Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Celebrated anniversary of 1st year cruising full-time

May 1, 2007  Tuesday

As of today we have lived aboard for one full year.  Neither of us feels like it has been that long.  Where has the time gone?  Some of our family members had bets going that we wouldn’t last even 6 months; they were convinced that we would get bored because we would have nothing to keep us busy.  Wow, have they ever been proven wrong!  There is always something to do on a boat.  You might not feel like doing it, but there is always something to do – changing oil, charging batteries, cleaning topsides, cleaning interior, cleaning hull exterior, cooking meals, etc.— the list never ends.

We each feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about the systems and handling of this particular boat.  It is a good thing that we decided not to rush to the Pacific and spend more time in the familiar sailing grounds of the Eastern Caribbean as we gained more experience with BEBE and obtained more spare parts that should be aboard for a circumnavigation.  Now we feel more confident about being ready to tackle the longer passages that will be required in the South Pacific.  So our plans were delayed by exactly one year; plan now is to transit the Panama Canal in February 2008.  Plans can change, but those are our thoughts at this moment.

This morning the Windjammer MANDALAY arrived here in Admiralty Bay and anchored near us.  We have enjoyed looking at her today.  We did 2 trips on the MANDALAY about 20 years ago, each time for a 2-week route from Antigua to Grenada.  So looking at that boat today brought back good memories.  We talked to a few of the passengers when we were walking around town today and learned that Windjammer still uses the doubloons for bar drinks.  Rather than deal with cash at the ship’s bar, you purchase a paper circle with 20 black dots around the edge; it is called a Drinker’s Doubloon.  The dots are punched out when you buy a drink at the bar.  Bill still has one unused doubloon from one of our Windjammer trips.  The one Bill has is white in color, now they are green or yellow.  The one Bill has also cost only $5; now a doubloon costs $1 per punch dot -- $20 per doubloon!  Talk about inflation.  If we had brought the old doubloon ashore with us then we would have given it to one of the passengers or to one of the launch attendants (Windjammer employees).  But Bill’s doubloon was back on our boat and we didn’t want to make another dinghy ride in the strong winds, so we still have that old doubloon.

Winds have been blowing pretty hard for the past 3 days.  We were supposed to go to Mustique today but didn’t feel like beating into the strong winds.  It is only 13 miles but we didn’t see any reason to do even that short a sail if it would not be comfortable.  See how lazy we have become.  I did manager to paint the new name on our dinghy.  Since our boat is no longer named Security, we saw no reason to continue to have a dinghy named Safety.  I borrowed stencils from Allayne and painted T/T BEBE (tender to BEBE) on the dinghy.  This was not easy because the dinghy was on the stern davits and there was a lot of movement in the strong winds.  So I could not paint it as neatly as desired, but now at least it is identifiable as belonging to our boat. 

We decided tonight that we would leave Bequia in the morning, regardless of the strong winds.  Winds are not supposed to change until early next week and we don’t want to stay here that long.  So we are leaving tomorrow morning.  Not sure if we are going to Mustique (13 miles) or to Canaouan (20 miles); either would be a short day sail.  We will decide which one we want to visit once we are out of this bay and see where the true wind direction lies.

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