As the change of seasons start to take hold for the folks up north, Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer have little meaning for us. Since we are retired, the first Monday in September is not much different than the first Monday of any month. In fact, any Monday has little significance other than the start of another week. Since the weather really doesn’t change, seasons have little impact. Although this is not strictly true as the “hurricane” season, now at its height, does affect our movements. However, the pandemic has had more influence on us then the weather.

We continue to lead a quiet life here in St. Lucia. At times it feels like we are sitting in the bleacher seats of life, watching the game of life being played on a world-wide field. It’s been a year with little boat movement, the barnacles on the bottom can attest to that. During the year we did fly back to the States twice, saw family, grandkids and friends and have spent half a year in Antigua but we do miss the island hopping. The issue of our refrigeration still has not been completed as we are awaiting the new compressor. It has arrived in St. Lucia and is awaiting custom clearance. In the meantime, it has kept us at the dock although we did go out to anchor overnight to scrape the barnacles off the hull. We would have stayed out longer but the other issue was our Magic Box.

At Anchor in Rodney Bay
Local Net Fishermen

Our Magic Box, which I understand, is not unique to our boat, is a magician’s dream gimmick. Anything that ends up in this invisible box disappears forever. Or until it shows up quite unexpectedly years later. Most times I think it is not so much of a box but a gateway to another dimension. It’s a worm hole to another universe. In that case, there must be a universe that is populated by all the stuff that falls into this magic-wormhole-box and pops out in a landscape full of missing nuts, bolts, tools, single orphaned sox, sunglasses, keys and all the lost missing treasures of the universe.

Our Invisible Magic Box

In our case it was one of our cell phones, the phone we used for data only which provided fast hot spot connectivity. It was our wormhole to the internet universe with good data speed. Yes, we are not cut off entirely. The marina has relatively good Wifi and our other cellphone has data capability at limited speed. But, boy do you get hooked on good data speed for zoom and video calls!

But our Galaxy 8 fell into the Magic Box a few nights ago. While watching Netflix the marina’s power went out (not that unusual). This disrupted their Wifi and for a few minutes and I am pretty sure I tried to use the Galaxy 8 to reconnect with Netflix. I didn’t need to complete the connection, as the power came back on and all was well. The next day we moved the boat out to anchor. From there, we would use the Galaxy 8 to stay “connected” but after anchoring we couldn’t find the Galaxy 8.

The boat is not that big and so searching doesn’t take too long. It had to be inside the boat as it was never taken off the boat. The last time I definitely had the phone was the day before, ashore having breakfast (but never took it out of my pocket), and pretty certain it was on the boat after that and on board when the power went out.

We looked everywhere multiple times. We did go back to where we had breakfast and asked around but no luck. I even did a dumpster dive to pull out our bag of garbage that the marina picked up that day – no cellphone in the garbage.

My theory is that during the brief power outage the night we were watching Netflix, a power serge opened the Magic Box and the Galaxy 8 fell into it and was transported to another universe. It left no trace and no, we didn’t have “find me” app for it. My bad. But I don’t think it works in the Magic Box. We ended up getting a MiFi unit from Digicel for $60 which includes 50 Gig of data for 30 days so we are “back up to speed”.

As mentioned above the virus is still around and vaccines are here, although half the locals have the same vaccine hesitancy as everywhere. Curfews and restrictions come and go depending on the level of spread which seems like a never-ending cycle. News of new variants, like the mu variant, sounds like the start of another cycle.

Our bleacher seats have a good view of the field and the game is interesting. Some of the players are really talented while others seem to stumble at every play. Clowns dominate the spectacle, as players in left and right field never coordinate their moves. The interesting thing is that it is hard to discern the rules of the game but I suspect that most players are playing different games. Teams are outfitted with different equipment and strive for different goals while referees seem to leave the field but never stop commenting on the action. Don Mclean sung about players trying for a forward pass when the marching band refused to leave the field, must have had a vision of this.

Cruiser friend Jim on KOKOMO taking a “sight”

Cruiser friend Tim, recently arrived from his around the world sail, broke out his sextant and it was interesting to reacquaint myself to the lost art of celestial navigation. Tim and our other friend Jim took some “noon” sights out in the bay.

Jim and Tim

His cruising companion Ashley from South Africa, waiting for a visa to enter the U.S., and another round the world cruiser and his Thailand companion also waiting for a visa, an Australian ex-pat marooned here, an American couple waiting to sell their trawler and return to the U.S. are some of the others sitting on the bleaches with us. It usually makes for interesting conversations.

Ladies Thursday Lunch

We will disperse in a few months as the fall ushers in a new crop of cruisers from the north. We will find ourselves among different cruisers and hopefully be more mobile while the games continue.    

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