It’s not about visits with family, everything-you-could-ever-want availability shopping, barbeques in the backyard or long hot showers and in-house laundry…
How quickly it all falls back into place. The sweating. The water conservation, the mold. The rain in the hatches, the portable generator grunting and chugging away, the forests that have grown under the boat, making it more an ecosystem than a moving vessel...
|What our propellers looked like on our arrival|
We’ve only been back onboard a few days but the usual routine proves itself to have stood the test of time.
Sundowners every second night with new friends that last until way past ‘cruisers midnight’ have proved the social side of our lifestyle hasn’t waned either (as is discernible from the evidence, I mean photos below). We’ve been invited over to yet another boat tonight to meet some more cruising friends and try a new island rum…
|A rum squall evening, full swing|
However just when you think life on a boat is all about predictability, your dinghy about throws you and your crew overboard.
Well not exactly.
As the laundry pile did not disappear during our absence, we had to face the monster a couple days in. We headed to shore in the dinghy, weighted down with garbage bags and an overflowing laundry bag, in between the rain squalls.
DJW, our new ‘captain in training’, JW’s son, was at the ‘helm’. As soon as we got started, the wind and waves decided to give us a seawater shower and we were getting soaked. JW suggested that DJW move to the other side of the dingy, so as ‘not to get so wet’. Ha!
He also suggested DJW let go of the throttle, which resulted in the dinghy swinging us wildly in circles in the choppy waters. The balance was gone; water came flooding in from the front of the boat where I was perched, holding on for dear life. Ah, to have had an aerial view. It would have been quite a sight. Me with bulging eyes, crouched in disbelief, DJW flailing from side to side, barely balancing, and our captain laughing so hard he was red in the face.
The dinghy wanted us all overboard, spinning in increasingly tighter and wobblier circles, but DJW jumped back into place and managed to get us under control again. We resumed our forward motion, the boat steadied, the water stopped flowing by the bucketful. However, our laundry bag was now a 100lb salt water weight, sloshing around between our feet.
Our captain in training was sopping head to toe, and had to change into some of his dirty but less soaking clothes right there at the dinghy dock by the laundry. I heaved the sopping back to the Laundromat, leaving my salt water trail. I ignored the disapproving look from the proprietress as she chomped a pile of fried rice, watching our laundry bag leak water all over the floor, and simply dumped that problem onto them.
Lighter yet still salty and wet, we started the dinghy again and headed to the garbage drop off area, and to do some shopping. But the dinghy spluttered and farted and then the motor just died. That’s when JW lifted the fuel tank and exclaimed,
“There’s no fuel in here!”.
Well what do you know. We’d run out of gas. We started paddling. Luckily we were not far from the fuel dock. We made it but then had to buy 2 stroke oil right there and mix it into the tank directly. It was a bit messy, adding blue grease to the salt water we were covered in. But then the dinghy worked! And so it was that we survived that harrowing adventure to do laundry and dump garbage. But just barely.
Since then things have gone quite smoothly, except yesterday morning when our dinghy refused to budge as we tried to lower her into the water. The ropes on the pulley system were twisted and completely jammed.
I ended up balanced precariously out on the hanging dinghy while my men used a block and tackle set up, hanging from the boom to maneuver me. And we did get it all sorted out.
Predictable? Well you can count on the sea to be blue but beyond that, as soon as you think things are too routine, too comfortable, the cruising life throws you a dinghy drama or something far worse. It’s nothing like the suburbs here, but we call it home!