Monique Burgess
Between St Martin and St Barts Saturday, January 06, 2001 13:00

At last, almost a month later, we depart St Martin for good. It was great seeing my brother, mom and grandma, but it's nice to get moving southward (actually southeasterly). Amazing Grace and Enterprise are 2 of our cruising buddy boats. All three of us are going to overnight in a small tropical anchorage on the Ile Fourche, a small island right next to St Barts. We can take a dip off the back of Uliad, something that was not always possible on St Martin.

I did a major provisioning yesterday on the Dutch side. Ann and I took the kids and Carla with us so Tom could get some work done on the fuel filters. After a few hours and a couple hundred dollars later, we arrived back with boxes, bags, and hunger pangs. The kids were fed and then disappeared w/Carla to the beach/pool. Tom continued w/work and I eliminated every piece of cardboard from our stores and transferred goods to Ziplocs. Jason came with his buddies, PJ and Pete, and hung out for a little while. Long enough to see the cranky kids that were kind enough to kiss everyone night-night and hit the bunks. My bro, still Mr. Bachellor, was ready to party at 4:00p at some yachtie bar on the beach, with the 747 jets overhead and the sunset. We bid them farewell and looked forward to seeing Jason, hopefully, on the Pacific side of Panama ready to make the Galapagos passage with us.

After a serious inventorying and stowage session, I was ready to finally set sail. We had Ann for dinner (Rich was sick with the flu), chatted about our float plan to Antigua and beyond then readied the kids for bed. All was fine, we were aiming for another Cinema Uliad Night (Carla brought us 15 new DVDs! Yeah!), but Cammi would have none of that. She put up a stink, wouldn't go to sleep, whined, demanded and cried herself into a couple of major time outs and then finally saw 2 of her toys thrown in the garbage for excessive bad behavior. Cole woke up, also disgusted w/his sister's decibel level. She is definitely hitting a new level of logic and is trying to see where the "line" is and how far she can push it. Patience is the most important lesson to learn these days.

After a reality-check chat w/Carla and Tommy, we all agreed that the next morning, after I discussed her transgressions, she would stay in her room until we left the marina, coming out only to eat breakfast and use the head. It worked well and for a few hours, I watched her transform into some kind of angel. However, by post lunch, the child from the night before was thinking about reappearing. After a quick tug-o-war with me (we all know who won), she gracefully bowed out and announced that she was tired and needed a rest. No doubt after staying up till 10:00p in a frenzied state. She assisted w/cleaning her lunch plates, then put herself down for a snooze. Maybe someone is learning the lesson of boundaries and self-control? Let's just pray for a happy post-nap attitude!

I see the anchorage, better help out.

Nonsuch Bay, Antigua, WI
Saturday, January 20, 2001

The past few weeks have been picture perfect cruising. Every 2 to 3 days we have moved from one anchorage to the next. Most have little more than a few palm trees and a beach to entice us ashore. Those are the best. The high points have been the anchorage, navigated only at midday, in Barbuda that was surrounded by reefs, the professional windsurfers giving us a dose of ESPN, averaging 9.5 knots from Barbuda to Antigua, mountain climbing in a rainforest with monkeys in Nevis, crystal clear snorkeling in St. Barts, spending New Year's Eve participating as race crew on Zingaro, 120' mega sailing yacht, and landing the dinghy with 6 adults on a steep beach in order to eat at a local BBQ shack..

Recollecting some of the recent experiences would make anyone think they were reading a passage from a clip from the Nature Channel. I have caught a 3-4 foot fish, a wahoo, to be specific. After hand-over- handing the trolling line back in, I filleted the fish, while listening to helpful hints from our friend, Don, on Enterprise. Then, I cooked the fish on the grill and fed the 5 of us, plus 4 other adults on neighboring cruising boats. I make homemade pizza, dough and all, on a weekly basis. We bake some kind of goody at least once a week. And now, I can open my own bread factory. When reading cruising books before this trip, I always read about folks raving about homemade bread. I never would have thought in a million years I would be making bread from scratch. Here I am! Each element, when looked at individually, seems normal. No big deal. But when looking at my life over the past month or two, it makes me giggle to think how cruising has completely brought our daily tasks back to the basics. We all agree that when we finally commit ourselves back to land life, certain menu items from Uliad, would come with us.

Tom has been a true captain. Everyday there's some project, small and large, that consumes his time. One that enveloped him and the whole boat, was the changing of the fuel filters. He's got a list of items that range from replacing all the gaskets on all our hatches, changing our engine's fuel pump, and diagnosing why our generator is spitting oil out the exhaust hose when under heavy load. He loves it all. One thing that has really grown is his knowledge of weather faxes and their interpretation. It certainly makes our journeys to and from destinations smoother. Weather was always obtained prior to passages, but now, we have multiple sources for gaining information. One big job that he did while we were in St Martin was the installation of our SSB radio email system. We have been able to communicate twice or three times a day for one flat annual fee. No longer do we feel guilty writing messages home.

Well, the Winnie the Pooh video is about to end (special treat, haven't seen TV in about 3 weeks) and it's bedtime for the kids. End of log.