This February, we saw our friends, Ronald and Sandra on S/V Sandra Louise, for the first time since last June. We had reunited on St. John last year after being apart for quite some time since we sailed together south through the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Dominican Republic. We had such a happy time with them last year after we reunited, which I have never recorded in my blog. So I would like to take this opportunity to record some of the highlights of that reunion and our reunion this year, as well:
FLASHBACK TO 2015:
Ronald and Sandra wanted to thank us for our help in their southern passage-making from the Bahamas to the Caribbean and celebrate the success and fun that we had together, so…
they gave us a little treat with which to toast ourselves, AND took us out to the wonderful, swanky restaurant at Caneel Bay Resort, ZoZo’s!
We thoroughly enjoyed our delicious meal and the company with whom we shared it. Plus,
the view from the restaurant was magical!
Her mama hollered for her to “get away from that donkey!!”.
The view of the sunset from ZoZo’s was beautiful, as well!
We spent time with Ronald and Sandra at the live-aboard’s/artist’s/hippy’s quirky, adopted-town, Coral Bay, which has been their home ever since. We enjoyed attending the Emmaus Moravian Church in Coral Bay with them one Sunday.
The Moravian Church has a beautiful 18th century building that I had wanted to worship in since we were here chartering over a decade ago with our children!
We also enjoyed seeing all the quirky, artistic sights of Coral Bay like…
artistically painted benches,
the resident goats,
and, of course, the garbage chickens!
Later, we spent a couple of days with Ronald and Sandra at another south-side-of-Saint John bay, Salt Pond, where we did some
enjoyed a hike up to check out the eco-resort there, and another hike back up to the eco-resort later that evening in order to take advantage of a night-time showing of “The Princess Bride”on a big screen under a pavilion. Ronald had never seen it! There were about 20 Boy Scouts (girls and boys) who were on a sailboat expedition anchored out in the bay with us who also took advantage of the movie. The hike back down the mountain that night was a bit of a challenge in the dark. When we heard iguana’s scurrying off the trail, I was thankful that we hadn’t seen a horror flick (and that we brought flashlights)! I remember the Boy Scout kids swam out from the beach to their boats in the dark! That’s kind of scary in itself, but once they were on the boats, we saw no lights come on. This must have meant they went to bed SALTY—YUCK. I’m sure I had a nice warm shower when I got back.
Anyway…we also spent some wonderful days with Sandra Louise at one of our favorite St. John anchorages, Great Lameshur Bay!
If I remember correctly, we were the only ones in this beautiful bay.
We did some more awesome snorkeling here!
I caught a picture of the rare Caribbean Sea creatures, Sandra and Ronald, and
Mark was lucky to get a shot of the deep-diving, snorkel-loving Kathy !
One of my favorite memories of our 2015 sailing season was on the morning at Great Lameshur Bay when we parted ways with Sandra Louise in order to head to Puerto Rico to leave our boat at the marina there for hurricane season…
Ronald and Sandra dinghied over to Nancy Lu to say goodbye and make a recording on their cell phone of Ronald and me singing The Doxology in harmony together so that he could use it in his morning meditation time. We had enjoyed singing it at the Emmaus Moravian Church the Sunday we were there together—sweet memories!
FLASH FORWARD TO OUR FEBRUARY 2016 REUNION:
They showed up in their new/old “sweet ride” that they have purchased since acquiring jobs and making St. John their home!
They’ve learned all the inside scoop of St. John living, and were gracious enough to show us around while we caught up!
Our first stop was for a bite of lunch at a restaurant where they know the proprietor.
Next stop was Ronald’s job site where he’s on the construction crew building a home in Chocolate Hole.
Mark was fascinated with the interesting technology they were using for erecting concrete walls using Styrofoam. Sandra likened it to Legos!
Next, we were off to their adopted home on the south side of St. John, the familiar, Coral Bay! WHEE!
We checked out their heavy duty sand screw, which they will screw into the ocean floor so they can moor to it in case of a hurricane—things you learn when you live on a boat in the harbor!
Their home-sweet-home in Coral Bay!
I couldn’t help but notice all the signs around their “neighborhood” where “progress” is threatening to bring in a big fancy marina—politics in paradise.
So far, Ronald has refused to buy a bumper sticker for his jeep—staying above the fray.
We said goodbye to the Coral Bay wild donkeys on the way back to Cruz Bay where we said goodbye to Ronald and Sandra yet another time and dinghied back to our mooring in Caneel Bay.
There was another special thing about this day in February—OUR FIRST BORN TURNED 30!!
It turned out that we were able to see Ronald and Sandra again on March 15. We had just gotten back to St. John after being all the way back at Sun Bay Marina in Puerto Rico for almost 2 weeks getting a problem fixed with Nancy Lu’s engine, which Mark discovered while we were hanging out in the St. John/St. Thomas area waiting to head to St. Martin—that’s another story for another time! While we were in Puerto Rico we had some things shipped to Sandra’s workplace and needed to pick them up from her. As an added bonus to this short visit with Ronald and Sandra, we got to meet Ronald’s daughter, Genevieve, who was visiting with her husband, and Peter, Ronald’s boss. We had dinner at Driftwood David’s. We were disappointed that we could not spend more time with S/V Sandra Louise as we thought we would be able to do, but the time back in Puerto Rico and other happier surprises changed our plans pretty drastically—another story for another time. I’m sure that our short visit with Ronald and Sandra is not last we’ll see of our friends, but for now, we had to bid them farewell! We were off to St. Martin the very next morning! All the places we’ve been since St. John have been NEW to us and another story for another time!