Mile High Dream

06 January 2021 | Rodney bay marina, St. Lucia
24 December 2020 | Bay Gardens Hotel, St. Lucia
06 June 2020 | San Juan, Puerto Rico
16 May 2020 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
16 May 2020 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
04 May 2020 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
20 April 2020 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
01 April 2020 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
30 March 2020 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
22 March 2020 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
10 February 2020 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
27 January 2020 | Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and the Grenadnes
18 December 2019 | prickly bay
09 December 2019 | Halifax bay
16 November 2019 | Prickley Bay, Grenada
20 April 2019 | Antigua
13 April 2019 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
01 March 2019 | St. Martin
17 February 2019 | Guadeloupe
06 February 2019 | guadeloupe

reflection

06 January 2021 | Rodney bay marina, St. Lucia
Greg Seebart
Today is the sixth anniversary of when my life changed. My wife of 27 years died on this date after we just finished a beautiful snorkel together. Today was a time for reflection, memories, and being thankful for what I have and those special people in our lives that make it full and complete. Don’t be afraid to live every day to it fullest, be thankful for what you have and spread the joy of love to someone close to you.

I finally finished my dreadful time of Quarantine. Ha Ha. Meals cooked of me, room cleaned every day, trip to the beach, maybe I should go back. Now that Im back on the boat it is endless boat projects, some planned, some not planned. Its a boat and things break, wear out, and need to be fixed.

The Rodney bay Marina where I am currently staying is very different than the other times I’ve been here. Its very empty with very few boats coming or going. I got new neighbors yesterday that had just come from Bequia. St. Vincent and the Grenadines where Bequia is located is a low risk country for covid so if you arrive from there you are welcome anywhere. St. Lucia is a high risk country like the U.S so a 14 day quarantine is required to any other country I decide to travel too. Dominica, 70 miles north of here is closed to all travelers so that country is now off the table to visit. Those of us in St. Lucia that have the desire to travel are hoping that Covid gets under control on the island and it it will go back to a low risk status and allow us to move more freely. So right now I will be staying put, getting the sails on the boat, re lubing the winches, fixing the refrigeration and maybe even repairing the air-conditioning on the boat. When you aren’t moving and getting the trade wind breezes it can get a little stuffy on the boat. Oh what am I complaining about I could be back in freezing temps and snow.

With the heartbreaking scenes from Washington D.C. and friends being diagnosed with Covid, I really don’t have anything to complain about. It is so sad and truly unbelievable.

It reminds me of the song Turn, Turn, Turn, by Pete Seeger

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain that which is to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time of love, and a time of hate; time of war, and a time of peace.

finally

24 December 2020 | Bay Gardens Hotel, St. Lucia
Greg Seebart
December 13
"Your passport please." the ticket agent asks when I finally make it to the front of the line. Due to it being an international flight, I was not able to check in at the kiosk or via computer.
"What is your final destination?'
"St. Lucia," I reply.
She starts typing away, looking for everything that St. Lucia requires for anyone flying into their country. I have my stack of forms in my hand ready to fulfill any need that she requires. Well not everything. 
She probably could have used a Valium or a stiff shot looking at how crazy things are for her.
"Your approval form to entry the country."
I quickly hand it over to her. She takes her time reading it and hands it back.
"Your negative Covid test."
I proudly slide it under the window. She looks at a long time. I am confused since I circled the word negative and my name for easy recognition.
"I don't think this will work. It doesn't say anywhere that this is a PCR test. St. Lucia requires a PCR test."
My joyous demeanor drops a notch. I knew it had to be a PCR test and I had asked the other tasting sites if that is what they were giving. I hadn't called Vail Medical just assuming they used the same testing procedure.
"I'm sorry, I can't let you board without a PCR test."
"But it says negative, right there," I point with my finger.
"It's the wrong test, I'm sorry. Let me see when I can get you on another flight."
My shoulders drop. My face droops into the most sorry face i have had in a long time. My sad puppy dog eyes tell the rest of the story.
Originally I was scheduled to fly out on November 23. Covid had other plans so I was so excited to finally be flying out to St. Lucia where I will have to quarantine for 14 days before being allowed on my boat.
2020, the year of change, of accepting things that are out of my control. Sailors have a saying, "plans are written in the sand at low tide. They can be washed away or changed at any time." This has been so true this entire year.
I take my bags and walk back out of the airport and sit by the wall trying to figure out a new plan. I call my friend who dropped me off at the airport to ask if she can pick me up after I explain my sad story. She is running errands so had not started driving back up the mountains.
She picks me up and we seek out two testing sites that are open on Sunday and are PCR tests. They both tell me it will be 3-5 days for the results to get back. My flight is scheduled for
Wednesday so I rescheduled it for Thursday, just to be safe.
The two test come back the next day and I think Im ready to go. I keep the flight for Thursday and call the airport shuttle to give me a ride down. All set so I think.
On Thursday, the shuttle forgets me and I take a later shuttle causing me to miss my flight. I reschedule my flights at the airport, give them all of the "correct" paperwork and amazingly enough, I arrive in sunny warm St. Lucia for my quarantine stay.
I picked the Bay Gardens hotel since it was less expensive and more importantly has a sister property located right on the beach. We are allowed to go by hotel shuttle to their property and enjoy all the sandy beach amenities.
This quarantine thing is not so bad after all.

