Well, haven’t we been pathetic keepers of the blog?
Its bloody January and not a sign of us. No pictures, no words, no videos, nothing, nada.
You’d think we either don’t care, or have had way too much Caribbean rum to function. Well, the truth is, the latter!!! But seriously – we do care, and we do say almost daily, “we must do a blog”, but in the moment, there is no internet connection, and when there is, there is no blog because we are ashore, we are engaged in happy hour or shopping for happy hour, or boat parts, or doing boat repairs, or sitting on the aft deck thinking we should do a blog entry.
It’s also true that our lives are not that remarkable to us. ‘Its just another working day in paradise.’ I don’t mean to brag here – its just human nature to adapt to what is, as natural, normal, not that significant sort of thing. Well, let me shake myself out of my lethargy, wake up to what is amazing and share a bit of it.
Firstly, the Caribbean, if you haven’t been here, is vast. Not so much in land area as in cultural, historical places and people. Each island has surprised us with how distinct each is. The origin of its locals, who comes to vacation, the shape and colours of the buildings that line the streets, the currencies, the weather, the shape of the bays and lagoons, the food, the rum, of course, and music, and on. The sense of history here is perhaps the most striking, and in that, how much slavery shaped the peoples. The colonial masters – English, French, Dutch and probably others – each left cultural legacies that live on in the accents, attitudes and all aspects of daily life.
Here is where we have been in our all too brief survey of Caribbean stops, I recommend a moment on Wiki for each, for each has quite a story to tell:
– Antigua is where we landed after our 21 day crossing the Atlantic from the Canaries – The Nelson ship yards where we moored was flush with history, groceries unbelievably expensive
– Guadeloupe – The French ‘colonialness’ of Iles de Saintes, reminded us of French Polynesia
– Dominica – the poverty and resolute intention of the boat boys to make the most from visiting cruisers as they clamor to help us in the most inventive ways
– Martinique – Port de France sprawling bays and anchorages, busy, friendly downtown, blustery anchorages
– Saint Lucia – Rodney Bay, the centre of yachting in the Windward islands, boats finishing here from the trans-Atlantic rally (race), the majesty of the Petit Piton and Gros Piton, towering volcanic plugs
– Saint Vincent – Blue Lagoon anchorage – a hair raising reef passage entrance without a depth sounder on deck.
And in our micro world of s.v. Conversations, across these places, we had the pleasure of our friends, family and loved ones. Our transatlantic crew – Lyle, Mitchell and Willy – left us in Antigua and Al and Leona and Breanna came on board for the island hoping south bound three weeks. What fun to cook, eat, and explore together.
As captain/engineer/boatboy I am acutely aware our we floating home and means of conveyance needs more time than I have had to give her to keep all her parts flying in better and closer formation. For Conversation’s state of repair, I am reminded of a nick name – or maybe it was her real name – I encountered years ago for a boat I raced against – “Riotess Assembly”. Another name, “Bits and Pieces”, also comes to mind. Head repairs, instrument failures, plumbing leaks, electrical mysteries, outboard carburettor conundrums, leaking inflatables – it’s a daily list of repairs that I deal with on an urgency basis. Overall, the boat is hanging together very well for the miles, it’s the small stuff that is taking the time from leisure studies
As usual, Irena carries the can with our visitors below decks, provisioning, planning, directing meals and treats and booze. And all the rest of domestic stuff – making sure bedding, towels, and stuff are there for everyone’s comforts. Eating three meals a day on board, with all the different tastes, local foods, availability of propane, fresh water rations, etc. plus being the sailing mate is more complicated and demanding than you would guess.
I will be posting this blog, without pictures, because believe it or not, I don’t have time to sort them and put them up! And this is the most significant theme of our lives; incredibly, is we don’t have enough time. You would think not working at jobs, commuting etc. we would be living a life of sumptuous luxury. Yesterday, Al and Leona flew home (Breanna lefts us a week ago) and so we took the day in port to get organised – a rare day. Mustering each day to put to sea, is not a trivial task, and at the grand pace of 6 knots, we don’t cover a lot of the planet very quickly. And we have covered about 2/3 of the 15,000 miles we must sail to reach Vancouver this summer. Lots more to do yet.!
Adieu my friends, adieu. Photos will come. As soon as the shower ends, we sail!