Saturday, April 13, 2013

Good bye!

It is time!

How did it get to this?

I am boatless!

For the first time since I started writing this blog, I am without words. In my throat is a big solid lump, stuck.

How do I stop this?

I can thank All....

I can try to remember the beginning, great moments, tough times.....

But it is all stuck in me...

So here goes...

I am leaving my boat, I am leaving this life, I am leaving the Big Blue, I am leaving a piece or is it a peace of me, and I am leaving you.

This will be my last blog entry, and I thank you for following me, I thank you for living these last three years with me, my dreams, my fears, my joys, my heart ache. I thank thee...

We will be on the airplane tomorrow with our stuff in our bags....going somewhere.
We will live the life of abnormal people soon as landlubbers somewhere.

But we might some day, be back.....

My love to you
May you also choose to live your dream...
and when you wake up like me, now
close your eyes and start to dream a new one!

My Marco....may you find many dreams...


Johan...My Skipper...Keep me in your dreams!

I am still dreaming........


San Juan in Puerto Rico.

We walked the streets of San Juan, but couldn`t walk pass this amazing old tree. Johan sat on her roots, and Marco and I walked around her. Three times we walked around this massive old tree, and every time her roots crunched the bones in my feet, I said a prayer. I thanked her, I thanked all who touched me and my family during our blessed time on our Catlyn...

But we got up and walked on to the Old Fort, and explored the building the whole day. We imagined and admired this huge building with 18ft wide walls.

And after a lovely day we walked back to the Marina, and loved the feeling of the cold fresh water in the hose as we washed down our boat for the last time...

We had our last barbeque....

And late that night when every one was sleeping, we crept out of the yacht, and Marco held this white paper star in his hands. Joe made this more than a year ago, he spend hours figuring out how to do it...and he left it on Catlyn when he left....
And we kept let go this night.
Marco held it in his hands, and together we said our prayers, and he threw it into the dark Sea, floating away following the curves of our yacht...
We thanked All, and we left our wishes for Seismic Wave for safe Seas and soft Winds......and happy people!


San Juan, Puerto Rico!

We had a great time at Culebrita, the little island, and we enjoyed the hike on the beach, the white sand, and the climbing with Marco on the rocks to the hot pools heating up in a whole day fo sun. It was our last relaxing day on one of the white beaches in this part of the world, and we made sure of experiencing everything with all our senses!

We lifted anchor after dinner, and hoped for a good sail. But the wind let us down, and even the screecher couldn`t help us.  Some slept into the bay! About ten hours later we motor sailed into the waters of San Juan!

Very carefully we approached the entrance with the Fort in sight. It was as if you could hear the canons, the shouting of the men in their lookout posts, warning everybody of a new ship on the horizon! It was the most impressive Fort and entrance I've seen so far! No wonder everybody wanted San Juan! The Dutch, the English, and eventually USA negotiated their way in here!

Johan took her into the berth one last time, and we safely secured her lushes derierre, and the three of us got of our Catlyn....

We had two days to get all our things ready, two days to say our last goodbyes!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Puerto Rico, Culebra.

We sailed into the bay at Culebra, and it was good. It was as this little place were forgotten. After the loads of yachts, the loads of people, the loads of shops and stuff, it was awesome to live this peace and calm again.

We enjoyed the walk around, and saw the freshly painted lift bridge which doesn`t lift anymore.

We walked to the airport to do the paper work, and passed an enormous new school! It was quite a surprise to see this Ecologico Spanish School without seeing a single child.

It was lunch and we sat down at the Dinghy Dock Restaurant for lovely Taco`s and a beer, and I saw another sign. Maybe it is better to use signs in this little town with hardly any people.


It was not only an island full of signs on the island....also interesting characters as I met these two charming gentlemen...

But the last sign I received summed up this little island for me.....

With that we sailed away from this little island, and I left with a little memory of Culebra...



And believe it or not..the lessons continue! Cooking fun in the galley?

and after a good meal...

I have to share this with you. In our four years living on the Big Blue, Marco never ever had to wear a life jacket! He always felt safe on Catlyn, and on our dinghy. But going into town with the dinghy, a uniformed man from the Coast Guard stopped us in the rolly waters of the Bay...( and we got totally wet just talking to him) Marco is not seventeen! He has to wear a life jacket!

We had to return to the yacht, get Marco into a red life jacket, and four life jackets for us in the dinghy. Hmmm, we were in USA waters!

Anyway...totally safe we returned to land....and enjoyed the most expensive ice creams yet!  Three small cones for five dollars each! Oh my, in my country I can buy two litres of ice cream for that! You 'll see, come and visit us!

Anyway...we enjoyed the town, It was busy, with lots of shops! But we quickly escaped that, walking up the hill! And up there, Black Beard was waiting for us! We got there and all was closed! We peaked over the gate, but a girl tapped on our shoulders and invited us in. It was great to walk among these legendary pirates. I don`t know who enjoyed it the most, me or Marco?

I saw Annie

At the age of sixteen she tracked her Irish runaway boyfriend to the BVI, and she murdered him! Then she roamed the Seas, tempting the men before she tortured and killed them....
She was caught and sentenced to death, but when the Judge found out that she was pregnant, she was saved...and she disappeared forever!

It was not Marco`s day! I will not "ground' him, I will not 'Ocean' him....he will be the Booty, if he doesn`t want to do his Homeschooling!!!
It was truly amazing! Our last get together with very special people in our lives! We said good bye to Samual and Correen, and kids, and of course the man with the golden heart, John, and we missed a kiss from Joanne! We started with these wonderful friends and they were the last to say goodbye....


