[private] Who & Where From?: “Living life on the front end,” describing herself, Roberta Bienvenu, 53, is a licensed boat captain/dive instructor/nurse. This true Acadian works four months a year as a Louisiana nurse and then sails around the world in search of festivals, conventions and adventure in general. On Roatan, she lives on a 42′ sailboat with her boyfriend Jim and works as a dive instructor with Ocean Connections.
What & Why: “Its not just any rubber jacket,” says Roberta wearing her New Zealand made ‘Line 7’ XS sailors rain poncho with vulcanized seams. The XS Star Trek technology garment is made from one piece of PVC material with melted seams. With fluorescent hood for security and one pocket for yacht racing gloves and Bole sunglasses its pure: form follow function. “I wouldn’t mind a little liner inside,” said Roberta, who picked-up the poncho on the last day (sale day) at an Annapolis boat show for $125. Her Bole sunglasses Roberta found, again on the last day, of a DIMA dive convention for $42, down from $150. Underneath the poncho she wore an orange ‘Camaro’ dive swimsuit ($80) bought at DIMA. Her titanium Seiko dive watch as another bargain $200 (lowered from $600) picked-up there. “Part of being into fashion is getting a good deal. Anybody can go retail,” said Roberta. We couldn’t agree more. Her pastel, knit net pants by ‘West Bound Beach’ are perfect if you want to wear something that dries in two minutes flat. Roberta picked her rayon capris up at the fall sale at Dillard’s. Her flip-flops were the greatest buy, $3, at a Cancun grocery store. With arch support, heel and snazzy transparent straps they could easily be mistaken for a Prada 2005 beach flops. Roberta is an accessories queen. On a right day, her pair of compass earrings could be potential lifesavers. All you need for one of the two to actually work. Roberta picked her ‘Ted Aucoin’ designer earrings at a Jazz fest for $80. “You want to keep quality in your jewelry. You know the other girls are checking you out,” says Roberta. Her one gold earring is a souvenir from her first equator crossing on the way to the Galapagos. A silver bracelet came from Bali, her opal chain and ring are a souvenir from a friendship in Australia. On her wrist Roberta wears a friendship knot and a Santa Helena coconut bracelet she got for $3.
In Conclusion: During hurricane and storm pour downs fashion has to make room for necessity, but not completely. There is now reason why one can’t stay dry and look good at the same time. Wearing garbage bags should be anybody’s last, and I mean last, resource. Roberta is a perfect example how to work with the weather not fight with it. [/private]