First of all, I wanted to thank you readers for your comments/emails on the whaling issue and are happy to know there are others who have not completely lost their minds.
Secondly, I wanted to give a shout out to a long-time blog reader, Michael from Florida. We certainly had our ups and downs while sailing (get it? ups...and downs...? hee hee), but one thing we really appreciated about boating was the people we met during that adventure. The lifelong friends we made, as well as the acquaintances that came into our lives, helped us out of jams, and then disappeared with nothing more than the knowledge that they were able to assist someone else. The boating world is such a giving community and one we apparently haven't lost touch with. We are so thankful for that. Florida Mike found our Jacumba blog after having a hysterical incident with one of our boater friends. I won't share the story, as I don't want to embarrass him, but after his run-in with the other boat, he found their blog, and then found ours. When we became ensconced on land, he continued to follow our new blog and stayed in touch. Since then, he's given us advice on catching mice live (we didn't want to kill them), given us recipes that entail cooking on an engine (he swears it's good), and took it upon himself to read the blogs of boaters in our vicinity (St. Kitts) and see if they could track down and bring us some Diet Dr. Pepper. I kid you not.
And he found one. He contacted them and then gave me their email address when they actually agreed to track some down for us in St. Martin. I would never have emailed a stranger under "normal" circumstances, but we're like "ex" marines. Once a boater, always a boater, and we'll always feel a connection to that world. We didn't hesitate to get in touch with these generous people. Incredibly, the folks on Silverheels III actually did look for it BEFORE they even heard from us. How nice was that? We offered them use of our laundry and shower with or without a soda gift, but they decided their schedule required them to make a run to Guadeloupe and miss St. Kitts this time around. But we've made new friends. They want to stay in touch and come and visit next year. They'll also put the word out to anyone they know coming from somewhere that might carry what we want (we're not alone in our cravings, their big "must have" is real maple syrup - can you tell they're Canadian?).
You realize this is not about soda right? It's about good friends and getting warm and fuzzy feelings from complete strangers who happen to share one common love - the sea (we still love the sea, we're just happy to not be on it anymore). Every time I start thinking that the world has just gone to crap, I get a timely reminder that there are still pockets of humanity out there and quite a few people do still care about others.
And by the way, I think the Diet Dr. Pepper crisis is over (which is good since St. Martin doesn't import it anymore). I really like a knock-off I've found here and am satisfied with that. I still have a looooong list of things I miss and will continue to trade our digs for luxury item deliveries (like pretzel rods and suntan lotion), but if it keeps us in contact with old and new friends, maybe that's not so bad.