Summer is Here
We spent the end of May are early June in quarantine. One of our friends came down with Covid on Tuesday, June 24 so those of us who were with him on the 22 and 23 confined ourselves to our boats starting on Wednesday. By early Thursday two of the other men had symptoms. Mark started sniffling on Friday. Saturday, I tested myself and was negative (happy dance) but I still stayed aboard as much as possible and wore a mask when I had to leave (go to the bathroom). The uncertainty of “exposure” is odd. Every little thing becomes a possible symptom. Meanwhile we were really worried about having to have a negative test before we could fly to the U.S. in 13 days. I knew we would have passed the “dangerous” time, but would Mark be able to have a negative test? Meanwhile, the group of us are usually quite visible in the boat yard. We always go to the Thursday night barbecue and the Friday jam session, and we play dominos every Sunday. Obviously, we didn’t do any of these for the two weeks. I wonder what the other boaters thought. Evidently, in Trinidad if you test positive for Covid you are required to stay in a government quarantine location – at your own cost – for 14 days. Therefore, no one tests, or if they do test, they don’t tell anyone. If the get the virus they say “I have a bad cold, I’m not coming in to work for a few days.” No wonder they can’t control the disease here. Anyway, by Day Ten after our initial “exposure” we were bored and going bonkers. We decided it was safe to have one guest over if we sat far apart in our cockpit. It was lovely to sit and chat. I keep thinking about how lucky we were to be on board in the Caribbean through 2020 – 2021 where we were able to socialize outside and kept seeing our friends.
Tonight (Friday, June 3) is our last night in Trinidad so our group is going to meet at the common area for “sundowners”. We can spread out there way more than we can on anyone’s boat. I have a bunch of goodies that we need to eat up before we fly out and we have a long list of things that have to be done tomorrow before we leave, so it will be a busy day.
Our first summer stop was Denver. We came here for our granddaughter’s Bat Mitzvah. There’s nothing that will make you kvell like watching your 13-year-old stand at the altar of the temple leading the service, reading the Hebrew, chanting the Torah, and being so grown-up that all the juvenile pain-in-the-neck stuff that has come before seems irrelevant. We had such a wonderful time with the family and friends. Lots of laughing, games to play, and love to share.
Spain From Denver we flew to Spain to spend time with Claire and to meet her boyfriend, Achraf, who has earned our stamp of approval. (I'm sure they are relived to learn this.) It was great seeing Claire, who we haven’t seen since she moved to Spain in 2019. We went to the “ancient baths” and soaked in pools of water ranging from icy cold to steaming hot. We explored a gypsum cave and hiked along a canyon. And we went to the beach and had paella at a beach-side café (it was too hot to actually lay out on the beach). Claire seems genuinely happy, which is all we can ask for, and she and Achraf seem like a wonderful couple.
The UK: England We went to the United Kingdom to meet up with three cruising friends. First stop – Itchner, England, a village southwest of London, to visit with the Pattison family (former owners of Alisara). We spent much of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 cruising seasons with them, until they decided to “swallow the anchor” and return to England and get the children back in school. The tiny village they live in is so focused on boating (mostly small boats) that I can’t imagine living there if you aren’t water-obsessed. We had a fun time with them, boating in their new power boat, sailing in Hermione’s new sail boat, and touring the historic boats Victory and Mary Rose in Portsmouth.
On to Scotland
It just so happened that two couples of our cruising friends, Jacqueline and Iian on FatJax and Mindy and Reinhart on Rockhopper were cruising the Caledonian Canal in northern Scotland. They hadn’t met before we started making plans to come to visit, although they are both Salty Dawgs and Mindy has been in communication with FatJax during the Caribbean rallies so they knew of each other. The canal runs southwest from Inverness on the North Sea to Fort William on the Atlantic side of the island – near the Hebrides Islands. It connects Loch Ness and Lochy Loch making a waterway that by-passes some of the nastier parts of the North Sea. Cruising the Canal is on the bucket list for many sailors in the U.K. and there were lots of rented power boats tied up with us each night. Ironically, after complaining that it was too hot for the beach in Spain, it was too cold for it in Scotland. We never saw a night sky, and I only rarely removed the sweatshirt that I borrowed from Mindy. We spent our days locking up and down the locks of the canal, searching for Nessy in Loch Ness, wandering in the ruins of various castles along the canal banks, eating, and drinking (of course). We looked for a great place to do a scotch tasting but never really found it. The scenery was breath-taking and the friendships eternal.
And now to the USA and Michigan for the remainder of the summer. On to more family time, friends, lake, and fun. I don’t imagine that I’ll be blogging a lot this summer. I’ll be back in November. Have a great summer everyone.