I

End of the season

06 June 2020 | San Juan, Puerto Rico
Greg Seebart
The turquoise ocean stretches out in front of me. Long sandy beaches reach out in both directions as the wind blows in my face. It sounds like I am in the same spot I’ve been in since March 17. But no, I escaped the covid free island of St. Lucia to experience what most of the rest of the world is doing. What am I thinking? I had been scheduled to fly out from St. Lucia today, only to have my flight cancelled and no new flights scheduled until July. Bummer

Two other couples that I have been doing things with were on similar flights and already had their boats hauled out of the water and put “on the Hard” as we cruisers say.
“What should we do? Greg, do you still have that information for chartering our own private plane.”
“Somewhere. Let me find it.”
And a new plan was born. Hillary, one of the five stranded, jumped on the internet, filled out the paperwork and the request, sent the company the wire transfer and then we waited with our fingers crossed. St. Lucia has to honor the request, temporally re open the airport, and then get ground crew there to make it happen. The rest of us changed our flights from St. Lucia to flying out of San Juan Puerto Rico.

Crap. This is cutting a whole day out of my schedule to get Mile High Dream out of the water and safely put away. My haul out day is June 4 and usually it takes 3-4 days after it’s hauled out to get it ready. Now I have 12 hours. I scrambled around like a one armed wallpaper hanger, recruited the help of Vision and by 5:00, I was at happy hour with my fellow cruisers on the dock. That was followed by an air-conditioned sleepless night in an Airbnb I had to scramble to find the night before as my original accommodations decided not to open without any flights coming in.
“What did I forget to do? Did I turn all the power off? I think so. Are there more things that need to be done that I forgot to put on the list? Well it’s too late now.”

The next morning we get on a Piper Aztec two engine 6 person plane. Looking at it on the runway, I wasn’t sure we would all fit in. Three hours later we touched down in San Juan, 
Puerto Rico. Right now I’m listening to the reassuring sounds of commercial airlines taking off.

It has been a season with new experiences to say the least. I did get to find out what it is like to have the boat on the dock and live there without sailing. It wasn’t too bad. My quick movement from the dock to the haul out area did let me know I prefer to be moving. It is possible to tear the inside of the boat apart to varnish and repair woodwork while still living aboard. I don’t really want to do that again. How to prepare meals with rice, beans, and canned meats. I didn’t starve and fortunately it did not last too long. I was able to give all the un-open cans and rice away before leaving.

This season is now in the history books. Everyone that joined me helped in upping the turtle count, whale count and dolphin count. I think everyone had a good time or at least an ok time. There definitely were some ups and downs and tense moments this year. That’s is what real sailing is.

