Summer is the perfect time for little excursions. We just returned from a little trip to St John where we wandered around town and ended up having coffee and some yummy baking at our favourite spot at Mongoose Junction. The ferry trip is a mere 20 minutes - and always enjoyable. Max usually decides on whether we sit upstairs outside or down below in the a/c. Today was a bit hot and we forgot to fully sunscreen ourselves so hid below.
Last weekend was St John Carnival – with the parade, festivities rolled in with some July 4th fireworks. We didn’t go over to see it this year – but heard some reports from George who is the tennis instructor at the yacht club who is an active participant in one of the Carnival troupes . He showed us pictures of his highly elaborate costume with huge wings and feathers weighing something close to 100lbs! Try imagine parading around in a costume like that for a few hours in about 30 degrees heat and humid summer conditions.
Julian is in Toronto right now staying with my sister Alex, her husband David and their son Nicholas who is a year older than Julian. Julian flew back with them after the Scotiabank Regatta which both boys raced this year.
This year’s Scotiabank Regatta had over 80 children sailing Optimists. The children range in age from 7 -15 years and came to the event from different islands in the Caribbean as well as parts of the US and Canada. This was Julian’s second Scotiabank Regatta following some other regattas he raced this year including one in Tortola in May. The boys had three days participating in a racing clinic where they got some on and off the water instruction and practiced race starts and mark roundings. Alex, Mark and I were out on a friend’s boat to watch the racing over three days which was a lot of fun. – and pretty impressive remembering the ages of many of these children.
The whole regatta was a fun event with evening dinners and entertainment including crazy pyro dancing juggling entertainers. There was an opening event International parade at the beginning of the regatta where all the racers walked with their flags – including Nicholas who was enthusiastically waving the Maple Leaf and representing Canada.
Julian is sailing in Toronto with his cousin at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s sailing program for four weeks. Julian is having a great time but has reported back to us that the “water is cold”. He is also having a great time with his grandparents who are visiting Toronto this week. We all miss Julian while he is away on his first trip away from home.
Meanwhile, back on the rock Max has become a well-known personality at the yacht club. It constantly amazes me what Max manages in any given day – extra snacks from the bar – meals from sailing instructors – he bats his eyelashes and flashes his toothless grin and has everyone catering to his every whim. Max has a six-week sailing camp and is quickly becoming a confident little sailor. We live very close to the yacht club right now which is great for summer camp and activities.
We are still trying to buy a house and recently came very close. The transaction, however, could not be completed due to issues with the title, survey and dispute between sellers and neighbours. At the 11 ½ hour we were in mad-rush mode to find a place to live as we had to be out of rental that we have given notice on – and did not have a house to move into. After a bit of rusging around, we managed to find a good place near the yacht club for a while until we figure out our next plan of attack.
On the business side of our lives, we are busy, busy. Today, however was lovely. We managed a nice day as a family where actually didn’t work and had no emergency power issues. A very rare day indeed! The power utility on the island has been terrible and seems to be getting worse. The number of people who have come to us in the last few months who are fed up with rolling blackouts and outages has been very interesting. We are definitely keeping busy and we are only just getting into hurricane season.
On the recreation side – after all that is WHY we moved here – we have accumulated a couple of boats so far this year. After a lot of looking – we purchased a Sea Cat 25 – with twin outboards from South Carolina. After boat surveys and getting it shipped here, we had some engine work, new fuel tanks replaced and some other boat work completed. Like everything here – it took a while.
Now you see it
Finally in May we got her in the water, and that weekend managed one trip to Tortola when we took Julian to his regatta. A couple weeks following this trip and after some significant rain fall, we discovered the hard way that one of the automatic pumps was not doing its job – resulting in that hull filling up with water and then flipping the boat over.
Now you don't
Yes – there is nothing quite like showing up at the yacht club trying to find your boat in the mooring field – only to discover it has rolled over. The boat, previously unnamed is slowly collecting a variety of very fitting new names that will be put to vote. The mini-disaster , however, has not been as bad as expected as engines were salvaged.
Julian also acquired a boat this year. For his ninth birthday, Julian became the proud owner of an Optimist sailing dinghy which he promptly named “Optimus Prime”. Unlike the previously mentioned boat, this little tub with its little sail gets off the beach and out for a sail at least twice a week for sailing lessons and sails. Julian appears to be better at keeping his priorities straight - and his boat upright.
Hopefully we’ll manage a few more excursions and boat time this summer. This time of year is harder for us to take off and be away from the demands of generators but there are always those little day trips to make us feel like we have escaped the routine...even if it’s just a morning coffee in St John.
Dinner with Alex when she was visiting St Thomas