It is early February, and I am writing from Simpson Bay Lagoon on St. Martin in the Caribbean. We are later this year in slipping our moorings in New England and moving aboard Pandora. Lots of things contributed to the delay, but we are here now, anchored near some dear sailing friends who are introducing us to others who will become friends as the months and years pass.
After entering this harbor on the first bridge opening this morning, we anchored near the ketch Kalunamoo, whose owners are friends who took us under their wings five years ago to lead us through the Bahamas on our first trip down there. Now they will surely be our tour guides though the Windward and Leeward Islands. We see each other each summer when our boats are back in north Atlantic waters, but this is our first winter rendevous in three years. It’s so comfortable being together again by water.
Before I left home another dear friend, one I’ve known as a weaver and land-based friend, sent me her map of St. Martin. She and her family spent a couple of weeks here only a month ago, and she wanted to share with me a map highlighted with the things they enjoyed doing, the restaurants they visited, the boat excursions they took.
Now that I’m here and am beginning to get my bearings, it’s wonderful to see the places she visited and know that I will follow in her footsteps. It’s going to be a fun part of this trip, finally visiting places that some of my friends have been before, even if they traveled very differently than Bob and I are doing. It should help me feel less isolated this year than I have in the past–especially last year, in Cuba. That was a wonderful trip in many ways, but it was also the most isolated place I have ever been, since at the time, the US allowed no communications with Cuba.
We left home a week ago, and already I get daily photos of my new granddaughter, the Tiny Super Moon named Tori. She is such a joy to both Bob and me. He still gets teary every time he sees a new photo of her. I get the lightest feeling in my chest….such happiness! Here she is beginning to celebrate her 2nd month birthday, although she won’t actually be 2 months old for another week! I guess it was a great photo op for her parents. Before I left I tried my hand at a bit of embroidery that I found on Facebook. It’s astounding to me what I stumble on perusing fb. I’m glad to know this technique–I think it will come in handy for all kinds of projects. I embroidered this little onesie as a practice, and clearly I need more practice. But I’ll get it eventually. I’ll do some spring colored onesies in this technique soon. Hmmm….no photo. Where did it go?
I have started a little sailor sweater for Tori. It is one I made a few years back for my niece. It’s a design by Debbie Bliss and uses her soft eco cotton. This time I am using a soft green/blue color that I call faded robin’s egg, with cream. I love it. I’m still stumped by what I feel is a bad design for the collar. Sorry Ms. Bliss, especially since I love your designs! It’s the focal point of the sweater and I still cannot make peace with wrong side of striped garter stitch showing. For my niece I knitted the collar in a single color. I am debating what to do for this version. I have time to decide.
After 4 days in the BVI, making very quick visits to West End, Jost Van Dyke, and Bitter End on Virgin Gorda, we have made the long, 100-mile passage to St. Martin. The weather has been challenging for the past month (since before I got here), and our weather router suggested that it is quite UNlikely that there will be a good time to head east for the next several weeks. So we took the lesser of bad weather days to slog eastward yesterday. It took us 15 hours to travel 100 miles, in fairly rough conditions. They were very rough for me, but nothing like what Bob and his crew endured getting down to the BVI. I was very sick for the full 15 hours. We anchored out in Grand Case Bay on St. Martin, which I understand can be very lovely in calmer weather. Last night there was quite a swell rolling in there that kept us rolling side to side. We entered Simpson Bay Lagoon on the first bridge opening this morning….not a moment too soon.
We have reconnected with our good friends and will join them for dinner tonight at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Little Jerusalem, where we will start to meet people we’ve heard of many times through various groups, and whom we’ve spoken to on the radio. The beginning of new friendships. I wonder if I’ll meet a knitter or a weaver. You never know.