I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I knew that goat was trouble.

Nancy and I go to the property to meet Jake on Saturday after we close up shop. Jake is sitting on the pontoon boat and the puppies are all on board as well, running around and making mischief. Once we get aboard I notice that Jake has rivulets of dried blood down his arms and then I see a scab on his forehead above his right eye. "Jeepers. What war did you fight today?" I ask him. Turns out the puppies sharp claws are responsible for the arms. The goat for his head. He was bent over washing the puppies tarp or dishes or something and the puppies spooked the goat. He ran towards Jake, who was bent over intent on his work, and head butted him so hard it knocked him off his feet. Blood and sweat were pouring down his face as he dazedly tried to get to his feet, and the goat was freaking out, the puppies yapping... All I can say is I am glad Nancy wasn't there or it would have been her fault, somehow. And I have decided that I hate the goat.

When we get back to the houseboat I cook up some of the chicken breasts I bought, two packages for the price of one, and make curried coconut chicken with rice. It makes a lot and it is a delicious meal. I am happy that there is more than enough for another meal or two; I put it into rubbermaid containers and into the fridge.

Sunday there isn't much to do at the shop so I stay home in the morning and read out on the back deck for a while. Even though it's a boat yard, it's a pretty view and nice and breezy back here. Nancy calls me at around 10 and asks me to come get her so I get in the truck and head over to the Pet Resort. The road is full of Memorial Day weekenders and it seems that NO ONE signals before changing lanes here. Twice someone makes a last minute decision to cross in front of me and over the median without signaling and I have to slam on my brakes. Wouldn't want to miss the '3 t-shirts for $10' store, I guess.

We stop at the grocery store on the way home for some things. I can't get over the prices here. Nothing is cheaper than at home other than booze. The only thing I buy is some of my fizzy mineral water. I bought the last batch of groceries so Nancy won't let me pay anything for these.

When we get back to the houseboat and get the groceries away we're hot and decide to go to the Holiday Inn pool. Because it is the long weekend we don't expect that we will find any free deck chairs but we find two, mine is broken and won't go into a sitting position but at least we don't have to sit on the concrete. I am happy. There are lots of people at the pool today, some are locals and Nancy points them out to me. There is a guy under a grass roof playing guitar and singing. It's fun to people watch down here. Americans fascinate me. They really are very different from us Canadians. I go for a nice long swim, the water is the perfect temperature, and do lots of laps. Got to get that 6 lbs off!

After a couple of hours, Nancy leaves me there to go back to the shop and then to meet Jake at the property and take care of the animals. I move to her chair and read. I am there a couple of hours more and start watching the cell phone Nancy left as she is going to call when she is 5 minutes away. It has started beeping for low battery and I am worried it will die before she calls. As I am watching a couple in the pool, I notice the guy they are talking to is pointing to the sky in the north and gesticulating that something is coming right at us. I get up and take a look and can't believe the big black line of cloud just peeking over the palm trees. I know enough now to realize there is some sort of storm heading this way and it will be here in about 10 minutes. I start to gather my things.

I walk towards the parking lot and as I do the cell phone rings. It's Nancy. I tell her that, "I am waiting for you under the cover at the parking lot, there's a big black cloud headed this way." "I know," she says, "I am leaving now and trying to stay ahead of it." I go back to the pool and take a picture because it is that ominous. I go back to the parking lot and wait, killing as many ants as I can with my flip flops. Ever since I got bit with all of those fire ants, I have a vendetta.

