The water is so calm this morning without the trade winds as the sun rises to warm my body. Believe it or not it’s kind of chilly here. Seventy six is a bit low for us. We had a nice squall roll through very early in the morning that cooled things off. As the Sun comes up over the hill some of the sleepy sailors are waking up from their Friday night. One guy from New Hampshire is already swearing out loud as he smacks his leg on the boat trying to go for a swim off the stern. A couple of small wooden fishing boats zoomed past as they head out to sea. You see them out there lazily waving while you’re holding on in six footers and twenty knots praying to make port. It’s all attitude people. Attitude and Dramamine. The radio is starting to crackle with the morning announcments and the water is ready for more tea.
We are on the south end of the island and the trade winds usually whip around this end and filter into the bays. We’re protected from any waves and for most of the swell but the wind tends to find it’s way in except for this morning. I see some boats are feeling a breeze so maybe it’s just us being so close to the eastern side. We are enjoying the unexpected stillness.
We hopped on the crowded shopping bus yesterday with the usual characters. We’re the unknowns. People recognize us but don’t know our names. When they hear the boat name they go, “Ah. So you’re Kelly Nicole.” Interesting.
I ordered a baguette today from the local French restaurant. Looking forward to some veggie sandwiches and a nice crisp salad. We made a big haul on veggies at the market yesterday and I intend to use them in tasty recipes I found on the internet. Again there were no cucumbers but there were tomatoes. Looks like my Greek salad will have to wait another week or so.
We keep hearing cows on land near the shore but we don’t see them. So instead of roosters in the morning we’re hearing cows. It’s a nice change. They’re not up as early as the roosters.
We have a few chores to do today to get ready for haul out. As unsettling as this is we’re still appreciative of this life we’re living right now. We could be making gobs of cash sitting in a cubicle for some corporation and spending it all on vehicles, a mortgage and all the other “Stuff” that goes along with work life including the stress but we’re good.
I can feel the breeze picking up a bit and the sun is getting higher. The local radio net is ending and people and boats are moving about. Time to get moving. Have a great day everyone!
Life on the hook. We have been on the hook for a long time it seems. Actually we have been on the hook since the West side of Puerto Rico where we docked to clear in after the Mona Passage. Damn. A lot of that anchoring was done with a manual windlass. How stupid was that? I still look at the motorized windlass in awe. It’s like some wizard dropped a magical device on my deck that will turn back into the Simpson Lawrence crank of death at any time. The only thing I miss about the old crank is the workout. My arms are like chicken wings now.
I looked in the mirror the other day which is something cruisers don’t usually do, apparently. I was not impressed. Scrawny arms, no pecs. WTF. I managed to lose the pounds I put on in the United Sugar Association but because my chest has vanished it looks like I have a gut. Add my skinny legs to that and it’s not pretty. I want to move the towel rack above the mirror.
So I’m thinking about how horrible cruising is for my body. I suppose I could change things and start to work out in the morning. Maybe start a regular walking routine.. maybe. It’s all hills here and it would be a good workout with the exception of my knee. The knee without the ACL. I went out walking a few times. A couple miles but then I had breakfast (eggs, toast, potatoes) in the marina with a few cups of coffee. Oye.
It’s really easy to get lazy on a boat. I read recently that the worst thing you can do for your health is to sit all day. No shit. Sailboats are not made for standing. First off, if you stand you have to hold onto something because 99% of the time the boat is moving. It’s much easier to sit on your ass to do something than stand. Headroom isn’t an issue because we’re hobbits but it’s not easy to just stand all day doing stuff. The only flat surface to work at while standing is the galley and the galley is where the food is at. So in order to avoid sitting all day long I just lay down.
