Monday, January 17, 2011

Saying Hello to a new boat

Prickly Bay, Grenada---I was sitting on top of a picnic table just to gather my thoughts and tears started to come. So much had happened in the last month and here I was, FINALLY ready to meet my new crew mates and see the boat I’ll spend the next 6 weeks on. Everything just came rushing past my mind. I had no plan to come to Grenada, yet here I was.

My taxi driver, after leaving me, stopped his van in the middle of the marina lot and came back to me. When he picked me up all I could tell him was that I wanted to go to Prickly Bay based on one email about the boat skipper dropping the sail at a shop there for repair.

“Where at the bay?” he had asked.

“I don’t know,” I answered.

“Do you know where the boat is in the Bay?”


“Do you know how to get a hold of the boat?”

“No.” I had responded in between the quickest version of my story as we drove from the Grenada airport to the bay.

Then I just explained that I had sent an email to the skipper about my plans but that I knew what it was like on a boat and not being able to access the internet. Chances were, they did not know I was there. So if there was a restaurant, I would just go there and figure it out. So, there I sat, in front of the restaurant at the Prickly Bay Marina. I knew I needed the internet or a VHS radio, maybe both.

Before I marched confidently into the office with my requests, I needed a few minutes to gather my thoughts and form a plan. Alone again, on my third Caribbean island in the past month. But the tears were not planned, they just came. After everything that had happened, and so much that seemed to be going wrong, I was running low on enthusiasm and confidence. Then suddenly, the sweet taxi man was standing in front of me after seeing me stop to sit above the luggage that he had carried to the picnic table. Before driving away he had looked back and saw me.

Before I knew it he had run up to customs, got the confirmation that the boat had checked in and that there was a VHS radio in the marina office.

“Your crew is here,” the marina operator told the female voice with a crisp English accent on the other end of the radio.

After a long pause the reply came:

“Okay then, we will dinghy in and gather her up shortly,” she said.

Soon a young girl with a big smile was pulling a dinghy up to the dock.

No, they had not gotten my email and did not know I was coming that day. But it was a warm welcome with apologies that they were all a little under from having a late night going out the night before.

I felt my entire body relax and I knew that this was going to be a good fit.

The boat is an Oceanis Benetaeu 50 and only 3 years old! She is beautiful with vast amounts of space that I am not used to. Automatic widgets everywhere and two, yes two heads! (bathrooms)

The team includes the Skipper, a handsome Brit who self describes himself as a sea gypsy currently living on a boat in Malaysia. The Spaniard, a young Biologist with a gentle persona and an easy going personality. The Brit, a bright, pretty women with more life experience than seemed to match her youth. Together, they had crossed the ocean from the Canaries to Grenada and had formed an obvious bond.

Nervous, like the first day of college I moved into share the front cabin with the Brit.

Within no time, I knew this was going to be a blast. There is a lot of work to do with the project but they are as committed to the project as they are embracing to the beauty of earth and the fun that life holds.

I can’t wait.


Crew of the Solstice said...

This post is dated last week. Are you still in Prickly Bay? I think I'll get in the dinghy and go look for you.

Jim said...

I sure love reading your blog. Here I am concerned with the sale of doughnuts. At least I can live vicariously through your writings.