Francis Bay.

The weather changed and the boat was washed down with fresh water! But it was not so good for the visibility going snorkeling around the islands. We went for a hike to a famous Camping site, long ago lost in the elements with no tender care….but loved the hike, climbing over the rocks, following our guide, Marco. I picked up the most beautiful piece of jewelry, and one day you will see it around my neck….With Love, to Me…

We found Leinster Bay the next day, with a little bit of a promise of a better day today, as the sun peeked through the patches of blue. The water was still chilly, as we dove down, but it was so beautiful! From all the places we snorkeled since we came here, this was spectacular! New fish invited us into their World, French and Queen Angelfish! And we swam above a lazy greenback turtle feeding on the sea bed. And on his back, a huge remora! This fish was enjoying whatever the comfort of this huge turtle was giving to him. He swam lazily towards air with the turtle, only to stay away from the soft fresh air, ducking underneath the hard shell, nibbling away on something….This was truly amazing!

And on the sea bed we watched the humps of Conch shells come alive! They moved slowly, a little black creature shyly showing a little bit of himself, and then only leaving a spoor in the sand!

With blue numb hands and a nose we stumbled into the dinghy for some hot tea on the boat!

Teresa read about ruins....and we walked....and eventually Johan found one...


But not for long, before we went to the island, hiking to the ruins of the sugar mill, on Annaberg Plantation.  It was as if you could still smell the sweet overpowering scent of the molasses, and the sweat of the donkeys at the grainery, working hard. How was it even possible for sugar cane to be harvested on those steep slopes of the hills?


We left in a hurry...lifting the anchor, hoisting the sails....scared by the savages hungry for humans on the island!!!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cruz Bay, St John.

Now we entered the US Virgin Islands! At the quaint little bay of Cruz, we found a spot to drop our anchor, and left to go to Immigration! Luck was on our side, as we stood in the line, and of course like in America, in a line, behind a yellow line. But as I said luck was on our side, as we were in line just before the charter cats, and day charters and cruisers dropped all their hundreds of guests!

I was impressed with the quality of shops, the jewelry shops, the boutiques, and for a while I forgot that we were on an island. Everything was really up market, and I enjoyed the glitz for a while


I strolled around Mangoose Junction, snugly built with stone enhancing the environment. And we walked around Wharfside Village, with bright colors, a feast for the eyes.


And we found a spot away from the colors and the buzz, sitting under a beautiful tree with soft pink flowers, and as we said hello to Joe on the Ipad, faraway in Argentinia, a soft flower fell on my head, dropping down to Marco`s and then right between us….just saying hello, I love you too! We send him  a message and one to my mother and daughter also faraway, and the big brown iguana found a way down the tree…

It was Happy Hour somewhere, and we enjoyed a couple of happy beers with Brett and Teresa!


Jost van Dyke, Foxy`s!

I loved the sound of this name! I wonder whether it was the Dutch sound of it, or the robustness of the name, Jost? Or maybe it was that welcoming home feeling. Maybe I do remember….


Maybe over four hundred years ago, I was one of the seafarers, sailing into this little bay, an adventurer looking for an oasis. Maybe I fell in love with the pirate, Jost in the seventeenth century, and maybe I tried keeping him with me on this island, being a father to our little boy? I found the old cemetery, and I was looking, searching for that something…

But I found only Foxy`s!  And we met Foxy Callwood, the man with the wide smile, who started this bar in 1960! We shared a ‘painkiller’ sipping the creamy coconut milk, doused in rum, amused by the pieces of clothing left by people attached to the roof, now gathering dust to tell their age, and new ones, still bright and colorful.


I couldn`t leave a piece of my clothing this time, but I knew I left a piece of me…and then I took a piece. I found a lovely top in the nice shop, Foxy`s!

I could spend a day or two around here, and I tried to win some time relaxing and closing my eyes in the hammock for a while.


Friends in Tortola!

 A couple of things had to be done, it kept Brett and Teresa busy, and we took the opportunity to walk around in town, looking for an ice cream! We found one, delicious, two scoops on a cone for 7,50US$! It was delicious, rum and raisin for Johan and mango and sour sop for me! Sour sop! No there was nothing sour or soppy about it! It is a fruit, and it has a fruity tangy taste to it!

The markets were colorful and bright and everyone was ready for good business, because there was a huge cruise liner in the bay!

But there was a wonderful surprise waiting for us in the bay! Ercaulosa was anchored in the bay! Our friends from a long time ago! We met them in Brazil, in Itaparica, three years ago, and again met up with them in Salvation Islands. And here they were! The children

grown, but the smiles of Samual and Correen were just as loving. We spend the evening together, sharing stories…

Meeting new friends, Wayne and Michelle from SA too! And Graham and Jemma!
When we left Trinidad, Ian from Jangles said good bye to us, on his way to SA,  leaving us all the nice goodies on his yacht, and Marco and I baked Becca`s cup cakes, and he enjoyed decorating it with those two girls, Becca and Jessica`s glitter! Thx girlz!

But we had to get back to the yacht, no longer anchored but in a berth at Marina Cays. For 90 US$ for the night, no water incl. Not even the showers were included, but was available at 4$. All was still ok with me, but it was the smelliest Marina I `ve ever been too! Marco mentioned…sewerage dump!

Jarred from St. Francis who we met years ago in Saldanha, came over with his huge smile....and we loved being among so many of our own people!

 Even the cars on the island reminded us of home.....