On our first day of our trips to visit families, we diagnosed Lady Sun Dream with severe separation anxiety.
The undeniable main symptom: she attempted to follow us… by sailing herself and an old dinghy out of the harbor. Yep, you guessed it. Within the first 24 hours of being left alone to her own devices, she decided to give the mooring line enough stress to sever completely, and off she went, floating westward with the wind, old dinghy in tow.
Unsurprisingly, this caused some confusion from other inhabitants of the marina and those ashore. From their perspective, the owners appeared to be aboard, as a dinghy was attached to the boat. Upon further investigation, some incredibly helpful locals discovered that Lady Sun Dream was not, in fact, occupied, but rather, floating aimlessly and dangerously at the mouth of the bay. Thank goodness we told her we were heading west… or she may have chosen to drift into the cliff-face to the north, instead.
I can only tell this story from a twice-removed perspective. Nate received a Facebook message on Friday morning asking if he was the owner of Lady Sun Dream and this photo:
As you can imagine, his heart dropped to where his stomach typically resides and his stomach turned to mush. I can only imagine the look on his face upon receiving the message. As it turns out, a small fishing boat painstakingly towed the Lady over a mile back to where she started in Great Cruz Bay. The kind folks at Cruz Bay Watersports found an available mooring ball and secured Lady Sun Dream to it and began to attempt to contact the owner. All of this occurred before Nate and I were contacted. What an incredible community we have on our new little island! Nate immediately contacted our employer (whose mooring ball we were originally tied to) and they sprung in to action to assist. The new mooring that the helpful folks tied the Lady to was only going to work temporarily, as it belonged to someone that needed it within the next day. Our employers, Chris and Elizabeth, followed Nate’s detailed instructions to bring the boat back online in order to motor to their other mooring. Unfortunately for C&E, not only had we totally shut the boat down as if we were leaving for months, but we also had every cabinet, drawer, nook, and cranny open for a bug bomb to fumigate the boat while we were away. What a mess! On top of us leaving the boat in disarray, the weather conditions that assisted in the snapping of the mooring line also meant heavy rollers. Chris and Elizabeth cleaned up some of the mess for us, but we certainly were surprised to see dinner plates in the sink, toiletries in the bilges, and goodness knows what else in the wrong place. Apparently, Lady Sun Dream had a raging roller party the night we departed.
Alas, all is well that ends well. Chris and Elizabeth were able to successfully secure Lady Sun Dream to a different mooring and batten her back down for the next 10 days of no inhabitants. We were lucky and exceedingly grateful to the community that surrounds the island. How wonderful to receive such immense help after only being in the area for a week!
We returned 10 days later to find the boat still secured to the new mooring and spent a few hours getting her back in livable shape. Having traveled all day and worked to clean up the mess inside the boat, we enjoyed a relaxing evening with a few episodes of Black Sails (our newest binge show).
Wednesday morning we awoke energized and thrilled to be back in paradise. We took Lil’ Willy ashore and started the 30 minute uphill-both-ways trek to town where our hiking trail for the day started. We pushed ourselves up Caneel Hill Trail to the summits of Caneel and then Margaret Hills to enjoy some breathtaking views of our new home and the surrounding islands. Knowing we faced an intense walk from town to the dinghy post-hike, we turned around before descending from Margaret Hill. Tradition pulled at me and I convinced Nate to grab a beer after the hike (hike = brewery reward for me), so we grabbed a brewski and lunch at Tap Room, the closest thing St. John has to a brewery. We trudged back to the dinghy and returned to the boat for some stretching, showers, and laundry. I made a loaf of bread and we relaxed the rest of the evening, having racked up 8.9mi and the equivalent of 168 flights of stairs for the day.
Thursday morning brought necessary yoga for me and boat chores for Nate. We walked to town to meet our friend Hillary to head out to Maho Crossroads for the final day of the Earth Week Celebrations. We spent the day lounging and enjoying awesome, unplugged music by Mark Wallace and friends and the semi-famous Keller Williams. We made many new friends and caught an amazing sunset on the way back to town. Hillary was kind enough to drive us almost all the way back to our dinghy, we were quite grateful, as darkness was upon us and the roads are narrow, steep, and winding on the walk.
We slept in on Friday morning and tackled several boat maintenance and cleaning projects. Midafternoon, we went ashore to inquire about part-time bartending work for me at the Westin (conveniently located where we dock the dinghy) and then walked to the larger grocery store for exercise and additional provisions. We’re living in what I recall as my “London grocery lifestyle,” where you go to the store every other day because not only do you not have the space for bulk items, but also you carry your groceries to and from your house. I prefer it and we get more exercise – quite necessary after the past five months of living in vacation mode. Delighted to hear our friends from S/V Sarabi (Owen and Miranda) would be “on Island” the following day, we made plans to see them and relaxed on the boat for the evening.
Insisting that I get back in shape, now that my hamstring is healed a little more, I actually set an alarm to wake up. After yoga and a cardio Pilates workout, I spent the rest of the morning checking deep-clean items off the to-do list. I can’t say I’ve ever used a cheap toothbrush to clean as much as I did that morning. Boats contain incredible amounts of crevices, slats, nooks, and crannies compared to a house. Nate checked a few major items off our to-do list and then we cleaned up and headed ashore to meet Owen and Miranda for wine and appetizers.
We enjoyed yet another evening with Owen and Miranda of delicious wine, food, and wonderful company. The following morning, we got up early and headed ashore to tackle our hike to town. A friend picked us up downtown and we headed out to Cinnamon Bay for some beach volleyball socializing. We helped set up the net and court and Nate played the first game. I sat out, still healing from the last game I played (almost 8 weeks ago!). A cruiser couple we are connected with on Instagram joined us on the beach and also, Owen and Miranda! What a fun morning we all had together – lots of intermingling between cruisers and locals. Nate and I snagged a ride back to town and had a few drinks with Hillary before heading home for the evening.
Monday morning, we met our new boss in town and joined him for a few hours of training on one of the charter boats. He kite-boarded while Nate and I explored the boat, gaining familiarization and comfort. We lucked in to another relaxing evening on the boat, catching up on Game of Thrones – we’re almost there!
More importantly… we now have COOZIES! Or kozies or cozys or koozies or whatever on earth you want to call them. Four beautiful colors are available for your choosing: red, blush, light emerald, and a Caribbean sea blue. Interested? We will happily ship them to you! One for $5, or 4/$18 (plus shipping). Please email, message, or text us if you’re interested and I’ll get them in the mail right away. We can accept PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, and Facebook Pay. All proceeds will facilitate extra fun and maybe even boat parts!