Monday, January 12, 2009

Send Lawers Guns and Money part 2

Jonathan and Katie again, recording our trip, starting from the beginning...

At the Airport, unused as we were to the tropical climate both of us
immediately opted to change to a wardrobe more suitable to the conditions.
Also unaccustomed to the local disregard for casual nudity, we chose to
change in the airport bathrooms rather than out in public.

That night we sampled the local culture, hanging around a local New Year's
concert. We then snuck back to the boat for the awesome display of
fireworks, (which we later dinghied out to watch from a closer viewpoint)
and a creation of a compilation of dances for each member of the Dornbusch
family. (You had to be there)

The next morning we woke up to Orient bay, making a brief stop at Anse
Marsalle to learn how to snorkle (In our case, dorkle). We spent the night
at Orient Bay, a beautiful resort beach that was populated with a strange
breed of people who were innately opposed to any sort of clothing. Indeed,
not-far-enough-to-obscure seeing parts (Distance from nudity can be
categorized as "seeing parts" and "we can tell they are nude, but no parts")
away was a Tiko Tiko (aka Naked Party Boat) tour catamaran teeming with
these strange naked old people. The next morning as we came ashore to
acquire breakfast bagettes, we took a walk of shame through a beach full of
people who did not understand our affinity for clothing. Not like we were
tempted, but there were also signs prohibiting picturetaking. Among our
encounters were giddy satchel guy, naked push up dude, and completely
hairless nude parasailer. A strange breed indeed. Later that day we again
took our chances landing on the beach to cross over into a shallow cove
perfect for kiteboarding for Uncle Walt (who we got some mad sweet footage
of) and further dorkling, where we saw a stingray and an unraveled
jellyfish. Enjoying tremendous success in our burgeoning dorkling talents we
then traveled around the anchored Madness, finding numerous conch shells on
the bottom. Then we then set sail for St. Bartholemey, the playground of the
rich and famous. Whatever we ate that morning was lost to Aunt Dana, as she
then spewed it over the side. Trooper that she is, she then washed off the
side of the boat and immediately went forward to raise one of the sails.

We have since noticed that fish follow Madness around asking if Dana is
aboard, hoping for a free lunch.

St. Bart's was an adventure indeed. We met many of the scoundrels that we'd
learned about in Uncle Walt's blog. Also, while we were there, there were
literally dozens of yachts anchored around the island. We even saw
celebrities second-hand (we met people who'd seen them, including Yo-Yo,
who'd housed Richard Gere for a week.) Jonathan ate the fabeled Cheeseburger
in Paradise (Jimmy Buffet was all over this place.) As the night progressed,
we intermissioned our tour of the island with a stop at a local bar where
the featured band was from Boston. People watching has never been so rich!
As we talked to the leader of the band later that night, a severely
inebriated woman came up behind Jonathan, insisting that he make room for
her to pass through. She then proceded to take the guitarist's cigarette and
tell him on numerous occasions that she couldn't hear the words.

The next day was a dorkle-fest. Out of the gate we visited a popular spot
with many fish and coral, a treat that we'd been bereft of on our previous
ventures. The second stop was over a sunken freighter that was creeptastic.
Well, only for Jonathan and Katy, who stayed in the dinghy and Face-Tested
(stuck our heads in from the safety of the side.) As the snorkles severely
impeded our verbal communication, we developed a series of hand signals,
including "dive down," "big scary fish ahead," "I'm peeing," "jellyfish
alert!," and "Let's go blow bubbles under Aunt Dana!" Our third and fourth
locations were a fifteen minute dinghy ride to the tip of the island,
doubtless our best yet. Among the many cool and fun viewings of rocks we saw
a brightly colored sea turtle named Leonardo. That night we again toured the
island, stopping for a sampling of ice cream and beer, then traversing the
town to the famed shell beach. Upon arrival it became immediately apparent
that we were out of place at the rave beach party speckled with drunken

The next morning we woke early to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to an
island called Statia, a breeding ground for tankers and ice-burg shaped
objects, to which Katy found great joy in shouting "Iceburg! Straight
ahead!" in a convincingly British accent. Rumor has is that back in the day,
Statia earned its fortune by stamping goods coming through the Carribean
that never actually graced its ports. Anyway, the island was rich in
dorklage, home to several different schools of fish in an assortment of
colors. We practiced our diving techniques, (or in Katy's case, inverting.)

