Lee and Kurt arrived safely in Key West on Saturday night. I don’t know who was more relieved. Those boys made quite the passage and I’m very proud of them! I am also very, very glad I was nowhere near Pirat in those steep, wind against gulf stream seas. Yuck.
I thought it might be fun to take a look at the back-and-forth between Lee and me on the Delorme. This is what we wrote to each other (in addition to a daily conversation on the sat phone). Lee’s status updates that he posted to the map are in bold. Keep in mind we had a 160 character limit so grammar and spelling was not a priority. I didn’t edit anything.
I missed the dolphins. I love how they seem to be jumping down a wave that Pirat is on top of.
Lee: Saw that your second flight was a little late. How did it go? Do olives need to be refrigerated? Going to bed now. Rachelrachelrachelrachelrac
Rachel: Yep. Just landed in SF. Olives do need to be refrigerated. Love you and miss you already : (
Lee: Hey baby I call you from sea tomorrow. I’m ridiculously tired right now.
(referring to a phone conversation about what he wanted me to send him from home)
Lee: The voice recorder if you can find it. That’s what it was. 5 kts of wind from north , we’re close hauled it is pretty nice.
Rachel: OK. Will have to get voice recorder tonight and send stuff tomorrow then. Still only found radar cable. That does sound nice! I’m at work now:( Love you!
Lee: Do you know where my toilet kit is? I’m tired.
Rachel: nope. take a little nap then. can’t find the voice recorder. where would it be? our toothbrush died. it won’t turn on : ( I don’t know how to reset your clock.
Lee: Found kit.Are text messages better?Clock with buttons on back, but difficult.Recorder maybe in basket by bed?Else maybe somewhere in flat plastic box
Rachel: Email better. Can’t find the recorder. might not get to mail package till tomorrow but will make sure it gets there in time. how are things? are you well fed?
Lee: Hot hot hot. Maybe check brown basket on desk with pens. I am eating food. It is not fun to prepare. Slow sailing. I want to go for a swim.
Rachel: hows it goin? has all the ice melted yet? wind still light? gotta be awfully tempting to pull into Cuba from there! you should post your status every morning: )
Lee: Coke in center of after cabin with canned wieners. believe it or not, it’s hot in sf right now too! going to mail package this afternoon. got enough to read?
Wed Apr 24 2013
Now hot and windy instead of just hot. 24 mm contiguous zone around cuba? Anyone want to confirm this? I was planning on going in tight. Key West.
Lee: Plenty of ice where’s the coke? I don’t really have any charts for Cuba though. How many miles until it isn’t too hot?
Rachel: my dad emailed saying he was worried about you going so close to cuba. wow you are awfully close. call again same time tonight. you are round the bend now!
Lee: Maybe also try to find the vhf base. Might be in the white drawers in the basement. Also that’s probably where the voice recorder is too. Trying Alice in wonder
Rachel: sorry i missed your call! was in garage looking for vhf base. cannot find it. conditions sound rough. hope ur right and won’t get windier. hang in there. love u
Rachel: oh honey, it must be bad if you say its bad. how was heaving to? too bad cuba is cuba. are chainplates leaking? how big are the waves? break out bpack food yet?
Rachel: honey, where are you going?? is everything okay? on lunch so you could call me.
Thu Apr 25 2013
The sea is a harsh mistress. Plodding along with storm jib. Wind only 15-20 kts seas not too big but Pirat-killers none the less.
Lee: Yeah fine, just annoying. maybe search rtofs Atlantic and global and check the graphics and see if you can correlate. Lots of time we played some rummy.
Hoping to catch the gulf stream. Right now 1-2 kts unfavorable current plus close hauled. Can someone check nowcoast and describe the current current?
Rachel: nowcoast is down. is the boat holding up ok? are you guys holding up ok? i cannot concentrate on work – watching the tracker instead! now I know how dad feels!
Rachel: looks like ur in an eddy. stream doesnt kick in till farther n. it angles down out of gulf so wont bring u north much, more e. and s. if you get it 2 far west
Rachel: Did you run out of batteries? things still going better on this tack? is my gym membership frozen for the rest of the month? did you find the backpacking food?
Fri Apr 26 2013
Things looking better now.Still not sure if we’re in the stream yet.Feeling optimistic that we’re not going to be stuck in the gulf of mexico forever.
Sat Apr 27 2013
Hove to, slept a few hours, then spent rest of night helming in short period crazy seas up to maybe 14 ft. Now going back for some more stream action.
