The silence is golden. Well it’s pure turquoise actually, pierced only by the tiny far off songs of birds. The boat is still. The air is still. It’s Saturday morning in an unnamed bay on the lee shore of Eleuthera. Shiloh’s anchor is perched and dug in only slightly on a huge undersea rock. For now it’s holding and all is calm.
Yesterday we arrived here and familiarized ourselves with the unyielding inhospitable coral dotted shale that poses as soft sand. In squalls we tried and tried to drop anchor but found it only bounced and dragged along the surface. At the end of our patience the anchor suddenly held. Hard. I dived the clear cool water to confirm it was in. Barely. We prayed for low winds.
We’ve got that. Sweat trickles down my temples. It’s 9 am.
Last night we navigated the rocky unwelcoming shore, leaping up on green slime, pants wet, shoes thrown ashore, while the boys tried to keep the dinghy from being chewed by the rocks from below. Then they tied it out and waded in. A cruiser’s arrival to the party.
Up the hill at the Buttonwood Reserve, we met the wedding party and the blow up doll from the previous night’s stag. Given our own box of wine and red solo cups, started the night off right.
Music, languages from around the world. Noise. After a golf cart ride across the private undeveloped lands and a visit to the ocean side we arrived back and joined the school bus. Lots more noise.
As we danced in the streets and digested chicken and rice (welcome back to the islands!), I pondered what it meant to be here. From Miami it’s been a two week journey. Ten hour sailing days broken by days of engine repair and frustration, grocery shopping, laundry and a bit of rest. It’s typical. Makes a quick flight sound like a piece of cake.
|Engine repairs in exotic places|
|Chub Cay Club - a stop en route|
|The exotic places...|
|Finding a beer at a local bar - Chub Cay|
But this is not a ‘trip’. Not in that ‘get-away-or-to-an-event’ kind of way.
Last night we were explaining our ‘lifestyle’ to some American landlubbers holidaying at the fish fry. They were very curious and animated and said they’d love to do the same ‘one day’. Then as they left us they said “Enjoy your trip!”. Oh well. It’s difficult to find a point of reference. What we do is odd. It doesn’t fit in a box. It doesn’t follow the prescribed life of work - get paid – get a well deserved holiday – go back to work. We’ve been out here three years now. When will our ‘trip’ become something else?
It’s true that it’s very difficult to make plans. This wedding has been a destination, a deadline looming for weeks and because the weather is our master and commander, we are helpless in a way land lubbers couldn’t possibly understand. We are now less than 200 miles from Miami but it has taken two full weeks and with that life experiences, good and bad.
But we are back in the Bahamas. And that means turquoise. And that makes me happy.
|Current Cut - pushing against 5 knots of current through a narrow cut -and THIS view|
|Did I mention turquoise?|
Tomorrow we will be at a barefoot wedding on the beach. We will sleep on clear water and count the coral heads below us under the full moon. We might wake to gale force winds and have to reanchor in the dark, in rain, after arriving back from an all day party. These things are sobering and at all times possible. But mornings like this make it all worthwhile.
The silence is golden. No city sounds, no rush to be anywhere. No slush and sleet and soul sucking cold. As the sweat trickles down my spine. Turquoise. YES.