Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday happenings

Our friends Paul and Muriel and their two girls arrived this weekend! While the weather has turned a bit windy, we still had a great time together aboard Equinox. It's been a long time since we've seen the girls, so it's a treat to have them aboard! (It's unfortunate that Ally couldn't be here as well, but she is still away at college.) Nevertheless, the sun was out and the views spectacular, and we had a great time catching up on things!

Their visit aboard is actually two-fold: happily, to spend a couple days with us, and then, to be caretakers for Equinox while we are back in Florida for a few days over Thanksgiving. We're delighted they could come; not only is it a chance for them to enjoy a relaxed family vacation in the warm sunshine, but having them aboard also gives us great peace of mind that the boat is being well-cared for while we are absent. Everyone benefits! 

While Paul and Muriel have been aboard countless times before, including making a crossing to the Bahamas with us this past summer, they weren't that familiar with the workings of all her systems. So, we spent a lot of time going over the care and feeding of the boat systems, from AC breakers and power needs to water-making, to monitoring the holding tank, to using the tender. It wasn't all work and no play, for the guys also went out diving early Saturday morning, out to West Caicos in Eclipse, while we women relaxed back aboard Equinox. The men returned quite excited, as the dives were quite good; Paul was delighted as both a turtle and a shark decided to escort them along the top of the reef on their second dive. Turks and Caicos diving is really quite fabulous! 

Ron showing Paul, Muriel and Alexia some of his underwater
footage from our dives at French Cay
After all the dinners aboard of the past month, it felt decadent to actually go out to dinner ashore. The six of us dined at Bella Luna, the island landmark restaurant in "the glass house" on Grace Bay Road that dates back to the 1980s. We went out to celebrate the McDonnells' arrival in the Turks and Caicos, and to celebrate being together! We all heartily enjoyed Chef Cosimos' caribbean-flair Italian dishes; Ron indulged in a spicy conch dish, Paul had past with stuffed snapper, Muriel and I enjoyed a fabulous seafood tuttomare and the girls also had pastas. (You can rest assured that none of us ordered ground turkey!!) It was a lovely dinner in a great setting and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. 

On Sunday, Ron and I flew back to the States, arriving late in the evening. We're eager to see Ally; she will be home for the week, and later on, we will have more family coming in to join us for Thanksgiving festivities. It won't be the same fun crowd as at last year's West End Bahamas Extravaganza (which was so, so fun!) but it will be a good time here nevertheless! Enjoy the holidays and stay tuned for further events upon our return aboard next week!

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