Lee: Could you call conch harbor marina and let them know we are coming in late afternoon-evening and reply me the details? Boat is a mess. Stupid chain plates.
Rachel: they will be there till 6pm/call on ch16/be sure to call by 6 if you are coming in after that/they will tell you where to go/call me/i will be in salsa-lito
This picture makes me dizzy. That is the sandy, coral-studded bottom you see 15 feet down.
I’m home? Really? It felt so, so strange to come home to an empty house last night. The lights all came on when I flipped all the circuit breakers (yes, Lee, I remembered to turn up the water heater too). Even Doc was confused.
There was running water. I actually slept underneath something – a comforter. There was a pile of mail in the garage. I ate Cheerios with chocolate almond milk for dinner. I plugged in my cell phone before going to bed.
Everything feels extra strange without Lee. The idea that he might not come home for another two months is disturbing.
I’m glad I had today to readjust to this world before returning to work tomorrow.
I will be back. There is more to tell and I might not be able to resist writing about Lee’s continuing travels, even though I’m not there.
Hiding in the shade.
I was so, so ready for the passage to be over when Lee and I finally made it to Grand Cayman yesterday afternoon. It had taken us longer than we’d hoped to get here and the sun, heat, and thwomping sails as we rolled downwind had gotten really old.
That said, I did try to savor my last hours at sea on Pirat for the time being, especially at night. When things are relatively calm, warm, and its not too hard to stay awake night watches really are my favorite time. It’s so peaceful. There are so many stars and so few sounds other than the boat creaking and the waves swooshing. Lee and I both had a tough time staying awake on our watches this time. I think the journey is starting to wear on us.
Lee pulling up the anchor in Mobay.
The sail from Jamaica to Grand Cayman brought some new experiences. We left Montego Bay at dusk, happy to leave the busyness of land for a few days. There news a sizeable fire in the hills and it rained ash on us as we headed out to sea.
Sunset leaving Mobay.
I guess it was sometime the next morning when the bird showed up. It came with several others like it – small, dark brown birds with yellowish breasts. They swooped around the boat, which was well out of sight of land at this point. All the birds moved on but one, who swooped down to land on Pirate’s foredeck. It stayed other for a while before taking off, flying a little ways away from the boat, and then landing again. This went on all day with the little bird landing in different places on deck each time. It perched on the lifelines, the jib sheet, and right on the deck. It wasn’t scared of Lee and me and got quite close to us. Occasionally it let out a few little chirps.
I was pretty sure the bird was going to die. It was either too weak to make it back to land or really smart and just wanted a free ride to a new island. The bird seemed to be getting weaker as the day went on. Then, after dinner, another guest arrived! A second bird of the same type landed on the jack line right under the wheel. The original bird had sequestered itself to the aft part of the cockpit where we keep a spare diesel can and the propane tank. It was Clearly on its way out. The second bird fluffed up its feathers, chirped at us a little, and rested on the jack line all night.
Lee offered it done food.
Lee gave our original little stow away a burial at sea in the morning. The night time passenger left in a rush and flew off towards Little Cayman. Those birds provided us with hours of entertainment. When I wasn’t watching them, I was finishng one book and starting another. I read all of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor during the second night and last day. That wasn’t the best thing to be reading as we sailed through a nearby part of the Caribbean to where the story takes place.
Grand Cayman is very different from what we expected, although it does live up to Lee’s expectations as far as clear water is concerned. After docking against an very sketchy cement pier to check in with customs and imigration, we headed out to one of the free moorings overseen by the Port of Georgetown. Our mooring is in 20 feet of. Crystal clear water – some of then clearest we’ve seen – with rocks, coral, and fish shimmering beneath us. I don’t usually like to snorkel but as soon as I got in the water and got over the initial feeling of euphoria that cool water gives, I just wanted to swim and swim and never stop. It just felt to good to move and not be hot. I dove down to check out the sights underwater and swam laps around the boat. It was wonderful. I found myself wishing I wasn’t leaving in a couple of days.
I am leaving, thought. Tomorrow I fly home to SF so today I’m trying to put things in order on the boat, pack my bags, and enjoy my last few hours in paradise. Lee’s dad arrived today. Lee is ,meeting him at then airport while I write this post in a laundromat.
Lee and I are weighing anchor and heading out to sea one more time together in the Caribbean. I am certainly ready for our time in the tropics to be over. I think Lee is too, although we will both miss swimming off the boat in turquoise water, buying bags full of mangoes and papayas at the market, and standing night watches in minimal clothing. We are not hot weather people and our boat is better suited for a different climate. I, for one, feel like I’m doing the equivalent of smoking cigarettes after being diagnosed with lung cancer by spending all this time in the equatorial sun post skin cancer.
