Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I got my Sea Legs!

Today we are taking the boat to Martha Cove, but Mick and Arthur got stuck in traffic so they called and suggested that Selina and I take the Sea Legs for a spin! I was surprised, coming from a boat where the capt. hovered over us like we were incapable of doing anything on our own, to this situation where Mick has complete faith in me that I am perfectly competent around boats. Just the fact that he was confident in me made me confident in myself. I drove the Sea Legs out of the marina and around the point to check out the beach. Now, I may be spoiled but this beach was not what I would call a "beach". More like the kind of beach you have at the lake, water is all green and murky. So we headed back this way. It's still a bit chilly here, it would be really warm if the wind wasn't blowing. The wind is freezing! I brought the boat back in to the dock perfectly and Selina was a great deck hand, tying off our dock lines when we eased into the slip. Now we wait. Hopefully the guys will get here soon so we can head out!

Oh the joy of karaoke!

Tonight was a great night! I met Sarah and James at the pub, we played billiards with small yellow and red balls and drank some cocktails and then I sang a little karaoke then they walked me home! What a polite group! It was so nice to spend some time with normal fun people. Tonight was the first night I actually went out and met people. It has been raining since I got here so I have been a bit of a hermit. Sarah even invited me on her and Louise's road trip down the coast this week. I will meet up with them if I have a night off. They will be camping by the beach and having a great time, I hope I can make it down one night at least. It would do me good. If James can get time off hopefully he will come too so I don't have to drive alone!!! I am in such a freakin good mood I just don't understand it! I better go to sleep now before I get homesick or lovesick or just sick in general. I hope you all had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year! I will be here, or up the Yarra, or in Tazmania...

p.s. I spent most of the day watching cricket... so confused.

Love you!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas...

I have to say, this has been a very merry christmas down under! Today Mick, Selina and I went over to Mick's son Paul's house, where Paul's wife Dide and his Mom Jill cooked us an amazing feast of Turkey and ham and salad and potatoes while Arthur and Paul played with the pork roast on the grill. Dide and Paul's daughters April and Jemma were a hoot! I spent most of my time drinking wine and helping them put their christmas presents together. It was so nice to have someone think of me, I had a present under the tree with my name on it and even a place card at the table. I have truly been blessed this year with an amazing group of new friends and I am so thankful. Tomorrow we are going to put the sea legs tender in the water for a test drive. That should be fun! I can't wait to drive her around. I'd better get to bed, dawn comes early on a boat right Capt. Ron???

Happens every morning just about sun up...

Merry Christmas Mates!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

It is officially Christmas in Australia! I wouldn't have known it if Arthur had not called earlier today to remind me to buy stuff for the Christmas party on the boat. I kept saying things like "I don't understand" and "I'm confused" and "What day is it? What are we doing?" whereas his reply was "It can be anything you want it to be Jolea, no worries mate!" which didn't help me figure out what day it was. Finally I realized it was Christmas Eve. It doesn't feel like Christmas, although it is freakin freezing... It stopped raining today for the first time in a week. Thats good news. So I spent all day decorating and setting up for the party tomorrow. It really made me happy, and I finally felt festive! I am usually the one who puts up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving and makes everyone watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation every single day till Christmas, but this year I have been all out of whack because I have been living in the Virgin Islands and the weather was so warm and then I came here and I lost a day somewhere which has really thrown me off. I think what really threw me was my birthday. I didn't have a party, and I don't know anyone except Mick and Selina, and even when Selina and I went out it was strange because we don't really know each other. I just fell out of it. I am really looking forward to the party tomorrow because I really worked hard setting it up. I have tons to do in the morning so I should get to bed. I was slicing carrots a second ago and dropped the knife, thats the picture at the top of this blog. That would have hurt...

Merry Christmas/Festivus/Chanukah/etc.

Oh and I didn't get to watch the Grinch either. Boo.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I turned 25 in Melbourne!

Time for an update! I had a good birthday, Mick and Selina took me out to dinner at the Atomic Bar, where I had that great steak I wrote about previously. After that Mick dropped me and Selena off at the Crown Casino downtown, where I won 50 bucks playing craps! Selina then suggested we go down to Chapel St. to a bar called Lotus. It was an alright bar, not my favorite though, so we went down the street to the Q Bar which played dance music and was full of trendy people with trendy haircuts and we had a good time dancing and somehow ended up in V.I.P. Go figure. I think I may go to the salon today and get a trendy haircut... just kidding.

I bought myself a birthday present! A new guitar! I bought it from Tommy down at the Guitar shop across the street from my boat. Tommy invited me to hear his band play at the Rose Hotel which is around the corner from me on Ferguson St. They play blues and they have a girl named Pym as their leading lady, she rocks. I had such a good time with the band and their friends, they invited me to the jam session they hold on sundays. Not this sunday though, because of the holidays. I am going over to the shop in a little while for a guitar lesson, if it stops raining. I haven't seen the sun in days. Whats with this weather?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Deckhand/Food Critic!

So, I have decided to review and rate all the places I stop to dine throughout my travels in Australia...

