Windsurfing: The Crash

My brother and his family are visiting and I lend my windsurfing gear to Peter. Off they go . . .

My husband and brother go out for a day on the water.

All is good.

Peter and Matt - A little competitive - maybe?
Peter and Matt – A little competitive – maybe?

And then — not so much.

Ouch!
Ouch!

Thanks for reading . . .

Cruising and Blogging

As we travel through the Exuma islands, we get a lot of this . . .

Bubble Baths at Compass Cay
Bubble Baths at Compass Cay

But not a lot of internet.

I can blog ahead of time and upload my posts — as long as I’m organized.

I can usually find a connection that’s strong enough to support an email connection, but not strong enough to post or reply to comments.

I love to get comments on my blog, and I try to respond to each one, so I have to say it can be frustrating when I receive a comment via email, know it’s on my blog and I can’t respond.

I guess like many, I’ve become accustomed to the immediacy of our lives and when I don’t have it, I feel disconnected.

Then I remember where I am and what I’m doing and laugh at myself. Life is pretty good in the Bahamas.

Thanks for reading . . .

Farley’s Friday: Where Are My Puppy Friends

Farley here.

I have lots of friends, but sometimes they disappear. Where do they go? Do they live on sailboats too?

Take Piper for example. I met her the same day I met my owners. She has different owners and she has an attitude.

Farley and Piper

Piper is a border terrier, and she’s cute, but really, look at her whispering in my ear. She told me her owners were nicer than mine. Ha! I don’t think so. We’d only been with them for five hours, so how could she know?

I’ve travelled across Canada, the United States and the Bahamas. I don’t think she’s done that.

I’m with my owners most of the time. I get walked at least twice a day and sometime more. I get real meat added to my dog food.

I may have to live on the sailboat, but she has to live in a backyard. So I ask you, aren’t my owners nicer?

I spent 5 weeks with Piper this summer, and we went camping together, with both our owners, so I have to admit hers are pretty nice too.  Piper still has an attitude, but she quickly learned Kristina spoils all dogs and settled right in with us.

Woof Woof.

 

The Start Of My Sailing Life

“Bond, James Bond,” my husband, Matt, said. It was our first ever cockpit happy hour and we’d anchored  our charter boat amongst several mushroom-shaped islands. The day started in Phuket, Thailand and ended . . . with a dream.

James Bond Island

I raised my eyebrow at him, thinking he was trying to be as cool as his drink. “What are you talking about?”

“Right there.” He pointed with his glass. “James Bond Island, from the movie ‘The Man With the Golden Gun.’”

I turned and looked. Near the closest of the limestone islands, I saw something more interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Bond, but a sailboat with San Francisco written across her stern caught my eye. She was anchoring right next to us.

“How did that boat get to Thailand?” I asked.

“They’re cruisers.”

“What do you mean, cruisers?” The answer changed my life.

“They live on board their boat and are sailing around the world.”

“People really do that?” I looked him in the eye with genuine curiosity. I had never read a sailing magazine, had no idea the cruising lifestyle existed, and more importantly did not realize it was my dream. “Honey, why can’t we go cruising?”

That was the moment I first heard the ‘Call of the Sea’. It occurred aboard Sweet Robin, a Jeanneau 39 chartered by friends out of Phuket. We were the ‘crew’, invited along to help do a bit of sailing and a lot of living. It was day one of our fourteen day charter, and our attitudes were already changing. After a delicious cockpit dinner of jumbo Thai prawns washed down with a Singa Gold beer, I repeated my question, “why can’t we go cruising?”

Over the next thirteen days we accidentally anchored in a ferry channel, swam to a rustic hut on an expansive white beach for the best ever sweet and sour fish, tried to barbeque while waves splashed into the cockpit, sailed out of sight of land without a GPS, and spent a very bouncy night on a lee shore. We had a moment of panic when the six-year-old on board yelled from below, “is there supposed to be this much water in here?” Relief followed as we tracked down the leak in the head. Through it all, the dream took hold.

We returned to living as expatriates in Tokyo and would be there another couple of years. I avidly read about other people’s sailing adventures and the world of cruising. Halfway through our next assignment in Germany we committed to each other that we would make the dream happen.

We took a ‘Learn to Bareboat” course in the Florida Keys and chartered in the BVIs and in Turkey. In 1999 we bought Allura, a Niagara 42 sloop, built in St. Catherine’s, Ontario.

Allura
Allura

We spent the summer on Lake Ontario learning to sail Allura and headed south in September with all other Canadian boats. We made it to Georgetown, Bahamas, just in time to celebrate the millennium with all our new cruising friends. After two seasons exploring the Bahamas, we sailed to Bonaire and ended up in Aruba for a year of windsurfing. In 2003 we cruised back to the Chesapeake, sold Allura and returned, for a while, to land life.

Now we are on Mattina, and love her just as much as Allura.

I kept the photo of the boat from San Francisco to remind us that dreams do come true, and I often wonder what that family is doing now.

Afraid of Heights: Try Repairs on a Sailboat Mast

Every sailboat needs repairs or maintenance sometime. A small event like sail tape coming loose on a spreader means a trip up the mast.

Mast

When sailing the in Bahamas, there are enough calm days to ascend the mast in safety. This weather came right before a cold front.

Safety being the key. The work has to be done, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous. A good harness and bosuns chair, two halyards, two people manning the halyards, tools tied to the belt, and up you go.

Thanks for reading . . .

 

 

It Was Only A Glass Of Water . . .

I’ve had a bit of a setback this week.

Water, water everywhere . . .  and not where I want it to be. An innocent little glass of water and presto – no more Macbook.

If you’re reading my blog, you know I’m living on a sailboat and nowhere near a store or something as luxurious as a Mac store, so when I spilled a glass of water on my Mac it brought tears to my eyes.

I shut down, ripped out the battery and hoped for the best. Days later, I’m not having any luck.

After the terror subsided, I remembered I made a back up the day before (phew), and that my husband loves me. The second is a very important point. When I asked if I could have his computer for the rest of the season, he happily said yes. He would use the tablet. Again phew.

We have backup equipment on the boat for almost every part, and I’m very happy that this extended to a backup device for my Mac and an extra computer.

Now I just have to get used to the keyboard!

My message: don’t forget to backup your work.

Thanks for reading . . .

Farley’s Friday: Cold Front Happiness

Farley here.

I love a good cold front, but Jasper stole my stick. I want to run with it and he wants to pull at it. We both have lots of energy because it’s cold. So not cold really, but only seventy degrees instead of eighty.

stick

“Let go!” I bark.

“No way, dude,” Jasper barks back.

I get my teeth deep in the wood and pull hard.

“Yikes,” Jasper barks. “Where’d you go?”

I run behind a tree, dart to the side and behind a another tree, but whoa . . .

There he is, waiting to take my stick again.

“No. No. No,” I bark, but he gets it and takes off.

The chase is on. Gotta love this cold weather.

Woof Woof.