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September 26,

I put on jeans today. And real shoes – not my flip-flops. I’ve taken most of my shorts to the basement where we are staging our packing for heading south. My meal planning now reaches until we leave. Time is running short. I’m excited to be going back to the Caribbean, seeing those friends I’ve missed all summer. Yet, I love waking up and seeing the blue and pink on the water right in front of me.

And there are still friends in the U.S. that I haven’t caught up with. Every year I think “this year we will get to see them all” and every year it just doesn’t happen.

This week is already booking up – Maj on Tuesday, Dominos on Wednesday, Karl & Katherine and Fran & Heather coming on Saturday. Next week is even busier, even at this point – after K&K leave we have 2 days till Ann and her family arrive on Friday and then Saturday we head to Cincinnati, then Miami, and Antigua. And That’s All Folks.

Meanwhile, in the past week Mark has picked up a “free” boat. It’s an old Rebel which Mark “raced” against (It’s not really fair for his blisteringly fast catamaran to race against an old-school monohull) 25 years ago that has been sitting by the side of the road for the past I-don’t-know-how-long, waiting for someone to love it again. I am very curious to see how much this is actually going to cost us. But he is excited to have it and once it is back to ship-shape, we can put 4 or 5 in it for a lovely sail up the lake.

October 18

Time flies. We had a fun 24 hours with the Kaplan family and are now in Cincinnati with Karen and family. We just got a small taste of what the past 18 months have been like for them. Yesterday afternoon Mark (Karen’s husband, not mine) started feeling a little ill. It’s probably a cold, Karen had one until recently, but immediately thoughts turn to Covid. Mark stayed home from work; the kids stayed home from school. Suddenly Mark (mine) and I are looking at having to stay here for two weeks, missing our flights and villa rental and what a mess. Everyone got COVID rapid tests, and everyone came out negative. It’s such a different handicapping world now. I think I am beginning to appreciate what an easy 2020-21 we had. (Footnote – Mark had a cold or maybe a hangover; not covid.)

October 31

I hope everyone had a great Halloween. We are in Antigua where they don’t really know the festivities. No costumes or candy for us. (Footnote: we went out for dinner and on our way we did see a few trick-or-treaters going door to door. I felt bad about not having anything for them.)

Our flights down were fully booked and uneventful. We flew from Cincinnati to Miami and had a nice two days with my brother Ted and his wife Kathy with a bonus visit by Joyce & Dan Ward who were coming off a cruise ship with 8 hours till their flight back to Ohio. Customs and immigration in Antigua were easy and fast, and now we are working to get Roxy in the water. It’s always disheartening to come back to this:

But we will overcome. Already the mainsail (the big thing down the center) is back on the mast, the steering wheel is back in the cockpit, the massive roll of rope (that I’d like to send overboard) is back where it is stored, and in general one can walk through the cabin in a straight line. Additionally, the new bottom paint is on so no moss or nasty stuff will stick to Roxy and slow her down. The one surprise that we had coming back is a leak in our pressure water system. Mark found it quickly; the water heater was leaking around the element. Win for me – I wanted the element replaced any way since it doesn’t work. Lose for Mark – he spent all yesterday trying to dismantle the thing so that he could make the repair. He will win in the long run because I will be happy. Happy wife, happy life.

We had our first “sundowners” last night – Albert & Josy came over for drinks and “nibbles”. It wasn’t aboard the boat, but it was lovely in our little rented condo. Next week we will be aboard and more of our friends will be here. The Salty Dawg Caribbean Rally fleet is on the move, and I am busy tracking them and getting ready to welcome them to Antigua as they arrive, starting probably in about 10 days.

Let the Festivities Begin.

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