November 2011 Letter

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November, 2011

Ugh, back in Deltaville, Virginia on a cold, cold boat.  After two months in perfect California weather, this really hurts.  My old bones hate the cold weather.  We couldn't wait to depart for the warmth of the Caribbean, but we continued to have weather delays.  Nasty weather kept us in the Chesapeake for another extra week.  Fortunately that gave our friends Larry and Mary Ivins time to drive up from their home in North Carolina to visit us for a couple of days.  It was great to see them, but our time together was too short.  We sure hope to see them again before they return to their boat in Sicily in the spring.

We learned about a group of yachts all waiting to go to the Caribbean, so we joined them for the Salty Dog Rally to the BVI (British Virgin Islands).  We finally got the go-ahead and departed on Nov. 11 with good wind.  Sailing conditions deteriorated and we motored for several days, then another nasty system was developing which forced us to head for Bermuda.  We ended up spending a week in Bermuda (including Thanksgiving Dinner), and finally headed out for BVI, a passage that would take 6 more days and nights.  We had some of the worst conditions we've ever sailed in.  I hated it.  It wasn't just rough, it was BIG and rough.  On the 3rd day, Mike was even feeling a little sick.  He was convinced he had a touch of flu, because he said he "never" gets seasick.  Yea, right.  I had bruises all over from being tossed about so much.  It was awful.  

On the final night, conditions improved dramatically as we approached the islands.  At midnight, as the calendar turned to December 1st (my 64th birthday), I relieved Mike for the midnight watch.  The seas were calm and phosphorescent which created a sparkling wake.  I love it when the water twinkles like that.  I gazed at millions of stars in the sky and the night air felt tropically warm.  Adding to the beauty, I saw a shooting star every few minutes.  Some of them were quite bright and had really long trails.  It was magical.  My watch ended with a beautiful sunrise.  Apparently, the Universe was attempting to apologize for treating me so poorly during this passage.  Or maybe to just remind me that there are two sides to everything.  Knowing one side helps you appreciate the other.  In reality, it wasn't about me at all .. the weather is the weather.

Finally!  We're here!  It took us the entire month of November to get here!! We checked in with Customs and Immigration at Jost Van Dyke, BVI, on the morning of Dec. 1.  Then motored over to Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola where our friend Frank picked us up to spend a week at his and Patty's hilltop home.  They had another couple of friends, Karl and Marie, arrive later that day to spend the weekend.  The six of us enjoyed a relaxing weekend filled with lots of good food and drink.  Mike, Lucy and I have stayed on and they may never get rid of us.  Lucy is hanging out with their dogs, Coco and Moose.  She's been slapped a few times by their cats when she gets too close, so she is learning how to respect cats.  Mike is helping Frank with his list of projects and I'm trying to do my share of the cooking and cleaning.  Mostly, we're all just enjoying relaxing and hanging out with each other.  We'll get on our way eventually.

Until the next update ... cheers!
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