Tuesday June 11, 2013
(Photo courtesy of Offshore CPA)
Thanks to Nate’s boss for letting him out a day early, and winds that would be on our side (albeit light) for the three to four days that fit into both our schedules, Serendipity was taking on an extra crew member for the 380 mile crossing from Grand Cayman to Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras. With the departure date set, Matt and I spend yesterday touring what felt like the whole island by foot, looking for extra fabric to make a shade from the mast back as well. We visited the same shop we bought the first set of fabric from, only to find out that the next day, someone came in to purchase whatever was left. So then we went to six other fabric stores sprinkled across the island, only to find out no one else carried Sunbrella, and the one store that did, couldn’t sell it wholesale. I guess the back shade will just have to wait. While out on our hunt, we also filled up our both our backpacks to the brim, pretty sure that we’d never see things like granola bars or pop ever again.
Today we planned on leaving in the early evening, so I spent a good part of the morning in the galley, prepping meals so that little to no cooking would need to be done underway. I made two loaves of bread, spaghetti with meat sauce, and a pepperoni pizza. Cooking and clean up took a lot longer than I thought, I don’t even know why this surprises me anymore, it never changes, so Matt was left to do all the other pre-departure prep such as cleaning the boat and making sure everything is stored in a place that it will not get thrown about the boat. Then we took a break to do something we’ve simultaneously been looking forward to and dreading at the same time. Making sure Georgie knows how to swim. We don’t have protective netting for kids/pets around our lifelines, and we make sure to keep her in the cockpit, harnessed in, whenever we’re underway, but that still doesn’t give a 100% guarantee that she may never fall off the boat at some time. Our friends Kim and Scott have had their cat fall off multiple times at anchor, but their cat has always gotten back on by swimming around the boat to a little rope they leave down for her. We have a small net that we tie to our stern while at anchor, just for this reason for Georgie.
We’ve never wanted to practice this cat overboard drill with her in most spots because of currents that might have swept her away, but now we were in a perfect area to try. Both of us were excited to see her try out her swimming skills, but neither of us had the heart to toss her in. A few days ago, Matt almost got her by giving a soft kick to her bum as she was leaning over the edge, but that little ninja was able to hold on by one paw and bring herself back up. So today we mentally prepped ourselves to actually do it, and before thinking twice, Matt scooped her up and tossed her over the side. The net was within eyesight of her, and we wiggled it around in hopes that she’d move toward it, but nope, this cat was making a beeline for the bow. Matt jumped in behind her in case she needed assistance, but only having to guide her without even touching, she swam, quite speedily I may add, one full circle around the boat until she got to the stern again and used the ladder to pull herself up. Go figure. Wanting to make sure she knew what the net was for, Matt took her once more and lowered her to the waters edge right in front of the net, where it didn’t take her two seconds to use the net and climb back onto the boat. It’s official. We have a swimming cat.
“Never feed it after midnight.”
With that taken care of, it was off to customs and immigration to meet Nate and check out of the country. It was just as easy as checking in, and we were all off on one last grocery run before departing. Jenn met us at the docks to say one last goodbye to Nate, and took some great shots of us as we were getting ready to depart. She also wrote a nice post on her own blog about our departure here. With all crew members on board the ‘Dip, we went about last minute projects like raising the dinghy on deck, and giving Nate a run down of where everything was located and how everything worked. All of our latest purchases were stowed away, along with Nate’s backpack (and the Lo Carb Monster he bought for me, best gift ever!), and we were ready to go.
Nate, I think you may be confusing ‘pirate’ with ‘gangster’.
The crew of Serendipity is off to Honduras!
(Above two photos courtesy of Offshore CPA)
Before we knew it, literally, Nate and I were below when I happened to look out of the window, we were moving. Coming out on to the deck we gave our new crew member a run down on the headsail that was being using at the moment, what the lines did, and the fact that he shouldn’t have to touch them unless he wanted to because we’d take care of all of that. Then getting a lesson on how to read the chart plotter, we had a failure. The autopilot stopped working once more, just as it had on our way to Cuba. Ten minutes into our journey. We could still see shore and just make out our mooring behind us. As Matt went to work on it, with ever attempt resulting in nothing, it now became a question of ‘Continue on, possibly hand steering for the next three and a half days? Or turn back and try again tomorrow?’. I don’t know why I was so determined to go that day, probably because I thought we’d lose our third crew member if we didn’t, but I was ready to push on. Good thing, because 20 minutes later, everything was fixed and Serendipity was back to steering herself. To celebrate the occasion I grabbed sundowners for us all to enjoy, dark & stormies for Nate and I, and a Red Stripe for Matt. We had a great time chatting while watching the sun go down, and then after dinner, Nate and I played a game of Settlers of Catan on his touchpad. Yes, this guy had Settlers of Catan with him. Best. Crew member. Ever.