Tonight Mick, Selena and I ate at a place called the Atomic Bar and let me just take a moment to tell you, It was amazing. A perfect 10 on the Jolea Scale. Atmosphere is casual outside with tables on the sidewalk and a few umbrellas, inside seemed a little more upscale, with soft lighting and chic music. We ordered our food, I ordered the garlic pizza with chicken and Mick and Selena both ordered the fillet. Mick ordered his medium rare and Selena ordered hers well done, the waitress then explained that they cook their own at the table to which Mick replied, "can't you just cook it?" the waitress offered words of encouragement, "you'll never look back". So we waited. A few minutes later the waitress arrived with 2 large plates, atop a large stone sat a completely RAW fillet, surrounded with salad and new potatoes to the side. The stone was searing hot and the steak actually cooked in front of you! Basically you could cut the steak up and make it cook fast and well or you could sear the sides and have a rare steak! The steak was like butter. You could actually cut it with a fork. I did. I had to help Selena eat hers, now I know better than to order pizza at the Atomic Bar. Mick was so impressed he called Arthur to tell him about it and said he will have this meal every time he comes to Williamstown and nothing else!

Atomic Bar - 10

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Krikey! I am tired...

Well, it only took me 32 hours to get here to Australia, and in the first 24 hours I was here I...

Met my boss Mick, his girlfriend Selena, and thier friends Herman and Arthur.
Dropped my gear off at the boat.
Went to sleep from 7pm till Midnight.
Woke up to eggs and bacon being cooked by Selena.
Headed to the little boat Gramac IV at 1am.
Met up with Arthur and Herman at the boat.
Learned how to bait hooks on a trawler.
Touched dead squid parts.
Baited hooks.
Learned how to set trawling lines.
Pulled up trawling lines.
Caught a stingray.
Touched a shark.
Ate flathead and red snapper for lunch at noon when we got home from fishing.
Drove on the left side of the road from the right side of the car.
Came to the Gramac V.
Went over to visit the Tall Ship Enterprise on the next pier where I was invited alont on the 4pm sail.
Went to the grocery store.
Signed up for a membership at a gym called "Peyote Body and Spirit" and classes, Fitball, Boxercise, and Pilates.
Studied my Gramac V operations manual. (Not a word Meg!)
Washed some clothes on baord.
Locked myself out of the boat.
Missed the Enterprise sail.
Fought with the emergency hatch for an hour before prying it open by hand.
Made a mental note to never step outside this fancy boat without my keys.
Had me a vegemite sandwich.
(I come from the land down under!)

I feel like a zombie, but I need to stay awake for a few more hours to get my clock on the same hour as the rest of the country.
Tomorrow I have to buy some shoes... all I have are flip flops, and it's chilly here!

I have to say, everyone I have met so far has been amazing! Thanks to Mick and the rest of my new Aussie friends for making me feel so welcome. Time to secure the boat and get my cabin made up, time for a well deserved sleep.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The last days of disco...

Well, we survived our last charter with only a few more injuries than the last. It's time to move on. Meg and I have been making the rounds here in Tortola saying goodbyes and such, and we were just talking about how much we miss our charter guests already! They were the best group of people I have ever spent a week stuck on a boat with! If you are reading this, Hello Bill, Lynne, Jim, Julie, Angie, Dick, Jeff, Marcia, Sheldon and Leslie! We miss you guys! Oh and we can't forget to say hello to Scooter, our official mascot. :) Today has consisted of waking up, Meg telling Dick she is leaving, doing tons of paperwork, catching up on emails, and cleaning up the crew quarters. We have tons of laundry to do this evening, and we have to pack our things. Tomorrow we will head over to St Thomas and get Meg settled in while I basically spend some time at the post office, mailing postcards and Christmas presents. Hopefully those of you I had time to buy for will like whats coming your way. Speaking of presents! Meg's birthday was last thursday while we were on charter, and our AWESOME guests called her up into the salon at dinner and sang happy birthday and then gave her a card and presents! It was so sweet! Meg really needed that happy moment, because she had the worst birthday ever! She got called a liar first thing in the morning, then fell in the water with her clothes on, then got her hand smashed in a hatch, which was then blamed on her... WTF???? So, needless to say, she needed a pick me up. A little later the guests called me into the salon, and totally surprised me when they started singing happy birthday to me and gave me a card and a beautiful sarong for my birthday which is on the 20th! I was so moved, I really had to hold back tears because these people really treated us like family and we have been missing home lately. It was nice to have them around, I wish they could have stayed longer! Jim and Julie did try to adopt us, so I am pretty sure the next time I am in Kalamazoo, I have a place to stay.

To the Lynne's 50th Birthday charter guests, thanks for teaching us about dog hair, puppy tape, hatch sitting, DSB (Jeff), Groundhogs, Administrative Law, bears and bicycles. We miss you and will never forget you. Till we meet again, Happy Trails.

"I wanna go home to the armadillos"

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Second charter, TEXAS CHARTER!

Today is the first day of our second charter on Wanderlust, and everyone is from Texas except 2 guests who are from Kalamazoo! It's already shaping up to be a fun time. One of the guys on board, Jeff, has a website about Scooter the World Traveling Groundhog! Check it in about a week or so for a picture of Me and Meg... Everyone is so nice, and it is really fun to have people around who are familiar with my home. We set sail about noon and did a spinnaker run over to Norman Island, had some dinner and now everyone is throughly saturated with rum punch and wine and are off to bed. Meg and I will clean up and do the same. Just thought I would drop a line!

P.S. Only 12 days till I move to Australia!

Time to make this last charter count!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our lovely vacation in St Thomas!

