November 1st, 2013

Fairhaven, MA

41° 38.12’ N, 70° 54.79’ W

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The highly anticipated storm made landfall in the morning, rocking Sedna and her crew out of their slumber.  The gale reached gusts upwards of 50 knots, speeds far too high for our little dinghy to travel in, ensuring that we would weather the storm on board, like true sailors.  Despite the tenacity of the elements, the hurricane wall at the mouth of New Bedford Harbor and Sedna’s pluckiness made sure that the crew made it through the day without an undue amount of discomfort.  When we were certain that the storm had abated, we piled into the dinghy and cruised over to a private dock on the Northern end of the harbor.  There, Alexia met us on her bicycle and escorted us to her labyrinthine and assuredly magical home.

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Thus began one of the single greatest dinner parties in the history of humanity, an indisputable fact I assure you.   Alexia whirled about the kitchen, creating a number of delightful dishes with grace and aplomb, effortlessly accommodating Natasha and the still mysterious Nicole’s vegetarian preferences amongst the pack of omnivores.  John, likewise in rare form, simultaneously acted as kitchen assistant, sommelier, and bartender.  While the host and hostess prepared for dinner we were thankfully allowed to make use of their shower, a decadent affair fit for royalty.  No kidding. This bathroom (recently entirely redone by the skillful do-it-yourselfers that Alexia & John have become) is like a lavish Roman bath. It’s hard to express just how heavenly the whole experience felt to us. After a drink or so, Nicole and Brendan arrived, having recently returned to the States from a ninth month stay in the Caribbean.  Their tales of the island beauty and adventure made us even more eager to reach its clear, blue water.  With the amalgam of past, present, and future island dwellers assembled the night truly began.

It is difficult to capture in words the kind of positively heart-warming dinner party we were gratefully part of that night. Not only was the food absolutely delicious (baked mushroom & cheese appetizer, braised lamb, vegetable soup medley, couscous with almonds, and a yummy potato dish) but they also shared a vast array of libations with us. Oh, and don’t forget the handmade lemon and chocolate mousses for dessert… or the exotic alcoholic beverages that were brought out at the end of the night. I think the highlight conversation topic, although there were many, was an invitation by Travis for everyone to share his or her most offensive joke. A nearly two-hour festival of shameless laughter ensued. Alexia and John (and Nicole & Brendan), please accept our sincere thanks for a wonderful, rejuvenating evening together. A very special thank you to our wonderful hosts Alexia Verchere & John McAllister for your exceptional hospitality! You guys are true gems. We hope to cross paths with you again.

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~Travis & Natasha

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