It’s New Year’s Day and I would love to stay in this anchorage (I’ve named it One Boat Bay) but it’s Malachi’s birthday and we promised him fresh fish for dinner (this is not as simple as it sounds as there is surprisingly little fish available. The reef fish have something called ciguatera which affects the nervous system and can be fatal to humans]. We head to East End Bay where the guide book says there is a fish market – the first we’ve heard of so far. Continue reading
After Christmas we visit The Baths again and then leave Virgin Gorda. On the following days, we visit Camanoe Island, Guana Island and Trellis Bay (where Aragorn has his studio). Trellis Bay has bars and there will be a huge New Year’s Eve party with music blasting until the wee hours. We decide to go somewhere quiet. Where that will be is unclear. We’ve changed our minds about 10 times but have a list of places plus two back-ups in case the anchorages are full. Continue reading
Although we’re not in the beautiful bay I imagined (we decided to stay in the marina), it is fun to decorate the boat and our little tree. The boys have endless questions about how Santa will find us and get in the boat. I tell them we’ll leave the companionway unlocked but that maybe he’ll come through a hatch. “Whatever you do,” I warn them, “stay in your berth if you hear any noise.” “Why?” they ask. “He’s an old man,” I reply, “You don’t want to give him a heart attack, do you? Besides, if you scare the reindeer, they might fall in the water and I’m not sure they can swim. It would be terribly sad if Rudolph ended up drowning.” The boys look appalled and solemnly promise to stay in their berths. They have been drawing endless pictures lately. Continue reading
No, we did not have guests over to dinner. We had guests in our dinner. I’m prepping food in the galley (which has rather dim light). I pour a cup of rice into boiling water and begin stirring it. That’s odd, I think. I don’t remember putting spices in yet. I look more closely at all the floating brown flecks. I then look into the container of rice and see hundreds of bugs scrambling around. Weevils. I’ve never seen them before but I’ve read about them and how they can be a problem in dry goods on boats. Bay leaves supposedly deter them but I never bothered to put any in the container. I show them to Matt. “They’re a source of protein,” I say to the man who once ate cricket tacos. He gives me a look, takes the pot and dumps it overboard. The boys take the offending container to land and dispose of the rice and its inhabitants. I open a fresh bag of rice. It’s just rice. That’s nice.
Matt is grilling up on deck. He calls us up and says he wants to share something. He felt like talking to his dad (who died in 2013) so he just started talking out loud to him, as if he were on the phone. He felt like his dad was there with him and, when he was finished a brilliant shooting star began moving across the sky. He thought it was so cool and wanted to tell us about it. But that’s not the end of the story. Earlier in the day, I went into a little shop to look for a Christmas gift for Matt. He loves sea turtles so I was looking for something in that realm but nothing looked appealing. I then saw this engraved rock and bought it. [It says “Perhaps the stars in the sky are loved ones letting us know they are near by guiding us through the night”]. Coincidence? I think not.
It’s the day before Christmas Eve. I had imagined (and told Matt) that I wanted to find a beautiful resort or bay in which to be at least 3 or 4 days before Christmas so we could relax and prepare. I imagine projects with the boys in which we make homemade cards, decorate the tree and the boat, and generally relax. At exactly the time in which I was constructing these lovely family tableaus should have been the time I realized I was setting expectations (I once read that expectations are simply anticipated disappointment). Instead, we find ourselves working on the head … all day. Continue reading