Ahhh... What a great week off. The girls and I really needed a break from work and all that implies. It has been so nice visiting all our old friends as well as making a few new ones. Today we will catch the last ferry out of town at 4pm and head back to the sleepy island of Tortola. The girls have their work visa papers in hand, and will be approved for a year long work visa and I will simply get another 2 week tourist visa. I am sad to leave the islands but I know in my heart I will come back one day. As for now, I am on the cusp of a new adventure, a new country, and a new job. I have a really good feeling about this one.

Oh! The girls and I had an amazing weekend! We joined a group of friends and went to Jost Van Dyke and the Full Moon Party at Bomba´s shack in Tortola on Saturday. Sunday we spent the day on St John which was beautiful. Check out the pics on the picture blog.

I am a little tired from our vacation here in STT, but its a good tired. Tired from fun times, tired from laughing, tired from walking all over the island, tired from taking in the views.

So goodbye to all our St Thomas friends, old and new, thanks for the memories, see you soon.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Well, the girls and I fled the island of Tortola and made a mad dash back to our favorite island, St. Thomas. We were welcomed back to the Villa Olga with open arms by Jill and Doug, the managers there. It is so nice to come back to a place where people are excited to see you and actually care about you. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner last night with Jill, Doug and all their friends who live on island. Of course there were a few transients like us, but mostly locals. We stuffed ourselves, then while things wound down, I waited on a phone call from my new boss in Australia. It was so nice to talk to him, and we decided that I should fly down as soon as possible...

Wait, what? You don´t know about my new job??? Ha ha ha, how could I forget to tell you about this? Well, I will be moving yet again to a far away place I have never been, to work for someone I have never met, in a country I have never been to, and I couldn't´t be more excited about it!!! I will be leaving here on December 13th to fly to Melbourne,Victoria, Australia. I am the new stewardess slash deckhand aboard the Gramac V, a 76 ft sport fishing yacht. I can´t wait to get on board and learn everything I can about the boat and definitely the fishing!

Anyway, more about that later, now I just have to focus on the rest of my vacation here in STT and finishing up one more charter on Wanderlust then I am off on the longest plane trip I have ever been on. I wonder what movie we will be watching...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Inventory, Paycheck, Bilge back-up, Lunch, Gelato, Put Diesel in a GAS tank, tell Captain, have a cocktail, dye hair, have a cocktail.

This is pretty much how my day went. With the first charter under our belts we started onthe after charter duties like, cleaning cabins (Rebecka) and doing inventory (me) and meg poked and prodded at a bilge that just wouldn't drain no matter how many times she gagged over the smell. Then we got our paychecks and decided at 2:30 it was time for lunch and we took the Wanderwagon into Road Town. We ate lunch at a nice place downtown after realizing that the bank closed at 3pm. Stopped by the post office to check on my contacts, which I was really hoping would be in today, and have recently been informed that the record for mail from the us is 14 months.... as in, someone sends a package and 14 months later the person in Tortola receives it. I am going to have to see an Optometrist here. The crew and I were planning on heading to St Thomas tomorrow morning but we have to deal with the siphoning of fuel and clearing a fuel system before we can go. Its a great learning experience I think. So, thanks to Libby who picked Meg and I up off the side of the road and drove us home this evening, thanks to Pete, BJ and Derek for supporting us when we told them about the gas incident, and thanks to Meg for being my partner in crime today.
Tomorrow we will be back in the USVI and hopefully I will speak to some of you on the phone! Love you and miss you all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back from Charter!

Well, we survived our first charter! The guests were amazing, we couldn't have asked for a better group of people! They were laid back, funny, and best of all, they loved to drink painkillers. They were all from Des Moines, Iowa, and we miss them already! We took them to Virgin Gorda to The Baths, over to the wreck of the RMS Rhone where they learned to SCUBA dive, and over to the other side of Salt Island to do another dive the next day. Everyone had a blast and the crew worked very hard to make sure of that. We came together as a team and really had a great charter. Other than losing a contact, getting a chunk of glass stuck in my foot for 3 days, smashing my middle fingernail off in a ladder, and getting rope burn on my forehead, I'd say things went well. The rest of the crew had their share of bumps and bruises as well. Meg has a few good bruises that we originally thought were dirt, when they didn't wash off in the shower we realized we both had more bruises than we thought possible. She also has an imprint of a dock cleat from Salt Island on her foot where she caught it while picking up guests from the shop on shore. Pete lost his dive knife and broke his toe, and Rebecka escaped mostly unharmed.

On a better note, I learned to drive the tender and and docked it perfectly at the marina and surprised everyone when I docked it along side Wanderlust as she was under power like I had done it a thousand times before. I was so proud of myself! But we were so busy we didn't have a chance to take any pictures.

We all had high points and low points but at the end of all this, we did a great job and everyone on board had a good time.

Wednesday the girls and I will catch the first ferry to St Thomas, and wash away the past month of stress. We are staying over at Villa Olga again and will spend Thanksgiving with our good friends Doug and Jill. We can't wait to see our buddies again and show Rebecka a proper American Thanksgiving! Cheers!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Shooting stars and swimming pools.

