We’ve been home for about 3 weeks now and spent a lot of the time getting Skip ready for his ocean journey.  He’s crewing on Mike and Angie’s boat for their trip back to England.  I took him to meet the boat in Solomon’s Island last Thursday and they’re now in Hampton VA.  They’re leaving Hampton on Friday May 6th for the first leg to Bermuda.  After that, they’ll travel to the Azores and then to England.  We don’t know how long the trip will take but it’s likely that they’ll arrive in England sometime in mid-June.  I’m going to fly over and stay with our friends Ed and Tina in London until he arrives. 

Lady of Lorien crew
Captain Mike, Admiral Angie, Skip and Tod in Solomon’s Island

Bailey and I are on our own for a while.  We’re keeping busy doing stuff around the house.  I’m enjoying seeing Spring flowers bloom for the first time in 2 years.  I also joined the Y down the street and love getting back into yoga and pilates classes.  I plan to continue making sea glass jewelry and will start quilting again.  I’m also looking forward to seeing all my friends!

Today I baked my first fruitcake.  Angie wanted fruitcake for their ocean trip because it keeps for a long time and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  I can see why–there’s tons of alcohol in it!  I used a recipe that I read about in the book “Spice Necklace” by Ann Vanderhoff.  It’s a Trinidadian Black Cake–their version of Christmas cake.  I soaked dried fruit in apple brandy for 3 days and also poured dark rum over the finished cake.  It’s yummy!

I’m heading down to Hampton the end of the week to see them off.  You can keep tabs on their progress by checking the ARC Europe website: http://www.worldcruising.com/arceurope/dailylogs.aspx  The boat’s name is Lady of Lorien.

As a strange note to the end of our winter cruise, I found out from a string of emails that Melanie (the woman who cruised with our friend Joe for 2 months) was found stealing money from the folks that took her in after she and Joe parted.  What a strange and sordid story.  It turns out that she also stole money from the guy she was originally with and from Joe.  After the injured parties went to the Bahamian police, Melanie was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property and drugs.  She pleaded guilty, was fined and deported back to the US.   It’s sad because we all treated her as a friend and the cruising community was always there to help her while she was busy manipulating people for her own benefit.  Anyway, I’ve never met a real-life scoundrel and I’m glad that the majority of people we meet while cruising are nice, honest, well-meaning people! I didn’t really want to write anything about her but thought I should warn current and potential cruisers that not everyone you meet is who they appear to be. I guess I should have learned that already in life!