Almost ready to head north.

ventrally It’s Saturday and Pandora is on a mooring in St John in the USVI. ironically, the same place, and likely the same mooring, that Brenda and I were when we were on our way home to the US during the early days of the pandemic.

buy Ivermectin for humans Our second crewmember Mike is flying out from San Francisco, to join us for the run.  I was thrilled to find him, albeit at the last minute.  As a fellow SDSA member, he is eager to spend time on the water and after watching a number of my SDSA webinars and following my blog, he’s looking forward to the run.

I am hopeful that we will have an easy one as going north is generally easier than going south in the fall.  Fingers crossed.

George, my crew member from a number of trips, and I did an overnight run from St Martin where we stopped briefly to cut the 200 mile run from Antigua into two legs.   While we sailed much of the 100 miles from Antigua to St Martin, the second leg was dead down wind in light conditions, an easy run under power.

As we approached St John the sun rose in the east.  A beautiful sight. And, the rising sun painted the clouds over St John with a beautiful glow. Nearly there. Last night when I was doing the dinner dishes, I came upon what looked like a small noodle in the dish drainer.  When I was about to remove it, it moved.  It wasn’t a piece of food, but a tiny gecko, just over 1″ long.   This photo makes him/her look large, but trust me, really really tiny.  After dark last night I was surprised to encounter him again climbing up the canvas on the aft enclosure, a long way to go for such a tiny critter.   I wonder if he will complete the voyage with us.  I’ll admit that I am already worrying about his demise on the ocean.   Something else to think about. Great!On passage, we are often visited by small birds but visits by reptiles, not so much.  The last time this happened was years ago when a lizard stowed away on our boat in FL, which we discovered when we were in The Bahamas.   I wrote about that encounter in 2014, so I guess that history repeats itself about once a decade.

In spite of this place being quite beautiful, with very clear blue water, I can’t help but view it with a bit of dread given Brenda’s and my experience here. during the pandemic, a few years ago.  That run, three months overall, from St Lucia to Florida was not a lot of fun.   I wrote a number of posts during that early period of lockdown, March of 2020.  It’s worth following this link to all of my March 2020 posts to see what it was like.

During that time, when we were stuck aboard in the Caribbean, we were chided by friends that thought that we were “locked down in paradise”.  Not!  It was more like being locked down in a tiny room surrounded by water, as beautiful as it was.   In a post that I did when we first heard about what turned out to be the worse pandemic in 100 years, I naively thought that the threat would pull our nation and the world,  together against a common enemy.  Sadly, I was wrong, very wrong.  

As Brenda said at the time, that “cruising (especially during the pandemic) was like being in prison with the possibility of drowning”.  Lovely.

So, here I am with crew member George being chill for a few days while we wait for the right time to head north with the Salty Dawg Homeward Bound Rally.

The official start date for the run is the 10th, so now a few days before we are supposed to depart, we are very focused on the upcoming weather.  This afternoon we expect to get the first of a number of weather briefings from our weather router, Chris Parker.  I’ve been working with him for a decade now and trust his work.  Chris, please order up a nice run for us…

When I spoke to him yesterday he told me that he expects that we will be able to leave on time, which is good news.  The thought of a nearly two week delay like we had in the fall, when we were heading south is not appealing.

The problem now is that the conditions in the North Atlantic are still nasty with strong winds rolling off of the coast every few days.  This time of the year things should be settling down and we hope that this year will also be the case.

Mike should land in St Thomas and perhaps catch the 2:00 ferry to St John.  I look forward to meeting him and buying him a beer, or two, to welcome him to Pandora.

On the 8th, we move into a marina in St Thomas to begin getting things ready for the run.  Provisions for two weeks at sea are always a challenge to organize.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  While I sit here, Brenda is on the first day of her two week fiber tour of Japan with some friends.  We spoke on WhatsApp last night and was really wonderful to talk to her.  It was amazing that the call sounded like she was next door and not 14 time zones away in Japan.  I do miss her and can’t wait to be home again.  Essex in the summer is lovely.

I guess that’s about it for now.


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