We've put on a few miles since Steve last blogged about his elbow. (It's healing well, still very sore if hit in just the right spot, but he's taking it easy and it should continue to improve. Thanks to all of you for your concern and good wishes.) 
We ended up doing a 'Humanitarian Run' from Martinique back to Rodney Bay in St Lucia. Our friends, Anne and Chris on Mr Mac, were there and were out of wine!  There they were, slaving away writing, editing, together, on a boat and no wine for Anne at the end of the day. It was an emergency of the highest priority because as Chris pointed out, "The Red Cross won't deliver alcohol". We did what any cruiser worth his rum would do: bought 2 cases of white, checked out of Customs and headed south.  Steve caught a beautiful Mahi on the way, which Chris cleaned for us after our arrival, so we had fresh Mahi to go with some of that wine. It was great to catch up with Anne and Chris and be able to celebrate the book contract that Chris had just signed.  As usual, we had lots of Anne's wonderful cooking (lamb roti's anyone?) , and the kind of good conversation you can have with old friends over an evening of great food and drink.
We're currently on a mooring in Isles des Saintes, a group of islands on the south end of Guadeloupe. Les Saints, as they're called, are picture perfect islands.  Beautiful beaches, old forts to hike to and explore, deep blue water, and of course, great bread.

The Observation Tower.

Steve on the not really great ladder to the top.

Iles Des Saintes from the Observation Tower.

 I could tell I'd eaten too many baguettes in the last 2 months when we hiked to the Observation Tower the other day.  It's 1000 feet up.  I'm a North Dakota girl, so when the guide says there is a road most of the way up, I never think it'll be too steep.  I forget that they don't worry about snow and ice here and as so long as the concrete sets before it slumps down the hill, they can make a road anywhere.  Nothing like a 45 degree walk uphill for a couple of miles.  The view was worth the effort when I finally gasped my way to the top of the rusty ladder in the tower. There was a spectacular 360 degree view, from Dominica in the south, to Guadeloupe in the north.  The tower was originally used by the French to keep watch for the sneaky British navy back in the 1600's, and


Injury Log, #XXXX?

20 Jan, evening dinner, felt an "itch" in my left elbow, no big deal. Middle of the night it felt like it was swelling and started to be painful.   Next day suspected mild bursitis, wrapped it loosely, started Ibuprofen, took it easy, that night a fever of 102. Improved quickly but only to a point.

Now a month and some later…still slightly swollen, much less than before but it is just not getting better. Pain now very sharp and along the underside of the elbow with any pressing motion involving extension of the triceps. So been thinking about arthritis, infection, gout, reading everything, even asking the opinion of a great friend in the medical profession.

Got in here in St Lucia to see a doc, exam, blood tests, everything fine except the pain, no extra uric acid or platelets, none of the indicators for the most likely or expected maladies. Today another path, x-ray. Bull’s-eye, yes it is broken, not the usual break, but a nice divot off the back corner.  Here’s the picture, a close look and you can just see the outline of the chip sitting away from the bone. …now if I can only figure out how the hell I did that?


You've Got Mail!

Rodney Bay, St Lucia

One of the things about being 'homeless' is the lack of a mailbox.  (Well, that and the paperboy can't find us anymore.)  We get asked all the time about how we get our mail.  I thought I'd 'splain. Before we left Florida we set up an account with a company called St Brendan's Isle.  They're a mail forwarding service, which means that after we signed a bunch of paperwork, their address became our legal residence and all our mail goes there.  We don't have a physical residence anywhere, so it solves the problem of where we vote and pay taxes, or don't pay, as is the case in Florida.  They scan the front of every piece of mail and we have an account we can log into and see what's there.  Once we see it, we can have them hold it, shred it, forward it to us unopened or open it and scan the contents.  We have the held mail sent to us every couple of months when we plan to be somewhere long enough for it to catch up. So, to all those who sent us Christmas cards, I can't wait to see them next month! Anything that looks important we have scanned and then we can store it on our harddrive and have SBI shred the original.  We also gave SBI a limited power of attorney to open the mail from the US Coast Guard.  Our boat is documented with them and the documentation has to be renewed yearly.  The documentation is free if we do it on time but fairly pricy to renew if it lapses.  There must have been enough cruisers not getting their documentation in on time that it's profitable for SBI to do it for us, as they do charge an extra fee. FYI, the documentation is like a car title or proof of ownership and we must have it to check into Customs and Immigration in every country.

Since SBI handles mail for hundreds of cruisers, we run into our 'neighbors' from Green Cove Springs all the time.


Pictures from a Rainy Day

We usually start the day with fresh bread and/or fruit. These grapefruit were so sweet and juicy, they didn't need sugar. Generally, I share half with Steve, not today.

 We always buy new kinds of coffee and spend lots of time sampling and rating them. Great fun in the French islands, as we're never really sure what we've bought.  French-English dictionaries are limited on food terms for some reason.
 Today's project: screw the floorboards to the hull.  The boards have always been loose on Celebration and that's only a problem if the boat were to go all the way over. Since I just finished reading a book called "Rescue in the Pacific" about a Force 12 storm that caught dozens of boats unaware in the south pacific, I've been looking around our humble home and seeing too many things that could be problems.  Lots of damage and most of the injuries for those involved came from the projectiles launched from cupboards, lockers, freezers, etc. as the boats were tosses from side to side.  This is a project we've been going to do for quite a while, but I moved it up on the list and Steve was nice enough to humor me.
Installing these bolts involved moving the carpets, which meant that they should be taken out and beat while they were up, re-inventorying the stuff under the floorboards, cleaning the shower sump while we had access, cleaning all the parts of the hull we could reach and checking everything else we could see.  It was a tear up the boat day.

  The chocolate had to be sorted and properly stacked.

                                              Adjima was her usual helpful self.

We ended the day sampling some of our newly spiced rum over ice and watching the sunset behind some beautiful clouds.