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Slow Sailing
15 Years and many wonderful times together
05/22/2009, Grand Cayman

From Cayman Islands

We're really enjoying our time in the Caymans together. Yesterday was our anniversary and we had a wonderful day together. We swam with the famous stingrays on the sandbar in North Sound, did 2 spectacular scuba dives and then finished out the day with some snorkeling. Needless to say, we were wiped out last night but it was a great day and the weather is just fantastic. I put up some pictures of the stingrays and will add to this entry when I have more time.
From Cayman Islands

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05/23/2009 | John
Hi Guys!
Happy anniversary! We celebrated our 25'Th last Tuesday here at Tortugal :-) Glad you had a good sail up and are having fun. See you soon! xo
We're in the Caymans mon!
05/17/2009, Georgetown, Grand Cayman

We had another great trip from Providencia to the Caymans and we're so excited to be here. We pulled in yesterday around 3pm, got checked in and picked up one of their free moorings right off the town. The water is crystal clear and there is reef right under the boat with big groupers, hogfish, huge coral heads and colorful tropical fish. Will write more about our trip over and our first day here later. It's time for happy hour right now and I don't want to miss it!

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Waiting, Watching, Wondering
05/10/2009, Providencia

Last Monday, we left the cushy slip in Cartagena to head for Providencia- again, since we needed to meet up with friends who were carrying several cans of varnish and other assorted necessities that we didn't want to be without if we were in the Pacific. Not expecting a world recession, we never thought we'd be taking the boat back to the US this summer to work and earn the money we need to cruise further rather than tap into our savings. Now we'll just carry this stuff back with us to the US to let it make the full circuit. We aren't sure how long we'll be back for but I don't get the feeling it is going to be as speedy as it was last summer. We were supposed to be in a different ocean by now, but we'll keep shooting for the goal anyway. In the meantime, having our home with us will be great.

It took 3 nights and 3 days to make the trip from Cartagena and we didn't want the passage to end. It was one of those absolutely beautiful ones that don't come too often, where everything from sunny days, moonlight filled nights, dolphins coming over to us at night to keep company, to the perfect wind angle and small seas and even a favorable current- it all added up to the kind of passage you don't forget.

Then we got here just as our friends were leaving so we never got to see them. We got our stuff from the agent and were ready to leave the very next day for the Cayman's, but then the winds strengthened and were no longer favorable. Now we're sitting here waiting for the wind to die, watching to see if it has and then wondering if we should have left already. We haven't checked in here since we've already been in Columbia for over 2 months and the extension is cumbersome to get, so we've been visiting a little with another couple here in the harbor and doing some nice snorkeling. We're impatiently waiting to be able to sail out of here but we REALLY want to get to the Caymans and do some more diving before wrapping up the season and putting the pedal to the metal to get home. We need the right wind though to get there. For years, I've been interested in seeing what the diving is like in the Caymans because a lot of the photos we see in magazines and in our reef ID guides have been taken there. People we know who have been rave about the diving and the free moorings, cheap customs fees, etc. I'm not really expecting to like the land so much since it's tailored to cruise ships, but it might be nice to see a Bermuda-like town after so many Central & South American towns. I've got my fingers crossed that we'll get there but I'm not printing out the harbor charts until we're on the home stretch- too many plans have changed abruptly when I thought there was nothing that would stop them from happening.

Little Huey the gecko is doing fine. Our other one made the jump to shore when we brought a stalk of bananas ashore that had never ripened. As I put them on the dock from the dinghy, he scurried under the pier. But Huey is an indoor/outdoor pet now and was last seen peeking his head out from the center of a winch on the mast last evening. Jon got a picture of him that I think will come out. I wish I could tell him when he should come inside to stay dry on sailing trips. This next one will be a beat and the mast is not a very dry place to be living!

When we first got here, we slipped ashore to grab some more rum, get some fuel and finish spending the rest of the our pesos. As I saw in Cartagena, there were people wearing masks- in hopes of preventing the dreaded Swine Flu. I couldn't figure out why the agent wouldn't let us come ashore to get our stuff and also wouldn't come to our boat to deliver it. They brought it to another boat that was checking in, then we had to go to that boat to pick it up. Turns out, it is all about the flu. They don't want anyone ashore until they've been questioned by the health official. And since we were supposedly heading right back out again, they didn't want to expose themselves to us unnecessarily. The mask thing sort of cracks me up since most Central & S American bathrooms never have soap, often don't have TP so you must bring your own and while I'm at it, they actually rarely have a toilet seat, not that I'd ever sit on one. I guess masks take priority over handwashing. Too funny. Anyway, we didn't know this when we went ashore; we just knew we weren't checked in. There were 2 cases in Cartagena but as long as we stay out on the sea, we should be fine.

Well that's about all the excitement there is with us. I hope the next time I write, it'll be from the Caymans. I wish Obama would open up Cuba too- I'm sick of sailing right by it, smelling it's soil and not being able to stop to check it out.

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