Friday, March 6, 2015

First family arrives: Deb and Peter visit!

First family visitors! My cousin Deb and her husband Peter came to visit about two weeks ago (Friday 13) and left on the 17th, exchanging the cold of Rochester for the gray cloudiness of St John. You heard that right, they got to experience two of the ten cloudiest days I've seen here... along with some of the lowest winds... and my worst injury!

They drove from their rented place in Cruz Bay on the day after they arrived, giving me a call from the dock. I borrowed my neighbor Peter's dinghy and brought them out. That first day we sailed to Haulover, anchored, walked across the narrow isthmus to Haulover Bay, and snorkeled there for the first time. HUGE coral heads, mostly dead. Saw a sleeping nurse shark resting beside one. Came face to face with an octopus hiding under another. I bet that going a decent distance one might find better coral heads.

The next day we snorkeled in Hurricane Hole, snorkeling the secret reef. I found lobsters for them to observe and showed them where I found my first lionfish. I dove down to see if there were any nice lobsters hiding under the ledge and.... found the same lionfish! Despite reporting it to the authorities, it remained! Grumbling, I assembled the spear carried on the kayak I pulled behind me and pinned it to the sand, then hurled it ashore. Too bad I had not done it months before: all the schools of little reef fish were gone.

We then snorkeled at Water Creek, looking at all the corals among the mangrove roots. We headed home and, as we came closer, the wind grew weaker. Finally, I started pulling Dorado with the kayak until my neighbor Peter came out and towed us in with the dinghy.

The next morning I could hardly move: clearly I had seriously screwed up my lower back in towing the sailboat, having done the equivalent of 45 minutes of lower back stretches. I iced it and took ibuprofen and read while it rained. Peter and Deb came over for a picnic on the dock during a lull, then headed home to pack for their flight the next day. They left me with lots of tasty goodies (Peter and I groaned happily as we enjoyed the red wine and runny brie), good memories, and a REALLY unhappy back. It is still unhappy now, but the second chiropractor I found seems to have done the trick. I'm crossing fingers, although the daily improvement is undeniable.

I can't wait for the next visitors: first my gal (and our trip to Culebra!) and then my niece Maki and her good friend Anna. I've also decided I need much better mattresses/seats and a working engine. These are very high on the list!

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