Monday, March 20, 2006
We expected to be transformed by living life in the beauty and power of the deep sea. Little did we know that a casual invitation for a regulation volleyball workshop would lead to the birth of a new personality: Captain Volleyball.
We left the George Town metropolis for a quieter world. At Black Cay Nick found that he was a expert sea bean collector and able to survive the dangers of scrambling on razor sharp rock cliffs. That was a good thing since the water below us was thickly populated with sea urchins. Just off our anchorage was a small cruiser resort, a couple of palm trees and a hammock made of a fishing net. Ah, living the good life.
Although one of Nick's goals was to go snorkeling, this was not meant to be. His snorkel and mask lay neglected as the winds blew hard and the water stayed cool. He mastered his disappointment and found other entertainment: kites, horse shoes, and beaching.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Nick was held over in Fort Lauderdale for a night, but made it into George Town on Saturday. From the taxi it was a quick trip to begin life on the boat. He seemed to easily adapt to the small space, constant rocking movement, and complicated simple life. Now his shower was just a dive off the boat, his drinks came warm from the cooler, and the toilet needed supervision so that after use it would not flood and sink the boat.
The signs into town are usually not at the water front, but one morning we walked down the main road and found the welcome not seen from shore.
In town we found the comforts of land life. This is Mom's Bakery. Twice a week, Mom brings in coconut bread and rum cakes, greeting the hordes of hungry boaters with hugs.
Sailors suffer from a common, but underdiagnosed condition called "Cussler Malaise", presenting with a blank stare, vague sense of nausea, and mental toper. Caused by reading a steady diet of mindless drivel, the most effective treatment is reading good books. George Town has responded to this need by allowing cruisers to get a library card and check out or trade books. It is next door to the school and this morning had a good part of the class on the porch.
There was plenty of room for us in the constantly shuffling city of boats. After several days we realized that we had given up traveling life on a sail boat for a small airstream in a busy trailer park. Our neighborhood was unpredictable. We could go to sleep in the French Canadian quarter and be back in America by the next afternoon without moving our boat. Friends on Oreneta, No Justice, and Twice in a Blue Moon would unexpectedly appear next door only to later disappear across the bay.
A great sail brought us to the enormous harbor at George Town, temporary home of over 400 boats during the Regatta. The tower was built in the 1800's as a navagational marker. The flag draped rigging of this small boat shows that it is regatta ready.