Saturday, December 20, 2014

Winter Solstice

Lameshur Bay, St. John with Aspen resting in the beautiful setting.

On our way to St. Thomas a nice motor vessel named Blue Guitar with Eric Clapton onboard slowly passed Aspen.  Eric returned our waves but didn't invite us over for Happy Hour!

Dinner at the Greenhouse at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas before the parade of lights along the waterfront.
 Captain Steve sailing in calm water once again in the British Virgin Islands.

The Taino petroglyphs on St. John

The small pool of water at the base of the waterfall near the petroglyphs.  This is a really enchanting place that I love to run to every morning when we are nearby.

A nice luminescent bird on St. John.  I have no idea what it is called.  Now if it were a rock I might be able to name it!

The abandoned Copper Mine on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Dawn from the catamaran Cat Tales (from Canada) and Maria enjoying the warm Caribbean weather!

The St. Thomas, USVI parade of lights.

 The waterfront at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI was alive with activity this fun night!

S/Y Aspen – December 21, 2014 – Log #123
Aspen Position: 18 degrees 29’ N  064 degrees 04’ W
St. John, US Virgin Islands

The Winter Solstice.  Maria and I are sitting at the base of an ancient waterfall staring intently at Taino petroglyphs on St. John, USVI.  The Solstice:  a time to watch the sun creep slowly northward again and the promise of longer days during the coming months.

The long dark days of winter in the Northern Hemisphere seem lost to us floating on Aspen in the brilliant blue Caribbean Sea, so far away from home.

Instead we are sunburned and haven't seen a snowflake fall from the eternal blue sky, at least not lately.  Ah, Christmas in the Caribbean, it doesn't get much better than this?

Well, it does get better because Zach, Heidi, Nik and Timothy are flying down to stay with us for the big holiday.  Nik and Tim will enjoy swimming before breakfast and late into the evening hours, as long as they don't recognize a few curious barracuda swimming under Aspen's keel.  Hmmm, I want to see that.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our friends.

This is something I wrote at Christmas during our long voyage, only a few short years ago.  It is one of my favorite Christmas songs:

A Sailor’s Christmas

Sail on the horizon got a landfall rendezvous
The captain steers a well-known course he steers her straight and true
As he trims the sheets and sings the songs he learned on boats and bars
These sailors spend their Christmas in the harbor ‘neath the stars

They’ve traveled through the doldrums, shallow seas and hurricanes
They’ve logged many thousand soggy miles with water on their brains
But Christmas ‘tis the season better suited for dry land
They’ll tell some lies, meet some spies and dance barefoot in the sand

These sailors spend their Christmas in the harbor on the hook
Phuket is hot and muggy so no work today,
Let’s shelve the old logbook

The mast and shrouds are filled with lights
‘Neath the waning of the moon
There is an air of celebration within the realm of King Neptune

Christmas is a time that’s filled with music, rum and cheer
The waterfront is reveling - the season has begun
These sailors spend their Christmas in a harbor having fun!

The continents keep drifting but the children sing and play
‘Cause nothing really matters, after all it’s Christmas Day

(with apologies to Jimmy…)

Sail on, sail on Aspen…