Tonight was a well deserved evening of relaxation. Meg met a group of people the other night at the marina restaurant who were in from St Thomas and tonight they invited us over for Jambalaya and swimming at their resort. We had a great time. We swam and listened to music and chatted about 80's rock, and the people we were with were amazed at my classic rock knowledge. What can I say, I'm a music connesueir.(Yeah that is spelled wrong but dammit my spell check only speaks one language! You know what I mean!) So I hi-jack the music program on the computer at the pool bar and start pumping great tunes out and as the night comes to a close I am staring up at the sky, at this one really sparkling star, I mean this think looked like a strobe light, I watched forever to make sure it wasn't a satellite or a plane, and "See you on the other side" by Ozzy Osborne came on. I have thought alot about Brianna since I have been down here. I guess I just wish she could be here. Then I think about it and I just know she is. Tonight I felt like she was that sparkling star. The brightest star in the sky, right there, the first thing I saw when I looked up. We ate our Cajun cuisine and had a few drinks then came home. Meg got stung by her first fire ant and I left a Benydryl on her pillow... :) As I walked up toward the marina office/shore head to brush my teeth I heard a long time favorite song, one that reminded me of mimosas and days off in Key West. It struck me so odd that I actually walked up the stairs to the dockmaster's apartment as if I was going to ask them why they were listening to the Cowboy Junkie's "The water is wide". Luckily I went back down the stairs before I made a fool of myself. I just really found that odd, that I was thinking so much about the past tonight and that song filled the night sky as I walked down the dock. Speaking of the night sky, I saw a shooting star as I said goodnight to Meg and Danny tonight, I didn't make a wish. I figure someone else needs it more than I do. I don't have it so bad.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A rainy afternoon at work!

The past few days have been really busy! We are getting the boat ship shape for our first charter, which starts Wednesday. This means we have been cleaning, hauling tools off the boat, putting sails on the boat, de-greasing, polishing, ospho-ing, and anything else the Captain tells us to do. On top of all that, today I went to the office to do inventory where I was swooped and buzzed by island bees all day. Good thing I had a Slim Jim to swat them away with while I counted... Meanwhile back at the boat, Meg mad her own entomological discovery. You can find the picture of her new friend at the top of this blog. She comes to me with her find and the only thing I can think to say is, "If you get stung all you have to do is take some Benedryl and put some meat tenderizer paste on the sting. You will be fine." But thats just what you do with Texas scorpions, these are Island scorpions, I may be wrong. Good news is, it was dead when she found it. I thought scorpions were a desert creature, I guess I DON'T know it all. :) Now it's time to put in a little over time and finish my charter guest profiles, and watch Capt. Ron, one of my favorite movies! Oh wait a sec! I forgot to tell yall about our trip to the Willy T!

We started out at the marina where we picked up a few friends, then headed over to a rock formation called "The Indians", a popular snorkeling and diving spot. The water was great but my mask leaked like a sieve so I only stayed in for about 15 minutes. Jaque Cousteau on the other hand, Meg, stayed in for about an hour while we all waited on the boat for her to surface. (Ha ha I love you Meg!) After she swam back to the boat it was just a quick boat ride over to the William Thornton floating bar and restaurant. We tied up to three other boats that were tied along side the Willy T, which is an old steel hull schooner they converted to a fantastic place to duck out of the sun and have a cocktail. Then we walked from boat to boat and hauled ourselves over the rail and onto the Willy T. As the day rolled on we each took our turn jumping off the side of the Willy T, fully clothed mind you, and then settled in at the bar. The girls and I danced with everyone from boat captains, to local police officers, to firemen from California. We had the best time, I am sure it wont be our last visit to Mr. Thornton's place. Now we have to focus on getting this boat ready for charter, so we can then focus on some serious surfing. Catch yall later!

Pictures click here!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Washing day

Today has been a relaxing day. Rebecka and I washed clothes all day at the laundry mat just up the hill from our boat. I am about to turn the left over taco stuff into enchiladas for me and the girls! Yum! I think we are gonna spend a quiet night on the boat to prepare for tomorrow's adventure! Vern is taking us to the Willy T floating bar! I have wanted to go to this place forever! So look for pictures coming soon! And remember to check the picture blog because I put new pics up all the time. Later!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Great Day off at Josiah's Bay

Today was so amazing. I feel so cleansed, inside and out! It is about nine thirty here and I am about to pass out I am so tired and happy. The girls and I spent the day at Josiah's bay, after last night's mexican fiesta that was a total hit, we needed a breather. We started the day in town and caught a cab over to the bay, then we sat under a thatched umbrella and drank a frozen libation. Soon after, Meg and I did our best Baywatch impression and ran like maniacs into the surf. We had no boards but that's no problem for us. We played in the waves for a little while, then Rebecka joined us and we walked the length of the bay and back, watched a local long boarder catch some really nice waves, which you can see pics of on my picture blog, then we took a break. As Meg napped, Rebecka and I went over to the beach hut and she ate lunch and we drank a couple of Pain Killers then it was back to the sea for all of us! The tide was on the rise and in turn the waves grew, we had so much fun getting ourselves perfectly positioned in the break so we could ride the rise and not get pummeled when the wave broke. Its a really shallow and sandy break so we didnt have much trouble with undertow or not being able to touch bottom, but let me tell you, we got beat down by a few waves. I feel great. You know that procedure that really Yoga-ie people do where they pour salt water up their noses and out their mouths with a little pitcher? Well I didnt need a pitcher today. The first time water shot straight up my nose, into my sinuses and out my mouth I thought, "woah, that feels strange... wait, ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch that hurts like hell!!!" then after the fifth wave pummeled me I realized what a healthy experience it was. Mind you we were out there for hours, so 5 sea water nasal cleansing sessions is not so uncommon, especially when you attack waves like we do. I cant express how much fun I had or how healed I feel, inside and out. We needed a little back to nature time to remind us just how amazing it is that we live and work in such an amazing and beautiful place. Welcome to paradise.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!

