NEWSLETTER - 2003

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2003 -

Alas! The Christmas tree is put away, along with all of the decorations that were used on our white-flocked tree annually at the Navarre Beach house. I love getting those ornaments and sea shells out each year. It helps me to remember the wonderful Christmases past with family all around and gets me into the spirit of the wonder of the current year. It is hard to believe though, that I have not been with my family for 17 Christmases. But that is as it is and Dave & I have built up wonderful traditions of our own. This year we were able to housesit in a lovely villa with pool overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel. My freshman roommate from DePauw University, Glenda, was able to spend it with us and we all had a delightful time – filled with parties, music and just plain limin’

2002 was a busy but fruitful year for us in the islands. Dave and I started off the New Year with total physical examinations by our cardiovascular physicians in Puerto Rico. Fortunately, we both received great bills of health and were told to expect another 20+ years on this exciting journey called life. As you probably know, we don’t smoke, drink or eat mammals and we exercise both our minds (computers) and bodies (swimming, walking and sailing) daily. It is good to know that it has paid off. While in Puerto Rico we took in the Old City and the Boat Show so we really enjoyed ourselves. The Old City there is much like the French Quarter in New Orleans so I felt right at home. The food was delicious and walking the streets in the warm sunshine was reminiscent of days past.

February started our official sailing season. As David is Commodore of the West End Yacht Club of the BVI we have a full year of racing. Our club puts on seven large regattas a year. Besides that, Dave is the navigator on a hot sport boat – Rumb Squall, a 27’ Antrim, that we keep tied up next to Swan Song. February 14th brought our annual Sweethearts of the Caribbean Regatta, which is sailed by schooners only. It was written up in several sailing magazines and has become quite an event here in the BVI.
Later in the month we sailed both a 54 Alden and Rumb Squall to the island of St. Martin, French West Indies, which is 90 miles to the east of the BVI for the 31st Annual St. Martin International Invitational Regatta. We spent four delightful days there. Dave and the crew raced each day while I took in French shopping and spas. Wow! What a place. The owner of Rumb Squall, Tom Mullin, lives in New Hampshire and flies in for each regatta. He is a great owner so we all eat really well during the regatta weekends going to great restaurants with local/international cuisine. As the crew was new to the boat we didn’t place as well as we wanted but we certainly found out where we needed work. There were 225 boats participating in this event with several classes in each of the divisions – racing boats, sport boats, racer/cruisers, bareboats and cruisers. As a journalist I spent a day on a gorgeous schooner watching the last event. That was loads of fun.

March took us to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we participated in the 29th International Rolex Regatta. We again sailed a lovely Mothership, a 45’ catamaran, over and anchored in the harbour right outside of the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Sailing there was great for the guys as they placed in their class and the designer Rumb Squall , was on board. There were only 130 boats at this one but it was all worth the wonderful Awards Dinner, held at the posh Ritz Carlton, when the Rolexes were awarded. I spent my days getting massages, relaxing by the pool and shopping. This is getting to be a habit that I could easily enjoy as Tortola is quite small – in fact we just got our 1st stoplight - an event in itself! We do have great resorts and spas however. On the fun side – Dave was the Race Chairman for the Dark & Stormy Regatta, which is a 4-day event on the island of Anegada, BVI. We had a whopping 33 boats enter for this event (its local and not international) and really enjoyed just limin’ on our lay days. Anegada has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Northern Hemisphere – each of them filled with pink flamingos at the near-by salt ponds. As this is all national seashore, it is delightful to take long nature walks and the snorkeling is great.

April brought competition in the 31st BVI International Regatta held right at our own Nanny Cay Marina in Tortola. Was that ever fun! Since this marina is where our yacht Swan Song lives we entertained a lot. There was music and dancing each night but as there were several races each day no one partied much – just lots of boat talk and meeting up with old friends. Dave and I have been participating in this racing circuit for some 12 years now so we really know a lot of people from all over the planet. We renewed friendships with sailors from England, France, Italy, Germany and even Australia and New Zealand. South Africans were also sprinkled in as we now have several South African charter companies. It’s official – the BVI is now the #1 Sailing destination in the western world – this year we overtook Greece, Turkey and the Mediterranean in yacht charter bookings. Pretty cool to be a part of it all – wonder if weather has anything to do with it Also, Dave was named “Broker of the Year” for 2002. This means that he had the top sales for all brokers at all 28 international locations for The Moorings Charter Yachts, Company. I am really proud of him as he works so hard.

