We’ve been at this for a couple months. So how are things? How’s it been? What do we love, hate, tolerate?
It’s definitely been a period of adjustment. Both physically, mentally and in terms of relationship. It hasn’t been all been cookies, ice cream and tea. (Ice Cream is only sold melted in the Bahamas). It’s been hard but the highs have been high. The lows, well…., low. The hardest part? Taking the knocks without frustration. Everything takes a bit longer. Fixing things. Making dinner. Cleaning. Getting fuel. Waiting on wind. You simply have to slow down. And magic happens when you actually stop and smell the roses. We’re starting to get a whiff here and there. Those roses start to pop up for us every day. Sometimes that might be during a particular rough passage – We’ve been thru a few and it becomes enjoyable being out there in big wind and big waves. Other times it might be doing laundry on land. The frustration turns into a enjoyment as you interact with the locals and fellow cruisers.
We bumped into a fellow cruiser at the bar the other night. He’s captaining a 74’ catamaran with twin 400 horsepower power plants, A/C (interior and out). His comment: “If you’re able to get along on a ‘small’ boat as a couple, you’re meant to be.” I’ll be the first to admit it’s been hard living together on a boat. Living on a relatively ‘big’ boat you never really get away from each other. You’re always in each other’s face. There’s also been a shift in roles; Blue tasks and pink tasks. It’s somewhat like starting a relationship from anew; Moving in together again. Except at the age of 34. But alas, the knives have stayed in the cupboard and we’re still (happily?) married.
Some things we’ve gotten used to over last few months…
- Side swell sucks big time. Being at anchor and having waves continually come broad side, rocking the boat side-to-side. The worst.
- Noises. We’ve got this one mastered. Just yesterday we were sound asleep. K.O. and then the wind piped up. Seas built and just like that we were both deck. It wasn’t anything in particular. We’d just tuned into the boat and knew the this particular motion wasn’t within the normal. Of course, this was one of the few nights we hadn’t raised the dinghy. Ugh.
- People. People are awesome. We’ve met a few fantastic individuals out here. They all seem to be of a particular caliber: Fantastic. From private tours into hidden caves to paddle board expeditions. You connect on a different level out here.
- Navigating (the shallows). The Bahamas are very shallow. It’s not unusual to do a full or multi day passage with only a few feet under the keel. It’s all sand but still, it makes for interesting navigation. Add to that a bit of wind and the ocean gets quickly whipped up into a fury.
- Fishing & Hunting. First off, I thought I’d have fish on the table every single day. Ashley obviously knew better. She packed the freezer chocker block full with Chicken. Not only is it harder than I thought to find Conch and Lobster but the season is closed now for the latter. As for reef fish, they have a nasty thing called ciguatera poisoning around these parts of the world. We don’t really mess with paralytic poisoning so generally reef fish are out. I’m still on the hunt for Lion fish and deep water Tuna, Ahi, Dorado. Tomorrow I will go catching. Tomorrow I will hook the monster…
- Sunsets – The best part of the day. No, it’s not just because of the cold beer!
Today on the VHF radio: “Empty Pockets. Empty Pockets. This is Spare Change. You there? Channel one-six.” Never did hear how that worked out for ‘Spare Change’.
We’ve had over a week of cloud and rain. I know right? Horrible. What kind of paradise is this? After a day of sitting inside, we finally woke up. Free fresh water! We filled our tanks. We had multiple showers each day. Paradise.
More work. Shortly after this pic, I was banned from the living room. Apparently I cannot take the biggest room in this house and make it my office.
Midnight dinghy retrieval. The one night we leave it down, it pours. It get super windy. I receive the honors of dealing with our dink.