A Long Overdue Catch Up
Mar 9, 2009
|I can’t believe that more than a year has gone by since I last did a website update. For that I apologize, and many thanks to those of you who were concerned enough about my extended absence to email and see if I was still alive!
I wish I could say I’ve been doing something out-of-this-world like participating in the European Space Agency’s one-year space flight simulation program to Mars (which, incidentally, I did apply for but was rejected simply because I’m not a doctor or engineer, although they didn’t state you “must” have one of these professions on the application!). However, despite this minor disappointment, I have been living on a sailboat in the Caribbean for the past year so I certainly can’t say that life’s been all that bad either. Plus, I was focused on writing, so who had time for space travel anyway!
Some of you may remember that I was asked to write a book a couple of years back. “How difficult can that be?”, I said to myself. Well, as one might expect, it turned out to be a much larger and more difficult undertaking than anticipated. As a result, I didn’t have much time or energy to do anything else, including update my travel website. So I promised myself that I’d focus on writing and then, once the book was finally published, I’d do a website update. Good plan in theory, but I also underestimated the amount of time it would take to write the darned book, and then to get it launched and on the bestseller list.
The good news is that I really did finish the book and shipped it off to my editor nearly a year ago, but the bad news is that it’s still just on their “coming soon” list, although my editor promises it’ll be launched soon! But since I’ve been getting many emails lately inquiring as to my whereabouts, I figured I’d do a catch-up website entry now, and then provide final book details, rave press reviews, and all that stuff once it’s finally on bookstore shelves.
So, like I said, a good portion of last year was spent on writing. And writing. And more writing! However, interspersed with writing during the first half of the year were trips back to Canada, as my 88 year old father’s health started to decline again and he eventually passed away in May. May you rest in peace Dad.
But finally the book was finished and sent off to my editor, and I could finally dedicate some appropriate time/energy to enjoying life, especially my new love life with Captain Jeffrey onboard our sailboat in the Caribbean.
We finally had time to properly explore and enjoy Grenada, where we’re more or less based out of these days, as well as Carriacou and Petite Martinique, two smaller/quieter sister islands just north of Grenada. I learned how to successfully (mostly!) cohabitate with a member of the male species, not an easy task to begin with but especially challenging within the confines of a 48 foot vessel! I also renewed my passion for cooking, something I rarely had the opportunity to do while traveling, and learned how to successfully (mostly!) cook some pretty awesome meals in our small onboard galley, including meals with fish we caught ourselves while sailing (you’ll see many photos of us proudly displaying our fresh catch of the day!)
We had boat-guests in July (my best friends, Rita & Greg, from Canada) who seemed to enjoy their time onboard immensely, despite having to miss their departing flight whilst we weathered a tropical storm in the bug-infested mangroves in Carriacou. And we had another boat-guest in August (my friend Tracy from USA), who unfortunately didn’t seem to enjoy her time onboard at all!
During the summer months we also cultivated new friendships with some of the other full-time live-aboard boat folks down here, which is often difficult to do as boats are constantly on the move. We took in the sailing regattas in Grenada and Carriacou, mostly as spectators but Jeffrey did crew on another sailboat in Carriacou. We also took in Grenada’s colourful Carnival in August. From August until October, we mostly just tried to find some relief from the heat and mosquitoes that comes with the rainy season, and crossed all fingers and toes in hopes that no hurricanes would head our way.
November brought cooler weather and, thankfully, the end of hurricane season. And then December brought the “Christmas winds” which played serious havoc with our plans to head up-island for the holidays as wind and seas were much more boisterous than we (and most cruisers) wanted to contend with. So we ended up spending the Christmas season in Grenada once again.
We nicely ate and drank our way through the holidays! On Christmas Day we prepared a traditional turkey dinner onboard with all appropriate caloric trimming. It still amazes me how we can pull off such great meals in this floating, no-frills, tiny galley on a sailboat! On “Old Years Night”, as it’s called down here, we dragged out our fancy clothes (and even high heels for me!) and had a lovely dinner out, getting back to the boat just in time to sip champagne and watch nearby New Year fireworks. On January 1st we went to an annual pig roast at one of our favourite beach bars/restaurants in Grenada. And then January 2nd was Jeffrey’s birthday, and we prepared yet another scrumptuous meal on the boat.
We still want to head up-island to explore other islands, but we continue to have challenges with that plan. First of all, the weather this season hasn’t been great, although some short windows of better winds/seas have appeared. We actually made it as far north as Carriacou in February, but then had to return to Grenada a few weeks later to do some more boat repairs and to take on some new boat guests – this time Jeffrey’s son, Adam, and his girlfriend, Laura. They were only with us for a week, but we packed a lot into that week, including a few busy days of exploring Grenada and a few boisterous days of sailing.
And now it’s March and we’re still in Grenada, our intentions of heading up-island continually thwarted, it seems, by weather and boat repairs. And since I’m heading back to Canada for another visit at the end of April, it looks like our up-island plans might have to get shelved until next year.
And that – finally! – brings you pretty much up-to-date on my life since my last website update.
In summary, I guess you could say that 2008 was a year filled with accomplishments as well as difficulties:
• I finished writing a book, and will soon (hopefully) be an officially “published author”.
• I dealt with the decline in health and eventual death of my 88 year old father, although I did also get to spend more time than normal with my Mom, sisters and friends back in Canada.
• I finally have a “boyfriend” and am learning how to live, work and play on a 48ft sailboat in the Caribbean.
• I got to entertain friends and family on my new floating home and have become a “galley wench extraordinare”.
• And I almost became an astronaut!
And for this I gave up my day job........