Sunday, July 8, 2012

I'm A Cruiser Get Me Out Of Here

Pilot whale to the right of the picture
 As we sail across from Martinique to St Lucia dolphins and pilot whales swim in our wake, dozens of them. It’s a sight to see. St Lucia now is a familiar spot. We anchor in our favourite place where the holding is good and we can pick up wifi to the left of the channel into the marina and inner lagoon. The bay is huge, hotels line the beach with sun loungers and umbrellas set up outside. Small sailing dinghies are being hauled up the beach by kids at the sailing club and horses walk at the waters edge.

Reduit beach, Rodney Bay, St Lucia
After a week or so of walking on the beaches and meandering around the modern shopping centers (and after we managed to watch England lose to Italy) we have had our fill of the touristy Rodney Bay. We move down to the magnificent pitons that six months ago I climbed with Claire and Martin. It’s such a magical spot. In between Petit Piton and Gros Piton we take a mooring buoy and dive into the deep blue sea. The water is amazingly clear and we snorkel around the rocks and coral fans and through huge schools of small oddly shaped fish.
The Pitons, St Lucia
Its all so beautiful but we must press on sailing past St Vincent and the Grenadines all the way to Carriacou the sister island to the north of Grenada. We lave been lucky and managed to sail pretty much all the way. Grenada is where most of the cruisers in the east Caribbean will be hanging out for hurricane season.
By definition a cruiser is a person or thing that cruises. That’s what we do, we cruise. We cruise the high seas, going wherever the fancy takes us or more likely where the wind allows us. But how lucky we are.
We differ from the cruisers on cruise ships with their bags of duty free shopping, cameras, socks and sandals and Hawaiian shirts and even from those that race on yachts or sail on mega yachts. Our boats are our homes. Many of us live on them full time. We know we are cruisers because at least some of our clothing smells musky and has holes in, we still wear them and nobody cares. More often than not we don’t wear clothes at all. We crawl into a space 4ft x 10ft that we call a bedroom. We never, I repeat NEVER leave the tap running. All our lights are LED. The only shopping experience we get is a supermarket or a hardware store and they excite us (oh how times have changed!). Grocery shopping is an all day event. We wash ALL our laundry by hand (most of the time). We are attuned to all the small noises, creeks, groans and smells from the boat that let us know if anything is amiss. We wash in the sea. We collect rain water. 5200 or WD40 are the answers to everything. We haven’t watched TV in years. We read a LOT. And probably drink too much. Even I know what a multi-meter and a torque wrench are. Nothing is thrown out. Everything is repaired. We never know what day of the week it is but can tell the time of day by the sun is in the sky. Our world is in always in motion. And cock roaches don’t scare us!

Sometimes when we are worn out from lugging heavy water jugs about or our backs are bent from all our shopping loads, or we have seen one too many bugs or not got off the boat for days on end or our world is rocking relentlessly driving us to despair and the sun beams down so hot that there is no respite. I just want to scream…………………………

But the feeling never lasts; a cool breeze blows through the boat. The swell dies down and the boat stops rolling. The kitty’s eyes blink open as raucous sea gulls swoop down at the back of the boat. She stretches, rolls on her back, yawns and goes back to sleep – oh the life of a cat! Sim is busy outside cleaning the salt and rusty marks of our stainless. I think we will go for a walk on the beach later this afternoon to stretch our legs and then a swim in the sea to cool off and wash. Everybody is happy.
Rodney Bay
sailing dinghies, Reduit beach
The sun sets on another day.

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