As the witching hour approaches on this Halloween Eve, I find myself not in a very "Halloweenie" mood. Which is very strange, seeing as how I am usually the one dragging my friends halfway across the state of Texas to a Halloween party where we end up sleeping on the floor for 2 hours and driving back the next day in time for work. In other words, I love Halloween. I love Halloween parties, costumes, decorations, candy, and did I mention parties? This year is so different. I think it's just stress. So many new things going on, job, living situation, co-workers, island, the list goes on. I feel like I am letting myself down this year, but most of all I feel like I am letting my crew down. I want to show Rebecka a good old fashioned American Halloween (despite the fact that we are in the British Virgin Islands) and I want Meg to have a great Halloween because it seems like she loves it just as much as I do, except for the fact that she is really excited about it and I feel like such a dud. I AM NOT A DUD. But I feel like one. This island is not real big on Halloween. We have yet to hear of any blowout costume parties or bars throwing a big bash in the BVI, but all day long I hear commercials on the radio for St Croix and how the whole island is preparing for tomorrow's festivities to continue throughout the weekend! Just when I started to feel really down on myself about not wanting to go out tomorrow, Meg makes a fantastic suggestion, "Why don't we just throw our own Halloween party on the boat? Just for us. Let's make cocktails and eat popcorn and watch scary movies all night." Its probably the best idea I have heard since we have been on island. I am so relieved and happy about this plan. We are going to have a blast! Girl's night in! I have decided to make the girls my famous Mexican food feast for dinner then its on to cocktails and movies until we all pass out! I like this idea so much better than going into town because Meg and I have plans to surf Josiah's bay at some point this week and it looks like the best day we have left is Thursday. This will be my first attempt at surfing so wish me luck! Hopefully the combination of booze and Mexican food seeping from our pores will deter any hungry sharks and we come back in one piece! I hope everyone has a great Halloween back home or wherever you are!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tropical Storm Noel moves on...

So, lately we have been complaining about the wind and the rain and how we just want to go to the beach and get some sun. Last night the girls and I decided to check the surf report for Josiah's Bay here on the island, thats when we realize we are basically on the back end of a tropical storm! Whodathunkit? But today the skies cleared a bit and we had a partly sunny day full of hard work. We are learning our way around the island a little bit, and last night our friend Vehn took the girls and I to The Loose Mongoose, a local beach bar, to watch the Red Sox win the WORLD SERIES!!! I cant tell you how strange it was to sit at a bar with only 6 people and 2 cats and watch them win. It was so mellow. I was the only one screaming and jumping up and down while the dinghy's bobbed on their painters in the calm clear bay. Then all was quiet again, and the cats went back to sleep, the bartender turned off the television, and we went home to our boat. We are truly on Island Time.

I am working on a blog just for my pictures so here it is!!!

Jolea's Pictures

Check it out! The ones at the bottom of the page are the oldest and they are from the Bahamas, on through Savannah and a couple from last week. My camera took a hard fall in Savannah and I have to really rig it up in order for it to work but I am trying my best! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Great Video!

This is Tall Ship Video everyone should see, just another schoonie day on the big blue sea!

Last day in St Thomas

Well, I finally have a second to myself after spending a little over 2 weeks here in St Thomas. It has been a blast! It reminds me a lot of Key West, but the water is so much better and the island itself is beautiful and mountainous! Just to update everyone, I am now working on the charter boat Wanderlust. We are based in the British Virgin Islands and do week long charters. When I arrived in St Thomas I met Meg, one of the other crew members and we totally hit it off, we are both Sagittarius so serious fun ensued. We took our STCW class together and had more fun than I think you are supposed to have while learning how to save lives. We are now CPR certified and know how to use fire extinguishers and we also learned, there is no way I can get my ass in a life raft if I have my life vest ON. Ha ha ha. Rebecka, who you may remember worked with me for a while on a different boat and we had a lot of fun in Savannah, accepted the other stewardess position on Wanderlust and she arrived here the day before we finished class! Great fun! The people of French Town, which is where we have been living this whole time, call us Charlie´s Angels. We have had a great time here and are looking forward to the fun times to come in Tortola. 

We did get to meet our Captain and the dive instructor here last week. We had the boat in the haul out do do some work on the bottom and repair a few minor things, so we got really dirty and really sweaty for 5 days then they took the boat back to Tortola. Before leaving, our Captain informed us that I would be the Office Manager and Chief Stewardess, wow! Lots of responsibilities! He also explained to us that he likes to keep our charters at least a week apart so we don´t go crazy. In this off time, we have the option of working on the boat like maintenance work for an hourly wage or just running off and doing whatever we want to do. This way we have the choice of making money or going surfing if the surf is up at Apple Bay. Nice huh?