Not much to see from the club.
Okay, I don’t want to start a rant. Montego bay is a bit on the boring side, especially now that we’ve been in Jamaica for a while. We can only get places by cab. The yacht club’s trusty driver, Brenton, took us to just the right shops to get a replacement hydraulic hose for our Vang. The fittings aren’t stainless but Lee can replace those later.
We also went out to lunch on the tourist strip (called the Hip Strip I think). Lee tried the national dish – ackee and salt cod, my attempt at which had totally flopped. It was tasty – served with green bananas, plantains, and some kind of fried dough ball. Afterwards the cab took us to Mega Mart, where we loaded up on supplies. There are a surprising amount of Jamaican products around: Jamaican coconut water, coffee, jerk sauce, oatmeal, tea, cold medicine, and even a pillow (Lee was in need of a replacement for his damp, moldy pillow I threw out a while back).
Yacht club greenery.
Last night and today we mostly hung around the yacht club, ferrying water and fuel out to the boat and trying to track down customs and immigration s we can check out of the country. We made a final run to the store for ice and to check for bananas, which they didn’t have! Anyone who has eaten breakfast with me before knows how much I love my bananas. How ironic for me to end up in Jamaica during a banana shortage! Mangoes and papayas will have to do.
I am clearly nursing a full-blown head cold at this point. At first I thought it was a side effect of the scope patch but even after removing it I am totally stuffed up and woozy. Being sick in an oppressively hot environment isn’t much fun.
We are leaving tonight for Grand Cayman. I have my flight out from there booked so all we have to do is get there by Saturday. It should be a 2 night, 1 day sail, so we should get to grand cayman on Thursday morning.
It feels strange for my role in this journey to be coming to a close. Curacao seems both far away and vividly recent. Covering miles and miles between island nations by sea certainly makes the oceans seem vast and time slow. I still cant believe that we can spend days at sea and arrive at some place hundreds of miles from our starting point. It feels too much like time travel, or time suspension while we move across the sea.
I’m going to savor this last sail. Lee may be continuing north with other crew, Pirat will certainly go home to New England, but Grand Cayman is where I get off. I may be done with the best but I don’t know if I’m ready to return to reality.
Port Antonio on our way out.
I miss Port Antonio already. On this cool, calm Monday morning pirat is anchored off the Montego Bay yacht club. Montego bay is a big tourist/cruise ship port near the west end of Jamaica. We sailed here yesterday from a little anchorage called Fosters cove. We spent one night in that solitary spot after a morning sail west from Port Antonio.
I’m getting ahead of myself. I haven’t finished telling you about Port Antonio yet. I think Errol Flynn marina ranks up there with the best marinas we’ve ever visited. It was getting quite busy around there with lots of boats coming in and new people to meet. A sailboat full of our generation of sailors was docked next to us for our last few nights at the marina. It is always so much fun to share stories with other people enjoying the seafaring lifestyle.
Pirat in the dock at Errol Flyn.
I think I mentioned in my last post that a guy in then produce market instructed me on how to make the Jamaican national dish – ackee and salt cod – and picked out all the ingredients for me. Well, I tried to make it that night and it didn’t go so well. First, the hot peppers be put in my bag were seriously HOT, like so hot that my hands and any other part of my body I touched after handling the cut peppers (ahem…should not have touched my face) burned for the rest of the evening. One tiny pepper, totally de-seeded, made the dish too hot to eat. The ackee itself was interesting. It is definitely the weirdest food I’ve ever prepared. The fruit comes out of this big, pink seed pod-like thing. There is a huge, black seed attached to the egg-shaped little bulb of flesh. You first remove the seed and then scrape out these red flowery bits inside. I boiled it in water with one hot pepper, some regular green peppers, and tomatoes…then came there salt cod. I have eaten salt cod prepared by others and loved it but this time…not so much.
Ackee looks like brains.
I followed the local’s instructions and boiled it in the vegetable mixture till I could peel the skin off, then put the skinned pieces back in the skillet. When Lee and I sat down with our ackee and salt cod serves over quinoa, I could barely eat it, mostly due to the salt level, and Lee was floored by the spiciness. I’d like to give this dish another chance if someone who knows what they’re doing would make it for me!