May fun

16 May 2020 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Greg Seebart
The ferocious wind howls at me as I raise my head out of the cockpit. My uncut and unkempt hair due to coved 19 and no haircut blows into my face covering my nose making it hard to breath. I shake my wild curls back to prevent me from suffocating. The rain starts to comedown in sheets so dense I can barely make out the back of the boat only 12 feet away. This is not making for a good start for the day. The waves have doubled in size and are crashing over the stern of the deck. What the heck is that prayer about wanting following seas. The water will soon be flowing in and filling the boat. Now I'm wishing I skipped the last four rum punches l had before going to bed.

NOT. The only excitement around here is in my mind. Yes the wind is blowing helping it stay a little cooler and bug free, the seas have doubled from one inch to two inches in the bay and there is a slight mist falling from the heavens that will dissipate with in minutes. "I'm just sittin' on the dock in the bay, watching the tide roll away. Oooh I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay, wasting time." This Otis Redding song gets more familiar and real with every passing day.

To ease my boredom, I hired a local man by the name of Vision to help me strip the old varnish in the salon area of my boat and refinish it. An added bonus is learning about the Rastafarian religion and way of life. No alcohol but plenty of other stuff. I always have poor results when I try to do it myself so I am watching, learning and helping out whenever I can. Maybe it is as simple as just using the other stuff instead of wine.

My original plans for this year's birthday was for me to be on a bike trip in Italy sipping on a glass of red wine. That didn't happen. The morning starts out with a surprise gift of fruit, wine and chocolate. All bases got covered there. In the afternoon I indulge with sitting on the beach watching the sunset sharing a glass of Prosecco with a friend. We were even blessed with a green flash. Not a bad compromise. It was then topped off by a surprise zoom meeting with many friends and family members wishing me a happy birthday. My friend who organized it shared with me that she thought my face might be very tired the next day from smiling so much.

Time to walk to the fresh vegetable market and restock for a few days. This is a big plus being stranded here, lots of fresh produce grown right here on the island.

Take care and stay safe out there.

May fun

16 May 2020 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Greg Seebart
The ferocious wind howls at me as I raise my head out of the cockpit. My uncut and unkempt hair due to coved 19 and no haircut blows into my face covering my nose making it hard to breath. I shake my wild curls back to prevent me from suffocating. The rain starts to comedown in sheets so dense I can barely make out the back of the boat only 12 feet away. This is not making for a good start for the day. The waves have doubled in size and are crashing over the stern of the deck. What the heck is that prayer about wanting following seas. The water will soon be flowing in and filling the boat. Now I’m wishing I skipped the last four rum punches l had before going to bed.

NOT. The only excitement around here is in my mind. Yes the wind is blowing helping it stay a little cooler and bug free, the seas have doubled from one inch to two inches in the bay and there is a slight mist falling from the heavens that will dissipate with in minutes. “I’m just sittin’ on the dock in the bay, watching the tide roll away. Oooh I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay, wasting time.” This Otis Redding song gets more familiar and real with every passing day.

To ease my boredom, I hired a local man by the name of Vision to help me strip the old varnish in the salon area of my boat and refinish it. An added bonus is learning about the Rastafarian religion and way of life. No alcohol but planting of other stuff. I always have poor results when I try to do it myself so I am watching, learning and helping out whenever I can. Maybe it is as simple as just using the other stuff instead of wine.

My original plans for this year’s birthday was for me to be on a bike trip in Italy sipping on a glass of red wine. That didn’t happen. The morning starts out with a surprise gift of fruit, wine and chocolate. All bases got covered there. In the afternoon I indulge with sitting on the beach watching the sunset sharing a glass of Prosecco with a friend. We were even blessed with a green flash. Not a bad compromise. It was then topped off by a surprise zoom meeting with many friends and family members wishing me a happy birthday. My friend who organized it shared with me that she thought my face might be very tired the next day from smiling so much.

Time to walk to the fresh vegetable market and restock for a few days. This is a big plus being stranded here, lots of fresh produce grown right here on the island.

