Showing posts from May, 2013

Boat Striptease

Written By: Field Trip Sigh. I’m still in Saint Martin. Saint Martin is French – very French. I’ve noticed Mark and Sarah giggling as captain and crew of other vessels that should NEVER be naked - walk around naked on their decks. I’m just glad I don’t have to see those sailors strut their stuff on my decks! I woke up for a rolly night and overheard on the radio a Dutch ship asking if anyone was interested in heading to Rotterdam. Apparently they didn’t have enough cargo and wanted to ship 8 – 10 yachts to the Netherlands. Hmmm. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be lifted out of the water, put in close quarters with a bunch of monohulls, and shipped 3,500 miles to Europe. I’m a sailboat and can sail there just fine thank you very much! It irked me a little that they would even consider shipping me. Should I be offended? I safely took Mark and crew over 12,000NM from Argentina. What the heck is another 3,500NM? Arg! Nevertheless, Mark and Sarah decided they would give

Second Time Around

From Puerto Rico, we decided to break away from our buddy boats and make a trip to St. Croix, for old times’ sake.  We were anchored there almost exactly a year ago, and had wonderful memories of our time there.  It looked like an easy run on the charts, running at a beam reach, so we set off, on our way to our first repeat anchorage.  Since we are entering our second full year on board, it is strange to think that we have not seen any place twice until now!  That realization makes me understand why I have days when I yearn for the known.   I remember when I was a kid, and we’d go out on a camping trip or vacation.  Being away was such an adventure that I rarely thought of home, until that moment I would walk back into our house after being gone and the simple smell of home would bring comfort.  Would this return trip bring that comfort as well?  Will it be the same as we remember? When we arrived to Christiansted , we anchored in the same area we had before, right

Puerto Rico (continued)

Old San Juan Forts When you are cruising and find yourself near a big city, it's a good chance to go to the doctor.  Mark had noticed a small spot on his neck that looked suspect, so he phoned around and finally got an appointment.  After leaving the dermatologist with a clean bill of health, we headed to tour the historic Castillo San Cristobal fort, which took Spain nearly 400 years to complete.   Of all the forts we’ve seen along the way, this was the most impressive in size.  It is one of the National Parks in the US, so the kids took the opportunity to earn another Junior Ranger badge.  We learned about how vital Puerto Rico was in the days of exploration. It is named Puerto Rico because it is literally the “gateway to riches”, the first stop for ships coming from Europe to seek the precious gems and metals in Mexico and South America.  The deep waters surrounding it, allowed ships to come close to shore, and the lush land provided fresh drinking water after a long

Gateway to Riches

When we reached Puerto Rico, our first stop was Mayaguez on the west coast to check in with Customs and Immigration.  The two officers who greeted us were by far the kindest we’d ever come across.  They filled us in on where things were and told the children everything they 'must see' while in Puerto Rico.  When we were ready to venture out, they even had a taxi called for us and warned us not to pay over $8.  The dock where we had to disembark from our dinghy, however, was far from the nicest we’d encountered.  Along the cement wall were huge, black fenders, which left their mark on anything that touched them.  By the time we’d crawled up the wall and fenders (there was no ladder), we each had nice black smears along our elbows and knees.  The dinghy itself, after sitting there for half a day, also got a handsome black mustache along its entire bow.  The officers felt bad, saying, “We’ve told them we need a ladder here for a long time, but they haven’t buil