitar forever. We have enjoyed many performances together. Now we meet musicians in the islands and EW gets to play with some of them -- like the outstanding Peter Bonta.

Four songs define our relationship for me. Boats to Build by Guy Clark; Where Did We Go Right, as performed by Jonathan Edwards; Living the Life, by David Jacquet; and "Honey I'd Do Most Anything for You, as performed by Martin Bogen and Armstrong.  It's a little late for Valentine's Day -- but here are ours, and EW's favorite romantic songs. They make me smile. 

Hope you had a happy Valentine's Day.

First Guy Clark's "Boats to Build". We love that song. 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" until we hauled out five years ago during the "Year from Hell".) Still like the song, though. EW sang it with David Jacquet at our party a few weeks ago.

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

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

Our new song is, of course, the 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.

 

For the past year and a half, one other song has found a place in my heart, "Where Did We Go Right?" 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 last year. 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 by David Loggins and Don Schultz

 

You know, when I was 10 or so, I adored "The Sound of Music". Years later, EW was stunned (and a bit taken aback) to realize that I still know most of the lyrics in the soundtrack. One of the songs was of course, "I Must Have Done Something Right".

It's the same feeling. Somewhere we took a right turn and we are heading in a new and adventurous direction. I am blessed. 

Hope you follow along.


Post Irma Spam—Part Two

Boat Projects and the Cruisers Who Live Amongst Them.

EW was actually very upset that the boat was not finished when we moved back aboard. I never expected it would be and had already started contingency planning. Hey, we’ve been married for 32 years and we’ve lived on a boat for 15 of them. This is not my first rodeo.

IMG_7155[1]The port settee is our living space. We have two ratcheted cushions for seating and there’s an American Gothic feel to our meals as we eat side by side, facing the same direction. I could go on, but just let that sink in.

IMG_6810Now, non-boaters might think that repairing the toe rails and stanchion bases, and removing the teak decks would have no impact down below. Non-boaters would be wrong. Ninety-nine percent of the things on deck are bolted through the deck to the living space below. EW has had to remove the genoa track from both sides of the deck (non-boaters, imagine a long, narrow piece of stainless steel with holes every inch or so.) Now imagine those bolts going through the deck and into many parts of the boat because it’s really long…from master stateroom to the galley (or pilot berth on the starboard) to the main salon. At a dam angle.

In fact, here’s a photo before it was removed. (To the left near the cabin.)  And yes, I know they aren’t exactly an inch apart, but there are still at least a thousand nuts and bolts to deal with here. (Do NOT shake your head at me. It will seem like a thousand when we put them all back.) 

Side note, these were removed with the volunteer (?) assistance of Matt from S/V Kook Cat and Tim from S/V Scout. I will be the volunteer when we put the tracks back on. Also, a small piece of duct tape was placed over each hole and every blessed one withstood the hurricane.

How the Deck Job Messes Up the Cabin

Removing it impacts the bookshelves next to our bed, both clothing lockers, the aforementioned pilot berth, every cupboard in the galley and the three cupboards along the port side that are also used for food and dishes. On the starboard side, we have a slightly different configuration so the cupboards are not impacted.

Add the stanchion bases and other random parts that had to be removed and you know why we are living in (somewhat) organized chaos. We didn’t even bring the main salon cushions back to the boat. Lest I make this sound sad and trying, note that EW is more bothered by this than I am. He feels he should have been farther along, and I am delighted he is fully back to normal and able to do so much. As for the mess, I am resigned and calm and having a “make it work” moment. Most of the time.

Barb at Sea Loses It

When I assured EW that I was OK with it. That I’d make it work. That we’d do just fine. (Cheesy grin.) I also said. “You can have the bed we aren’t sleeping in and you can have the entire dining space, table and seats and under the table. I (well we really) get the galley, chart table, and port settee for living.” Both of us were a bit surprised to find out how sincere I was. I have never once complained about the mess on the dinette side of the boat, but let him leave one box of screws out overnight on the living side...whoo-eee…I surprised myself with my vehemence.

Step away from the tools, Barb. Step away from the tools.

His tools and screws haven’t  trespassed on the port side since.

 

 

IMG_7156[1]

  Note the lack of cupboard doors in the galley because—genoa track. And you see pretty much all the dishes I have for the duration.


Post Irma Spam—Part One

NOTE: I’ve been going through the old posts lately (more about why later) and was reminded of my old “Spam” posts. The first was as we left the Bahamas in 2011 when I had a few juicy tidbits of stories that hadn’t made it in a post. The title of “Spam” certainly wasn’t because we eat it (Ick) but because the grocery store in Georgetown carried a plethora of varieties of Spam. I didn’t even know there were multiple varieties of Spam.

So, Post Irma Spam.

The Forward Cabin. We had to order a new mattress because the one we had put up with since St. Thomas in 2014 was a piece of crap and I threw it out when we moved off the boat in May. Irma messed with our schedule when we moved back aboard, so we moved into the forward cabin where there is a lovely firm foam mattress in a double-narrowing-to-smaller-than-twin bed. One person (that would be me) sleeps against the hull (wall to you landlubbers) and the other can somewhat more easily get in and out. On good nights, I would get up when EW did, trot to the head after him, and then he would wait and crawl into bed behind me. On other nights, or when I woke up earlier than he did (pretty much every damn day, lately) I had to crawl out.

Remember the Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones movie, “Entrapment”. Irma Spam Part One CZJThis was kind of what I had to do to get out of the bed, only instead of going under laser beams, I had to go over EW.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX2_LCUkhDs

I am not as agile, thin, or flexible as CZ-J but a video of my efforts would have been entertaining if you like slapstick. First I tried simply placing a leg over top of EW and lifting myself over. That rarely worked. So, channeling my inner Catherine Zeta-Jones, I stayed on my tiny portion of the bed and rose into a crouch, stepping over EW. I actually achieved success with this to the point that when he got up an hour or so later he’d say, “How did you get out of bed?” Wish I’d told him I went up through the hatch.

I’ve never actually noticed this before because – well—sleeping, but EW sometimes sleeps with one foot on the bed and his bent knee becomes an obstacle. I first realized this when I hit that obstacle in the night, startling both of us. (EW is funny when startled from a deep sleep, and my inevitable giggles do not amuse him.)

But the final indignity occurred during our last night in the forward cabin. I softly rose to my feet, hunched over so I could clear the cabin top (ceiling to landlubbers), and then slowly and artistically (again channeling CZ-J) I lifted my right leg and brought it to the edge of the bed outside of EW. I missed my handhold, bumped my left foot into EW, spun a quarter turn and ended up curled in the fetal position at his feet. He was concerned I had been injured, but I only damaged my dignity and she’s used to it by now. Sean Connery would have probably killed me.

So for those of you who agree to visit and sleep in the forward cabin, we know. We truly do know that two people staying up there so they can see us is an act of love. Also, if we hear strange noises we won’t automatically assume fun.