Sunday, February 4, 2018

Here Comes the Sun

The forecast for 10 inches of snow in New York was a bad omen. Our flights connected through JFK the very day that 2,000 flights were suspended--our flight to New York among them. Trains and buses were shut down.

Naturally, since we didn't make it to JFK in time, the second, international, flight left at 12:59 pm, exactly as scheduled. I accepted that as my fate as an eternal pessimist--if it can go wrong, it will. Pope and I consulted. He pondered. I bitched. We vowed to throw money at the problem; i.e., we threw away those worthless boarding passes and bought new tickets for the next day, this time connecting through Florida.

Everything brightened after that: First the flights. Then the sun, the temperature (high 70s in the Caribbean), the $200/night hotel that didn't charge us for our no-show the first night, and--especially--the paint job on our very cute cottage.
There was hope! That's quite a concession for an eternal pessimist to make. And in fact, I was not disappointed. Even this frequently disgruntled fussbudget and bellyacher is hard pressed to find a reason to regret our excursion to the Windward Islands, in the eastern Caribbean. 

What went well, from my point of view? Let's start with our arrival on Martinique, a French island.

From the first day, I enjoyed fresh fruit and flowers. The croissants at our resort were the best I've ever tasted. I luxuriated in the warn sand and clear water.
The next day, we met our Dutch captain and fellow passengers at a breezy waterfront bar on a sun-drenched afternoon. Loaded up with bread, butter and water (the Americans), wine, beer and rum (the Dutch) and dinghied it out to the boat. (That's called provisioning, in sailors' parlance.)
The Jenneau 45 that would be our home for two weeks was large and luxurious compared to our O'Day 30: two heads, refrigerator/freezer, oven, and radar. Pope and I were assigned a roomy aft bunk.
Just as important as a comfortable boat, the crew and all passengers heartily agreed to heed the universal call among sailors for sunset cocktails. We didn't even have to vote.
A calm night. Sunrise and another bright day: fortified with baguettes and French cheese, we hauled the 75-pound anchor easily. Other than some minor hangovers, what was there to complain about? Not much, even for this hard-core pessimist. 

We set sail and headed out to sea.

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