Day 176, Year 6 Only 6,960 Minutes . . .
Date: Monday, April 18, 2011
Weather: Yet Another Gorgeous Day
Location: Marigot Bay, St. Martin

In only five days minus four hours or 6,960 minutes we will get to see our children and grandchildren after a very long year and a half of absence. Mark and I are both so excited. Justin, Jo, and Ziggy actually arrive in San Juan tomorrow and will spend a few days together as a family before we all converge. Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah arrive in Puerto Rico on Friday night and then we will all meet in Vieques late Saturday afternoon. Mark and I leave here early in the morning and will arrive in Vieques on Wednesday. That will give us time to figure out transportation on the island and to do the fresh food shopping for next week. We did all of the other shopping here today. When I wrote to the kids earlier today I told them that Windbird is going to sit higher in the water after we offload all of the food for next week. It is difficult for us to shop here as everything is written in French and neither of us speaks or understands the language. But we have picked up enough to be able to read through the ingredients on a package and kind of figure out what is inside. Jo can’t have anything with wheat or cow’s milk in it, and we were so excited to find goat cheeses and soy milk. We were looking for rice milk, but that doesn’t seem to exist here. Maybe in Vieques.

We really enjoyed our day of shopping. Both of us love exploring in the dinghy, so it was fun to take off early this morning and head into Simpson Bay. We did our grocery shopping at the supermarche just inside the canal and then went all the way to Island Water World and Budget Marine on the far side of Simpson Bay. Mark was careful not to bang into waves at a fast speed in order to keep my back happy. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and we just enjoyed the ride. Unfortunately, neither chandlery had good charts of Puerto Rico and the Spanish Virgins. We have one cruising guide and it does have charts with soundings done by the author and we have our electronic charts for Vieques but they are really not very detailed. But we’ll just have to go with what we have. After we returned to Windbird, we put the food we bought away, had lunch, and then took the dinghy into the marina and walked to the supermarche on the outskirts of Marigot. Match, the supermarche, is in a strip mall and we found a toy store where we were able to buy some small items to put in plastic eggs for our Easter Sunday beach egg hunt. We then went to the supermarche where we hoped to find some of the items that we didn’t find in our earlier shopping spree. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. So we will continue our search in Vieques. On the way back to the marina, we stopped at a couple of pharmacies to try and buy more of the antibiotic that Mark is taking for his prostate infection. Every place we stopped said they couldn’t sell us the antibiotic without a prescription. But on Saturday when we were in town with Steve and Jeanie, Mark had stopped in a pharmacy that would gladly sell him the Cipro at quite an inflated price. We wound our way through town and back to this pharmacy, and sure enough, they would sell us the drug with no prescription. We could only afford enough for the next couple of weeks, but the plan is to go to see a doctor in Vieques to get a professional opinion and prescriptions for whatever drug is needed. And by the way, my back is doing great. Whatever Dr. Joseph did has worked. I have to be careful, but so far, so good. What a blessing.

Yesterday when we were in the internet café we downloaded the Lonely Planet for Vieques and Culebra. We have started reading that tonight and together with the 2010 cruising guide we bought, we are beginning to get a picture of what it will be like. It looks like we will have to take a mooring on the south side of the island and leave Windbird there while we stay on the north side of the island. The distance between the two is only six miles, so we will either rent a car or rent bicycles and travel back and forth to check on Windbird.

Hope you are enjoying the full moon tonight as much as we are. It is beautiful.