21. Intermission

Happy Thanksgiving y’all and greetings from the chilly eastern seaboard!  Earlier this month, we marked our one-year cruising anniversary with a flight home.  We’ve had a lovey time over the past three weeks, catching up with family and friends, experiencing the novelty of shoes and long pants, and reminding ourselves how pretty a northeast autumn can be.

Our last day of work in St. Thomas fell on a Friday.  The firm often caps the week with an afternoon happy hour (often coupled with an office cleaning party).  In addition to our departure, it was also a co-worker’s birthday, so this one was more festive than most.

  The gang's all here.

The gang's all here.

  Happy birthday Everette!

Happy birthday Everette!

  Our boss, Tracy.  Thanks boss!

Our boss, Tracy.  Thanks boss!

  Deb poses for a cheesecake photo.

Deb poses for a cheesecake photo.

  Office dog Naomi.  Good girl!

Office dog Naomi.  Good girl!

I point all this out as an excuse to thank the excellent folks of Springline Architects for the opportunity, hospitality, and the trust they put in two strangers looking to rebuild their cruising kitty.  Our friendly coworkers made us feel quite at home and we learned a great deal.  We will always be grateful.

Next thing we knew, Deb, Pete, and cat Lucy were airbone, headed north and wondering exactly why were ever leaving St. Thomas.

On election day, shortly after settling in at Deb’s folks’ place, we caught the early commuter train into Manhattan.  After casting our ballots, we wandered around our beloved Lower East Side (currently in the midst of a building boom); checked out the new downtown transit hub (an extravagant but undeniably stunning subway station/secular cathedral/shopping mall); strolled down the High Line; and generally reconnected with our city.

  Playin' tourist at the World Trade Center Transit Hub.

Playin' tourist at the World Trade Center Transit Hub.

Over the following weekend, we caught up with friends of all stripes at gatherings in both NYC and Jersey City, NJ.  Boat people, musicians, co-workers, church folks, college classmates, and unclassifiable-forever-friends came out to catch up.  After just a couple minutes and beers, it all settled into a comfortably familiar scene, with conversations seemingly picking up just where we left off a year ago.  Undoubtedly, we have social media to thank for maintaining contact during our vagabond year, but I like to think we’re just really lucky in friends.

  The gang's all here too!

The gang's all here too!

After a relaxing spell with Deb’s folks, we sped a rental car down the NJ Turnpike to Alexandria, VA, to visit Pete’s parents as well as great friends (and serial visitors to S/V Delancey) Yvonne and Onat, who just relocated to the area.

Upon arrival, the unseasonably mild temperatures dropped to something more unpleasantly seasonable.  After a year away, we’d acclimated ourselves to the tropics and anything below 85F had become sweater-weather (although my dad was still taking the dog for walks in shorts and a t-shirt).  We took this as an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with a book and a scotch.  Palm trees and crystal waters have their charms, but there are many paths to happiness.

Although we’ve been up north, things were still buzzing aboard S/V Delancey.  While away, we arranged for her haulout and a new coat of bottom paint.  After sitting stationary in a Caribbean mangrove swamp all summer, she’d grown quite a forest on her nether regions.  The boat yard actually charged us a premium for cleaning the “extra dirty bottom”.

  Before...

Before...

  ...and after!

...and after!

As I write this, Delancey is back in her slip with a new, glowing, survey report, professionally-tuned rig, and a clean bottom.  We’ll get back to her in a few days to fill up every nook and cranny with provisions, load up on engine fluids and spares, test long-dormant systems, and get on the move again.

  Under-berth storage.  You'll notice that it's mostly cat food, wine, and rum.

Under-berth storage.  You'll notice that it's mostly cat food, wine, and rum.

  Oh, and cat litter; lots and lots of cat litter.

Oh, and cat litter; lots and lots of cat litter.

We are very, very thankful.