Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Santa Dale

Santa Dale made and gave this necklace to me for Christmas.

It was decided that these meatballs must be the largest meatballs on Hassel Island.  
(Since there aren't many people on Hassel Island)

Armories at Hassel Island

After our visitors left, we spent 2 weeks hunkered down in St. John, Tortola, Virgin Gorda & Marina Cay as the "Disneyland of sailing" had turned into a rodeo of windiness.  We headed for Charlotte Amalie in the hopes of finding convenient dinghy docks.  On the way, Ray & Dan both noticed a strange vibration.  After investigating, Dan found a crack in a weld dire to attaching our mainsheet to our rigid bimini.  Once again, we felt lucky to be in a place where we could get repairs done.  In this case, aluminum welding.  But, because it was the holidays, we were in town (where the cruise ships come in) for longer than we planned.
The city of Charlotte Amalie.... not only does it have giant cruise ships docked (and anchored), sailboat of all kinds, ferries that leave large wakes and jetskis, but it also has a floatplane that lands & takes off in this bay.
The floatplane comes through a cut between the town and Hassel Island, then turns to land in the bay (which the pilot can't possibly see if it's clear ahead of time).  (And Ken, the landings are incredible!)
Check out what we were tied up next to when we were having the welding done.  This dock submerges to go under the vessels, divers set the struts holding them and then the dock rises up.  
Dale got to ride her favorite horse Pepper before we left St. Thomas.
We also got to spend time with fun friends at Hassel Island, whom we knew from the homeschool group here.  Circe, Tim, Zach, Ollie & Asher, we will miss you!  Missed out on seeing Julia too.  
Very nice to catch Leslie, David & Richie with a little time off.
Richie helped us ring in the new year by watching fireworks with us on a sleepover.
The original Sunny Ray

We feel so fortunate to have such wonderful friends & family in our lives.  Thank you all for being part of it.  Happy 2014!!  Wishing you health & smooth sailing!


Sunny Ray gets visitors.  Yay!!
Sailing in the BVI with Ken was an excellent way to spend 9 days in November.  Wish it was longer.  His intuition led us to a new favorite place to snorkel... Great Dog.  We love going to the dogs!  There was so much to see - a reef with what looked like ravines of different coral and myriads of fish. 
Just can't remember if the painkiller at Foxy's was the first or second one sampled (maybe because of the painkillers).
Recurrent Shirley Temples.
 Some of our favorite places.....
Ruins above Waterlemon Cay overlooking Leinster Bay.
Sunny Ray is down there looking toward Mary's Point.

 Dale walking the planks at Marina Cay.

Ken on the trail at Marina Cay.

Red telephone booth - I want one!  Where's Dr. Who?  ...maybe we're in a time warp and we just don't know it....
The gang with trusty Olivia (thanks to Mr. Fixit).

Ken's last night with us on Christmas Cove.

Can't wait till your next visit, Ken!

The day before Ken left, our boat was overtaken by Czech pirates!  There are no pictures of the event as we were too busy fighting them off with broomsticks, but here is some of the aftermath:

Push-ups at swordpoint by Mary Ann. (In lieu of walking the plank)

Mary Ann, Dale & Betty resting after a fierce battle.
Martin gleefully relating the story of the initial takeover to Pavel.

Martin & Geerzi demonstrate the finer aspects of downwind sailing while Vlad, Dale, Julia, Yanna & Eva look on in wakefulness.

Jumping rope is mandatory on sailboats as Julia demonstrates.

Martin, after walking plank.

Trawling two Martins this time, but we didn't catch anything.

Vlad caught the sand diver for bait on the octopus lure.

Josef, Renata, Pavel & Martin enjoy a rain now & then.

Renata staying warm.

Lydie & her Mom Blanka on a sunnier day.

Bara getting her Vitamin D.  Pavel is at the helm.

Sweet Blanka is celebrating a big birthday on this vacation.

Josef was not carrying a sword - he doesn't need to!

Yanna trying to mitigate the effects of the sun.

Eva & Pavel discussing the current helmsperson (Martin).

Geerzi checking out his sea legs on the trampoline (before he walks the plank).

Eva and her personal sailboat.

Pavel at the helm.

A pair of Martins.

Betty & Dale along with Mary Ann were often caught reading together.

Captain Ray on the good ship Sunny Ray

Julia thinks that is funny

Dale & Betty in the surf

Double rainbow to the west over Little Lameshur Bay on the south side of St. John
Lydie, Josef & Martin took us on a hike through the forest from Cinnamon Bay.  It was so beautiful.  I don't think anyone found the elusive source of the divine cinnamon smell that so permeated the air. 

View from Chateau Bordeaux looking East

Thank you Ken, Martin, Lydie, Josef, Blanka, Bara, Mary Ann, Betty, Pavel, Eva, Martin, Renata, Yanna, Julia, Vlad, Eva, Geerzi & Zorka for sharing your vacations with us.  We feel so very lucky to have your company.  We had a blast!