Sign post right at the end of a long road — a dead end for motorists, but not for sailors!

I’m not a soccer fan, but I get it — unlike American Football — and I enjoyed watching some of the action on TV.  Thank goodness F.I.F.A banned those dreadful vuvuzelas during the World Cup in Brazil.  

Ah, Brazil, where the nuts come from andwhere we made landfall 5 years ago after crossing the mad Atlantic.  We sailed to Salvador da Bahia, joined the carnival for a few days, filled up with diesel and then sailed across the Bahia to Morro de Sao Paulo.  We anchored in the lee of the tiny island and took shelter for a few days before we started our journey north.  Our first night back at sea was slow and tedious as we pushed hard against a fierce current hardly making any headway.  It was like trying to score against a great line of defenders.  We tacked east and west and back again, all night, only to find ourselves right back on the centre mark.  3 days later, we saw a gap and headed the boat into Recife.  Our next fixture was Fortelza and a marina just around the corner of the big bulge of South America!  

It was our last stop before tackling the Caribbean.  

We cast off those lines and left Brazil standing still in our wake laden down with diesel.  240 litres In the big tank, 60 litres in the day tank and 80 litres in cans on the deck.  Diesel and wind, nothing could stop us.  We were coached to stay well clear of the Amazon Delta and to head due north. We did and 11 days later we reached Trinidad.  

What about the doldrums? I hear you saying.  

Doldrums?  What doldrums? We never found the doldrums.  

We crossed the imaginary line with 35 knots of wind in the sails and never used one drop of all that diesel.  Not a single drop.

Diesel  0   Wind  35  

Gee, but it’s great to be back home . . .  and it really feels like summer this year.   I’ve just kicked off my flip flops and padded across the kitchen floor in dusty feet and yanked open the fridge.  

It’s summer and it feels so good.  

It tastes like summer too — in the evenings — when we sit out on the deck eating cold white peaches wrapped in proscuitto, and it smells like summer when the land sucks up the cool sea air and spritzes us with a cool cucumber mist.  I hide behind the window boxes of lavender that trim the deck rails and watch a pair of quail scratch through the grass.

She scuttles ahead dipping her head under every bush and peck-pecks away at the ground.  He is on watch and flicks his head around check-checking as she feeds.  The plume on top of his head makes it look like he’s wearing a hat!  I point this out.  Then he scurries off as if he is late for the Royal Wedding and assumes a new position.  Robb throws a handful of sunflower seeds out onto the grass.  To keep the customer’s satisfied.  

We are.

We made a quick stop before going to the airport … Hooters!

In South Africa the thing in the middle of the steering wheel that makes a loud warning noise when pressed is called … a hooter.  Rhinos have horns (a lot of them don’t, but that’s another story) and owls hoot. The hood is the bonnet.  The trunk is the boot.  And the geyser — a term I have always used and which caused much confusion during a conversation I had with a plumber — is a hot water cylinder.

I suppose a parliament of owls debating under a full moon can quite easily be mistaken for a “bunch of hooters”, as the name suggests, but it was here that I learnt that hooters are American slang for … breasts!    

I’ll soon get the hang of it.

A bit slow, er, late on the Canada Day post, but here it is on the 4th of July.

All things eventually end.  Good and bad.   

This was the back of the “WELCOME TO KEY LARGO” sign.  When I first started driving on the wrong side of the road, I was so nervous.  Everything was opposite, but at least I knew that if I saw the back of a road sign I was definitely going up the wrong way!  

This IS the back of a road sign, we should have turned around.

It’s gotta be 5 o’clock somewhere.

I am quite pleased with these two shots.  I love the bright blue sky and I love the perspective of the fishing pier, the way it runs out into the sea to meet the horizon.  But I couldn’t think of anything else to write about them, other than that the name was puzzling me.

Cheeca.  

Never heard that word before.  Is it the name of a shark?  As in the logo or is it the name of a fish?  (They say Islamorada is the sports fishing capital of the world, so I took that as a hint.) 

After a little web search I found this piece in the Marlin Magazine

During the 1960s, the lodge came under the control of the Twitchell family. Cynthia Twitchell, also known as “Chee,” was an heiress to the A&P grocery chain. The name Cheeca actually came from combining Cynthia’s nickname with her husband’s first name, Carl. Under the Twitchells, the lodge underwent a major refurbishment, with the addition of the main lodge, more villas along the oceanfront, a golf course and Cheeca’s now iconic wooden fishing pier.

There you have it.  It’s a made up name!  

But the sky is real.

We made a beeline for the wicker chairs on the beach and plopped down on the soft, plump cushions.   I lay back, kicked off my flip-flops and let the sun dance with the fine white sand that shimmered on my toes like glitter.  A young tanned man wearing crisp white cotton shorts brought us blueberry mojitos and coconut shrimp from the tiki hut.

I wanted time to stop right there.  

Not another tick.

Ever.

You have been warned.  Listen here.