As we start another new adventure, we know that Coco’s spirit will be with us every day. She was the best little friend ever and we miss her dearly for she came along on nearly every trip we’ve taken since 2008.
This made her a well traveled dog, for it included three years on the Nordhavn, 19 national parks in the Airstream, countless airplane trips to visit Grandma in Austin, and lots of time in the mountains of Utah, hiking, snowshoeing, chasing squirrels and the occasional deer.
Coco was a remarkably smart dog and she trained us well. Highly attuned to the vibe in the house, we were able to communicate with her in complete sentences, and she fully understood the difference between “Do you want to go to the beach?” (run and jump in the yacht tender) and “We have friends coming over for dinner” (run to the side deck and start barking).
After the tears, we are left with the wonderful memories and the understanding of just how much she filled our lives and hearts with so much joy and happiness.
After 8 easy months on the hard with nary a hurricane in sight, Dragonfly was happy to see us, and we her.
Traveling is always interesting. At the Miami airport we came across a debit card left behind at an ATM. It was a challenge explaining to a group of four airport employees why we wanted to give them a debit card since nobody spoke English.
Life in the marina – Dragonfly is on the hard, called this because she is on dry land for safe, trouble free storage.
All this in the first 24 hours! More adventures ahead….
It’s quite an undertaking to get ready for life ashore – lots of physical work to prepare Dragonfly and mental work to readjust to life ashore in the Land O’ Plenty.
Mr Insurance Man in London said we could leave Dragonfly in the Caribbean as long as we were south of 10 degrees 12 minutes north latitude, so the south coast of Grenada is now our boat’s home for the hurricane season.
Taking the boat out of the water makes the most sense as there are fewer risks, and so the sails come off, the dinghy gets stored, the canvas bimini is removed, the water maker pickled, basically everything is unrigged.
And so when it’s all done and Dragonfly is securely stored in the boatyard, it’s time to head home and start looking forward to next season and all the places to be explored.
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.