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April 25th, 2002
Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles

Already, we're starting to forget the days here. I just had to count on my fingers to figure out if it's Thursday or Friday. It's 9am and that damned rooster is still crowing like a mad man. We woke up at 7 and I took a short walk to go get some coffee and juice. The streets were pretty much barren and everything was closed except Subway Sandwiches (?!) and the market at the gas station. The harbor was still asleep with boats gently rocking in first glimmers of the morning. At that early hour, it was already about 82 or so, but overall, we're surprised that it isn't more humid here. I guess I was expecting something akin to summers in Kentucky, where with your first step outside you're already drenched.

Today we'll move into a little apartment for a week. Karen, the owner, is quite a character. After 21 years here she still retains her New York accent. As a matter of fact, we're finding everyone here has some sort of different accent ranging from British, to South African, to Dutch, French, Creole, German, New England, New York… and we've only been here three days! Ken, who will be our new neighbor, is also from upstate New York. Don't pause to talk to him though, or you could lose an hour or so while he chats you up about whatever's on his mind that day.

The cast of characters here is a hoot. Already, there are so many funny people we've met, you'd get too confused for us to try to get you all caught up. Suffice it to say however that there are Nate Live-Alikes everywhere. While I know Nate has every intention of coming to join us on our sailing, island hopping adventure, I could also see him finding a nice spot at a sandy beach bar with a Carib beer and killer view of the local talent, only to find himself digging it so much he doesn't ever leave. Ryan, the bartender over at Captain Oliver's, cruised down here from Florida on a 28' power boat to do some adventuring I don't know how many years ago, and has found himself a bartender on a local dock with no desire to change a thing. I mean, who can blame him? He's got great classic rock blaring while he overlooks the beautiful harbor where the Moorings charters take-off. He passes out beer and rum drinks to wealthy travelers who think he's just the cat's pajamas. He's got rockstar status as far as I'm concerned.

We're off now. After we move our stuff to the new place, we plan to go to the beach and begin to chart our preliminary course southward towards Grenada before hurricane season (we will leave St. Maarten around May 15th or so). We have to come up with a plan quick… it looks like Gus may be the first to come sailing with us somewhere at the end of May or early June! Amie also mentioned meeting up with us third week of May… I wonder where we'll be then?!

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