Christmas Day. What a wonderful sail!!! Leaving Fernandina the water was glassy. We did, however, raise a bit of the main while in the inlet not knowing what it was going to be “outside”. We needn’t have gone to the trouble. The seas were absolutely calm!!!! The wind was so light that the boom swung from side to side. There was no sign of St Nick, but we did see dolphins and we saw pelicans—flight after flight of pelicans. Two, three four or more of them would come up on the boat, skimming the water. It is absolutely amazing how they can fly in concert and skim just a fraction of an inch off the surface of the water without touching. Later, you can see one, a hundred feet or so off the water. He will fold his wings and dive straight down. Sometimes, he will come up with a fish in beak, but more often he won’t. As we were coming in the St John’s inlet, one of them decided to take a ride along with us. He perched on our lifelines for a while and then left. Maybe he decided we weren’t going his way. We pulled into the Morningstar Marina next to the Naval Station. It was early and the weather was great. We had a couple of drink outside in the cockpit to celebrate! We turned in early because we were both tired—fresh air, rum and Peter’s cold. During the night, the promised cold front passed through and the wind picked up – at least 25+ knots! At about a quarter of 8 in the morning, there arose such a clatter. Peter rushed from the berth, threw open the hatch to see what was the matter. Was this a belated visit from St Nick? No, the wind had taken hold of the jib and had managed to unfurl a couple of feet and it was flogging like crazy. Fortunately, it had not gone so far as to be completely unmanageable. He got it under control and was able to enjoy his coffee and sweet rolls. Throughout the day we had to check our lines and reposition our fenders.
Many years ago, while vacationing in Martinique, Claudia and I were sitting at a Tiki hut at Anse Mitan. We observed folks anchoring their sailboats and dinghying in to the restaurant. "What a neat way to travel," we thought. Of course, we could never do that. Fast forward 35 or so years and we were anchored in Anse Mitan! During those 35 or so years, we lived other adventures as CLODS--Cruisers Living On Dirt. We didn't know it, but we were training for life on a sailboat. We built our own house, lived without running water or electricity, grew our own food, had a goat dairy and produced award winning cheeses. In 2004, we bought a small trailerable boat. Learned to sail, more or less, bought a bigger boat--a Pearson 323 on which we spend our winters in climes warmer than home.