Friday, March 30, 2012

Back to the Island!

Yes, we're back in Antigua, the land of the singing frogs, iridescent blue green-throated hummingbirds, and whispering palm trees fringing white beaches. And also ...the land of tropical downpours, which is currently what we're experiencing! The weather has been gray and overcast, definitely a bit unsettled, with gusty squalls sweeping through periodically. Some rains, like this one, are torrential white-outs but usuallly short-lived and often pass in just a few minutes. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the cool breeze on the aft deck, sheltered from the rains by the sunshade screens enclosing the cockpit. 

Ron and I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and as always, it was nice to be back aboard!! Equinox is looking good and we've spent the past couple of days getting some necessary  things done in between dodging the raindrops. We timed things right at The Epicurean,  stopping in when they had just re-stocked the fresh vegetables, so provisioning was a delight. We're making a concerted effort to use what we already have aboard, so with the fresh veggies, we'll be having some delicious gourmet meals in the next few weeks! We've also enjoyed reuniting with cruising friends here at the dock in Jolly Harbour; seeing familiar faces is always welcome!

And so it goes: we've been checking boat systems, water levels, fuel levels and such, inventorying supplies, stowing items and prepping for departure. A big treat this morning was having a diver come clean the hull right here in the slip; usually we do it ourselves when we're out on anchor. We're pretty meticulous about it, so the hull wasn't in bad shape, but having it done now not only saves us several hours of (disgusting) work, it will  allow us to time our departure better, so we can use the good weather to cruise rather than clean! 

Amid watching the weather and checking various marine forecasts for the Leewards, Caribbean sea and points north, we've been debating different return routes. We both would like to visit different ports and places we didn't have the chance to see previously...and there are still so many places to see! It's the usual struggle: the lure of the unknown versus the pleasure of seeing favorite to decide? Always hard to choose, but either way, we'll enjoy it! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Changing Course

Once more, my apologies for being incommunicado and off the grid, so to speak! My recent lack of blogging is not indicative of anything wrong, but rather, it's due to the fact that we're not aboard at the moment. Ron and I have been in the States the past few weeks, visiting with family and catching up with necessary doctor and dentist check-ups, some long-overdue appointments, dealing with various and sundry paperwork interspersed with visits to friends. And how we've enjoyed being with family! From time in Michigan with Karyn's sister Jennifer, brother-in-law Mark and new nephew Jack, to being with parents, to fun family time in Florida with Ally during her spring break, we've covered some ground! It was great seeing everyone -- we found it was just easier to get together stateside than try to coordinate flights across several time zones to Antigua, especially since time was so limited. Ron and I will return to Equinox in just a couple of days; happily, she's being looked after and cared for while we've been ashore.

To be honest, though, it's been a very eventful time while we've been here. We've gone through much deliberation, angst, discussion and uncertainty, but finally, have agreed on some major decisions. While there is never a right time to do a difficult thing, we are doing just that and, literally, changing our course. Rather than doing more cruising south and around the Caribbean as we originally envisioned, we will be heading north and west in the coming weeks, returning to Florida. And ... as hard and as heartbreaking as it was to decide, upon our return, we will be putting Equinox up for sale with Kadey-Krogen.

Startling, I realize... and obviously, it wasn't an easy choice. While we adore Equinox and have thoroughly enjoyed the amazing adventures we've shared while cruising, it's now time to stay closer to home, family and friends. Indeed, the only thing constant in life is change, and our lives are no exception; we just won't be moving at 8 knots any more! I'll continue to chronicle our journey as we make our way north, and hope you'll check in from time to time to see what adventures unfold. They always do!

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves" 

                                                            ~Anatole France

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sunrise, Sunset

No, I'm not going to start singing that nostalgic song from Fiddler On The Roof, never fear! Yet it's an apt post title since we've been enjoying some amazing sunsets here in Antigua! The interplay of the sunlight and clouds on the horizon make each sunset unique, so we make a point of pausing every day to watch and reflect. No matter where we are, they take my breath away. I thought I'd share some of the more spectacular moments.
If you look closely, you'll see the island of Redonda silhouetted by the clouds on the right. 
As seen from the far side of Falmouth Harbour, all cloud, shadow and light
Incredible layering of color and clouds
Fire raining out of the sky behind the boats