Gobble, Gobble!!!

Thanksgiving Eve at City Park
Thanksgiving Eve at City Park

November 26, 2008

New Orleans, Louisiana

 

It is Thanksgiving Eve and it has been quite a busy day for the Pirate and the Cajun.  The Cajun had to go to the office for meetings and conference calls L.. don’t they know it’s a holiday!   The Pirate spent most of the day in the kitchen baking pies.  He made both an apple and lemon meringue pie for Turkey Day.  The pies are beautiful and it is hard to just to look at them and not dig in!  The Boxer (aka Millhouse) patiently waited for even the smallest crumb to fall from the countertops. 

After hours of baking and last minute trips in the hellacious traffic to packed-to-the-gills grocery stores, we decided to unwind with a couple of cocktails.  A Cuba Libra for the Cajun and a kicked-up Egg Nog for the Pirate and we were off to the park (which is actually our front yard).  The Boxer was happy chasing squirrels and ducks and posing for portraits, forgetting about all of the missed opportunities in the kitchen.  The Pirate was decked out in his Holiday finest – flip flops and a tropical sarong-  perfect for chilly November weather J   You can take the Pirate out of the islands, but you can’t take the islands out of the Pirate… 

Tomorrow we eat !   Hope that all of you friends and family have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love and laughter.

Election Day and we are NOT in line….

Cajun Goes to Marigot!
Cajun Goes to Marigot!

 

 

November 4, 2008,

Simpson Bay Marina, St. Martin

It’s a beautiful morning here.  We had a really good rain last night to cool things off (which also meant we turned on the AC last night in the boat- J ).  Did I mention, I LOVE having AC…

Yesterday we took the dingy over to Marigot on the French side of the island.  Very different atmosphere than the Dutch side and about 3x more expensive.  It’s full of high-end shops and cute little French bistros with people sitting outside.   We selected a French bistro called Le Belle Epoque and had a delicious meal.  Moules and pomme frites in a white wine sauce and a fresh goat cheese, tomato and olive pizza- thin and crispy.  C’est Magnifique!  While we dined, the electricity went out in most of Marigot- but no worries- the stove was gas!  We strolled the streets and window shopped and made our way back to the dingy. 

When we returned DJ had the boat looking spotless.  He gave her a complete washing and she was shiny and white.  We lounged around for a few hours and then cooked an o-so American dinner- hot dogs with all the fixins’ followed by brownies.  We were all in bed by 9.

Today is Election Day. The Pirate and I cast early votes so no more waiting in lines for us.  We may watch the returns on TV tonight.  We catch a couple of American channels and BBC which should be covering it.  We unfortunately leave tomorrow morning to go back home.  But the bright side is, it is just temporary- we will be back in December for our 8 month voyage.   In the meantime, DJ will stay here and keep the boat clean and to our liking. 

Over the next month, we will be charting our course through the Caribbean and making plans for the wonderful ports of call we will be visiting. 

Another Day in Paradise…

Pirate poses in pool
Hamming it up in the sun

 

 

Hamming it up in the sun

 

sailing along side a sloop

 

 

 

 

November 3, 2008

Simpson Bay Yacht Club, St. Maarten

 

We sailed right into the Simpson Bay Yacht Club on Friday, October 31 to fuel up and dock the boat for the next couple of months.  The Pirate maneuvered this 50×26.5 foot beam boat into a 28 foot wide slip in a strong current- very impressive.  We are now snug as a bug in a rug in our new dock spot.  The Yacht Club is getting busier by the day, now that hurricane season has officially ended- people are arriving daily to come back to their boats for high season.  Lots of people busying themselves with cleaning, provisioning, and of course- repairs to their boats J 

The Pirate and I had a great Halloween night.  We celebrated in our full Pirate regalia at the Soggy Dollar Bar (not the same as the BVI one).  Lots of great costumes.  As the night wore on, the place became too crowded to be comfortable, so we took our dingy on home.

Saturday was an errand day for us.  We were on a mission to find a list of boat supplies, most importantly- for the Cajun that is-, a toaster and a coffee maker.  We took the dingy over to Budget Marine and found a few items, but they told us to check out Ace Hardware right around the corner.  Unbeknownst to us, “right around the corner” in Caribbean-speak actually means “over the hills, and through the woods, past the chicken coops, etc”.  We made our one-mile plus uphill trek and found the Ace Hardware store in all its glory.  This was a Mega-Ace store, two-stories of air-conditioned goodness.  We found EVERYTHING we needed, which was awesome, except for one thing- we had to do the Bataan death march back to the dingy with all our swag.  At least it was all downhill.

Sunday was a glorious day of rest.  We began our day with the Pirate’s famous Banana pancakes and lots of bacon.  After some lounging around and reading, we took the dingy to the Simpson Bay Beach.  This was a gorgeous beach about a mile long with few people (as there are only a couple of small hotels on it).  We walked and swam and walked and swam.  When we got back we decided to check out our Yacht Club’s pool – it felt awesome to wash off the salt and relax.  We returned to the boat for Mudslides!  Somehow we went through three pitchers of Mudslides, two movies and managed to cook two racks of baby back ribs.  They were delicious and we all went to bed fat and happy.

It’s Monday morning and the Pirate is in the galley fixing French Toast.  Our mate is swabbing the deck- he shall be referred to as DJ from now on, finally earning his GumboPirate stripes and nickname..  DJ you ask?  It is short for Davy Jones- the mythical sea devil who lives on the ocean floor, and Disc Jockey- someone who spins our tunes and keeps us bopping along to the beat of life aboard our Boat!

Gotta go- breakfast time!

 

We made it to St. Martin!