Take care and stay safe out there.

Excitement ?

04 May 2020 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
Greg Seebart
The weather report tells me it will be the same today as it was yesterday and will probably be the same tomorrow. The only change is an occasional rain shower that lasts about 5 minutes as the raincloud moves over the island.

Time to get off the boat and go for a walk. We are still living in a stay at home order unless you need something essential. Essentials include grocery stores, hardware stores, restaurants that can supply take out, and office supplies. For all of you non drinkers you will appreciate that liquor stores is not classified as an essential. I tried to get some bootleg rum for $60ec dollars ($20 US which is normally $10 US) The next morning I was told the price went up to $120ec. I passed on that price and decided it was time for a cleanse. Exercise is not considered an essential either so many of us are ignoring that thinking.

I find two other people that want to join my lawbreaking adventure to hike over to the Atlantic side of the island. Off we go in stealth mode. Crouching behind parked cars, then looking for an opening so we can run to the next tree to camouflage our illegal movements. Crawling through muddy ditches popping our heads out to see if the coast is clear, then sprinting to the safety of the next building. We slowly and carefully move towards our destination. Looking overhead we see a helicopter that I assume is now out looking for escaped fugitives from the marina. Someone must have ratted us out.

Well its not quite that bad. We could use some kind of excitement though. We walk past homes greeting those that live there. I think they are happy to see some different faces around. An hour later, hot and sweaty we reach the other side of St. Lucia. The beaches here are not as nice or picturesque as on the Caribbean side. Seaweed washes up in shore and the waves traveling form Africa crash up on the rock walls spraying saltwater 10' into the air. This area is a big kite surfing area with a natural reef calming the waters in the bay and still having the strong constant trade winds. Unfortunately all the kite surfing businesses are closed and we see one lone kite surfer challenging the wind and her kite surfing skills.

Going a little further along the shore we see a dingy just sitting on the rocky shore. High tide was an hour ago so the tide is now rolling out. The dingy is in good shape, still inflated, with a fairly new outboard motor attached with a partially full gas tank. We look around and do not see anyone near by.
"This makes no sense. Where is the owner?" my one hiking partner asks.
"I don't see anyone and it isn't tied up. Its just floating." I reply
"Lets try and pull it up on higher ground and see if we can tie it to something so it won't float away." My other partner in crime says.
Draining the water out it is a little lighter. The heavy outboard hinders us in moving it very far. We find a rock nub to tie the painter around and then then take a picture.

We have Telephone, telegraph and tell a Marsha (our local no it all at the marina) as options to get the word out. We text Marsha knowing this will be the most effective and the fastest way to get the word out on a lost dingy. Sure enough, by the the time get back to the marina an hour later, the news has gone out to officials and boaters in St. Lucia, Martinique, the island 24 miles north of us, and even to Barbados the Island 100 miles southeast of us.

To our surprise, within hours the dingy's owner notifies the local police that it came loose from their boat in Barbados and floated the 100 miles to St. Lucia. Amazing. Im not sure what he is going to do now with the found dingy since the owner is not allowed in the country. That is his problem now.

Exciting times in St. Lucia. Our notifications of finding the dingy did lead us to receiving a mild reprimand that hiking over to other side of the Island is non essential and we are not suppose to be doing that.
Vessel Name: Mile High Dream
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 400
Hailing Port: Dillon, CO
Crew: Greg Seebart
About: Greg has been sailing since he was 21. I grew up in North Dakota and started taking advantage of the constant winds. After selling my bicycle store in 2006 we got more serious about living our dream on a sailboat. Greg and his wife purchased Mile High Dream in 2013.
Extra:
Greg and Mary had owned Nada Mas, a 23' South Coast, on Lake Dillon in Colorado for 33 years. We chartered in the Caribbean and Calif. numerous times. We were excited to begin our dream. While waiting for a weather window in the Truks and Caicos, Mary died unexpectedly Jan. 6 2015 after a [...]
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MleHigh Dream in the bay
MleHigh Dream in the bay
Added 9 February 2019