Sunday, December 31, 2017

In Conclusion

Happy New Year's Eve or at Foxys in the Virgin Islands it was called Olde Year's Night. It's a world famous party that I was lucky enough to attend one year on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. I was working on a yacht but the passengers wanted to party ashore. The captain dropped them off at the dock, telling them he had to go back to the yacht and help me work. We would pick them back up at 12:10 and if they didn't show up at the dock by 12:20, we would come back at 1:10am for 10 minutes and if they didn't show, we would come back at 2:10am and so on until we rounded them all up.

Instead he came back to fetch me as by then I had all the work completed and we went back ashore in our party clothes, not our uniforms,  to spend the evening ringing in the new year while dancing to the heart throbbing beat of live reggae and calypso music.Our guests were lost among the thousands of party goers parading up and down the beach. The captain and I were not a couple, matter of fact he had a wife and kids waiting on our eventual return to our home port on another island. So he went one direction and I went another, it was a welcomed break from our typical work.

Sadly Jost Van Dyke was recently devastated by hurricane Irma and Maria. When they say you can't go home again, it's true. It will never be the same. But they will rise up and be different, just not the same.

For many years I was a floating resident of Jost Van Dyke. I was rebuilding a sailboat I had bought that was damaged and dismasted by hurricane Hugo in '89 to refit her to her former glory. At the time I was also working for weeks or months on elegant sailing yachts. When I finished my contract or charter I finally had time off work... to do more work. Typically it was usually for a week or more that I got to spend "home" on my boat in progress. In those days crewing on yachts meant 16 hour days, 7 days a week for weeks or months working and sailing so I welcomed the time off to rest and repair. 

I would move back to my sailboat waiting on anchored mooring in St John (also recently devastated by Irma in September) and motor or sail over to Jost where I spent my days working on refitting my boat while my nights were spent ashore dancing on the sandy beach at Foxys to the tunes of their live bands. Because my charter work often took me to weekly visits to Jost, I knew many of the islands' residents. In those days their population ashore was barely 100. Over the years they watched the crazy girl and her ravaged sailboat go from floating derelict to looking brand new. 

 US tax deductible contributions can be made to https://onelovebvi.org/  to help Jost Van Dyke and other BVI islands recover from their catastrophic devastation.

Last year or year before, I forget which,  Foxys had a live feed streaming on the internet showing their Old Years Night party. I tuned in on my laptop in a campground in the US that miraculously had wifi working. It was surreal to see the party in progress and be able to pick out friends of mine in the crowd including Foxy. Fighting back tears, I felt so homesick for the islands, I just wanted to reach out and touch them.

This year I find myself spending New Years Eve outside of Bushnell in a very rural area of Florida complete with cows, horsies, goats, piggies, doggies, donkey and assorted other critters including a view of an old open air barn. Christmas eve I kept glancing at the barn whimsically to see if a traveling couple would show up and give birth to a child.

My small pooch likes to think he can heard cows and giddyup horses. Sometimes the horses or cows come poking their head over the fence where my wheel estate is parked. Harley dawg will race over giving them a bark-for until they shuffle along. Mostly they just like to stare at the little 6 pound fur ball who has the big ferocious bark giving him a withering look as if to say "Seriously dude?". After awhile they might trot off which gives the little mutt great satisfaction. He is lucky that the fence prevents him from being trampled. Sometimes he races up on top of the picnic table to look taller. So funny.

Over the years I've been fortunate to have had unique New Year's holidays. In my 20's  I had a lovely old home. I spent many happy new year eves by the fireplace celebrating with my pets and music. For all the years I lived there, I never owned a TV. I loved music.

In my late 20's I began working overseas mostly around the Caribbean on exotic sailing yachts. It was a complete 180 degree turn from my former career. My holidays were spent working on boats afloat in far flung ports. New years eve celebrations meant preparing gourmet meals for the guests or owners of the yacht and sailing them to their chosen venue. 

By my late 30's and into my 40's I was oscillating between working charters on sailboats and  running a unique private chef service that found me in various exotic villas perched high on the edge of mountains in the Virgin Islands overlooking exquisite views of clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea. My holidays and New Year Eve's were spent hosting parties for the vacation villa guests, catering to their every whim as both chef and concierge. Often one of my favorite musicians were booked to work at the villa providing live entertainment. My memories are of the fun hard work interspersed with the mesmerizing views and wonderful music. Every holiday season was a different yacht or villa with long days and nights of hard work for weeks at a time.

2009 New Years Eve was my first back in America but I was clinging to the edge of the rainbow, listening to doctors who were full of doom and gloom.  But that's a story for another day.

Today I woke up alive and tonight I hope to ring in the new year (sleeping or awake!)
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!

Thank you for plopping by today and thank you to all the earthly angels for helping this fool and her dog live to see another sunrise. 


Life is goof!






3 comments:

  1. You lived a very interesting and exciting life. Great memories are never lost on what is happening to us today.
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy New Year to you and Harley. Hunkering down here for the freeze. All is well and quiet.

    Lynn in GA

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have had some great times:) We just returned from St John (on a cruise ship) Wishing you a Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete

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