 

October 30, 2008

Anse Marcel, St. Martin

 

We arose early (4:00 am) on Tuesday to make the crossing from Virgin Gorda to St. Martin.  We were delayed about an hour getting started as the port engine would not start (not good!).  However, after some tinkering by the Pirate, all engines were a go and we were off.  It was a gorgeous day, the seas were somewhat calm.  The only negative was that the wind was on our nose the whole time, so no sailing to pick up speed.  We averaged about 6 knots, which is alright.  We decided to try our luck at fishing, and within an hour we caught our first fish- a Bonita.  She was too small, so we threw her back. We alternated 2 hour watches and made the trip in about 15 hours.  We arrived in the night, so it took some skillful navigating by the pirate to find the exact spot in Simpson Bay where we anchored last time we were here.  We dropped anchor and thankfully the anchor held all night- we were exhausted. 

On Wednesday morning we took the dingy to check out our dockage situation at the Simpson Bay Marina.  The website built it up to be this luxurious spot full of ammenities…  well, let’s just say it did not quite live up to my expectations (the Pirate had warned that this may be the case- as Luxury in the Caribbean can range from “we have hot water” to “we will fan you by the pool and peel your grapes”).  However, the dockmaster Stephan was very nice and worked hard to ensure that we had the best spot for our Cat since it will be there for two months.  We decided to wait for a spot that was currently being occupied- the people were supposed to leave in the next day. 

Back at the boat, we decided to sail over to Anse Marcel and anchor there for a couple of days until our dock space was available.  We love Anse Marcel because it is secluded, quiet and beautiful.  There is a small marina tucked away with a quaint restaurant called La Louisianne.  They are also in the process of converting an older hotel into a brand new luxury Radisson property.  Because the resort is not open yet, there are no people on the beach, but we still use the beach ammenities- chairs, huts, and surprisingly an awesome bar that stays open for the locals.  Unfortunately, La Louisianne was shuttered up, but a new french bistro called La Calypso had opened up next door.  We had some of the best pizza’s there- one had smoked duck breast and honey-mmm, the other had ham, cheese and jumbo black olives- mmm.  Thin crust just like we like them.  The cajun had to revert to her French skills, as the waiters there did not speak English that well-  but all was fine- we left fat and happy.

It is now Thursday morning (I have been losing track of the days..).  The Pirate is cooking breakfast- omelets and bacon- and the smell is making  my stomach growl.  Our plans today are to swim to shore and lounge around on the beach, maybe make some mudslides and cook a nice early dinner.  We are heading back to Simpson Bay tomorrow to dock the boat.  Tomorrow is Halloween- the Pirate and I have our costumes ready, all we need to do is find the party, which shouldn’t be hard to do in St. Martin.

Au Revoir!

Limin’ in the BVI’s

All Smiles as We Dingy from Bar to Beach in the BVI's
All Smiles as We Dingy from Bar to Beach in the BVI

 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, BVI

 

We left Village Cay Marina on Sunday at Noon and made a short trip to Norman Island.  It was a beautiful day and there were a good number of boats moored in Pirate’s Cove.  We relaxed for a while on the bow of the boat watching the many charter sails come and go.   There was a steady stream of boats going to the Willie T and we could here the bar getting rowdier and rowdier as the afternoon wore on. 

We took the dingy ashore to Pirate’s Bight where we purchased a bucket of Painkiller’s.  The drink was delicious and we sipped on it while cooling off in the surf.  Afterwards, we took the dingy to Willie T’s and bellied up to the bar for some more Painkillers.  We grabbed two stools and people-watched for a couple of hours.  There were some folks who were feeling no pain which made for an entertaining afternoon.  All of the normal Willie T shenanigans ensued: diving off the top of the boat, body shots, dancing, flashing, drunken carousing…    That must be an interesting place to work- I am sure the bartenders there have a lifetime of stories. 

This morning we took a four hour sail to Virgin Gorda and are moored at the Bitter End Yacht Club.  It is an absolutely gorgeous day and the view here is incredible.  Our plans for this afternoon include more of the same:  cocktails, beaches, swimming, dozing, etc.  The plan is to wake up at dawn and depart for St. Martin- a 12 hour sail.  We are watching the weather to make sure it is on our side..

 

We are back in the Islands!!

Arriving to a Clean Boat is Always Nice...
Arriving to a Clean Boat is Always Nice...

Village Cay Marina, Tortolla, BVI

 

We arrived yesterday at around 5:30 pm, after a long day of planes, taxi’s, customs, ferries, etc.   The boat was in fabulous shape.  The Pirate’s crew has been working feverishly over the last couple of months to get it ready for our return, and it is in better shape than when we left it.  We are spending today at the dock doing last minute repairs, cleaning and provisioning.  Lot’s of running around to do before we can kick back and relax. 

Our plan is to head out of here tomorrow and got to Willie T’s and perhaps Bitter End Yacht Club on Monday.  Of course, it all depends on the weather- which we are watching closely. 

We have hired a crew member to accompany us on our voyage, he is a young man from Ireland and is very knowledgable about boats and sailing.  We don’t know him will enough to give him a nickname yet, but I am sure one will be coming soon J

The dock is pretty quiet- perhaps due to a combination of the uncertainties of the economy and not quite being out of hurricane season yet.  Quiet is a good thing though- especially when boats are docked closely together…

The weather is just what you would expect of the islands- warm and sunny with an occasional downpour to cool things off. 

The Cajun is starting to feel the stress melt away..  The Pirate is too busy with boat chores to begin relaxing.  It is not cocktail time yet, but it is fast approaching.  Our major decision of the day:  Mudslides or Painkillers… It’s a hard-knock life for us.