I am really looking forward to getting to Tortola! Judy spent some time here last year and sent me a whole list of people I have to meet and I cant wait to get started! But first, I have to pack my bags...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Savannah Smiles Piano Bar

I took this with my phone, when my Mom and Aunt Nita came to visit me in Savannah we went out one night to Savannah Smiles, the dueling piano bar! On the mirror behind the pianist it says "Jolea is sailing off to Tortola!" The deal is, you pay them any amount of money and they write whatever you want on the mirror, the only way to get the words erased is to pay more money than the person before and replace it with a new phrase. It's really funny. Mom and Nita paid to get that up there and it stayed for a good long while until the batchelorette party behind us got wild and started making fun of the bride to be, they must have spent 200 bucks on mirror phrases that night! This is the only picture I have from that night and let me tell you, we had so much fun!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Reflections at churchills pub in savannah! Imagine the smell of baked onions and sausage, bangers and mash. This is irish savannah!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Back in Savannah again!

And it feels great to be back! I have really fallen for this city! Not to mention I am back working on the Mega Yacht, making great money. Rebecka's friend in Sweeden is letting us store all our pictures on his server so if something happens to our cameras or the computer that our pictures are loaded into we will always have them safe on the server, the only problem is, I don't know how to get to them yet! Ha ha! As soon as I figure out how to get them I will make a picture blog so you guys can check out all the pictures I have taken so far.

I finished reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil on the plane ride here last night, and I am ready to explore all the places the author talks about in detail. Rebecka and I took a trolley tour and the tour guide pointed out the Mercer House and a few other spots from the book/movie but I had yet to see the movie or read the book so I had no idea what she was talking about, now I do. While reading the book I did recognize the streets and places he referred to so it really made me miss the city. I think Drew and I may go to the Bonaventure Cemetary on this rainy Savannah day, perfect weather for visiting the garden of good and evil...

I will be updating this regularly now that I have internet access easily available, bye!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

LONG overdue update!

HELLOOOOOO EVERYONE!  I am so sorry it has taken me forever to update this but I am finally somewhere with an internet connection and 5 minutes to myself! Mom tells me that I have a few fans out there so here goes...

The trip from Charleston to Savannah was relatively uneventful. When we got to the drawbridge to get to our marina we realized it was broken and had to dock right downtown at the Hyatt. The next day Gorge and Quin had to go back to Atlanta so George hired Capt. Walt to drive the boat and me over to Thunderbolt Marina on the outskirts of Savannah. 

With the Quark all tied up and silent at the marina I called my old buddy Drew who had just moved to Savannah from Key West and he headed over to pick me up and take me out. Just after I got off the phone with him I heard a knock on the hull. I crawled out of the hatch to see a pretty little blonde girl, she said "Hi I am Rebecka" with a sweedish accent. She was the newest member of the crew, and I was happy to have another girl on board. She came below and we had a cocktail and got to know each other a bit, Drew showed up and we invited her out with us, she agreed but first she had to stop by her crew house and tell them she was going out.  Rebecka was workin on a 150ft motor yacht called Francine. The boat had been out of the water for 2 months while they repaired the engine so the crew was living in a cute little house up the street from the marina. We came inside and met the crew, Capt Ged and Johnny from Austrailia, and Lou from Puerto Rico, Doug from the U.S., Matt from New Zealand and Mike from England were off doing their own thing so we didnt meet them till later. They had the grill going and enough food to feed ten people and they asked us to stay for dinner. We did. It was a wonderful first night in Savannah. After dinner drew took us downtown where we dropped his car off at his apartment and called a cab. This is how we met the best cabby in Savannah, her name is Cassandra. 
Cassandra looked to be about 25 years old, heavy set as she was, and pregnant with her 4th child she told us. Her hearty laugh and helpful advice made for a great ride into town, we tipped her well, got her cell number and promised to call her for rides from now on. Which we did. All week long Cassandra shuttled us to and from the marina and resturants and bars and anywhere we needed to go if she was working when we called. 
Rebecka and I spent the week exploring and doing touristy things like riding the old town trolley. Savannah is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. The old live oaks with spanish moss dripping from the branches and the beautiful architecture made me seriously consider staying in town for a while. So much so that I took Rebeckas job on Francine when Capt Ged offered it to me.  Compared to what George had paid me for 2 weeks of work, the salary on Francine was an offer I couldnt refuse. I was torn between keeping my word and delivering the Quark to Apalachicola and staying in Savannah for a while and making a ton of money to stash away pretty fast. I told him I needed to take the job in Savannah. He was understanding and said he wished I would stay but that I needed to do what was best for me. I spent 3 days cooking for the Francine crew and doing Stewardess duties on board when I got word that I had a package at the marina office. My contacts had arrived from Dallas.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++They didnt want me to go, and I hated to leave them. Its amazing how attached I became to them in such a short period of time. I hope I will see them again someday. 
So George arrived at the boat that night and he was happy to see me and hear that I would be on the boat for the next leg, and I told him that I needed to be paid the same as Rebecka and he agreed. We gained another crew member Scott that night and left Savannah the next morning. We went a few miles offshore in sight of land and under an almost full moon we traveled overnight to a wonderful marina called the Conch House Marina in St. Augustine Fl, just in time for Reggae Sunday! We headed to the store to provision and made it back in time for dinner at the wonderful restruant at the marina. The next day we sailed 2 beautiful nights down the coast to West Palm Beach Fl, fueled up and headed across to Grand Bahama Island.
 We arrived yesterday afternoon, watched a beautiful Bahamian sunset and Rebecka and I had no problem meeting new friends in the marina. We spent the evening singing dancing and as I made cocktails we chatted with our new friends Mike, Paul and John of the fishing yacht Stranglehold. They left this morning to head to Lucaya just down the island from the West End which is where we are. Hopefully we will see them again if we make it to Lucaya. This morning Rebecka and I cleaned up the boat a little and started the laundry. We rented bikes from the cabana on the beach and rode back to the boat. We chatted with her family and her boyfriend on Skype in sweeden and now we are headed to fold the rest of the laundry and to the beach! I will post bahamas pics next time I get internet access, it may be Key West.  I will try to post some good ones from the trip down! 