I’m going to have to change things up this year. Not a resolution or anything just overall health improvements. I also don’t want to sound like a party poop but we’ve cut way back on the happy juice. I love an ice cold beer in the sun. I just can’t love six of them. Some say why change now? You’re freaking 60! It’s not like you have your whole life ahead of you. It’s not like you have to get up to go to work. Party on dude! We do party on but not all the time. Special occasions with friends or finally getting off the boat after a week of rolling and it’s happy hour then for sure we’ll party. But it’s not every day or even every week. When you first get here it’s like a vacation. We made it! Yahoo! Beer me! After a few years it becomes less a vacation and more your everyday life. If we attended every social event every week here in Grenada we would have some serious issues. Well I would. Some people have self control. It seems the older you get the less you want to hurt yourself I guess. Six beers every night in a bar is not only bad for me but it drains the budget.
“But Paulie, you have to walk to the bar and walking is exercise!”
Good point and a lousy one. OK, now I’m sounding like a party pooper. Believe me I’m not turning into a preacher of good health and well being and anyone who wants to hit up the brewery for happy hour is not going to be turned down so don’t get any ideas that I’m heading to loserville. Not that not drinking means you’re a loser. OK this is getting beyond my control. Everybody just do your thing. Now about anchoring….
The cool thing about being at anchor all the time is privacy, solitude, the breeze, the scenery, no cost, clean water, watermaking etc. The cool things about a marina is quick access to land. You can just hop off the boat and walk around. On the hook requires launching the dinghy and driving to shore. Sometimes that alone discourages the walking. So lets see how this all shakes out. I had a thought that I would get into a routine of walking every morning and it all goes great but then I get run down by a maxi taxi. “Dude you should have just went to the bar.”
So I lost some of that beer gut but gained it all back with a pile of Christmas cookies. Is self control my real problem?
I will start my new morning workout routine on this rolling boat today. Should be good for balance anyway. I will do this right after I ingest all this caffeine.
I should go kayaking. Damn, more sitting.
Because I have been called the anchorage spy by some of my friends and wifey, I have to live up to that tag sometimes and do some real nosing.
We seem to anchor next to older solo sailor dudes for some reason lately. Not sure what the draw is for Deb as she is the one searching for the perfect drop spot. I help until she chases me out of the cockpit because I keep finding “better” spots as she is approaching the previously agreed upon anchor drop. I suppose that’s annoying. We dropped the hook in a good spot but sometimes when the wind shifts we get “close” to another vessel next to us with an older gentleman on board who seems pleasant enough to wave and not be the least interested in us being too close.
So being next to this solo sailor has been interesting. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to sail alone. Debra thinks you become squirrelly and maybe she’s correct, based on evidence gathered at the tiki bar. I never really see young male solo sailors. They all tend to be pushing retirement age. Female solo sailors tend to be younger or they just look younger. Maybe it’s tougher on the men and they age poorly and the ladies are enjoying their solo time and feel young and free.
When we listen to the net in the morning and hear a grouchy person it is usually a male and typically one who sails alone. One morning two solo sailing males got into a shouting match and one threatened to cut off the others balls and drop them into the Bay. Huh, I would think just the act of cutting off your balls would be enough of a threat. I suppose dropping them into the Bay also cuts off any hope of reattachment? I don’t know. It could drive you crazy knowing your manhood is somewhere under your boat instead of under your ass. Anyhow it seems they have cooled their respective jets and are now somehow coexisting.
The guy next to us seemed nice. We would just wave as we passed by on the way to shore. We learned from the last guy we went to talk to that it’s best to just wave. If you remember the last solo guy we decided to exchange pleasantries with was a nut job. After critiquing our boat, anchoring method and where we were from he asked us to pick up his mail. Asshole.
I called this new guy ‘Buckets’ because he was always hauling sea water inside the boat and always dumping whatever outside the boat. We decided swimming was off limits.
Buckets would row to shore every day. Admirable. Any kind of weather he would row. Buckets could probably crack my head like a nut with his arms. Pretty impressive.
One day buckets didn’t row home. Buckets was brought home by the Coast Guard. Then buckets was taken away by the Coast Guard. Then Buckets was brought back and Buckets started scrubbing his boat bottom, running his engine and stowing his gear. A few days later Buckets was pulling anchor and raising sails. Buckets headed south over the horizon to Trinidad in his small boat leaping off the waves.
