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This is the photo that Bo and Brian have been posing for in their dreams for months. (Photo: Allison Cordle)

Last weekend, six boats converged on St. John, creating the biggest ruckus Maho Bay has ever seen.

That’s what happens when twelve live aboard sailors, seven boat kids, a whole mess of dinghies and water toys, and seven giant lobsters get together for a party.

As I moored Nightingale Tune in the bay, a woman flanked by three adorable little girls on the bow of her boat yelled, “You’ve returned to the scene of the crime!” It was our friend Brittany on s/v Asante with her daughters, Isla, Haven, and Mira. We’d met them last year in this very same spot, just hours after we’d had our asses handed to us out sailing a chartered Island Packet 40. Brittany’s husband Scott went out sailing with us one day and they invited us to join in the celebration of three birthdays with all of their friends that weekend. They have no idea how much these acts of generosity helped restore our faith in the dream.

And that is how we came to meet a whole gang of inspiring young cruisers: Peter and Jody (s/v Mary Christine) and Genevieve, Eben, and their two lovely daughters Arias and Ellia on s/v Necesse.

One year and thousands of miles later, we’re back and together again. And this time, we had our boat besties on s/v Selah with us, plus Darcy, Luuck and their boys, Stormer and Rio, aboard s/v Kalani. We couldn’t have mixed together a better group.

It was a weekend so packed with fun activities, friends, and great food you wish you could freeze time and it could go on forever.

It’s been real friends. See you next year!

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6 sailboats (4 Whitby/Brewers), 12 grown-ups, 6 kids, 7 lobsters. One unforgettable weekend. Bo and Allison got out their drone to capture the moment.

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Afternoon cocktailing on Asante. Brian, me, Bo, Allison, Brittany, Genevieve. Photo credit is due here, but I can’t remember who took this – maybe Isla?

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We organized a morning hike up the mountain right off the bay to a smoothie stand at the summit. The dads took their turn on duty while the moms went to play.

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The hike turned out to be very steep and it was a very hot day. Despite these challenges, some people decided to run part of the way.

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We got lost and walked in the wrong direction for a while. When we stopped a jeep for directions, they said “wow, you’ve got a long way to go!” That wasn’t exactly what we wanted to hear.

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Pot of gold at the top of the mountain.

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Beautiful, sweaty people. Delicious, cold smoothies.

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Our group created quite the circus of dinghies, water toys, kids and adults, zooming around Maho Bay.

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Genevieve of s/v Necesse, paddle boarding with her daughters Arias and Ellia

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Brittany of s/v Asante with her daughters: Isla and twins Mira and Haven

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Stormer with his dad Luuck  of s/v Kalani  and Peter in the dinghy, getting ready to go lobstering.

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Eben with Ellia and Arias in their dinghy

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This is Peter, lobster whisperer. Photo: Allison Cordle (thanks for sharing all these photos Allison, I spent too much time in the galley to get the shots!)

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Peter is a master fisherman, and Brian and Bo were eager to soak up his knowledge. Luckily, Peter loves the thrill of the hunt, so he was more than willing to organize a posse to go find lobsters in the cut. I went along to take photos and learn about the process. Here, Peter, Scott, Luuck, and Stormer lead us to the money spots.

Looking for lobsters under rocks and in crevices

Sometimes, finding the lobsters means getting into tight spots

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Peter, trying to snare a lobster in a hole 12 feet below the surface. The man has gills!

Luuck, about to snare a lobster

Once the lobster was snared, the guys transferred him to another snare to be brought back to the dinghy.

Brian was very determined to get his first lobster using the snare

He got one! Unfortunately, those orange eggs under the tail means that the lobster he snared is female and the females are protected. He let her go.

Peter asked Bo to hold this lobster for a while. Even though it was pinching Bo’s thumb to free itself, Bo helpd on tight. When Peter tells you to do something, you do it.

Then Peter handed me this lobster on a snare to hold while he dove down for more. Bo and I let the lobsters hang out together until someone came by in the dinghy to take them from us.

With the sun getting low, we decided to call it quits

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Bo, Brian, and Peter broke down the lobsters on Selah. They split the tails to grill the meat for various preparations. Photo: Allison Cordle

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While they worked on the lobsters, I was back on Nightingale Tune preparing dough and sauce for six pizzas (to later be topped with grilled lobster), made from scratch in our galley. We pooled baking sheets from multiple boats’ galleys so that the pizzas could rise, bake, and be ready at the same time.

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Our radio channel was filled with meal prep chatter: “Anyone got an onion? Great can you dinghy it over?” When the dough had risen, I got on the VHF and askerd four other boats to start preheating their ovens, starting off the greatest synchronized boat baking event ever. Eben came by for the raw pizzas and distributed them to the other boats.  I gave everyone baking instructions via the radio. I’m not sure we could have pulled off this dinner without it.

This is Lone Palm, the luxurious boat where we had the lobster feast. Justin and Amanda, who were staying on the boat, met some of our posse on the beach earlier that day and generously invited us over. Thanks guys! You’re amazing hosts.

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The spread: Lobster ceviche by s/v Mary Christine, lobster dip by s/v Selah, three lobster pizzas, three margarita pizzas (with basil grown on s/v Kalani), plus a lot of grilled lobster pieces dipped in garlic butter. It takes a boat village to feed this many sailors.

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The pizza got the thumbs up from Arias (pictured here with Isla)

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Fantastic friends. Amazing weekend.