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Yar! I love savannah! Having dinner at the pirate house with rebeka!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Crossing under the bridge leaving charleston harbor last night.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's Finally Here!

In less than 12 hours I will be on a flight bound for Baltimore. I am so exhausted I can barely think of what to write. I have to finish packing here in a bit, make sure I have everything and try to get some sleep. Usually when I am excited about something I can't sleep, like on Christmas eve and the like, but tonight I doubt I will have that problem... I have been running around all day tying up loose ends around town, with the help of my mom. (Thanks mom!) This morning as I start my day of errands, I pull into the parking lot at the bank and *CLUNK*, the sound, then the car stops dead in its tracks. I try to push it into a parking space and after a couple of guys from the bank come out and help, we get the Festiva into a space. The wheel is bent out to port, I assume the axle is broken. Great. Just what I needed. First I call the house, to have my mom tell my brother that I have somehow managed to break his car, on the very last day I need it. They come up to the bank and pick me up, Jeff says its a C-joint or something, and that he will fix it no big deal. And off my mom and I go. I went to so many places and appointments today, by the time we got home and mom chopped up the Brisket, I was more than ready to have my favorite BBQ sandwich. At this point I am full and happy, and procrastinating. I need to iron, and pack. I'm sure I will get around to it... OH! Thanks to everyone who came to wish me well last night! I love you guys!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

There it is!!!

After a long relaxing weekend spent lying in the sun, writing addresses of loved ones down on address labels to be affixed to various postcards at various ports along my trip, and packing everything I could pack into my duffel that I wont need till I get to the boat, my passport has finally arrived! All it took was a stern e-mail to the us passport center and it was here via UPS urgent mail! I have to say I am very impressed. Now I can really focus on all the important things I need to do in my last 2 days here in Allen. I am having friends over tomorrow night instead of Wednesday night because my flight is at 7am Thursday morning. Looking forward to seeing everyone. I am in a little bit of a funk today as some people inevitably want to rain on my parade, whether it be an old friend or someone I don't even know, I hate being told what to do and it seems I remember reading, "Once you start talking about going on a [trip or adventure], you'll probably take some heat from other people. Most people don't want you to get away and be happy-they want you to stay with them and suffer. But don't ignore the losers who tell you that [it's] a frivolous escape. Just say 'You got that right. See ya!' ". - Cameron Tuttle
But of course, the compliments and encouragement I have received from friends and loved ones far outweigh the pessimism from others. I hear a lot of "If I was your age..." and "Don't pass up on an opportunity like that..." and the ever present "Shut up, I don't want to hear about your stupid trip anymore!" - Jessica :) These things remind me that if I don't take this chance I will spend the rest of my life wondering what would have happened if I had. I don't want to be the old lady who says "I wish I would have done something like that when I was young." I want to be the crazy old bag who smokes Cuban cigars and tells amazing stories about all the amazing places she has seen and the people she has met along the way. So, with only a few days left till departure I have a few things left to tie up around here, a bag to finish packing, a storage building full of junk, and I couldn't be happier.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Where the heck is my passport?!?!?

With the recent addition of The Bahamas on the float plan I am now stressed about my passport not being here. I know I can just print off my proof of application from their website but I would really like to have it since I applied for it THREE FREAKIN MONTHS AGO!!! I am really annoyed. I have e-mailed and called the passport agency and they say they will do everything they can do to get it to me before I leave next week. Yeah... right. I guess I shouldn't stress about it but I can't help it. Its coming down to the wire here... this time next week I will be on The Quark! I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

News from Captain George

As I checked my email this evening, I notice I have one from my new boss Capt. George, so I immediately check it before the others. He was just touching base with me making sure I have all my flight info in order and to let me know he is just as excited as I am about the trip (could he be tired of my "i am so excited you have no idea oh my gosh i cant wait" emails?) and that my enthusiasm is contagious, very kind of him. He also attaches a little float plan reminder, glance over it as I have many times this past week only something new catches my eye... "From Savannah GA to Key West" OK yes, seen that, but wait, he continues on... "by way of the Bahamas." BY WAY OF THE BAHAMAS??? I practically fall out of my chair. This is the first I have heard about us going to the Bahamas and I am ecstatic! I must be dreaming, great new job on a great new boat with a great new boss, going to key west where I get to stay for a while and visit old friends, and now the BAHAMAS?!?! If this is a dream, please don't wake me up!

9 Days and Counting...

Yesterday I told my boss about my big adventure and he couldn't be happier for me. Like I said, he knows me so well and he said I shouldn't pass on an amazing opportunity like this, and added that if I ever come back I could have my job back! See? I told you he was an awesome guy. That was my major stress and now its over so I can relax and start getting stressed about something else... :) Like overnight passages, rogue waves, and the bowsprit breaking off. ( My old KW buddies will remember those fears!)

Over the weekend I went to Houston to visit old friends and my aunt Nita. I got to spend some time at my favorite haunt in town, Curb Checkers, where I saw old friends and made new ones! (Hi Steve, Mike, Darla, Bill, Jim and Capt. Jon!) I had such an amazing time visiting everyone and just want to say thank you to everyone for making it such a memorable trip. I would especially like to thank my sweet car the "FestEVIL" for getting me there and back in one piece... I will miss you old girl!