I have no idea what happened but for whatever reason Buckets has left Grenada. So if there is a point to this post besides adding credence to to my “Anchorage Spy” moniker is that you should pay attention to the dates on your Customs and Immigration paperwork, do not overstay your welcome and do not cut off any one’s balls and toss them into the Bay.
A boat just left the harbor on their way north as the sun starts over the island hills. The first flight of the day roars over the anchorage taking tourists back home and now everyone is waking up to the new day. I wonder what’s in store for us this Saturday. That sailboat that just left the harbor didn’t put their sails up, which were spilled all over the deck. I don’t get that. Anyhow, off they go…motoring.
Often times I post of the horrors of cruising. OK, maybe not horrors but inconveniences and breakdowns and such. I do this because most of the time it’s funny after it gets resolved and fun to write about. I don’t write enough about how wonderful it is to be out here. You know, when you get that perfect reach between islands as you rip through the water as fast as she’ll go, or the slow off wind sail to the next island with just the headsail out because you’re lazy and in no hurry. The perfect spot to anchor in front of a deserted beach. When you grab the last mooring ball and the boat boy asks if you need anything. Dropping anchor and realizing you have friends in the same harbor. Sitting down for happy hour at a beach bar and the beers are ice cold while the breeze blows through the palm trees. In between the whining on this blog we really do enjoy it out here so don’t think we’re just a bunch of sad sacks just complaining all the time. I will try to focus on more fun things we do. “Deb? Do we do fun things?” It’s too early for Deb. She’s trying to wake up while I buzz on double bagged black tea.
Mister no snubber/shiny chain just pulled anchor on his race boat and is relocating. I think our laundry on the lifelines was too much for him. He may be going to Secret Harbor where the race fleet parties get started. Who races with a roller furling main? Well now he’s heading west, with no sails up. Anyone sail anymore?
The sun is up and in my eyes and my cup is empty. Debra is waiting for the sun to be nice and warm before she moves so I’ll go make some noise down below. She loves me… oh look she’s up!
Oh hey, yesterday we went to the west side of the island to see if we could help Tammy and Bruce with their generator issues. I didn’t help but I didn’t hurt anything either and the thing ran for over 3 hours. Maybe I’m a lucky charm. The bus ride over there was insane. All the transport vehicles are maxi vans which are like mini vans only they have more seats. We hopped one and he took off a like bat out of hell. We hung on the whole ride. The dude even tried to pass another van but that van accelerated and both were side by side hitting 80 mph on a narrow roadway. WTF! Anyhow we made it out alive and had a nice afternoon with Dos Libras. I hope that generator keeps chugging away.
Meantime I’m going to get busy and get off the internets. I feel like maybe greasing winches. We have a mechanic scheduled for Wednesday to survey the engine issue. Hopefully it gets resolved soon after. I need to get moving.
I took a long break from blogging. I guess I got bored with writing about sailing and cruising and stuff. I’ll admit that it was hard trying to maintain my style of writing when nothing new was happening worth writing about. We just floated around in the Grenadines at a leisurely pace and explored a few places we hadn’t been to but nothing out of the ordinary was going on. Even naked people were behaving themselves and they don’t really get the attention they used to. I don’t even point them out anymore.
I’m not much of a journal writer so I can’t blog about daily stuff unless there is some humor or weirdness to the story. I guess things have been normal? Bland? Meh? You really would not want to read a daily journal from me anyway but maybe I’ll give it a shot. On the boring days I can write poetry or dirty limericks.
The Internet has taken its toll on my creativity as well. I got out of the habit of writing every morning while enjoying a few cups of tea in the cockpit. I’m getting back to that routine and dropping the internet news search and facebook browsing. I kind of let Trumps mouth keep me focused on the news, wondering when and if we were going to implode as a country. It’s important to stay informed but I don’t know how important it is to debate people or Russian trolls on social media. I just goes nowhere. You end up agitated and ill over words that serve no purpose other than besting your political opponent who might be your aunt, uncle, sibling, best friend or Russian agent. It’s just a stupid pastime. Meaningful debate is lost on many of us and I will leave it at that.
