Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tribes hiding together

I have heard it said that cruisers (who sometimes have little good to say about charter folks) find a place to hide whenever the wind blows past 20 knots, while charter folks (who sometimes have little good to say about cruisers) go out sailing. One couldn't prove that this evening in Treasure Cay. It would be impossible to swing a dead cat around in here without hitting a Sun Sail charter Cat. That is after it had bounced off a cruiser boat. All of us are hiding out from the 20 knot winds that are supposed to arrive tomorrow around mid-day. The first of a double-header frontal passage event that may last into next week.

(By the way, most of the better sailors I know are regular charter folks, so I don't have a dog in that fight. Since we made it to the Bahamas we have seen three different boats crash into a dock. All were cruiser boats. And the boat that bounced off of us in No Name Harbor was a cruiser boat as well. So I'm thinking us cruisers don't have a lot of room for talking smack about charter boat drivers. Besides, there is some serious eye-candy adorning the bows of Charter Cats and I've never heard of a good reason to criticise pretty girls working on their tans.)


Kintala was heading for Treasure Cay anyway. It gets mixed reviews but everyone says the beach is not to be missed. The original plan was to sail here yesterday but we anchored out by a place called Water Cay instead. Not sure why it is called that since it is attached to Grand Abaco Island and isn't a Cay at all. Then again, neither is this place. I guess its all in the marketing. Anyway, it was good to be on the hook again in a less traveled place. That's the problem with sailing in paradise, everyone else wants to sail here as well.

This morning we let the wind drift us off the anchor, spun out the head sail and ghosted all of 7.4 NM to this place. It was tempting to go play for a while, but we suspected things would fill up pretty quickly. By 1300 we had settled into a good spot and then the parade began. One review I read suggested maybe 20 boats would fit in here. At last count there where 27 nodding to their bow rollers, and I think a few more could squeeze in without much problem. It doesn't look like Back Creek in Annapolis yet, so there must be room for a few more. For some reason everyone has an anchor light on even though we are in a marked anchorage inside a harbor. With all of these boats around it looks kind of cool.

While we were sliding along today, head sail only, doing about 4 easy knots, in this staggeringly beautiful place, I had to shake off the feeling that we couldn't really have made it here. For a moment it was like a surreal daydream had invaded my cubicle back in St. Louis. For any working toward this same goal let me say that all the effort, all the heartache and boat problems, all of the hassle downsizing and trying to explain to the uninitiated, all the expense, was, for us, worth it. This is not (in spite of the marketing) an easy way to live. It is sometimes uncomfortable, occasionally even a tiny bit scary. The decisions made can have immediate and potentially disastrous consequences. But sometimes, maybe even for a couple of weeks in a row, it can be pure magic. And that is just something that didn't happen back on land.


Unknown said...

I have a 40' aluminum ladder, a 12' folding fiberglass ladder, extra paint, and lots of items our kids neither want nor need. Then there's the on-the-lake 23' deck boat that needs a new owner as it is too big to be a dingy for our 34' Gemini catamaran.

Yes this downsizing is a bear! We are now on a shorter time "leash" to be on board than originally planned due to Diann's job loss.

The frustrations of transition- I know of what you speak.

Glad you are finding the Abacos to be so much fun.

The Tuning Caye said...

Thank you for the encouraging words. I, too, am working toward the cruising goal. The boat is almost ready and I have a departure date set. Now it’s a matter of going in to work every day and trying not to scream when someone says, “another day in paradise,” or “ugh, it’s only (fill in the day here)”. The negativity is overwhelming. It’s very tempting to move the date up. A lot!
Thanks again.

Deb said...

@Alex - I think about all the stuff we gave away and how much we spent on it originally...much better to just not accumulate it in the first place but that's so hard to do. Stuff will always fill the available space.

Deb said...

@Jeff - So happy to hear about your plans. Stick with it and don't let the negativity get to you. You will soon be where we are and you can flip the bird to all of it. A word of advice - the boat will never be "ready" and you'll never have "enough" money, so go as soon as it's feasibly possible. We found out after losing both our jobs that you can make it work. Keep us posted on your progress. We're routing for you.