Thursday, May 7, 2015

Here we go again!!

Countdown: 8 days until we sail 1450 miles from BVI to the Chesapeake Bay area.

 We're planning an uneventful trip, but you know what they say about sailing and plans ... Preparations are underway, and it is with a lot of mixed emotions that we prepare for this trip. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the BVI. The people make it special here. While I have some (appropriate, I hope) trepidation about the crossing, I know and trust that the boat can do it and that we will work through whatever pops up along the way. After all, how bad can 8 days in the Atlantic really be??? (ummm, yeah, I know ... :)

We are right in the middle of cleaning, stowing, oil-changing, impeller swapping, fixing those last few projects that inevitably got put off in favor of one more pirate party, Jumbies dancing, hiking/snorkeling/touring day or just a sit-and-soak-it-all-in afternoon. No worries; there were a ton of unfinished projects when we came here, but we came anyway. If we waited until everything was perfect, we'd've never cast off.

Still have laundry, paperwork and things like mounting the life raft, running the jack-lines and inspecting all the life jackets to make sure they are in good shape. It's going to be a long week ahead, then we can relax into the rhythm of swells and watch rotations and just point her toward the northwest for a few days before we really even have to think about actually navigating.

Nervous? yep, a little. It's a big ocean and a lot can happen.

Happy to be coming back to the States? Yep, we have some serious catching up to do with friends and family and a few projects on land too ( got to sell our first boat still.

I'm anxious to get going, and sad to be leaving this wonderful place.

It's quite a mixed bag of feelings, but that's OK because we have a ketch and it's understood that we are bi-polar (groan...sorry).

Honestly, the people here .....

I'd like to take a moment and completely stereotype an entire population... Yeah, I know I shouldn't make such generalizations because they aren't 'sensitive' but I just have to get this off my chest.

For the past 5+ months I have sailed and explored the British Virgin Islands with my wife. We have been simply taken aback with the friendliness of the people, their general courteousness, regardless of age or station, and their willingness to help cruisers like us. Not once did we feel put upon, cheated or mistreated on any way.... well... some marinas are overpriced...

Today, a couple of natives of Tortola cemented my opinion by going above and beyond to cover for my oversight. ... A week ago I walked away from breakfast and left my small dry bag behind; complete with phone, camera, SPOT, and a portable USB battery. Nearly $1k worth of possessions.

We'd sailed off and by the time it was noticed it was too late to turn around. Several phone calls revealed little hope.

A week later I returned in person, retracing all my steps and asking around.
Turned out that a conscientious and honest employee had recovered my stuff and taken it home so that no one amongst the cruise ship crowd would grab it.
She tried calling a few numbers but couldn't speak English well enough to really get the message across.

Thinking the phone might be in bad hands I locked it remotely.
She then began spreading the word and a lot of business folks knew she had it. I got connected with her and she would only accept a hug as a reward.

So... my opinion?

Everybody in the BVI is awesome. and you can't argue me out of it smile emoticon