So what am I going to write about? Well, we’re going to explore some new islands this season. This will add some adventure which in turn will give me something to write about. I hope. If not then I’ll just fill the blog with photos and rambling text (dirty limericks) which tends to be favored over anything seriously written anyway you short attention span slaves to social media! 😀
With that I will leave you with a photo and some meaningless drivel.
For the people that are out here, did you ever wonder if you could ever go home? I assume someday we’ll all go home but think I’m wrong. Some people will never return from where they started. Some folks can’t go back for fear of getting killed or kidnapped as in the South African family we met. Some people are just not going to leave the warmth and sun for someplace cold and gray. There are many reasons people do return. Income is a big reason. Family is another. Some people just tire of the sailing life. As they get older they find cockpit seating a bit too uncomfortable and doing laundry in a bucket too tiring. Some people return because of health issues. The scary thing down here is heart attacks. We know of one cruiser who recently suffered one and we hope he is doing well. It was tough to find a hospital that would take him in! Seriously! That is scary. I have never seen an ambulance racing through the streets of Grenada. As long as we’ve been here it’s just not something I have personally witnessed. If one of us had a heart blowout on the boat I think we’d be dead before we got to shore. Even if we made it to shore the odds are slim. Of course in the US my odds would be better but I’d come out of the hospital completely bankrupt.
So it will be interesting to see how many of us are left out here cruising from the original 2013/14 group. Does it matter? No. Do your own thing. Have fun at whatever floats your boat or moves your RV or flies you to other countries or just gets you down the street to see the kids. But whatever you do please don’t sit in front of the TV or the Internet for hours on end while the world passes you by. I miss a lot of you already. I only see you on Facecrack and that’s not good enough. I would rather see you in person even just once a year instead of your daily memes on politics, cute cats or words of wisdom.
OK, that’s enough rambling in front of a screen. Deb is doing laundry up on deck and thoroughly enjoying it so I’m going to pluck some strings before lunch.
There was a young sailor from Bates
who danced the fandango on skates.
But a fall on his cutlass
has rendered him nutlass,
and practically useless on dates.
So we popped into his office/studio for a consultation. My blood pressure meds ran out and I needed a refill but the pharmacy in the French islands required a new prescription. Most other islands do not. They just look at your empty bottle and give you a refill. So we went to see the gentle Doc and see if I could get a prescription. I was concerned that my BP was a bit higher than normal.
The good doctor asks why I think I have high blood pressure. I told him I have a device on the boat for testing it. “Huh. Is that so.” he replied. He then took my blood pressure. “You do NOT have high blood pressure.”
OK, but it’s over the required limit set by….”Fuck them!”
Uh, but I’m taking these pills and…
“I am French yes? We see things different than American doctors. Your blood pressure is not high it is normal for your age and you do not need a prescription from me.” He also checked Debra’s and declared us both healthy and then asked about our sailing life. We chatted for a while and thanked him for seeing us. We bought some art work.
You might think this doctor doesn’t know what he’s talking about but Debra went to him with an issue that normally requires a round of antibiotics but he gave her a packet of powder to mix with one cup of water to drink. She was fine just hours later and has not had a problem since. This medication is not available in the US because it’s a cheap cure for a common problem. We’re being taken for a ride in the US by big pharma folks. Deb also got a refill on a prescription but they didn’t have the generic version so it would cost much more. The cost? About $20. In the US it would have been $250.00.
Looking up the French guidelines for recommended blood pressure I see I am in the healthy range. In the US I would need to be treated with meds. When I ran out of meds my BP didn’t change all that much. Interesting. In the mean time I am continuing to take my meds but I’m not freaked out about the whole thing and that probably lowered my BP even more.
I have to say that our worries about minor medical issues turning into bigger issues because of poor care here in the islands were unfounded. I’m not sure about anything major like a heart attack and I’ve heard the local hospitals are pretty rustic depending on the island. If one of us had a heart attack right now well, we might get lucky and make it onto the ferry to the main island for treatment but most likely we would just be prepared for burial at sea.