On then subject of food, I have to admit that Lee and I patronized Port Antonio’s ice cream shop more nights than not during our stay. The shop, called i scream, is a short walk along the water front from the marina. Their flavors ranged from guava to coconut, rum raisin, and rocky river (like rocky road). The women behind the counter scooped up heaping cones of perfectly melty ice cream. Ice cream in the tropics melts at just the right rate to lick off a cone. Pistachio was my favorite
Lee enjoying a coconut he retrieved from Navy Island.
In my world, it is very, very tough to beat a marina with a top-notch ice cream shop next door, decent showers, friendly people, and wifi.
Fosters cove had no ice cream but it did have lovely sandy beaches, machete-wielding children, sea turtles, and a jungle full of fireflies at night. Picking our was in through the reefs that line both ides of the cove was hair-raising. There were waves breaking on the reefs and the water was so stirred up we couldn’t see much.
It was wonderful to spend a night at anchor all by ourselves. A sea turtle did come out to keep us company at night and the local fishing boats (the Struggler and Sugarloaf) anchored near us were a reminder that civilization was nearby. There really were kids with machetes fishing on the beach. There were also tons of fireflies in the jungle surrounding us at night. A few flashlights on shore right next to us creeped me out too. We were not really alone.
After enjoying some relative solitude, Lee and I set sail for Mo’bay (as it’s called) yesterday morning. We sold found ourselves rocketing down wind and waves, wing on wing, in 20 knots or so of breeze. Just as were starting to think we might be carrying too much sail at too precarious of an angle, there was an unusually loud bang, sigh, and smack. It took me a second to figure out what had happened but it was obvious from the shape of the main that our hydraulic vang had let go. The boom was kicked up at a ridiculous angle. When Lee went forward to check things out our worst fears were confirmed. There was hydraulic fluid all over the place. The tube feeding fluid into the Vang appeared to have burst.
A cloudy morning on the coast.
Apparently, there is only a pressure relief valve in our hydraulic system if it is left set on the vang, which it was not. When the vang loaded up with force from the sail it had finally had enough and burst the hose. We opted to furl the jib, start the engine, drop the main, and then turn downwind again to unfurl the jib and sail the rest of the way on headsail only. It wasn’t little slow but it worked.
We arrived at the anchorage by Montego Bay yacht club around 8pm last night. It was a little tough to find a spot to anchor among the derelict boats and party catamarans. The club has a dock but boats have to moor to it Mediterranean style, which we find tricky. With our broken Vang we now have some parts to find and repairs to arrange. This may change our plans to sail to Grand Cayman later this week. I guess its time to go ashore and get to work.
Jamaica is both nothing like we expected and everything you’d think it would be. People are friendly (sometimes a little too friendly). Mountains cloaked in tropical jungles serve as a backdrop for clear, blue bays and sandy beaches. There is plenty of Red Stripe and there would be plenty of bananas if, according to one local, hurricane Sandy hadn’t decimated the crop.
The town of Port Antonio is what surprised us the most. Walking out of the marina compound brings us to a crowded, busy, chaos of cars and people going every which way. No one walks on the treacherous sidewalks (I stubbed my toe on a piece of rebar sticking out of one). Everyone is in the street. In the afternoon and evening school children of all ages take to the streets in their clean and proper uniforms. It is impossible for Lee and I not to stand out in the crowd. We are instantly accosted by people offering to sell us something or take us somewhere.
This afternoon a man attached himself to us as we entered the produce market. He ended up telling me how to make a special Jamaican dish and picking out all the ingredients for me in the market. I don’t know if he expected a tip but we didn’t give him one. We will see if I can turn salt cod and a very odd looking fruit into something edible tonight!
This afternoon Lee and I took the dinghy over to Navy island, a small island in the bay at Port Antonio. Lee rowed us around in the shelter of the reef and we clam bored around the island’s rocky shore to our own, private beach. Lee even braved the edge of the jungle ashore to retrieve some low-hanging coconuts from a tree. Of course, I brought my camera but forgot the card, so no pictures. We will have to go back with an anchor for the dinghy so we can swim around in the deeper parts of the banks.
Jamaica is somewhat bewitching. We’re not sure if we really like it but we’re giving it a few more days. I’m down to my last week on Pirat, though, so we need to cover some more distance too!
I had every intention of writing blog posts to publish via sat phone internet during our passage. That possibility went out the window when it became that the seasickness medication I took wasn’t going to keep me feeling 100%. I felt better than I would have unmedicated but sitting down to type something sounded like torture (as did drinking coffee, which never appeals to me while we’re sailing in hot climates).
