October 29, 2014 , Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
Three Weeks to get The Job done !!?? And what do you think the result was?
We'd been told, before we even booked our appointment with Spice Island Marine, that it would be imperative, as we itemized and discussed with the Marina Manager, the List of Tasks that Banyan needed doing, that the list be in the ORDER that we wanted the items completed.
Banyan wasn't getting a lot of work done. Basically we were getting some dings and scratches in the hull "fixed", THEN the hull needed washing and waxing, THEN the keel joint needed a new coat of 4200, and the Grounding Plate scraped free of coral, THEN the bottom needed painting with the 2 cans of paint we supplied, along with the understanding that if more paint was needed, they would supply it, as long as there were two full coats on the bottom. Simple, right? And bonus, they had THREE ENTIRE WEEKS to get it done.
So when we arrived at the Yard bright and early in the morning, all eager beaver to see our Banyan this is what we found. She'd been moved, ready to Splash, that's a good sign right? Then we got closer. And we noticed that the dings and scratches, that we had identified by green masking tape, had been very nicely fixed. And the boat bottom had been painted.
And then we noticed as we inspected some more that, THAT, was it !!
The keel joint had not been re-glued. The hull had not been washed, waxed or polished. The ground plate had not been de-coralized.
When we found the yard manager, he remembered the task list, and apologized, blaming lack of resources, time, energy, and perhaps even money, who knows? The Capt'N frowned and complained. The Yard Manager apologized some more. The Capt'N grimaced some more. And so on, a stalemate had been reached.
It all really came down to what was done, was done, and according to the Yard Manager, we had two choices. Take her as she was, and splash at our pre-appointed time of 14:00.
"But..." said the Capt'N.
"My apologies..." said the Yard Manager.
And I smiled sweetly, and said, "I understand!"
And the Yard Manager said "You I can deal with, the Capt'N not so much".
And so, prompted on, I said,
"So, if wanted to have the job completed, as we requested" I asked shooing the Capt'N, with his frowns and grimaces away, "when could you splash us? Because if you can't do it today, we have to take our bags back to the hotel, and make new reservations, and what kind of timeline are we looking at?"
He sent two workers over to finish the job of caulking the keel joint (on already painted keel), and grinding the coral off the ground plate, and dinging some fresh bottom paint off, and while the Capt'N greased the Prop some more, and all of us standing around in the heat and trying to figure out what would be what, and what time would be when.
The Manger sent another guy over to wax and polish Banyan's sides, being very careful to try and not get any wax on the freshly painted bottom.
Two hours, with a break for lunch in between, and we were finally slated for Splash by 15:00, with the tasks we had wanted done, done... not necessarily in perfect Order.
When Banyan was in the Sling, the undersides of the Keel were painted, the bare spots re-painted, the area by the ground plate touched up, the keel joint repainted, and pretty soon we heard a SPLASH...
Engine on and vroom-vroom, no leaks in the bilges, all systems GO. The Capt'N happily motored our way out of the Marina, through the Channel in Prickly Bay, out and around the corner, back into Mt Hartman Bay, where many, many friends came out on deck and waved a warm and wonderful Welcome Back to us !! How extra-specail to be welcomed back like this !!
And finally, Banyan came alongside Secret Harbour Marina, to her home away from home for the next few days,
where Life for the next few days will be spent getting things back on and in and feeling like HOME.
And oh, that super last minute waxing and polishing job that was done? Well, as we tied Banyan alongside, guess what we noticed? Three quite long, and quite deep dings from the Polisher they used, on Banyan's newly fixed hull. Our phone call to them, has yet to be returned. Any bets??
October 28, 2014 , Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
It's passed us by as a rather quick, blink of an eye type of split second moment, that has us looking at each other and mouthing WOW, Are We Really Done with Season 2 and starting Season 3?
How'd that happen? Feels like just yesterday we were gearing up for a new Season, a New Sailing Year ahead of us, with Many New Places to See and Many Old Places to revisit, such Excitement in the Air.
Last year, as we started planning and anxiously anticipating Season 2, we were feeling more than ready!! After all, we'd sailed from Halifax (Nova Scotia) all the way to the Caribbean Island of Grenada. Wow! And now? Now we were ready to set the sails loose and go where the winds would take us, all within the Caribbean chain of course. We felt that we could relax more as we were in (somewhat) familiar territory, knew more of how things worked on Island Time.
Somehow, things have a way of not quite working out the way you intend them to, not that any of it is right or wrong. It just IS what it is. As I sit here reminiscing about our Adventuring's of Season Two, trying desperately (and coherently) to summarize it in some sort of story telling type of way, I think I can conclusively come up with the following: It was, truly, a Wonderful Year, and yet, somehow, it was also a Weird Year. And almost with total certainty I can best describe it as feeling Out Of Control.