Foxy’s 29th Wooden Boat Regatta was held on Memorial Day on the small island of Jost Van Dyke. Run by our WEYC it is always a treat – this year was no exception. This regatta is geared to a totally different type of sailor than the international fast boat regattas. As my son Michael knows, wooden boat owners are a special breed. Most have been around awhile and really know both their boats and the sea. Zen and the art of sailing one might say. Foxy’s is always fun and in this line we have some exciting news to share. The WEYC has been invited to be the Race Committee for the 1st Annual Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta in America. The date is Labour Day 2003 – the place is the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass. Their club is flying us all up to run the event so this should be a real treat. Imagine!!!! Lots of international press coverage and Foxy, of course.

June brought a wonderful trip to the states to visit with family and friends. Both Dave’s son, Adam, and his grandson, John, graduated from high school – with highest honours. Adam is now a freshman at Boston University (on a scholarship) in merchandising and marketing and John is a freshman at Bates University in Maine. He is also on a scholarship and is a physics major. Good Genes I always say. We spent an entire two weeks sailing Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and the outer banks of Maine. It was great to stay with all of Dave’s family and friends – all of whom are successful and have lovely homes – most on the water. We had the opportunity to sail in lots of classic boats and Dave even crewed in a big regatta at Boothbay Harbour, Maine. Loads of fun.

Dave returned home after two weeks and I continued my journeys in the states going to Atlanta and Richmond, Virginia, to visit relatives on the Terrell side of my family. We visited my Aunt Martha’s mountain retreat in the Georgia Mountains and I really enjoyed that. It is a lovely wooded area with acres and acres of streams, wildflowers and various types of trees. My 1st cousin Biff, who is a computer executive in Atlanta, worked with Dave 20 years ago in the computer industry. He and his wife Cheryle had visited with us in Maine for an Adage Computer reunion in June so it was fun to see his lovely home in Atlanta. Biff and I played together each weekend on my grandparents’ house in Ashland, Virginia. His mother, Francis, was my father, Emmett’s sister. It was so good to be with family again. I just wish he could know Mike and Greg as well as my grandchildren.

The day after I returned from a month in the states grandson Taylor (13) arrived for a nice long visit. We were housesitting for my friend Ina who has a lovely home on the mountainside overlooking the sea. She also has a lovely pool and great pets. Louisa, her dog, became a great friend of both Taylor’s and mine. Dave and I always enjoy it when Taylor visits each year. It is so wonderful to see how he is maturing into such a fine young man - so smart and so talented. At 13 he plays a mean guitar and is a very accomplished artist.

We stayed at Ina’s until the end of September – enjoying the space, the coolness of the mountains and the spectacular vista of the sea. During the summer Dave put an entirely new roof on Swan Song so she now looks better than ever. She is a real classic yacht in every sense of the word. Dave has put hours and hours of labour into her and it definitely shows. Fortunately, we had no hurricanes this year so we really were able to enjoy the summer months. In fact, we didn’t even have a scare.

October brought the 6th Annual Cat Fight, held over the weekend of Halloween. This is the only racing regatta for catamarans held in the Caribbean so it is most enjoyable. Dave and I both served on the Race Committee and were thus able to spend the entire four days on a new 2002 55’ catamaran donated by Catamaran Charters, our sponsors. This regatta is also held at Foxy’s so we all had another great sailing experience.

Thanksgiving was spent with 125 of our friends at a joyful potluck dinner held at the Jolly Roger Restaurant & Bar in West End, Tortola. The JR is the home of the West End Yacht Club so all attending were members and sailors. I took my famous Terrell Peas, which everyone seemed to enjoy. This is always a time of great thanksgiving for us here in the islands – we thank the universe that we live in such a gorgeous place with perfect weather and that we have arrived safely through another year and have found an island where we can live and work with other sailors like ourselves. Thanksgiving at the JR is really joyous. Of course, Lou, the owner, hires the best band around so we dance away the night.

December brought the last of the 2002 WEYC races – the Gustav Wilmerding Regatta, which annually takes place over the first weekend of the month. This year the venue was expanded. All boats met at the Jolly Roger and sailed, using the many islands of the BVI as marks, to Pirates Pub a famous beach bar on Norman Island. We then enjoyed the Pirates Ball in which we all dressed in Pirate Garb and proceeded to dance and party – we do a lot of partying for a couple that doesn’t drink – but have found that liquor is a detractor rather than an enhancer. The next day we sailed the return trip ending up at the JR for the Awards Ceremony. We had over 20 boats this year with lots and lots of crew – all seemed to enjoy the regatta thoroughly.

I hope I haven’t bored you totally. Believe it or not – I actually left out several races We do sincerely wish for each of you a year filled with happiness and health, joy and love and the serenity of living peacefully with your neighbors and nature.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

To my family - for my personal journals please e-mail me and I will give you the code. I don't really want for my life to have public access but I have many years worth of writings on this site that I would love for you to read for a greater understanding into our lives together. See the link page and just let me know. Love ya, Nana

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