Happy 51st Valentine’s day, Brenda.

It’s valentines day here in Les Saintes, where Brenda and I have been on a mooring for more than a week. We have had all sorts of variety in the weather since arriving, from near calm and sunny to windy, rainy and more than a bit of swell to keep things “interesting”. However, in honor of this special day, it’s sunny and calm with a light wind.

While we are often apart on the anniversary of our very first date, October 28th, 1972, not to put too a fine point on it, as I am generally running Pandora somewhere, we have never been apart, as best as we can remember anyway, on Valentine’s day, as long as we have been together. Not to torture dates too much, while this is our 51st V day, we are into our 52nd year together. Who’d have guessed?

We also learned that our high school class will be having a 50th anniversary reunion in October. I think we will go. Besides, we believe that we are the only couple from our class that is still together.

Fortunately, on this V Day, after what seems like a particularly rolly season so far, the weather is nearly perfect. The humidity is reasonable, the harbor calm and the sun is out. Tonight we head out to dinner together to toast the beginning of our second half century together. Holly S#*% that makes me feel old…

Brenda likes to remind her friends who are jealous of our time in the tropics, away from the snowy Northeast, that we are “not floating around with umbrella drinks”. Well not all the time, I’ll admit but perhaps tonight’s dinner date will be sort of an “umbrella moment”. We did enjoy lounging floating around in the water behind Pandora last evening before heading out for sundowners with friends.

And, speaking of those sundowners, we enjoyed our time ashore with Muna and Fred at one of our favorite spots overlooking the water. The view was pretty amazing. And no, this photo was not touched up in any way. It just looked like that. And tonight, dinner for two in the same place.

It is amazing how different the sunset can look. This was yesterday’s from aboard Pandora. Different but beautiful.

While not a sunset, this photo, taken the same day by Melody in Central Park of our grand-dog Mila is a bit different. It’s hard to imagine a place where a snow covering is quite as beautiful as The Park.

Brenda has been working hard on her tapestry most days and yesterday was all set up for her twice monthly weaving class. She is doing this as a volunteer with a number of her students from prior classes. Between Starlink, Zoom and two cameras, one for her and the other to show her work, it’s seems to be going well.

To overhear her as the more than two hour class progressed, there seems to be a good amount of “girl talk” too, whatever that means. For sure, they are enjoying their time together.

Note that her phone is on a flexible holder which allows her to share a feed of what she is weaving. It took a few hours of practice for us to figure out how to toggle, sort of smoothly, between the phone and laptop cameras as she shares techniques. Alas, we did finally figure it out and, the result, being able to teach from aboard Pandora is quite amazing, actually.

While Brenda was teaching, I headed out for a walk up to Fort Napoleon, high up on a hill overlooking the harbor. This photo from Pandora doesn’t do justice to the height of the walk. There is a huge French flag on the peak, at the fort. It’s hard to see.

A few hearty folks walk up the road but most take golf carts or scooters for the climb. The view of the harbor is pretty amazing.

And a close up of Pandora on her mooring. As great as a smart phone is for taking photos, nothing matches an SLR.

Sadly, the museum in the fort was closed so I had to satisfy myself with a walk on the perimeter. I can only imagine how tough it was to build this place when the only heavy equipment was the stones…

As the French characters taunted the English in the Monty Python movie, “Quest for the Holy Grail”, “your mother smells like elderberries.” After a day lugging stones to build this place, I expect that the French smelled a whole lot worse.

So, I will be clearing out today at the customs office/laundry, Tomorrow we head south to Saint Pierre in Martinique, one of favorite places, when it’s not rolly. We hope to stay a few days and then head down to Fort de France, to enjoy the post-carnival city, after the craziness is over, mostly.

With some luck the anchorage will be settled. For sure, the view will be spectacular. It always is.

Perhaps I can pick some flowers for Brenda too. Sadly, here not to much to pick.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Definitely an “umbrella in a drink sort of day.”

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