Thursday, May 11, 2017


Here I am, back in Grand Haven, MI. I had forgotten how much I love the northern spring, but more on that in my next post: this one looks back at my last three weeks in St John, three weeks without Cynthia...

I find that a curmudgeonly mood settles over me lately and I don't really greet anything with much gusto, just stay below and read and eat. Perhaps this is due to the minor but constant pain in my elbow and arm (from knocking oysters off the hull back in November), perhaps due to being unable to dive much deeper than 25' before the pressure creates pain in my jaw (sinus? *sigh*), perhaps other reasons. I see so few people who live aboard their boats actually are visible, enjoying the view and air: they seem only to emerge to go ashore.

And so I fight the ennui. Maybe actually tackle some needed improvements on the boat, like rebuilding the hatch dogs.
And popping my head out at the sound of many little voices and flapping sails to see these cute little moth-like sailboats...

Or, rather than remain below when I wake, drinking coffee and reading latest developments (not terribly uplifting), I motivate myself with a virtual kick to the backside, emerge to do yoga as the stars fade, then drink coffee with my back to the mast and my face to the breeze and sunrise. Random thoughts chase their way through my mind like rambunctious puppies. And, once I can see enough to avoid moorings, I set sail for reported lionfish, on a mission of ecosystem purification, and note the unexpected thrills of finding a pile of shells with eyes among them (a hidden octopus in his pile of dishes) or of swimming through a shoal of bait fish while a barracuda and other predators harry the fringes. It really helps... when I do it... but I need to prod myself more often.

My neighbor Larry arrived on the 24th. I had agreed to help with various work and, so, climbed the mast and repaired high rigging, worked on reducing leaking through the deck, mounted the solar panel solidly, helped on troubleshooting and demolition and repairs of wiring and wood, and hashed out plans, ideas, and general life questions over morning coffee and evening rum & coke, or, one night, over an excellent bottle of wine our neighbors gave us in thanks for helping undress their boat for the season.
We took turns providing dinners: I would cook something one night, and he would take me to Skinny Legs for one of their famous burgers another. Sometimes sunset sailing would call too loudly and I would sail away, skipping drinks and catching a mooring in Johnson Bay, then sail back with the sunrise in time for 6am coffee.

And we made excuses to go sailing to St Croix: me to sell excess fenders and watch meteors (well, I saw ONE and a pair of porpoises as we sailed back), him to check their chandlery for second hand winches and stoves. We headed out with our 6am coffee in hand
 took care of business on the island, watched sunset and slept on the cockpit benches, then headed back home in the dark the next morning.
 a storm just made the sunrise more interesting..
And we sailed for home, wind increasing, heeling well over, spray making the deck gritty with salt. I got to sleep a bit while Larry took the helm.
Another good adventure and more memories!

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