Before we leave the life of reliable wifi I figured I would get an update onto the blog. Several months ago, we told ourselves that we'd stop the work on the RV and take a couple of months off in April & May to sail to the Bahamas for a getaway. We figured we'd be really burned out by then and in need of a break. In actuality, we have been quite happy in Washington, NC and are really enjoying the set up we have here. The truck is coming along and we're excited about it. So we almost talked ourselves out of dropping everything. Finishing the RV this year is a major priority and we have so much left to do. But, we thought better of that and now we are ready to go as soon as this hundredth cold front of the season passes by.
Twenty five years ago next month we got married and spent our honeymoon cruising the Bahamas with my sister Ann and her then husband, on their boat. They were the ones who introduced us to cruising and life on a sailboat. They showed us a wonderful time and we were hooked. Later that year, we bought our first boat, a Cape Dory 31. Three years after that we headed down the coast from Rhode Island and spent a winter in the Bahamas sailing around with our cat. We've never moved back ashore. It just seems fitting now to spend our 25th anniversary there.
During that cruise we met our friend Frank in the Exumas and we cruised together for several months. He taught Jon to spearfish and we had many experiences together, not the least of which was trying to save several beaked whales who kept beaching themselves. The attempt failed, but we tried. We then got ciguatera fish poisoning together. Maybe that's what bonded us for life! And Frank is also the reason we're here, in his hometown that he recommended. He's cruising the Exumas right now too and we hope to meet up. My sister Ann is retiring this month. I'm not sure she'll make it over before we need to sail back north but we can hope. And lastly, our friends on Slip Away are on passage from S Africa as I write this completing their circumnavigation- headed for the Bahamas! If nothing gets in the way, we hope to have a reunion there since we parted ways in Singapore. We are, after all, carrying life saving Cheetos for Rich. Hopefully we get to hand deliver them and wash them down with champers, for old times sake.
So those are the reasons, and the plan is to get down as fast as we can, spend a few weeks in the Exumas and then turn around and hopefully have smooth sailing back to our slip and back to work on the truck. It seems like a lot to ask given that we know what this coastline is like when trying to head south in transition seasons. It's usually crap weather punctuated by periods of increased crappiness, but we hope we can shake off our rustiness and get back in the passagemaking saddle with some decent weather.
In order to get ready and make our goals for the build, we had to step up the pace to cram more into a day to get more done which of course is fine by me. I love the time change and the warming weather. It just lends itself to that. Jon kicked butt building the rest of the interior overhead cabinets which was our goal to get those all bonded in and varnished before we left. The water tank fit like a glove and is in its hole. On a particularly bright sunny day, Jon cut a hole in our 3.5inch roof for the A/C unit and we hauled that up there and sealed it in. We just figured that for our home we wanted to have A/C.
We needed to turn our focus to getting the boat ready and one thing was we needed a new dodger. So we set up the machine in our workspace at the marina and in 3 1/2 days Jon has made us a whole new one using the original as a template. Unbelievable! Meanwhile, I re-finished a bunch of teak, sealed up all the cracks, we provisioned, got the sails on, worked on the generator, just all kinds of tying up of loose ends.
As the weather improves, people are emerging from their boats more and there is a more festive mood here. Impromptu happy hours on the many deck sitting areas here at the marina have been fun and we are finally getting to know some people. Plus, we have free entertainment. I don't understand this but for some reason, our marina is a hotspot for wedding photos. We have had several couples here so far at sunset with their photographers and white lights using our boats as a backdrop. A couple of days ago I was headed down the dock in my flip flops with a handful of recycle and an empty propane bottle and then there is this lovely bride in her white dress on the dock- I felt a little underdressed!
I really do hope our plans work out and that we can get down there and spend some time diving and catching up with friends to celebrate us and them while being in clear water for a change (the water is pretty brown here!) I hope our systems work and that we have good conditions for some great sailing. One thing we will appreciate with the truck is that we won't be so dependent on the whim of wind and waves. But if we get a few more beautiful nights of solitude on passage with the sails full and the boat rolling along under a canopy of stars, there is no substitution for that.