Tuesday, January 27, 2009



Its been a good few days, lots of adventure. I went out roaming on Stocking Island, just seeing what I could see, its really is a beautiful island. I met up on my journey with Monica from Nina, and she is a wild one, she sure loves an adventure. We army crawled through the underbrush, exploring a waterhole and cave, getting all scratched and bruised, saw a coconut tree in the distance and decided to go straight for it, and when we got there I climbed straight up the thing and grabbed 2 coconuts. They were deeeeelicious. When you newbies back in the states eat coconut you usually get it when the meat is dry, but here they eat it when the husk is still green and the meat on the inside is like jelly, it makes for a nice refreshing snack. I got myself a nice machete to get into those coconuts. When we broke open the coconuts we met some kids, 2 from Alaska and one from Canada, apparently having a machete is illegal in Canada and the one kid spent a night in jail for carrying one just like the one I have.
The next day I pleaded with Grandad to be able to do a favor for Nina, they were rowing 3 guests and luggage across the harbor in high wind because they had a hole in their dinghy, but I ended up helping them and even bringing them cookies and as a thank you they invited me to join them on a sail yesterday. Nina is a 70 foot schooner built in 1928 and was the fist American schooner to win the trans-Atlantic race, she won 2 fastnet races I think, and is one hell of a boat. She is 18 feet at the beam, and has a good 10 foot bow sprit, just being on deck is quite impressive. We sailed off the anchor and got all 4 sails up once we were underway, She has a jib, a staysail, a mainsail, and a fisherman, the fisherman is definitely the most impressive sail, flying above the staysail in between the main mast and the mizzen. Maybe you should just google it. Actually Google Nina, I am sure you can find something out there about her. So we went out and under full sail we slalomed the boats anchored off of volleyball beach. It was completely unnecessary and totally awesome, just showing off, making a good 7 knots, hiking so the leeward deck was dipping in the water, 16 hands on deck, and coming within mere feet of the boats at anchor. The captain gave everyone a job when they came on board, he really knew what he was doing, played the role of captain to a T, it was impressive. I was in charge of the starboard forward back stay. Basically the wire that holds the mast up. So we took a few trips up and down the harbor, Rosemary, the captain’s wife, made us a wonderful lunch and dinner, and I ended up staying on board overnight, playing poker with the kids, hanging out with the other crew, it was a great time.
Yesterday I explored the rest of Stocking Island, walking up over the northern tip, a brutal trip to make barefoot… but I did it. On the way back we came upon a little beach shack, very well kept up, called John’s Flip Flop Shop, and we later found out that it is the local nude beach. Luckily it was uninhabited when we found it, we saw names written in the benches of lots of the… older folks around the harbor like Hanz Solo and Mayor Bill… That would have been upsetting. But the island was beautiful, we found lots of little isolated beaches hidden in the rocky cliffs, a few caves cut into the walls, and I even found a sandal my size to finish the journey in! One thing that has been disappointing about the beaches around here is the lack of shells that are worth picking up. I was hoping to find all kinds of interesting things, but it is relatively barren, oh well.
Mark is still out in the ocean, incommunicado except for his spot, so if you are reading this Mark, you should drop me an email. And as for the rest of you, you should drop me an email too, I have been spending some time writing people here and there, like some of the stuff I am posting on the blog today, but if you email me, I will write up a reply over the next week or so and send you a reply the next time I am online. Hope all is well, and GOOOO STEELERRRRRRRS.


Becky said...

Go Steelers!! We are having a party! I chatted with Mark a couple of times in the last few days. He did have a rough crossing to St. Thomas. He was so tired he could hardly talk. He headed to St. Martin on a Catana 521 and will fly out of there probably on Tuesday. We have no school today. We have a few inches of snow and about an inch of ice and expecting more ice all day today and 4-8 inches of snow overnight. Enjoyed hearing your adventures and I'm glad things are ok on the Sandpiper, Mark will be back soon.

Herb said...

Hey bud. Awesome name for the dingy! it is great that you got one. It doesn't have a motor on it, does it?

Pittsburgh going for the Six Pack!