|Looks like changes in the weather as well...|
We are still working out the kinks and with AU2’s chart plotter on the fritz we are sticking pretty close together. Under normal circumstances we hope to be able to enjoy a more relaxed itinerary and sail our own paths… but for now… some of the changes that Bruce and I have undergone since we began cruising are becoming more and more apparent…
So let me back up a bit… earlier in our Buddy Boating relationship we established that we should choose not a specific time, but a time range for our next planned departure. Say instead of leaving at 9 am… we would plan on leaving between 8:30 and 9:30. OK.
Thinking this would mean that at some time within that range, we would each depart at our own pace, and meet at our planned destination when we get there. But this is not the case... What it really means is that whichever boat is ready first... will then wait around for the other boat to be ready. We will then leave together and remain close for the duration of the day's passage...
Bruce and I are never on time anymore and I think AU2 has figured this out… They will undoubtedly be ready prior to departure time leaving us scrambling to do the things we forgot about… (Cruiser Brain is real)
So now they seem to be calling for a slightly later departure time. Unfortunately we have learned that we need to step it up and have begun to be ready closer to “on time” than we were in the beginning. Actually we’ve been ready sooner and have taken to radioing AU2 to let them know we’re ready when they are… leaving THEM scrambling so as not to keep us waiting…
So our departure time for leaving Francis Bay was set for “Between 8 and 8:30”… We were ready-ish to go and warming up the engine when our friends on AU2 pulled free of their mooring ball at precisely 8:15. On. The. Dot. What could be MORE “Between 8 and 8:30” than 8:15. ON. The DOT!??? Aghhhhh!!!
Really I’m just being funny here and it is totally OK (sort of), but it has really brought to light just how NOT on a schedule Bruce and I are used to being! And the stark reality of it is that we can’t hack it! In Cruiserlandia, schedules are more like guidelines… and guidelines are destined to be dashed upon the rocks of it-ain’t-happ’nin…
But… like I said, it is a SMALL price to pay for the companionship that we are enjoying with Janet Lee and Michael and for the fact that they make it more likely for us to get out and enjoy the places we visit more than ever before.
We had our dinghy down so we popped right over and picked up our friends and were quickly in and out of the Customs and Immigrations offices and now free to roam about the country for the next 30 days. Whoopee! JM and Michael were buzzing with that “first time” excitement of being here “On Their Own Boat”! It’s a feeling that is never forgotten and although you only get it once… it can be relived through the eyes of friends. We know this.
After a short walk about, we returned to our boats and headed for Cane Garden Bay. The plan: To anchor there and arrange for a rental car the following morning so that we could tour the island, do some shopping at the chandlery and Michael could deposit his chart plotter at the repair shop.
|Today's route is the red line.|
I suggested that the boys go ashore and find a taxi to the chart plotter store, leaving me on the boat to make sure it didn’t end up on the beach!... Then get back here and we would get-the-hell-outta-Dodge! They were gone and back in an hour and we pulled up the anchor thankfully and returned back across the way to Diamond Cay.
Unfortunately, as we motored hard to get there, two big catamarans sliced smoothly past us and took the last couple of spots. We could have messed around and found an alternate place nearby, but it was getting late and we just wanted to be settled. We left there and returned to Great Harbour where Bruce and I dropped anchor for free in a spot near where we had anchored before. AU2 found the last open mooring ball way in the back.
|Cruise ship in the afternoon...|
We have only been in the BVI during high season one other time and remember it being full of BABs (Big Assed Boats). This time was no different! Huge sailing cruise ships ghosted into the anchorage, although far out from where "us small-fry" anchored… they came near sunset or after dark and lit the night. I would love to see one of these things lit up under full sail!
With the north swell still making things difficult in the BVI, we were happy to stay put another night where our anchor was surely dug in well. S/V BeBe was anchored right next to us… Who is BeBe? Judy and Bill are two long-time-cruisers who have helped newbies like us along in the beginning for many years. Somehow they found us when we were preparing to cruise and were a source of so much invaluable information as we began our journey. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from either of them and last I knew, they were in Turkey.
As it turns out, they have been helping JL and Michael in their first year and were actually HERE! So, as they took one last turn around the BVI on BeBe, they would be relinquishing their long-time home to her new owners, Lori and Dan. They were showing them the ropes and we got to meet them all at Foxy’s for lunch.
|Kenroy bringing us some of his Mother's patties! Yum!|
Remember we thought we had a leaking tank? Then we filled it with water and it didn’t leak out… yay no leak! But then when we tried to use the tank it was empty again!!! WTF???
Once again we removed all of the crap from the v-berth and investigated the problem… There are bubbles in the line when we use the forward tank.
By process of elimination we have traced the problem to the tank itself… My diagnosis is that the hose that draws water from the bottom is either full of holes or gone...
But time ran out and we had to put it all back together and join our friends for a nice lunch. Like often happens with Cruisers… our 1pm date didn’t break up until almost 4pm… And we could have gone on and on. Bruce and I finished up the last of the straightening up and had a nice leftover dinner with our sundowners.
|Bruce, Bill, Tammy, Judy, JL, Michael, Lori and Dan|
|Bye Kenroy...see you next time!|
Our planned departure time? 9 or 9:30. What time did we get the call on VHF from AU2? 8:45. They were ready! We were ready except for raising the dinghy so we told them to give us about 15 minutes… we scrambled. They pulled anchor and waited outside the anchorage… sigh. We will get this right eventually!
|Cruise ship in the morning...|
Sure, we used to be hung up on the clock... now we almost never know what time it is... or even what day it is for that matter. We left our old life of watches and clocks and schedules and our lives have slowed down. If we're hungry we eat, if we're sleepy we sleep. When we're ready... we go! I suspect that changes of a different type will soon be coming to our Buddy Boating relationship...