Brigitte and Gerald
Brigitte and Gerald live full time on a sister ship of Dragonfly – Jetlag is an Amel Super Maramu and they were docked directly across from us when we arrived off the plane in Martinique. As we stood on the dock contemplating how best to get all our gear onboard and dry, they hopped off Jetlag and just started helping out. A great friendship was born.
Brigitte and Gerald are from Switzerland, he’s a retired Swiss Air pilot and she is a retired schoolteacher.
They initially cruised the Med and crossed the Atlantic a few years ago to spend time in the Caribbean. Jetlag overlapped with us in Martinique as they were undertaking an extensive refit before heading west on a long planned, slow circumnavigation (10 years is the current thinking). After receiving much technical repair advice and help, trips sailing and to the beach, dinners and game nights, it was time for hugs, goodbyes and well wishes.
Terry and Balsa
Terje and Balsa are from Norway. Far northern Norway. Terje goes by Terry as it’s easier for people outside Scandinavia to pronounce. I called him the Teddy Bear in Underwear, because every single day the only thing he wore was his boxer underwear.
Totally mellow, he was in Martinique to thaw out; he had spent his career as a Volvo heavy equipment diesel engine mechanic working north of the Arctic circle. His hands continually hurt from the nature of his profession and the location of his employer. Balsa is more zen than Terry and would walk off the boat’s passarelle to greet folks on the dock. He only had a problem with a large, ornery old cat from a nearby boat. It seemed to be a mutual hate/hate relationship but everyone lived another day whilst we were there.
Nick was part of what I called the Scandinavian mafia – amazing how many cruisers there are from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. He and his wife own a 75 foot steel schooner called Skydancer; they spend their summers in Greenland hosting charter guests aboard for sail and ski vacations, as well as research scientists, documentary film makers and the like. They spend their winters in the Caribbean recovering and warming up. Nick is a huge guy, very friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to share advice and suggestions. Pretty comfortable in the islands, yet easy to see how he’d be in his element navigating his vessel amongst the summer ice flows around Greenland.
Thomas was the other member of the Scandinavian mafia. He was single-handing his Bavaria 55 around the world and documenting it on his YouTube channel: Free Thomas. Terry, Balsa, Nick and Thomas could spend hours in Django’s cockpit telling stories – it became this really nice background noise as they chatted in their common language.
Krista and Bill
All Canadians are nice folks and Krista and Bill were no exception. We first chatted them up at the marina pool in Canouan and continued to see them and enjoy our time chatting. Bill owned a pharmaceutical wholesale company in St Johns New Brunswick that he sold at an early age. Krista was a school teacher and gets a gold star for being such a good trooper. Maybe 10 days before we met they were going to shore in their dinghy, got out to pull the boat onto the beach, and a wave hit the boat, spun it, and hit Krista directly in the rib cage with the outboard motor shaft. Ouch – cracked ribs, lots of pain then discomfort, but never a complaint and always a great attitude.
Lifelong sailors, they decided to buy a Trintella 57 (Dutch aluminum sloop with Solent rig) and have enjoyed the past 16 winters sailing in the Caribbean. When we met they were quick to make it clear Krista is only 10 years younger, probably because everyone assumes it’s a bigger number.
And So Many More
And then there was Grant and Andrea from South Africa, Duncan and Kathy from Toronto, Nigel and Susan from England / Boston, Joshua and Maaike from the Netherlands, and so many more friendly and interesting people each pursuing their dreams and living life to the fullest. Hope to see all of you in a quiet anchorage someday soon.