A typical morning's activities: I walk up onto the fore deck, cappuccino in hand, to catch the sunrise and survey the surroundings, Carmen is on the aft deck doing her morning yoga, the grey water pump kicks in which means Simone is having his shower in the crew head. Jethro Tull's Aqualung plays in the galley, Giamma has been working his way through the music collection- the other day it was REM. He's standing by the sink patiently hand squeezing his lemons which is his regular morning practice. Art has been up for hours working at his computer trying to solve a bug in one of his programming subroutines; the start of a normal day on FG.
Our current guests on board are the last of the season. Carmen has been busy cooking double shifts to feed the crew as well as store prepared meals away in the freezer for the return. It's been a long season, we're all tired and thinking of home; the return Atlantic passage shadows everything we do. As the departure date grows closer it will be all anyone is interested in- the singular focus.
In these last weeks however, there's still been time for fun. Giamma has been able to get in some more kite surfing, Carmen has been painting and working on her jewelry projects made from the lovely shells and corals she collects, while Simone has been enjoying his first experience in the Caribbean, taking in all that he can with each new island; he's amassed a huge photo catalog.
At the moment the guys are on the aft deck preparing for a dive on a site known locally here in the BVI as Treasure Point. It's across from "The Indians", a set of pointy rock pinnacles in the middle of Sir Francis Drake Channel. Giamma is joining Art and Art's cousin Murray on the dive, it should be a good site as yesterday on another dive, they saw several lobsters, a large lion fish, and a sleeping nurse shark under a ledge. Giamma was able to dive with a sea turtle, his spirit totem and the official mascot on board FG, we've seen turtles everywhere throughout the season, they always seem to find Giamma.
Another day, this time Nora Jones drifts from the galley. It's still morning but it's already been a long haul for everyone as we were up at six to get FG ready for her squeeze through the tiny draw bridge into Simpson Bay, St Maarten. Meanwhile Carmen has morphed into a full blown Napolitano fire goddess, she has four huge dishes cooking simultaneously, all food to be used for the passage. Gripping her chef's knife, she's informed everyone we're on our own for lunch today. The saloon is currently a jumble of cockpit cushions, spare linens, towels, and stacked chairs; all must be packed away for the passage. Soon the passage crew members will be arriving, everything has to be shifted to make room, even my extensive booze collection...my god the agony..
We arrived in St. Martin yesterday evening after a grueling hundred mile beat south from the BVI, it was a bitch of a sail, one guest was ill for the duration, but we motored into Sint Maarten with an escort of Atlantic dolphins as the sky exploded with a fabulous sunset....ok..NTS.. Our last anchorage of the season had been spent at The Baths, a spectacular Virgin Islands rock formation and national park. The snorkeling and hiking were some of the best of the entire season. We finished it all off with a massive feast of grilled filet mignon and the last of the Barbuda lobster tales, the rum flowed freely late into the night, it was an appropriately excessive blowout enjoyed by everyone.
A special thanks to all of you who've been following the blog, I've enjoyed the feedback from readers, rather shocked at how many their have been- thanks! We should have the Yellow Brick up and running along with web tracking for the return Atlantic passage.
Buon vento! Vediamo nel mediteranio!