Our Impromptu

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Nov. 27-Dec. 1: St. Thomas - Still

November 27 The Queen Mary 2 is already at her dock - unfortunately covered up by the Noordam which also arrived this morning. While we sat at breakfast, Peter called. They still needed to go through the immigration process (into the US), then have breakfast. We were to meet around 1100, but I also indicated that they could call us if they were through the process before that.

Juergen and I went to download OCENS Inc.'s email and weather forecasting system as Ditmar had told us of its advantages and the ease of use - with our Iridium phone - and very highspeed email downloads. It sounded wonderful. I went as far as I could - without the Iridium present (it would not work in the business center of the marina anyway) while Juergen waited for Budget to pick him up - we finally had managed to reserve a car (also through the business center - we should have done this days ago). When he was still waiting an hour later, the lady from the business center drove him there and ensured that they truly had a car for us - a Focus - small but sufficient for the for of us for the one day. I had barely gotten back to the boat when the phone rang (around 1000) that Peter and Karin were done and we could meet any time. I left a note for Juergen and went to the cruiseship dock where our SS3 had docked for us to pick up Impromptu. The Queen Mary 2 was docked exactly at that same dock. Peter and Karin were already standing there, ready for the day.

Juergen already met us half-way. We went to the boat, had a glass of wine to welcome them and then left to drive around the island - check out our Gallery for the pictures of that day. We finally saw how beautiful the island actually was. To date, nothing seemed to impress us enough - our marina is near a containership dock. Thus there is a lot of noise all day long, and a lot of soot on the boat everywhere - not fun. Someone had recommended a nice place for lunch, in a tiny bay right near Red Hook. The food was very good, the portions not too large, and the view wonderful. From there, we went to stop at a bunch of overlooks - unfortunately always crammed by buses lugging around all the cruiseship passengers. Thank God we were more agile with our small car and could get in andout of places a lot faster than they did. Of course, we took a bunch of photos and went back to the boat in pouring rain around 1500. By 1600, Peter and Karin had to be back on their ship as it was scheduled to depart around 1700. We stood and waved for a while, took the car back to budget, went back to the boat - Juergen tried to dry the deck while I went back to the cruisehip dock to wave them good-bye. It was a beautiful sight to see the QM2 glide away from the dock and turn in silence until she could steam out of the harbor. At some point, Karin and Peter spied me standing at the dock gate and waved good-bye again - see the pictures.

November 29 We are anchored in the same small bay that Romany Life went to anchor in a few days ago. Dietmar had taken his dinghy to us in the marina, helping us with our water maker (there were some issues initially, but he straightened everything out). He also showed me how to use the email and weather system - but we could not quite get there. Now, after calling OCENS yesterday, we know the issue (we hope) and are waiting for the compatible cable connection (to arrive on Monday next week). He then came with us to the anchorage, recommended a very nice spot and went back to his boat. He needed to pick up his friend who was supposed to sail with him for the next two weeks or so before he meets up with Mary-Lou again, this time, in St. Martin/SanMaarten. We agreed to have lunch on our boat before he would head back to the Crown Bay Marina. He also invited us to come to his boat so he could show me his boat (I had so far not been on it) and his Espresso machine which impressed Juergen greatly. When the subject of this machine came up, I took out our Espresso pot which we had purchased in Germany last summer but never used and made Espresso. It is quite good but does not have the foam that is typical for espresso made in the proper machine.

So, last night, we spent about two hours with Dietmar and his friend Jim - a delivery captain, did transatlantic single-handedly on his 36 foot boat a few years back, and is a designer of submarines etc. - So, the two seem to understand each other well, both being engineers and sailors.

This morning, they left around 0800 for - as it seemed Puerto Rico. They had not been sure whether they wanted to go to Puerto Rico before heading to Antigua and from there to St. Martin. We waved good-bye. We actually might see Dietmar and Mary Lou again in Martinique later on in January, but that is not totally clear yet. We definitely agreed to stay in touch - by email via impromptu@ocens.net, our new boat email address.

The cable issue unfortunately forces us to remain here until Monday or Tuesday, but it is a small price to pay. The bay is gorgeous, the swell not too bad, the water clear and not too deep. We are anchoring in about 11 feet of water - that is VERY shallow for the Caribbean...

Well, we just had dinner, and the boat is rolling so badly that a bottle that was standing in the galley fell down - nothing happened except it made a lot of noise. I just fixed a few things on the website - have still not uploaded the photos I took tonight - but there were just a few, so no sweat. The Dockwise ship that had been at anchor since yesterday finally left to go back to its dock. We are wondering what kind of boats they will be loading to go where. Maybe, we will find out tomorrow as we are thinking of going into town, or at least to the Crown Bay Marina.