Next item on the agenda: dominating the Quill volcano. Dominating in this
case means climbing. In fact, we hitchhiked to the base in the back of a
pick-up truck owned by the nicest man in Statia. The hike was a doozie at
times, as we had to keep our eyes peeled for the dangers that lurked in the
vegatation. Dangers like pinky-sized newts, wild chickens, and soldier crabs
(very determined hermit crabs.) We still don't know why they were climbing
the mountain. We also saw three snakes. This climb was definitely not for
the weak of heart. We arrived at our destination and Kodaked the scene, a
glorious view of an impossibly steep crater, but was that enough for our
adventuresome souls? NAY! There was more to be climbed. Shedding unnecessary
items along the way, the four travelers grunted their way to a yet higher
point on the crater rim. The view from up there was breathtaking. We could
see neighboring islands as well as the entirety of the island below. Racing
the sun to sea level, we then had to descend quickly and efficiently,
telling tales of arctic adventure. Arriving at the bottom we traversed the
streets of the town, waving to locals and viewing the remains of a mammoth
ancient Mayan waterslide. Dinner was scrumptious BBQ pork sandwiches and a
black bean concoction, courtesy of competent head chef Katy and dashing sous
chef Jonathan. Ratatouille would be proud! That night Katy was sure somebody
was breaking into our boat! Pirates! Probably not. Murderer? Nay! Katy
concluded that whoever was boarding our boat had the implicit intension of
untying our mooring and our dinghy, setting us adrift into the sea. My how
our thinkers work at night.

Aunt Dana's stomach had learned a thing or two about seaworthiness and held
its contents the next morn on our ride to Saba, the unspoiled Queen,
prompting Katy's new nickname, the unspoiled Princess. Then we murdered a
guy. The ride to the island was rough, and the climb to the main village,
The Bottom, was unnerving, even in a car. The road system had been done
completely by hand and engineered by a man who had passed a correspondence
course, to whom a memorial had been erected. The island really was wild,
completely bereft of flat terrain. In fact, most of the land was incredibly
steep, making habitation a wonder. The island itself was unamimously voted
as the most charming we'd graced yet. The building code included a color
segment that made the towns a harmonic green and red. We picked fresh lemons
and other psuedo-fruit from the trees that hung over the roads. A taxi ride
that doubled as a tour took us all around the islands three towns (The
Bottom, Waywardside, and Hell's Gate,) as well as the world's shortest
commercial airstrip where pilots have to be specially liscensed to land.

That night in Saba was like spending the night in a broken Maytag washing
machine with a very limited soak cycle. In the morning we performed a D-Day
landing on the only beach of the island, which was ripe for a rockslide.
Then ascending the 487 steps(we team-counted,) to The Bottom, which was much
higher than its name might suggest. On the way down we fantasized about a
water slide into the ocean, oh how fun! After lunching and munching on PBJs,
we decided to dorkle once more, as Saba is renowned for its wildlife.
Initially put off by a startling sighting that Uncle Walt believes was a
man-eating black-tipped shark, (no joke.) We observed them from the safety
of the dinghy, face-testing over the edge. When we traveled further inland,
the dorkling episode was undoubtedly the best yet. The underwater scene was
storybook, with numerous fish in a smorgasboard of colors, including on
striking green fish that harmonized every color in the rainbow into its
costume. The jellyfish we encountered knew no fear, and we had to team up to
avoid them in several instances. Our fearless tourguide Uncle Walt led us
through a minefield of jellyfish into and through a cave, where we saw
numerous more incredible sights, including a Giant Squid (joke. But
seriously...) From there we set sail back to St. Martin, thus concluding
what friends Dawn and Laurie described as three full days of touring packed
into one. Oh my, we've graduated to power-tourists.

Today is the last of all, as we are flying back to the states. Katy's
learned several sailing terms, even making some of her own. Ask her about it
and you'll get a mishmash of sailing lingo that will literally blow your
mind. All in all it was a decent trip. In fact, if you ignore the impending
murder trials and the pair of pants I lost when fleeing the authorities, it
was damn fine.

This is juliet kilo tango six six six out.