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...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Up too early again.

I see a cruise ship come in at about 7:30 am, the first one of the season.

First cruise ship of the season

It was raining when I first got up and for a while after but now it has stopped and started to look promising so off to the beach for one last day of sun, sand, and swimming.  I want to commit it all to memory today, all the senses, so that I can recall it in the coming days of winter back home.

Didn't look too promising when I first got up

I'm not there five minutes and it starts to rain, and rain hard.  I pull my lounge up under the tree, right to the trunk, and put a towel over my head and continue to read the book I am into, hoping it will pass soon. After 20 minutes or so, the rain starts to drip from the towel, which is soaked through, onto my Kindle so I give up.  I am walking to the Allemanda lobby with the towel over my head when I hear my name being called.  I look out from under the towel and see Amy and John sitting out of the rain at the restaurant by the pool so I go join them and we sit there for about two hours while we wait it out. We have a good conversation, getting to know more about each other. They both work for the post office, and that is where they met.  I tell them my dad used to work for the Royal Mail as well, when we lived in England.

Rotten rain, ruining my last day here

At 1:30, with no sign of the rain letting up, they decide to go to their room and I decide to have lunch at the restaurant. I order a pita wrap which is delicious and served with lovely crunchy fries - under $7 Canadian, a very good deal. I am the only person at the restaurant and have only seen one other group dining here the entire time I've been walking back and forth to the beach for the past 10 days. I don't know how they stay in business. The food is really good so maybe they will get busy once the season starts, next month.

After delaying as long as I possibly can, I finally walk back to my hotel in the drizzle carrying two very heavy, soaked through towels along with my usual bag of stuff. Exhausting!

When I get there, the cleaning staff is just finishing up and I call Alison over, the girl who was getting my room ready the day I arrived here. I thank her for everything and give her all the EC cash I have left (about $25 and change) and also give her the pop-up floaty I brought with me but didn't use - I will have NO room for that in my bag on the trip home. She says her daughter will love it. I can't believe she is a mom, I thought she was about 17 but turns out she's a lot older and married!  We hug and say good-bye and she says she is sad to see me go and hopes I come back one day.

Lovely Alison

There's nothing much to do but take a shower, and then lay on the bed and read till it is time to get ready for dinner.  It is dark by 6:30 when Amy and John pick me up in their rental jeep, and we head off to La Phare Bleu, about half an hour away, for the Friendship Table dinner.

There are more people at the dinner than last week. And tonight the meal will be served family style - bowls of steaming food to pass around.  When we are seated, a couple sit across from us and they have some other people with them. We introduce ourselves and they are Jana and Dieter.  We find out half way through the meal that they are the owners of Le Phare Bleu, which is more than just a restaurant, it is a gorgeous resort that they built from the ground up. They are originally from Switzerland and the rest of their group is family over for a visit.  She delights in telling us how, one Sunday a month, the resort holds what they call a Dinghy Concert, out in the bay, where the cruisers come in their dinghies, raft together, and live music is played by various musicians set up on a floating stage.  I have heard of these concerts from Mike Sweeny, who is a cruiser and spends summers in Grenada.  I've seen pictures of it on his blog and it looks like a lot of fun.  She gets her husband, Dieter, to put a CD of one of the concerts on the TV over the bar.  We watch and it really looks like a very good time.

The food tonight is Mexican and it is very good.  Jana tells us how they are losing their staff and some of their chefs to the new and huge Sandals resort that is almost completed, not far away.  She said it is proving to be a big issue for many of the more established resorts as they need so many staff at Sandals and are actively poaching all the hotels and resorts. She is worried that they won't be able to keep everything operating properly.  Again I think, if I was trained in hotel services, or bartending, I could get a job in a snap here.  But then again, I am really looking forward to getting home and seeing my family. I especially miss my little granddaughter. She has completely wrecked the whole notion of me ever living in the Caribbean, at least for more than a few months at a time.

Amy and John, my new beach friends

When we get back to my hotel, I say goodbye to my new friends and promise to keep in touch.  Once in my room, I set about getting the rest of my things packed up.  I just know I am going to have overweight luggage tomorrow and debate leaving most of my toiletries behind for either the maid to take or toss out. It's about $30 worth of stuff but if I am overweight, it will be $50 US. I decide to leave my shampoo and conditioner, a couple of other cheaper items, and put the rest into a large zip lock bag right at the top of my luggage.  That way, if I need to, I can get at it easily.

One thing I won't miss around here and that is the noisy people next door.  Seriously!

All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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