Here we are in Jamaica. You may be wondering how we ended up here rather than in Puerto Rico as we planned. It all came down the the weather conditions when we first left Curacao. The waves and wind were more serious than we envisioned based on the forecast. The prospect of slogging upwind into them for 3 days was not appealing. It also became clear within minutes of heading towards our intended destination that our chain plates (where rigging that holds up the mast attaches to the deck) were leaking like sieves. We should have foreseen that. They are notoriously leaky and need constant re-bedding. There were streams of water pouring from the chain plate that was getting hit with every wave that splashed on deck.
Then there was the main sheet. We broke the attachment piece joining the mainsheet to the traveler…twice. We jibed, the boom to rocketed across the boat, and that little about-to-fail piece disintegrated. We ended up starting the engine, furling the jib, and then coaching our runaway sail back to the boat to Lee could re-attach it. This was all in about 20-25 knots of wind. Lee lashed two shackles together with spectra. Then we were stupid enough to gybe again a few minutes later. Again, crash, bang, another part of the system was broken. That fair took a
Little while longer and looked super sketchy. Hey, it got us all the way to Jamaica (with no more gybes).
Heading a little off the wind seemed like an excellent idea at that point to we steered pirat towards Jamaica and settled in for a slightly longer passage than we had planned (4 days, 3 nights rather than 3 days and 2 nights). Now that we are here, it was totally worth every extra hour in the relentless sun or exhausting night watch.
The days all blended together. There was nothing out there but an occasional freighter, which seemed to pass us more at night time. One got awfully close and we were really thankful for our AIS receiving abilities, allowing us to see what was coming. The only living things we saw were flying fish. Gathering them from the deck every morning was fun. They accidentally fly onto the boat and tend to get stuck there. A GIANT one landed right next to me on one of my night watches. I scared me so badly I almost jumped off the boat. The poor fish flopped into the cockpit rather than over the side. I left it there for Lee to deal with in the morning.
During the day we did a lot of reading and napping. The oven down below was preferable to the hot sun on deck. It was fun playing with the Delorme tracker and I hope some of you followed our progress with that as well! Getting text messages while in the middle of the Caribbean sea was especially fun.
I wish I could show you a picture of the sea and sky at night. It is so breathtakingly beautiful. There were so many stars. I probably saw 5 shooting stars a night too. Pirat’s wake glowed with phosphorescence and the only sound was of the rumbling waves and persistent wind.
We made good time – averaging around 7.5 to 8 knots at first and then less as the wind abated. With waves to surf and 20 knots of wind behind us we peaked at over 13 knots.
You can just barely see land here.
We spent all day yesterday looking for Jamaica and were starting to think that dry land was just a myth. I finally spotted land around dinner time last night. The wind was dying and we knew we wouldn’t make it into import until late so we called the ,marina on the sat phone. They said an easy dock would be there waiting for us. It turned out there was a friendly local to he us tie up when we pulled in at around 1am too. Welcome to Jamaica!
I’ll check in tomorrow with more on what we are doing now that we’re here. All I can say is its gorgeous and the people are the friendliest we’ve encountered so far. Oh, and a plunge in a nice, cold swimming pool was the best feeling ever after 4 days without a shower!
I think we’ve spent just the right amount of time in Curacao. I’m no longer overly apprehensive about the passage and Lee and I are both sick of the bugs and heat, which are always worse in port. Lee has been driving us around in psycho traffic for almost a week and he deserves a medal. We returned the rental car this afternoon, leaving only tasks around the boat for the end of the day.
Checking in/out with customs and immigration is always an experience. Nothing will ever match the insanity in the D.R.but Curacao doesn’t make it easy either. The customs building is in the Punda waterfront area of Willemstad and immigration is on the other side of the harbor, a long walk through the cruise ship and commercial port area. When we checked out of customs this morning the officer spent 10 minutes searching a binder for our paperwork, messing the the crooked d-rings to flip the pages, before Lee persuaded him that he was looking in the wrong year – Pirat arrived here in 2012.
The immigration office was a tiny, air-conditioned oasis full of people waiting for their papers. The officer there was the same one who checked us in last year (That’s the second time that’s happened). We encountered a giant iguana on the road in our travels this morning. It took its time getting out of the way and bobbed its head at our Kia in annoyance.
