Meanwhile At The Dock
We have been rafted to another boat El Criollo at a Lagoon Marina, now for almost three weeks. (Rafting is boat-speak for being tied alongside another boat.) We’re well protected from strong winds and waves. Fayaway’s anchor is enjoying a rest, and so are her occupants. An elderly French couple live aboard el Criollo, which is sandwiched between Fayaway and a concrete dock. Since we’re close neighbors, we initially introduced ourselves, and received a warm welcome from Charles (pronounced in French as Sharl). I asked Charles how he’d prefer us to route our footpath course over his home. Muttering something in franglish, he pointed toward his bow (boat talk for a boat’s front end).
At first it seemed odd, and at least mildly uncomfortable, to be walking across el Criollo every time we’d come or go. But it seems quite acceptable to liveaboards here. (Marina charges extra if you refuse to raft.) To be courteous, Kelly and I tiptoe barefoot, stepping gingerly over each lifeline, around el Criollo’s mast and over her hatches. Sometimes the smoke-tinted hatches are closed, and sometimes they’re embarrassingly open. Not that I’m looking down, but Kelly comments that one hatch is over their head. (Head is boat-speak for bathroom). In any case we do our best to not disturb el Criollo’s occupants who appear unconcerned and oblivious to our frequent traverses.
We’re Eating, Drinking and Dinghying
KoryKory is also parked alongside, locked out in our “driveway”, essentially in the thoroughfare for Lagoonies dock. It’s convenient for us to have means of travel by foot or by boat, so we keep him there in lieu of on-deck. However, since we can’t currently hoist him out of the water, (water is essentially a living cesspool), a glorious green beard is growing on KoryKory’s underside. Giving poor KoryKory a shave is near the top of my list once we leave this protected lagoon. Many dinghies here have long green beards; doesn’t seem to slow folks down much.
Temptation for great food and drink is taking its toll on the occupants of Fayaway. After the first week we dinghied around Simpson Bay trying various restaurants, and found a few pretty good ones too! But then the business of increasing wind making for a brisk salty ride, pushed us back toward the laziness of walking barefoot to our nearby favorite Lagoonies. Not an ad for this restaurant, but I must say their friendly staff has made their menu too tempting to refuse. And so we’ve been finding ourselves eating here for at least one meal every day. We know the staff well. Jimmy, Marley, Deanna and others know us well, and don’t bother asking as we approach for daily Happy Hour. (Dos Presidentés, por favor.) We just sit at a table and cold beer appears! While their burgers are the worst, their otherwise eclectic and changing menu of mostly exotic vegetarian and vegan dishes, washed down with local fresh beer are difficult to refuse.
So what’s going on with Fayaway? Why are you here so long? Don’t you want to go elsewhere?
You may recall that we visited the awesome isle of Saba about three weeks ago. We stayed there for an adventurous week without a refrigerator (it “bought the farm” just before we left). Not a big problem at the time, lack of fresh food aboard afforded an excuse to sample the fine dining on Saba. We knew of a fridge repair company at Lagoon Marina, and after contacting them via email, they agreed to take a look, but they’re too busy to visit us at anchor. To get us in quickly they suggested getting onto dock, where one of the technicians can squeeze us in between other work. Accordingly, we begged for a temporary spot, they did as promised, and soon we learned that our fridge needed full replacement. We ordered a new system, and decided to use the waiting time to work on other boat projects. One project is new rigging.
Back up a bit, all the way back to October. While anchored in Weems Creek in Annapolis, Md, I climbed the mast and we measured for new rigging. (Rigging is boat-speak for all the strong lines and related hardware that keeps the mast pointed into the sky). We received the new rigging parts two days before our planned departure from Hampton, Virginia to Antigua. Too late to install! So the expensive box of new lines and shiny turnbuckles had ever since lived in our quarterberth. (Boat-speak for a place we pile spare and seldom-used stuff, originally meant as a place to sleep). At least it lived there until two weeks ago when I got bored and dug it out. “Hey, how about make use of time here at the dock throw this stuff on!?” was then my bright idea.
I’m saving the details of my rigging story for another of my techno posts. TBD, …if we ever complete the work!
Here we are now approaching the three week mark at the dock. We have a cold fridge. We’re really too well fed, and possibly drink too much (thanks to daily barato happy hour beers.) We enjoy the stable 84 degree days, lounging for hours reading and learning Spanish (thanks Duolingo). We’ve visited two movies at the local theater; we’ve hiked – searching for so-claimed elusive monkeys living at the top of St Peter’s Hill, and most recently biked to Fort Louis in nearby French Marigot Bay.
So what’s wrong with this picture? I’m not sure, but we’re getting antsy. We’ve traded people watching for sea life. Instead of pleasantly bouncing in the breeze on our anchor chain, we’re counting the hours to five o’clock (happy hour). We’re spending way more than our budget allows, and so that will have some reckoning later. Frequency of rain and strong winds (we’re told is unusual here) is slowing down my mast work. We miss the freedom away from land affords. We want to continue our trek West, to Anguilla and beyond. I want to write about something other than this lagoon!