Another neat thing that happened over the weekend, I got back in touch with an old friend from Key West! My buddy Drew now lives in... Savannah GA! Which is great because I will be docking there for a few weeks on Quark, now instead of scooting around town alone, I have an exploring buddy! So I'm pretty happy about that. Well thats about it for today, I just spent about 2 hours by the pool trying to get some sun on my pale body so I don't burn to a crisp my first few days out on the boat and it's time for a nap... night night.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Boat Specs


LOA: *45’3” LWL: *38’9” Beam: *12’6” Draft: *5’0”

Gross Ton: 15 Net: 14 Ballast: EXTERNAL & INTERNAL LEAD


Year Built: 2002 Rebuilt: -- BROOKLIN, ME

Market Value: $800,000.00 Replacement Value: $950,000.00





Frames: 2 ¼” x 2 ¼” LAMINATED FIR ON 14” CENTERS

Floor Timbers: 1 ¾” OAK SIDED ON 14” CENTERS


Deck Beams: 1 3/8” x 2 ¾” OAK ON 14” CENTERS



Centerboard: NONE Skeg: NONE

Worm Shoe: COPPER Bilge: CLEAN







Radios: ICOM I-M502 VHF; FURUNO FS-1502 SSB






Clock: BOSTON Barometer: BOSTON Bell: NONE SEEN

Running Lights: 12-VOLT DC Anchor Light: 12-VOLT DC

Main Engine – Location: AFT END OF GALLEY No. Type: 1- DIESEL

Make: YANMAR Model: (s) 4JH3-TE Serial No.: (s) E11853

(p) (p)

No. Cyls: 4 RPM: 3800 HP: 55.2 KW Year: 2002

Approx Speed: 7 KT When Overhauled: NOT Pan Under Engine: YES

Engine Bed: WOOD Reduct. Gear: TWIN DISC

Engine Cooling: CLOSED FRESH WATER Ventilation: ATMOSPHERE

Caburator-Flame Arrestor: N/A Blower: NONE


Exhaust Silencer: F/G POT Cooled: RAW WATER


Engine Alternator: 2- 12-VOLT Controls: PEDESTAL MOUNTED

Shaft Logs, Type: BNZ TUBE Bearings: NONE Stuffing Box: FLEX FLAX

Propeller: FEATHERING 3 BLADE Spare: 19” MAX 3 BLADE

Propeller Shafts: STAINLESS STEEL


Propeller Protection: GOOD STBD, POOR PORT Rudder: KEEL HUNG WOOD



Air Compressor: 12-VOLT FOR HORN Safety Valve: N/A


Thru Hull Fittings: BRONZE SEACOCKS





Running Rigging: BRAID



West Texas sunset.

I'm gonna miss these... Taken at my Uncle Michael's ranch. I also just sent this from my phone via the "mobile blogger" just to see how it worked! This should be helpful! Toodles!

Delimma of the Day

In all the excitement these past 2 days, I overlooked one minor, teeny tiny detail... I have to quit my job. Which is really hard for me. I have been working for the same company, a very small orthodontic lab, for almost a year. I was the only employee for about 7 months then we started to grow and I am now the head of sales I guess you would say. I have 3 sales reps under me that I manage and I'm not really happy working here anymore. That's not the point. The point is, my boss is a great guy, probably the best boss I have ever had. I was his bartender a year ago and one day he asked me if I would like to come work for him and get out from behind that bar, I accepted immediately. He knows about my sailing history, and how much I miss the sea, and he politely listens as I ramble on about how great it used to be in Key West every time one of my old sailing buddies calls while I'm at work, which sends me into an "I need to get to Key West now" frenzy. Which is a reason that I think he will understand when I tell him about the great opportunity that I have now taken. I just don't know how to tell him. I need to work right up until the day before I leave and I don't want to put my last paycheck in jeopardy if he does get upset. (which I doubt will happen) Today marks 2 weeks exactly until I leave for MD. I am headed to Houston this weekend to visit family and friends that I wont see for a while depending on how long I'm gone, so I think I will hold off till Monday and break the news to him then. It was not a hard decision for me to make. Its just hard to tell my friend/boss that I have to leave. I can be replaced. I know that. Its just gonna be hard for him to find someone as awesome as me to take my place! :)

Packing light. (realizing that I cant take 20 pairs of shoes on a boat)

15 days till I board the plane for Annapolis MD. I have started making a list. As I write, I try to put things on the list that are necessities, which proves to be a challenge... The list starts like this:

Foul Weather Gear
Deck Shoes
Dry Bag
Rigging Knife
Hooded sweatshirt
Camouflaged Red Sox hat
White Red Sox Hat
7 pair shorts
7 shirts
2 bathing suits
board shorts
pair of "dirty boat work" shorts
Liberty Jacket (cant go sailing without it!)
gold havaianas
blue havaianas
yellow and brown dress (in case i have to go out in savannah)
Brown pumps (to match the brown and yellow dress)
make up
curling iron
blow dryer
Leather bound journal
cell phone
cell phone charger
polarized sunglasses
toothbrush toothpaste razors
hair ties

I know I'm forgetting something... Yall help me out!

In the pic above: a glimpse of the brown and yellow dress I can't leave home without.