"Say what" asks the Capt'n?
"Well, how would you summarize Season 2?" I asked my honey.
"Hmm, it was... (insert pondering moment of silence)... It was O.K." he replied.
And well, perhaps for Dave, who often describes things as "outstanding" or "The.Best.Ever", "O.K." summarizes it quite perfectly and adequately. And I will remain with my summation that Season 2 Somehow Felt "Out.of.Control".
Whether you're based on water or on land, of one thing you can be sure as you dance on the path of your Life, the road you're on will contain plenty of curvy turns, pebbles and rocks to hop, skip and jump over. Just because we live in the land of sun and sand and rum punches it is no less different or easier or more/less challenging to our Souls as we adjust our personal Sails to move along more comfortably. The respectful part to remember is that what is challenging to some can easily pass with barley an imperceptible nod to someone else.
Season Two was a year spent doing More of the Same, yet experiencing a whole lot of Different, all rolled into a lot of Great Wow moments, and all of it, well, all of it enveloped by some sort of Out of Control phenomena that resulted, for me, in some major Fear and Anxiety Issues.
More of the Same included the habitual checking in and out of countries as we travelled up and down the Island chains. Getting provisions, daily boat chores, generating power and water, late afternoon boat bottom scrubbing, and in this second season of ours, one thing was certain, in almost every Bay that Banyan dropped her hook, we were happily meeting new friends, or getting reconnected with old friends over Sundowners and Wizard Games.
A Whole lot of Different had us primarily realizing we had to change our daily routines to better adapt to and enjoy this second season of our Cruising Lifestyle. We were no longer having to "get here", we WERE here. Instead we had to challenge our bodies and our minds to adapt to the Different.
"I don't think I'm quite following you" says my honey with a quizzical look at me.
"Well... " I said, chewing the tip of my finger... "It's a little hard to explain. Different as in, well, we're adapting and changing. It sort of feels like our routines need changing too. Change is Always a little Stressful and that might have made us a little crankier than normal".
"Huh?" He said,
"Well, It sometimes feels like what we wanted to do, and what we ended up doing are two very different things. Sometimes, it feels like all we did for days on end, was work, work, work with no play, and what fun is that? And then, there were days when all we did was play, play, play, and all the work started to accumulate and it all got out of control, very, very fast !!
It was a year filled with little nuisances. Seemingly every little thing we touched developed a problem or three that required a bit more of our attention and inevitably somehow changed our plans. We dropped things overboard, we lost things and we broke things, damn! And then there were some bigger issues with the WaterMaker and Dinghy Outboard and our banking card being compromised.
"As much as we like Sint Maarten, we certainly hadn't planned on spending six weeks there, right?"
"Hmm..." He said. "O.K. But what do you mean when you say Out of Control?"
"It's like, Hmmm... (insert pondering moment of silence)... It's like, The Weather!"
The weather, totally out of our control, became a frustrating and ever present Dictator to have to submit to. Weather is something you keep a very personal eye on 24/7. It led us to plan an overnighter from Grenada to Saint Lucia, but had us change our plans not even 6 hours into our sail and seek shelter in a nearby anchorage in the wee dark (and stormy) hours of the night. It led our very tired selves to push those extra miles to ensure we got "stuck" in Saint Anne (Martinique) for the Holidays while the Christmas Winds howled for three weeks straight, (and wow, what a great place to be "stuck" in!)
"And yet, you know, if we chose of our own volition, to stay here for three weeks, it wouldn't feel like we were stuck. When you can't leave because of The Weather, then you suddenly feel "stuck"" I finished.
The weather would have us anxiously anticipating a "great sailing day", yet experiencing something totally different as we came out of the lee of the island and the winds and sea state were ramping up in a confused type of way that so normally happens around these islands, and we find ourselves questioning our Sanity for being out in this ShitStorm until we get to where we're going and after the habitual arrival beer, we high five each other and wonder what all that excited (and scary) fuss was about.
"It's like, sailing along and someTHING changes and all of a sudden, life as you know it so totally Out of Control" I continued.
And feeling Out of Control quickly leads to Panic and Fear and Anxiety. It might have had something to do with the jib sheet getting tangled in the furler, just as we're trying to bring the jib in, because the winds have been consistently increasing to hmm, we're not comfortable with this set-up anymore, and oh look, there's an ugly looking squall approaching and damn, the line's caught in the drum and it's all stuck and the winds are increasing and so are the seas !! My Dave now has to go out on the bow to try and untangle it all, while we're pounding into the waves, and damn, don't broach the boat !!
One surprising personality disorder that I was just coming to terms with, and perhaps not dealing well with, was that I found myself increasingly shying away from taking the helm, as it seemed that every time I took the watch, and Dave disappeared below, some ShitStorm or other manifested itself and I needed quick and immediate help. The more notches I put in my belt of sailing experience actually had me feeling less confident than ever. The more I thought I knew, the less it turns out I was comfortable with and the more scared I became.
