Update from Sharon and Richard on Lucky, January 18, 2014

The last update was the December note suggesting that you go to the website www.mydetour.com to read about the German trip. The pictures made it too hard and too slow to send.

Last year, I sent a note about the problems that my sister Vonny and her husband Ray were having collecting insurance from Commandeur for a lightning strike on their boat, and how they had been given many excuses and been subjected to cuts in the reimbursement. Finally, after a year of waiting, they received a pared-down settlement.

The summer was busy. I did a little addition to the back of the house that turned into a large renovation, in terms of cost. Richard was a wonderful help. I am happy with the results and will live there until I die, but I may be paying for it well into my dotage.

In August my eighty-nine year-old mother died and niece Dana married Dave, celebrating with a big party in her parents’ back yard in Bothwell. Another grand-nephew, Henry was born and two more are now on the way which will bring my total grand-niece/nephew count twenty-three.

Fast forward to Christmas. After several family celebrations, on Christmas afternoon I drove to Richard’s and celebrated with his family. There had been a very serious ice storm and trees and branches were down throughout that area. The Villmanns had lost power twice and power had been out in parts of Toronto for a week. We had to wait two days for a part for the VW camper to arrive and headed south on the Saturday after Christmas, just as the hydro had gone off once again. After driving south with the masses of heat-seeking Canadians and celebrating  New Year’s Eve with our friends in Indiantown, they took us to the north end of the Tri-Rail. At the south end, we got off and took the shuttle to the Miami Airport for our non-stop trip to George Town, Bahamas.

There, friends Lynda and Jim were waiting at Marshall’s Hotel for us. Richard opened a window with a steel frame. It fell and crashed on his finger, and only stopped when it hit bone. A problem when we thought of the work we would have to do.

We strolled over to the Peace and Plenty for supper and it was Thursday night and Rake and Scrape. We ate, enjoyed the Bahamian music and danced. It was nice to be back.

The next day Jim drove us out to see our boat at the Masters’ Harbour Boatyard in their rental car. Jim and Lynda had already warned us of what we would find, but it was still a shock.  On our boat, the decks were pristine, not at all like we always found them in Indiantown, covered with green mold and black soot from burning cane fields. But when we took the boards out of the companionway the view below decks made me want to cry. Rat poop covered the carpet, bits of candle wax and matches mixed with rat poop were scattered across the table. All of the countertops had served for both dining, defecating and urinating. Most of the cupboards contained poop, dried-up little yellow puddles, and the remains of food and the plastic granules that had been gnawed out of tops of containers. Even Richard’s Tums were scattered across the V-berth (fortunately covered with plastic). The Tums had been enjoyed as though they were lollipops, with holes licked all the way through.

We arranged for another night at Marshall’s, then rolled up our sleeves and got to work. It is hard to believe, but in two days we were sleeping in the vee-berth and on January fourth Lucky was lowered into the water, clean, fresh and habitable. Morning Star, Lynda and Jim’s boat, followed the next day. We spent a few days in Red Shanks, resting, enjoying the perfect little empty beach there, and attending to things that needed fixing. It was sunny and 85 degrees all that time.

Then we moved to Kidd Cove, near town and continued stocking up. The outboard prop died and a new one was promptly shipped in by mail boat. Richard replaced it on the dinghy dock while I shopped for a cell phone and data connections, an ongoing problem that isn’t resolved yet. Over on Monument Beach, Lynda and I have participated in wonderful yoga classes. The four of us have had long walks on Stocking Island – up to the monument, through the bush and along the ocean. George Town is a wonderful place and the people, both cruisers and locals, are kind and friendly. The weather, despite rain and fronts, is way better than what we left behind. There are one or two shadows on the horizon, but we hope for a happy and uneventful winter here.

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