I’ve spent this week mostly organizing logistics, making purchases for Tarka’s needs, and planning for our departure. Several incidents this week also served as sobering reminders about safety, and the illusions surrounding it.
It’s been an interesting week here in paradise. Tarka remains anchored in complete solitude in True Blue Bay on the southwest-most corner of the Grenada. Having no neighbors has been a welcomed change after spending so many months in crowded anchorages. It’s safe, it’s quiet, the water is a beautiful blue, and being neighbor-less means I’m free to be free of my dirty laundry – if you catch my drift.
Tarka is finally back in the water after over 2 months sitting in the boatyard. My original plan was to be high and dry no longer than 4 weeks. However, my extended stay in the states, bad weather, and setback after setback once I returned, really took a toll. Quite literally, in fact, as every day I was on the hard I was paying $0.45/foot. Yet another example of why it’s nice to have a small boat.
Probably more than anything else, living on a boat has illustrated to me just how luxuriously we live in the US. Resources there are seemingly plentiful, and we sometimes use them as if they were infinite. On Tarka, resources are extremely limited, and careful thought must be given to their use.
Unfortunately, I spent most of this week holed up in my boat under a fan fighting one of the least pleasant illnesses I’ve experienced in my life. Trying to ride out a high fever in a boat where the ambient temperature inside is 96 degrees doesn’t make it much better. After a number of sleepless nights, and no relenting of the fever, I decided it was probably an infection and went to see a doctor. The antibiotics he prescribed seemed to have done the trick, and I now, obviously, feel well enough to write a new update. Here on the hard, I could afford to lie in one spot all day, but what would I do if I got sick at sea, with responsibilities that demanded my attention?
It’s the little things this week that have reminded me both how difficult living on a boat can be, but also how rewarding. On a day-to-day basis, things have been pretty low-key. The days have been spent sanding, the evenings reading, and the nights sleeping – mostly. But we’ll get back to that.
I’m back! After five wonderful weeks in the states, I have finally been re-united with Tarka. The past week has been one of adjustment, hard work, and excitement. Before I get into the joys and struggles of returning to boat-life, I want to formally announce the most exciting new development for Tarka.
This week, the second most powerful hurricane (by sustained wind speed) ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin hit Barbuda, St. Martin, and Anguilla. St. Martin is close to my heart, as it’s where Tarka and I started our voyage. I know the place well, and unfortunately, know many people there. Most of these people live on boats and had already, or were able to sail out of the path before Irma arrived. However, I still have friends that I have not heard from, but I have heard second hand that they are OK. But after seeing videos of the destruction, I’m unsure if the island will ever truly recover. In addition to 90% of buildings being destroyed, entire forests have been removed from the island, and there’s little doubt that the reefs have been decimated.
“Captain!” I heard a voice call from behind. I reflexively turned around, only to see a man in black slacks, a white shirt with fancy shoulder epaulets, and shiny metal wings. The barista at the airport café was of course shouting to the airline pilot, and not this dirty-looking sailor in desperate need of a haircut. I had become so accustomed to taxi drivers, food vendors, and others shouting, “captain” at me – deservingly or not – that I couldn’t help but laugh at myself when I turned around.