"Huh?" said Dave.
"I think it's a Mars/Venus thing" replied my girlfriends.
Time. It sure flies by when you're having fun (or not having fun) don't it now? We were having So Much Fun, so many Adventures that, oh, there was no time to do Much of Anything Else, such as sometimes Cleaning Up, and Making Water, and getting laundry done, or lazing the afternoon away Reading a Book, or using our newly bought inflatable kayaks, and...
"So you're saying that too much Adventuring has spiralled our life out of control?" Asked Dave.
"Ya..." I replied, "I don't even have time to blog..."
It was a Oh I'm One day behind, and that's ok, I'll catch up tomorrow and then it quickly turned into three days behind as we found another Adventure to hike through or more friends to Adventure With and then I couldn't write about that latest Adventure, when OMG, I hadn't even updated y'all about last weeks' Adventures and then to compound the ebb and flow of time, if my creative juices were flowing, there was no WiFi to upload, and if there was WiFi to upload, my Creative Juices were put on hold while we were trying to catch up on other things.
And oh, at the start of Season 2, how lack-a-daiscal we quickly became with our bodies. We hadn't been exercising much, enough, or truthfully, not at all. And so pretty soon, just after the New Year, we were feeling out of sorts, out of shape and it had all gotten seriously Out of Control. It was time to grab ourselves and get going...
and boy-oh-boy, did we get going !! In the company of great friends who were incredibly motivated, we hiked anywhere and everywhere, and every Adventure began with an early morning Yoga session combined with a killer Ab workout.
And somehow hiking and trekking through dense rainforest type of foliage, on cliff ridges and edges, all while going gleefully UPhill was fine. However, I found myself dealing with an increasing fear of heights that seems to be exponentially increasing as time ticks by. And so I faced a few serious Oh Shit moments as I challenged myself into and across raging river currents and squeezing myself between and over larger than life boulders, all while going UP and UP, reaching new vistas and heights, always with shaky knees and pounding heart, but oh, that moment when the tears hit in that Adrenaline inspired rush? Totally Out.Of.Control.
And then there was the day the Capt'N suggested we sign Banyan up for the Carriacou Regatta.
"What? Me? Race?" I said?! But I knew that I needed to face the fear and Do it Anyways.
And sure enough, I somehow survived the unexpected gusts of wind in the very ugly squall that had developed just as we reached the Northern Tip of the Island, and wow, did I gain a new respect for our boat, and perhaps myself, as I realized I had, much to my surprise, somehow survived to tell the tale.
Well, a tale I would have told had I had time and WiFi, to blog about it all, right? (wink wink)!!
"Yes" said Dave, "you DO need to tell everyone that the Caribbean Compass described Banyan as being spectacular in her first place finish."
Even though someone else deemed it necessary to walk away with our First Place Prize. Can't argue with Island politics, eh?
And there's nothing like feeling Out of Control when dealing with Health related issues. A few times over we dealt with icky stomach symptoms that had us uncomfortable for a week here and there. Not enough to be serious, but enough to distort sleep, suffer from lack of energy and deal with irritable moods, all within 40 feet of space from each other,
Then there was the day that I slipped and fell down the companionway which led to some serious bruises and an arch that just wouldn't heal that resulted in months of limping along, cause no way and no how was I stopping my adventurings. Then on another day I over-winched Dave up the mast which then had me dealing with some serious intra-costal muscle pain that took another couple of weeks to get under control. And then one morning after a jog, I tripped and seriously bruised my shinbone while trying out get out of the dinghy and onboard Banyan, which sure slowed me down for a few more weeks. Not to be outdone, Dave seriously bumped his toe and couldn't Hash or play Volleyball for a week or three, and developed an uncomfortable Rash on his arms that persisted for way too long.
And in the last month or two, we both found ourselves battling body aches and pains. We were dealing with joint pain and were just exhausted and sluggish for weeks. There was this mosquito borne Chikungunya virus going around. A mild-case, perhaps. Some other virus? Who knows.
However on the flip side of Life, it's always good to let things get out of Control. Such as Drumming Lessons which sure allowed us to march to a different beat for a little while,
as did participating in the Grenadian Carnival Shenanigans, where we got totally doused with paint before the sun even came up.
And so it is with a total smile and satisfied smirk, that with these words, I brush away the anxious feelings and thoughts that somehow permeated and resonated uncomfortably within me, for too long a time, during this second Season.
I sit here and remind myself that I like to avoid "judgemental words" and prefer to say instead "it was what it was". And to reiterate Dave's summation: "it's all O.K."
Today, is, after all, a new day. And with it, a New Season Awaits. We're both pretty darn excited. Welcome to Season Three.