44' Luxury Catamaran Mustang Sally

Doug, Wendy and Mustang Sally cruise the Virgin Islands. Follow along on their adventures meeting funky local characters and visiting hot spots and hidden treasures with links to our favorites websites and additional interesting information.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Log #2 Nov/Dec updates

Friday December 21, 2007

Hard to believe today is the first day of Winter. We have had many reports from family and friends from home telling us of the heavy snowfalls and terrible storms that have been wreaking havoc . The weather here is gorgeous, of course, with temps in the 80’s and lots of sunshine, although we have had quite a bit more rain than last year. I am still a little homesick for the snow, even tho’ I am in “paradise”, as Christmas seems surreal without the obligatory snow falls. I am sure as you read this from home you are incredulous, however, I think you would be hard pressed to admit it, but in your heart of hearts you know Christmas doesn’t seem quite like Christmas without the snow. Altho, you are not always guaranteed to get it!

We have a small Christmas tree which sits in our salon thru the day and then we pick it up and move it to the cockpit at nite so we can enjoy the twinkling lights while listening to Steel Pan Christmas tunes. I am missing my family and dear friends along with the snow. However, we are very lucky that Doug’s Mom, Kathy has joined us and is with us now until the 28th of December, also, Doug’s 3 fully grown hilarious sons, Jon, Adam and Simon, will be joining us on the 27th. Should prove to be a fabulous Christmas but, I will be thinking of my family and friends who are not here with us.

So much has happened since we last posted a log I am not sure where to begin but will keep it condensed. I have been feeling somewhat guilty that I haven’t posted a log in such a long time and now that I have sat down to write this it feels good and very cathartic. We have been incredibly busy what with the refit on Mustang Sally. 6 weeks in a very hot, dirty, French (possibly the worst part?) boat yard and then another month in the water completing all of the tasks on our very long list. But she is done,(is it really EVER done?) and she is beautiful. Cap’n Dirty Doug installed 4 new toilets, as the salt water takes their toll on the originals after 7 yrs (Mustang Sally is 7), too many electronics to list, alarm system, all new canvas and cockpit cushions, salon cushions, both engines were rebuilt, etc, etc. Some of the things on our list, such as the engines could have lasted some time yet, but as this is our home, and the fact that we had found an excellent, “old country”, honest (hard to believe but true) , mechanic we thought it would be a good idea to take care of them both now .

After our refit was complete we sailed to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands from St Martin to attend the Virgin Islands Charter Boat show where we could show off our girl to charter brokers who, hopefully, would refer us clients. In turn we would then take our guests and welcome them to our home and show them the beautiful Caribbean islands and lifestyle, if only for a week. Immediately after the charter boat show, we sailed back to St Martin to begin our first charter of the season, with a lovely family of four from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada which is very close to our home town. They were with us for a week and we had a great time getting to know them. Hanif and Marvin learned to kayak and snorkel while the ladies learned how to relax, island style. You can’t help but bond with people when living with them for a week and showing them all of the breathtaking scenery and easy going ways of the islands. We shared many coldies and laughs. There were big hugs all around when they left and we hope to see them again soon.
Our friends from home, Beth and Alberto stayed with us for a week and we sailed to St Barths from St Martin and back again showing them “zee French way”; plenty of nudity on those beaches in St Barths and St Martin plus copious amounts of wine! It sure brought out the giggling boys we thot were grown men and a good pair of binoculars. Needless to say we had a great time! Alberto and Beth were so refreshing with their excitement for the beautiful scenery (which was sometime a real eyeful!) and for everything we did. Needless to say, a good time was had by all and we were very sad to see them leave. Hopefully they will come down again in the spring.

After Beth and Alberto left, even more friends (Brian and Lorii, Jim and Mary, and Steve and Kathy) flew in from home and sailed tandem with us on another catamaran that our good friends Ken and Bernice own, Indigo Lady. Ken and Bernice come to sail on Indigo Lady every November and so it’s always party month when they are down on the cat. We partied pretty hard, and we must be getting old as we can’t party like that every day anymore. They kept calling us wusses but we had to remind them that we live here and were not on a week’s vacation like they were! I am usually good for one screaming party once a week only now! We tried our best to keep up with the crazies! Tough job but someone’s gotta do it!

