We have made many good friends while cruising the Caribbean. Very good friends. Friends for life. Of those friends, with no couple have we spent so much time and had so many different experiences as with Devi & Hunter Sharp (Arctic Tern). Alas, they will soon take their boat back to the States, where they will sell her and move into a house on land. On land!
One of my earliest pictures of the couple was taken at a Parang concert in Trinidad. Devi impulsively decided to enter into a maraca contest that was held during a break in the performance, and was getting a quick lesson from the professionals. She didn’t win the contest, but she endeared herself to all in attendance. A few months later the Terns and others were in Trinidad’s carnival parade Jouvert (also known as “dirty mas”) with us, chipping down the streets in the middle of the night. Devi “panced” me at one point and left smeared-paint hand marks on the buns of my undershorts. Ann Vanderhoof (Receta) later discovered hand marks on the breast areas of her blouse.
The Terns went to Venezuela with us in 2008. We went to Angel Falls together, and to Merida, where we all took a two-week Spanish immersion course, followed by five days of hiking in the Andes. When the Terns and the Takks returned to Trinidad, we joined Receta and Asseance and went down the east coast of Venezuela to travel up the Macareo River in the Orinoco Delta. Surely our enjoyment of the fauna there was enhanced by Devi’s expertise at bird identification.
We have been on enumerable hikes with the Terns on almost every eastern Caribbean island. During extended stays in Grenada, Hunter and I explored almost daily local trails in the southwestern corner of the island, but along with others we have also done some really major hikes, including ascending Petit Piton in St. Lucia, Mt. Catherine in Grenada, Boiling Lake and Mt. Diablo in Dominica, the eastern shore of Barbuda, the ridges of St. Martin and various heights overlooking Falmouth Harbour in Antigua.
Hunter has helped me with bunches of projects, including repairing the water maker, installing flopper-stopper poles, repairing a crack in our dinghy bottom and adjusting the valves in our generator. He has patiently and tirelessly given Barb and I swimming lessons.
Barb and Devi have traded recipes and clothes and phone calls and emails and confidences and accounts of triumphs and disappointments and worries. Devi provided the long-johns that became the “socks” for the fenders that we use to protect the boat when the dinghy is half-raised at night. I provided the photographs used to illustrate Devi’s series of articles on sea birds that were published in All At Sea.
We learned to play Bridge together on our month-long traverse through the Venezuelan outer islands on our way to Bonaire. We have played countless games of Spades and Hearts and Quiddler and Mexican Train. We have watched many a movie on the screen of Tusen Takk II. We have had some memorable feasts, including those with our Grenadian fisherman-friends Dwight and Stevie in Hog Island, Grenada.
It has been a great run. We are going to miss them terribly.
Here is just a small sample of the many photos that have been taken during our times together: