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s/v Skylark
It's Always An Adventure
View from the fort
05/04/2012, Pigeon Island, Saint Lucia

One of the many "got to take this photo" shots. There is a tropical wave forming, as I mentioned previously and when it comes, it will bring lots of rain. We felt fortunate it held off long enough for us to get some touristy type stuff in this morning. Tonight we go to a "jump up" with our friend Brad. Nancy brought her jumping shoes for the occasion. God only knows what that means!

05/04/2012 | Kathryn Sain
Hi ,

John and I went to a 'jump up' when we were there...people line the streets with their grill and have all sorts of chicken/sausages/etc. and sell gum and any number of trinkets...there will be speakers almost a half story tall blasting music and yep, it makes you want to jump up and dance!!!! a not to be missed St. Lucia cultural affair!
05/05/2012 | Elizabeth
This description of the jump up was right on. It was great fun. Your comment said they'd be selling "gum" which I now know was meant to say "rum". I kept looking for gum everywhere....:) We didn't dance, but we enjoyed the scene.
Swim Therapy
05/04/2012, Pigeon Island, Saint Lucia

It is always good therapy for my sister to be in the water; any water will do but Caribbean water is certainly high on the list of choices. You can tell by the look on her face she is soaking it in, enjoying it to the fullest. We had a nice swim but then Luna had to return to Skylark because she wasn't allowed on the state park trails. It's too bad because she could use the exercise, though she is like Nancy Jo and always finds the water great for any occasion. Nancy Jo and I hiked up to the fort for a "got to have a photo of this" view and then hiked down to meet Ed for lunch at a funky, artistic restaurant at the base of the trail. Once she and I were at the top, a Rasta man came bounding up the steep stairs, smoking a cigarette and complaining about how hot it was. On and on he complained. He took a very quick look around, then bounded back down, muttering to himself, "I've been doing this for 20 years, and it is hot, hot, hot". We couldn't help but wonder why he was doing it, what the point was. On the way down, he shook his waist length dreads out from his hat, muttering loudly to himself the entire time.

Gift from a friend
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
05/03/2012, Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia

The other day I mentioned a man I met who just happened to be working on Brad's boat. This man, Gary, who is also called Kenyatta by his friends but who was chrisented by yet another name is a Rasta who has a heart as big as NYC, which is where he lived for several years before returning to his home on this Island. He and I made a good connection and he told me he was going to make me a gift, along with one for Brad. I knew he would follow through but I didn't know the gift would be an exquisite handmade basket made of palm leaves. It is filled with fruit and vegetables after passing a farmer with the empty basket in hand who informed him that he couldn't give a fruit basket without fruit in it. Kenyatta filled it high with cherries, apples. melon, papaya, sweetsop, apricots, and bananas. The piece of palm leaf you see under my chin is a decorative bird "flying" over the basket. We enjoyed having drinks with him and Brad, hearing entertaining stories about the Rasta beliefs, time in NYC, loves of his life and especially his fiancé Roxy who sounds pretty special.

Nancy Jo arrived this afternoon and it's hard to believe she's actually here. She is tired from getting up early for her flight this morning but the nice thing about being in the Caribeean on a sailboat is whatever needs to happen will happen and all we have is time. And of course, weather. Tonight before she headed off for bed, she looked out one of the portholes from down in the salon and said, "Oh, look, fireworks!". We looked out and saw anchor lights bobbing from other boats, the lights from shore bobbing and the moon and stars as well. We laughed hard because what she was seeing was from our boat bobbing, not fireworks. It takes a little while getting used to your home rising up and down, especially when you're down below and thus lose perspective. Photos of Nancy Jo will be posted tomorrow or the next day when she is rested and photograph-friendly. Luna, by the way, was beside herself to have her on the boat, especially when Brad arrived tonight and all her current favorite people were giving her tickles and pats.