Things have slowed down somewhat now that they have flown back home to Canada, and it has allowed us time to catch up on rest and sleep which we were sorely lacking. Both of us have lost weight with all of this work and hectic schedule, plus maybe the partying had something to do with it, but now that the holidays are here we are sure to get busy again and with all of the treats that Doug’s Mom brought from home, I am sure we will fill out again!

Today we are anchored in Benures Bay, on Norman Island, a quiet turquoise bay. We arrived here yesterday and have planned to stay another day and kayak and snorkel a as it is too peaceful to leave. Tomorrow we may sail to the Baths on Virgin Gorda for the morning, then perhaps Trellis Bay for the afternoon and nite and maybe the beautiful White Bay, Jost Van Dyke the day after that. Who knows? I will keep you posted…..

Wishing you all the merriest of Christmases, Hanukkahs, Kwanza’s, or whatever you are into and Happy New Year. Enjoy the time you spend with family and friends. It is the best present you can give or receive.

Wednesday January the 16th

Well, best intentions on the wishes to you for the season. Too bad we didn’t get them out in time! Nevertheless, we were thinking of you.

We did stay at Benures Bay another day as mentioned. It was simply to peaceful and beautiful to leave. That’s the beauty of this life we have chosen. We are never sure what we are going to do from one day to the next but you can rest assured it’s what we feel like doing that drives the decision making. A lot of our decision making also had to do with the fact that our good friends Rene and Cheryl from Gypsy Blues were anchored in the same bay. If you read any of the old logs from L’Attitude you will remember many nites of wine and laughter with those two. We hosted cocktails and dinner the first nite on Mustang Sally and it was reciprocated the next evening. It’s always a good time with plenty of hilarious stories and good food.

Doug’s Mom, Kathie was happy to stay and rest in Benures Bay as well. For the first time in her life she went snorkeling and loved it. By the end of her trip she was snorkeling like a pro and we could barely keep her out of the water. All the while, we were listening to Christmas carols, admiring our little tree every nite over sundowners, watching the sun sink into the horizon and discussing what everyone at home is doing. Were they at Christmas cocktail parties, last minute shopping, baking cookies? It was fun to think of everyone and wonder what they were up to as we are sure they were wondering what we were doing.

We left Benures Bay feeling very relaxed and ready for the next beautiful anchorage, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke. Before heading directly there we did a quick stop in Roadtown on Tortola to get some last minute provisions. It was fun for us to see and feel the huge Christmas vibe going on in the main square. The British Virgin Islands predominant religions are based on strong Christian beliefs, so, everyone was decked out in their best holiday garb and very excited for to party.
We always love our visits to White Bay and the famous Soggy Dollar Bar. We chose to take the dinghy to shore, instead of swimming in and handing Mic the bartender a soggy dollar, hence the name of the bar. Nevertheless, it was just as much fun to people watch plus it was Kathie’s first Painkiller and although she enjoyed the one that Mic made, we did some taste testing later that day on the cat and she preferred the painkillers that Cap’n Doug made.

We found that every nite we were so relaxed we chose to stay on board rather than going out for late nite shenanigans. Early to bed after a night cap and a sun soaked, fun filled day that consisted of plenty of libation. Not so bad, eh?

We headed for the kewl and charming town of Cruz Bay on the lovely island of St John U.S.V.I. for some last minute Christmas shopping. I gotta tell you, Kathie sure knows how to shop! We also popped in our good friend Joe who owns a grest little establishment called Joe’s Rum Hut. Joe is a fellow Canuck and from our home port. He is in the midst of construction of an upscale restaurant very near his Rum Hut. We can’t wait for it to open. Nice to see a local boy make good. As it was Christmas Eve, after Cruz Bay, we made tracks for Maho Bay to get a mooring ball before the rest of the crowds showed up in anticipation of the delicious and traditional Christmas dinner that Maho Luxury Campground serves every year on Christmas nite.