Nancy arrives just as the first drops of rain start to fall. We stay just ahead of the storm as we drive to the boat yard. We talk about what to have for dinner and I remind Nancy of the curried chicken I made last night. I have been looking forward to it all afternoon. We pull up to the houseboat and it is starting to rain harder. As I get out I see Jake headed towards his car, which is parked at the end of the dock by the water, and he is holding a rubbermaid box aloft. Hmmm. Must be going out somewhere and taking his dinner. I run to the ladder and climb up onto the houseboat. I turn around and Jake is right behind me. In his hand is the open rubbermaid and I can see yellow saucy remnants inside. "Was that the container that had the curried chicken in it?" I ask. "I dunno. I guess so." "Where is it?" I ask but I have a growing horror as I know what he is about to say. "I tossed it into the water." "YOU WHAT?!?" I say. Nancy is right behind him and hears. "That was our dinner." she says quietly to Jake. She seems to be afraid to say more but I am not. "I was looking forward to that all afternoon." I say, "What possessed you to throw it away? I just made it last night. It hadn't gone off." He doesn't answer me, just pushes past and goes inside. I am furious. What the heck is the point of buying chicken two for one if you are just going to throw half of it into the sea? And that meal was delicious, far too good for the fish. I go into my room to drop stuff off and I hear Jake going at Nancy. "That fridge is full of crap. There are so many containers of crap in there. It needed cleaning out." "Well why didn't you throw out some of your stuff then?" She asks. He has a reply but I can't make it out. I just can't believe he would do that. I am used to the kitchen and all that is in it being the domain of the woman of the house. The only time my ex would have thrown something in the fridge away was if it was growing green fur. Later, when I go look in the fridge, all Jake's rubbermaided leftovers are still there. Some have been there since I arrived. I am just seething and can't be in the same room as him or I will just go off so I go stand at the back door and watch the weather.

That kinda takes my mind off stuff.

The wind is howling and the rain is coming down in horizontal sheets. Where, this morning, I could look out over the water to the sailboats tied up in mid distance and the mangroves in the far distance, now all I can see is blowing water and grey socked in. This looks like a hurricane to me. I run to my room and grab my camera and video a few minutes of the storm. It's frightening. If this isn't a hurricane, then I don't want to be here when it is. Stuff starts blowing off the houseboat. I hear something on the roof deck blow from one end to the other. I look up, expecting to see it fly off and out to sea but nothing comes down. Suddenly there is a big crash on the front deck. The water cooler and bottle have gone flying. This is seriously scary. The boat is rocking on it's stands again and I run to my room and put things I don't want to lose in my new big fat purse. Just in case we go over and it's all a big mess I won't have to dig through stuff, just grab my purse. If I'm not dead, that is.

Water is pouring off the roof of the boat. I look down to the ground and there is at least a foot of water where all was just packed dirt not 10 minutes ago, and it is blowing out to sea. A plastic bag floats by and then a white silk flower lei. There is a dustpan on the roof of the truck. Stuff is blowing off the house boat all over the place. Jake and Nancy don't seem to care. I ask them if this is a hurricane and they say no. That's it. I am going home before hurricane season hits for real.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I started this blog on a different site (getjealous.com) and then moved it to here but I lost all of the comments that were made on that site. I decided to copy and paste them all into this blog. Below are the ones for this post:

    Walker (26th May 2009)
    See you in the BVI
    Hi, Sandy! Wow - I hope you know that what you are writing is a can't-put-downer. The end of each entry leaves me anxious for the next.

    Great stuff - and I am counting on actuallyu meeting you in the BVI one day.

    Best wishes,

    Sandy (26th May 2009)
    Thanks Walker! I am glad you are enjoying it.

    I am counting on meeting you and your wife in the BVI as well. Hopefully sooner than later.

    Ron Oliver (25th May 2009)
    Fabulousness of it all
    Darling S - reading between the lines, (in spite of the fried foods) I get the feeling you understand why I fled Canada for the southern climes so many years ago - isn't it fun to live in a place where celebrations of even the smallest things are the norm, and the people have such exuberance. Not to mention the color and light and sheer pleasure of not struggling to make it through another wintry day, hm? Keep posting, it's marvelous to read! xo

  3. Julie Neufeld (23rd May 2009)
    Who needs movies or television!
    Unbeleivable! I look forward to your writings, I check everyday to see what exciting adventure you're going to write about. Love the photos!


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Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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