It’s been ages since I’ve written – hell, it’s a new year even! I’ve always found writing cathartic but then I procrastinate. I’m sure there’s some psychological significance there, but then who has time to analyse when the wind is blowing 38 knots and our anchor needs all the support it can get.
Spent the night cringing at the gusts that pushed and shoved Shiloh back with such strength and bravado, and left our stomachs a few feet back. Amusement park ride all night. I was not amused.
|Shiloh in the bay - taken by John Aldworth|
We’re heading north. Very. Slowly.
The original plan, concocted over rums at various beaches and bars near the end of 2013, was to get to the Virgin Islands by Christmas. Then it was pushed to after new year. Now it looks like February. But alas, we’re in no rush. The only deadline is reaching Bahamas in enough time to enjoy it for long enough, before needing to head further north for the hurricane season.
In the meantime, parties, hikes, island hop sailing...
|On the windward side of Carriacou - pic by John Aldworth|
And so, it’s a new year and a lot more of the same and yet every day is so new.
We got out of Trinidad alive. The bimini is complete and it catches a helluva lot of rain. I’m so excited! When the skies open I sit watching and running out to feel how full the jerry cans are getting… small wonders. And rain water as drinking water is blissful. It just is.
Was it worth the extra thousands and months in a grimy boatyard? Um, since it’s already fading into memory, I’d say yes. We love it. And my boat is feeling so homey lately. It’s got my imprint. It’s comfy.
Comfort is up there on the imaginary list of important things. But it’s all relative what we define as comfort.
Some need hair dryers, washing machines and microwaves onboard. Some of us find that warm water for showering is pretty important.
We met a family of cruisers on a big wooden cat in Carriacou who have redefined it all. They've just crossed the ocean on this huge unprotected catamaran - 8 people who used only 200 litres of fresh water total for the crossing...
Dreadlocked, tanned and tattoed, lithe and sinewy, sailing around the bay without a dinghy motor. They reject all the ideals and modern amentities of society. To those in my parents generation, they’d be dismissed as hippies in a heartbeat.
‘Everyone who works is a slave.’
‘The universe provides.’
Eat only fruits and vegetables. Never eat an animal. Wheat is evil, and as addictive as heroin.
Bathe in salt water.
My skeptical captain had a field day with questions. Turns out that even the most simple, freedom embracing philosophies can be dissected and broken down, leaving some gaping holes and glaring hypocrisies.
Though their children are following the French curriculum by correspondence, the parents don’t believe in helping with school work or forcing any schedule for learning. It’s all up to the kids. Hmmm.
And they require Internet access to complete assignments and exams. But the use of internet surely falls within the ‘society of slaves’ and necessitates a dependence on modern technology that they despise and eschew.
So, though it turns out their 63’ Wharram catamaran cost over 200,000 Euro – and the money came from a house they sold, and the fact they must pay for the fruits and veggies and immigration fees at each island they visit, they do not believe in money. It’s all in the way you view the world and where your faith lies.
Something to think about. We would never have embarked on this lifestyle if we believed in a conformist reality where we needed jobs, a mortgage, car payments, and most of all the ‘false’ security of a retirement fund.
I think all cruisers fall somewhere outside ‘the box’, along the scale of trusting in something outside the norm. Our new friends on the wooden cat just took this concept a whole lot further.
The universe does provide. Help at a critical moment. An old friend in an unexpected place. Challenges that help you learn. What you need, even if it’s not what you want.
But we do still need money. I guess it’s more about how you view that, and what you’re willing to risk. If we need to work, then we will. If not, we will keep sailing. Simple.
In a sense we look to the universe with a blind faith that things will work out.
Every time we head out of a bay, the ocean beckoning with an unknown strength, both terrifying and enticing, we are trusting in the universe.