Monday, March 5, 2012

Encountering a real sailing in the open ocean

Still February 12th. As soon as Salty Shores left the safety waters of the BVI, my stomach said: “Lunch, out!” after that I felt a little bit better, but that wasn't the only time, because water, air, everything had to go out. The wind was blowing from the east, northeast 6-8 knots, the ocean wasn't to rough, but it was my first time facing that constant motion. That night I stayed most of the time out on the cockpit. I enjoy the sunset a clear and bright moon and the stars.

I recalled my brother's journeys in the Caribbean sea trying to get out of Cuba in that 14 feet styrofoam and wood raft and the improvised mast and sail. I prayed that night for all the Cubans in the Caribbean sea, for those that never made it and for my brother seating on his couch watching TV, safe and sound.


Cruising time

February 12th. Salty Shores left compass point marina at 2 o' clock in the afternoon. It's heading east now and so far the trip is calmed, maybe because we are going through the passage between St. John and the British Virgin Islands (BVI). It promises to be a two days and a half motoring to St. Lucia. Captain and crew are ready for the adventure. The crew member is very excited about the whole experience. Wait for more details.


Mom visits the USVI

Last January 25th., my mom came down to visit with us for a week. It was fun to see her amazed by the beauty of the islands. “It 's so bad to live blind.” Was the metaphor she used to express the frustration of not been able to travel out of Cuba before 2010, when she finally arrived to the US.

For each of the seven days she stayed here, we had a very busy agenda, having dinner with friends, driving around town, sailing and snorkeling.

Day 1, we picked her up at the airport and showed her downtown, then went back to the boat and had a great dinner Jim fixed of salmon and salad.

Day 2, Pat and Peter (also friends from St. Thomas) invited us for dinner. They have a condominium on a hill above Red Hook, with a beautiful view of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Saint John.

Day 3, Our friend Johnny Valencia cooked for us and after dinner we went to Latitude 18th to listen to a fiddler.

Day 4, Skip and Andrea made a little party to celebrate my mom's visit. And Andrea surprised Jim with his mom's chocolate pie recipe.

Day 5, We did a trip to Linstern Bay in St. John on Salty Shores and stayed there over night. We took the dinghy to the beach and snorkel for a while. That was a great experience for her because she had never snorkeled before.

Day 6, Well rested we decided to go to Newfound Bay across Tortola. A very quiet spot, very shallow with sea turtle swimming around. We did a great snorkeling. Salty Shores was the only boat there, what gave us a nice privacy and comfort. We were anchored in four feet water, so Jim couldn't leave the center board out. “Rock up my baby on the tree top...” but none of the members of the crew got seasick.

Day 7, It was time to start our trip back, even when mom had another night over the USVI we had to start heading back to St. Thomas. The destination was Christmas Code, in Great St. James. The wind was perfect to sail, so we had a pleasant trip. We stopped at Francis-Maho Bay, took a taxi to Cruz Bay and had lunch at Deli Dan old restaurant, in Cinnamon building, now call Deli Grotto , in Mongoose Juntion.

Once in Christmas Code, we anchored and went for a swim, and to finish the night we cook dinner for Chuck and Lindy who live on their boat there.

Last day, February the 1rst. We got back to the marina at 11:30, I gave mom a hair cut and had lunch in a Chinese Restaurant in Red Hook. Then we took her to the airport with her bags full of shells and seeds for her garden. This was a great adventure for her. We said “hasta pronto*”. She was happy to meet a group of very nice people, even when she had a hard time speaking English.

*See you soon!