We enjoyed the rest of the day in the sun and then as sundown came we saw Sophisticated Lady on the horizon sailing to the anchorage. We hailed Rick, a fellow Canadian from our home port, on the VHF and invited him and his crew for cups of Christmas cheer. Drinks turned into a fabulous steak dinner with all of the fixin’s and copious amounts of wine and silliness.

Christmas morning was sunny and hot with clear blue skies…..sorry guys!! First thing we did was put the Christmas music on the sound system and get the coffee brewing for the Baileys that was waiting on the cockpit table. I put on the Elf hat and Kathie wore the Santa hat. We opened our stockings, supposed to be ONLY stocking stuffers for Christmas but as usual Kathie spoiled us!! Thanks Kathie!! We did a pretty good job of going overboard ourselves. We had lots of fun opening our gifts and then it was time for Eggs Benny and mimosas for brekkie before a swim!! Can it get any better than this?!

After all of the calories from our brekkie we decided a hike was in order so we headed out to the Annaberg ruins which are sugar mill ruins from the slave days. The Danish ruins are in pretty good shape and you can imagine the backbreaking work the slaves did every day in the sweltering, hot sun with very little relief. We then hiked the Leinster Bay trail which was equally pleasant and saw a turtle nesting beach. No turtles in sight when we were there unfortunately, but we see plenty all of the time swimming in the water.

Back to the cat to get ourselves cleaned up for dinner at the Maho pavilion. All of the cruisers were already in a rush to get in line for the famous buffet. The Maho Pavilion provides spectacular views but that means you have to trudge up 200 steps to get there. By the time everyone got to the top we were more than ready for a glass of cold vino and beer. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner that tasted almost as good as home, the only things missing was the rest of our families. It was great to have Kathie with us though and that made it even more special for us, as last year it was just the two of us.

The next day, Boxing Day had us heading into Red Hook on the east end of St Thomas, to do laundry, provision and clean the cat. Doug’s three sons and Adam’s girlfriend, Manica, were arriving over the next two days and we wanted to have everything ready to go so that we could start their holiday as soon as they arrived. Unfortunately, this also meant that Kathie’s time with us was coming to an end. She would have almost a full day visit with Jon, briefly see Adam and Manica at the airport, as they crossed paths, but she would not see her other grandson, Simon, as he flew in the on the evening flight and she flew out in the early afternoon. We were very sorry to see Kathie go and the two women shed a few tears as we always do when we leave each other. Doug’s voice just gets husky and he looks away….hmmmm.

The next log will be out very soon…..like a week from today’s date of the 17th ….honest! …..lots to tell about Jon, Adam, Manica and Simon’s visit. Plus, a ton of great stories and pics from our charter guests, Rob, Tina and their daughter Danielle and their good friends James and Jocelyn who arrived on the 6th of January and stayed with us for a week. Stay tuned! Check out their blog with photos and slide show at http://westmountphotography.com/blog/ Go to the bottom of the page for the slide show......amazing pics from great photographers and fabulous guests too.

Hey! We tried a new recipe last nite and it was delish. Thot it would be fun to share with you. It’s cheap, easy, fast, and healthy and tastes like summer. Perfect for you guys stuck up in the cold north. Try it tonite!

There are no measurements….just do what you feel for the number you are serving…..don’t worry, you can’t go wrong. Rub thin cut pork chops with your favourite spice, something a little spicy (i.e.,Mexican) would be great. Then brown the chops in a non stick skillet. Serve with a mixture of canned, rinsed (twice rinse is a good idea) black beans, diced avocado, red onion, lots of fresh chopped cilantro (you can use dried but it just isn’t the same), and oil and vinegar (you can use a dressing but I prefer good E.V.O.O and balsamic vinegar). I did not use diced tomatoes when I made this but they would be awesome as well. Best to use vine ripened or plum tomatoes. We enjoyed these tasty chops with whole grain couscous with a splash of E.V.O.O., lemon juice and some feta. Enjoy!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home