It’s windy in paradise. What’s a cruiser to do?

While many of my friends are freezing up in the northeast, we are still here in St Ann Martinique, unable to move, after nearly a week of quite strong winds.   It’s ironic that the sun is out, it’s beautiful with occasional brief showers and yet we can’t go anywhere.   And, there are hundreds of boats that feel about the same way.  Nobody is moving, waiting for a lull in the winds to head off to their next stop, either south or north.

At this point it looks like the wind will begin to slacken in a few days but by that time it will be too close to our departure this weekend to make leave St Ann.  In addition, I am still messing around trying to find someone to keep an eye on Pandora while we leave her on a mooring for the two weeks we will be away.

I have someone to talk to later today who has offered to watch her here in St Ann, but that means leaving her on anchor for the duration and I am not sure of what I think of that option.  The difficulty of trying to figure the do with her for a short two week stretch, has made me leery of what will be involved in leaving her for many months down in Grenada or Trinidad.  I am not sure that I have the energy to do that so perhaps it’s best to just bite the bullet and bring her home to CT in the spring.  Besides, I enjoy working on the boat and I’d surely go into withdraw if I had to be away from Pandora from May to the end of the year.  Besides, perhaps I can sneak away for a few short cruises over the summer.   Fingers crossed.

The good news is that my crew for May, George and Bob seem flexible on my ultimate destination, which is good.

So, back to it’s windy and we can’t leave?   What’s a cruiser to do?

In the world of cruisers, where it takes a whole morning to check email, shop for groceries or do laundry, there seems to be plenty to do to keep busy in spite of the fact that we can’t go anywhere.

As I wrote recently, the local cruiser’s community gathers at least once a week for a pot luck and they just announced a second event for this week, on Wednesday.  We participated in last Friday’s event and it was fun to visit with others for a few hours.   There was a communal grill for us to grill our meat and everyone brought some sort of side dish to share.

There was a really good turnout. One couple even provided some music to set the mood.   Their choice of instruments really set the mood and was a good example of the diversity of the cruising community.Cruisers helping cruisers is the norm just about everywhere and St Ann is no different.   Cruisers are always quick to lend tools of do whatever they can to “pay it forward” and help others.

As I mentioned in my last post, James on Sophie lent me a heat gun, which was invaluable for installing the mast head light.   One way that everyone stays in touch about helping out, sharing ideas and hooking up with others is on the local morning VHF radio net held three days a week.   Brenda and I know that it can be tough to get parts or mail letters back to the US so on today’s net I offered to take any mail to post when we get home.   I also know how tough it can be to get obscure parts in the islands and offered to bring small packages back when we return in early March.  So far, I have been contacted by three cruisers who are looking for help, which is good.  I expect that others will contact us in the next few days.  I am happy to help as others have helped me in the past.

So, back to what’s going on and how a “pinned down cruiser” keeps busy.  As luck would have it, this week is Carnival here in Martinique and St Ann and the locals were sure not to be left out.   There was a very enthusiastic band playing local music.  They even set up a large tent and chairs for the audience to enjoy the music and stay out of the tropical sun.   Elsewhere in Martinique there are parades and a lot more going on but St Ann is trying hard to make it fun.

Later today, if I even finish this posts as getting good Internet isn’t so easy here, I am going to check out renting a car for tomorrow so we can tour the island with another couple who cruised here from Maine.

Perhaps I’ll close of a photo of Pandora sailing along the leeward side of Dominica last week by our friends on Raven. If only every day here could be like that day.    For now, one thing is for sure, that being pinned down in paradise is surely better than being “brr” up north, that’s for sure.

So, what’s a cruiser to do?   I guess I’ll just have to go for a swim this afternoon to wash out the shampoo.   Besides, I do have to stay clean.  Right?  And, I just have to stay busy.

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