05/03/2012 | Kathryn Sain
sweet reunion with old friends(Brad counts now!) new friends(Kenyatta),and family...NJ....

enjoy .
05/04/2012 | Lawrence Leonard
Life is good! No one will ever convince me otherwise! I hope your sister gets the recharging she needs to go back and battle the forces of evil in the work-a-day world. Have a great day!
Fair winds & Smooth sailing,
Lawrence S/V Elle & I
Brad on his bowsprit
05/02/2012, Rodney Bay Marina

It's always a treat for us meeting up with Brad, which would be more aptly put, running into him unexpectedly. I would accuse him of following us except we typically discover him when he's already settled in somewhere. We stopped by for a beer yesterday afternoon and left when his girlfriend, Carolyn called from NC. He scurried off to find a comfortable place to talk and this is where he landed. We'll finally get a chance to meet her on Saturday when she arrives for a week's visit.

Today, last minute details in preparation for our visitor who gets in early tomorrow afternoon. Can't wait!

05/02/2012 | Kathryn Sain
Have a wonderful visit!!!! And, give her my love.xo
Rule breakers
05/01/2012, Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia

The man looking at the camera shooed me off as soon as he noticed what I was doing. I'm glad I got the shot before walking away.

I have updated our Lat/Lon position for anyone interested, as I promised to be better at keeping up with this.

Waiting for her papers
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
05/01/2012, Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia

We met with the government vet yesterday morning to officially get Luna her import permit. She is now "officially" permitted to put her nose in all the local bushes. We'll see how people react to dogs here in St. Lucia. So far, there have been a lot of people going out of their way to avoid her, which reminds me a bit of Antigua.

I ran into our good friend Brad (s/v Lady Angelie) this morning while Luna and I had a walk. His boat is getting work done at the marina and as coincidence would have it, a man working for him stopped to chat with me and Luna, found out I was from NC and said the captain of his boat was also from there. I didn't put two and two together until Brad yelled at us as we walked past his slip on a road that runs parallel to the docks. It is truly a strange feeling hearing "Hey, Elizabeth!" while walking down a road in a foreign country where you know absolutely no one. Gary, the worker was delighted at having facilitated a connection since he told Brad about me and then pointed me out as Luna and I walked past the docks. Brad said, "Wait, I know her and her dog!". That was a great surprise and we'll look forward to seeing more of him while we're here.

05/01/2012 | Jan Keny
I just LOVE this kind of thing happening for you. It is really another small miracle, stirred around by God's finger for you. How wonderful to hear your name called out in a foreign land.
Boat Vendor
05/01/2012, Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia

We are settled in at anchor in Rodney Bay, ducking a ton of squalls and preparing for an unexpected visitor later this week. My sister Nancy Jo is in between jobs and decided to take some time away before getting back to the grind of full-time work. What better place than with us? She'll be here for two weeks while we explore St. Lucia. Luna is very eager to have her here because Nancy gives all her favorite kitties and doggies great massages and they love her forever. We're hopeful the time with us will offer the rest and replenishment she's seeking; it certainly will be a treat for us having her onboard.

Rainbow over anchorage
05/01/2012, Grande Anse D'Arlet

Our stop in Martinique was very brief, which was unfortunate because it's an island rich in history and well-worth some time given to exploring. But as I mentioned previously, our time is running out before hurricane season officially begins (June 1). We want to spend time in St. Lucia and St. Vincent/The Grenadines prior to making our way further south into Grenada, or perhaps Trinidad. We don't know where we'll end up but we want to have a workable plan in place for finding a hurricane hole if and when a named storm begins brewing. Many full-time cruisers don't have marine insurance but we do (at least for the time being) and our policy restricts us to certain countries in the event of a named storm. We want to comply as best we can, but there's also wisdom in making it to one of those countries in time for a storm while not necessarily staying there. There's a lot to consider, but we will figure it out in due time.

05/01/2012 | Jan Keny
OK--I find my heart rate increasing again (as it did in your crossing) as I read about hurricane season starting in a month. It is good to be reminded and to have prayers ready. Will look at hurricane forecasts differently, as we did last fall.
05/02/2012 | Elizabeth
Hurricanes are something we will take seriously and definitely monitor, but we are cautious sailors who don't take a lot of chances unnecessarily. We have all systems in place on Skylark to track storms and employ a weather guru, Chris Parker, who is extremely knowledgeable. He will personally advise us if we need specific guidance, in addition to his regular weather reports on our SSB radio and the internet. Ed adds that we'll also have a "boatload" of other warning systems that will be broadcasting to any islands in the path of a storm. Hurricane Irene was good practice for us in Maine last summer, even if we didn't end up taking a direct hit.

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