|All That Jazz. A small art quilt.|
To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.
While we were in Maya Cove at the end of October, preparing for our down-island trip, a party was being planned for November 1st – the night before we were scheduled to leave. Roger (from Born Free) was organizing a dinner that was intended as a Bon Voyage party for Ben and Janet, on Amiga, and Bruce and Roxie, on Aspen Leaf. Both couples were leaving their boats in Maya Cove, and flying to the States for the winter months. Since we happened to be leaving for Antigua the next morning, we got included in the goodbyes. To stretch one party a little further, it also became a “welcome home” for Evelyn and Dana. Their boat, Andante, was anchored in Maya Cove, but they lived in a beautiful home high on the hillside overlooking the harbor. They had just returned (by plane) from a month visiting boat friends on the island of Fiji in the western Pacific.
During the afternoon, I made my usual passage food – high-energy chocolate cookies. The recipe included cocoa powder, peanut butter, oats, raisins, nuts, and sugar. I subsisted on these cookies during rough passages. While Ed was spooning them on waxed paper, I started in on some gingerbread. I decided to bake the gingerbread in paper cupcake cups, for individual servings. The cookies hadn’t smelled while cooking, but the gingerbread in the oven really put out quite an aroma!
People were running around in their dinghies, planning for the evening’s party. The folks from Aspen Leaf had been on Amiga – which was anchored right behind us. Bruce and Roxie came by to tell me I was driving Janet crazy with the smell of gingerbread. The cupcakes had just come out of the oven, so I offered them some. Roxie said no, because of her diet, and Bruce said no, probably out of politeness. I think he was sorry later when he saw me handing out cupcakes. I rowed our dinghy to take two cupcakes to Amiga for Janet and Ben. Two more went to George and Ruth on Easterly, and another couple cupcakes for Jerry and Martin on Travel. It was fun to share my baking and see people enjoy it.
|The Virgin Queen is still going strong! Internet photo.|
The party that night was held at the Virgin Queen in Road Town. About twenty people were at the dinner; we met several people for the first time. We were introduced to Fritz Seyfarth, who sailed single-handed. He wrote sailing articles for magazines, and had published a book called Tales of the Caribbean. Ben and Janet had told us about him. They claimed he lived with a black cloud over his head, like a cartoon character. Fritz was certainly the only person we’d met who’d been run down by a freighter and was still around to talk about it!
|I found the book on amazon...|
Fritz had been sailing from Florida to the Virgin Islands, and was off the Bahamas. It was daylight, and he was down below fixing his breakfast when a freighter ran into him. He knew they saw him, because someone on the stern was looking down as the ship went past. They may not have known they hit him; in any case, they didn’t stop. Fritz put out a mayday call, but didn’t think anyone heard him. He was fortunate some people who knew him picked up his call in St. Thomas. They sent the Coast Guard out looking for him. His boat, Tumbleweed, had been badly damaged. When a squall came through, his mast feel. He lost the antenna to his radio, and wasn’t able to send out any more messages for help. His wooden hull had been damaged. He spent the next three days pumping out the boat, trying to keep it afloat. He was close to abandoning Tumbleweed, and taking to his dinghy, when the Coast Guard found him. They towed the boat down to St. Thomas. Fritz still has Tumbleweed. He’s had it hauled, and done lots of work on it, but it still leaks so much, it frequently needs pumping to stay afloat.
People at the dinner asked when we were leaving for Antigua. I said, six a.m., unless we’re too hung over to go! I was up at six the next morning, but it was raining, and there wasn’t any wind, so I just crawled back into bed. We did leave at 7:30 a.m., and Jerry on Travel, Fritz on Tumbleweed, and Roger from Born Free, were all on deck to wave us off.