Here’s the tally from the produce market (a line of docked boats sells fruit and vegetables from Venezuela):
2 bunches of bananas
1 giant avocado
9 or so little bell peppers
3 giant carrots
1 bag of potatoes
2 bags of mysterious little things that kind of look like tiny apples (the vendor threw those in without us asking for them)
I have a good fruit net set up this time I think. There is nothing worse than fruit flying all over the boat while you’re sailing.
It’s late. We are mostly ready. There is strange, marching band music playing over the hill.
We hope to check in on the blog via sat phone internet as we head towards Puerto Rico tomorrow. It should take about 3 days and 2 nights to get where we’re going.
Wish us fair winds! We’re leaving on a Friday, an unlucky day to start a voyage…oops.
This is what pirat looked like when we arrived on Saturday.
Surveying the chaos.
Its amazing what you can accomplish with zero energy. I guess I’m speaking for myself. Lee seems to have plenty of energy and is a regular machine working on the boat. He cleans. He organizes. He spent half of yesterday and the day before up the mast cleaning the rigging and re-attaching things. Of course, I was the one who hauled him up the mast.
In this heat, just can’t must the the energy to do anything. That doesn’t mean I’m off the hook from working, though! I’ve hauled Lee up the mast, done lots of cleaning and organizing down below, and scrubbed the whole deck. Scrubbing the deck had to come first. Pirat was totally caked in some serious dirt.
Lovely view of oil refineries from the marina.
By the way, we were wrong about the pipe bunk being stolen. It was just hiding under a pile of stuff in the aft cabin. So far, the only thing missing is a small kitchen knife. Our hatch is cracked though so Lee will have to epoxy it before we leave.
A work in progress. We scrubbed and scrubbed.
Curacao Marine is, as always, an interesting place to hang out. There are French, Swiss, Australian, German, Dutch, and American boats on the docks and in the yard. There are several families with multiple kids living and sailing on very hard-core cruising boats. Everyone is friendly. Tonight there was a pot luck BBQ where everyone gathered to eat and share stories. Those are among the moments that make me glad to be doing what we’re doing – reveling in our freedom and shared love for for the ocean with a bunch of people from all over the world.
Our old, dead batteries (so sad) came out today and a new, jumbo battery went in. I did the last of the grocery store provisioning at the gigantic, Dutch supermarket today. We now have enough Nutella, sausages, and muesli to get us somewhere.
“Somewhere” being Puerto Rico…probably. We may set out and decide we don’t like that point of sail and end up in Jamaica instead. Right now, our plan is to leave Friday morning. That leaves tomorrow to go to the produce market, check out with customs and immigration (no small task), and return the rental car.
I am actually looking forward to getting out there in the breeze because hopefully it will be cooler!
I’m an idiot and forgot the cable that connects my camera to the tablet so this will be a boring, wordy post.
We arrived in Curacao yesterday afternoon and I immediately remembered why we are leaving the Caribbean. Its just too hot. It’s too hot to function, too hot to enjoy much of anything. My feet and hands immediately swelled up like…sausages. Ugh.
I had forgotten how much this island looks like southern California. Its this weird, desert landscape. We should have also thought about that desert-like landscape in terms of storing the boat here. When we got to curacao marine in our rental car and spotted Pirat at the a lunch ramp dock I wanted to cry. Our precious boat was covered, caked, masked, in tan, desert dirt. The shrink wrap was partially torn off and the whole thing just looked so sad. Our companionway hatch was wide open (stupid curacao marine) but at least our chart plotter and other essentials were still below!
So far, the only obvious things that are missing are Lee’s sailing knife and…our pipe bunk. Don’t ask me why someone would steel a bunk. What would they even do with it?!?! It just makes me so angry that the marina allowed that to happen to our boat. For all we know it was even an inside job.
Down below is surprisingly clean and unsmelly, so that’s good. We gave the deck an initial rinse to get the caked dirt off. That made a huge difference. Maybe the dirt protected the deck underneath… In
any case its going to take a thorough scrubbing to get things back in order.
We stayed at a hotel last night – the Floris Suites. Surprisingly, we still kind of know our way around the island. Also surprisingly and to our relief, the big grocery store is open for a while today even though it’s Easter. We can get some food to keep us going today and hopefully figure out how to get into the bathrooms at the marina. We plant to spend tonight on the boat so bathrooms and showers would be nice!
Overall, I’m kinda freaking out about the passage were about to make. I feel so out of practice from this way of life. A few days scrubbing and re-rigging pirat should help me feel better. It won’t make the Caribbean any less hot and unpleasant so at least we have that as motivation to get out of here!