Friday April 5, 2014
This morning we were Bahama bound. At least, we thought we were. It’s not like this is our first rodeo, so we thought we had done everything necessary to get ourselves going. We had a good weather window, the diesel was topped off, provisions for the next 4-6 weeks had been tucked away (I know you can still buy food in the Bahamas, but come on, at those prices?), and we had just found a killer sale at Publix on their soda for 2-for-1. Yes, we were ready to head back to those crystal clear waters and white sand beaches.
A few unsuccessful naps had been attempted in the afternoon and evening, but by 1 am we were awake and finishing the last minute preps to get underway. Everything that was susceptible to gravity was put away and Georgie was wrangled, quite easily this time, into her harness. The engine was purring and all we had to do was get the anchor up and get on our way. Then curse words started flying back at me from the bow, spoken quietly enough though as not to wake our sleeping neighbors. Our bow navigation light that we had just replaced in Cozumel was now corroded and no longer working. We no longer had running lights for this trip. Kind of an important thing when you’re jumping across these shipping lanes in the middle of the night.
We talked about our options. Back in Cozumel when we had run into this issue, it wasn’t until we were coming into the harbor just after dark when we realized they were out. I was sent to the bow for the last 30 minutes with two headlamps in my hands, a red one to point to port and a green one to point to starboard. I was pretty sure that I could not, would not, stand at the bow for the next six hours doing the same thing this time around. Then we tried tying them to the cleats, but we knew that would probably only get us as far as the entrance to the Gulf Stream before they washed off. Do we chance it? Even then, we still wouldn’t be able to do any night sailing once we got to the Bahamas.
I hate to say this, but at 1:30 am, my bed was calling to me louder than the Bahamas. Why chance today what you can properly do tomorrow. So it was decided that after we woke up we’d make a run to West Marine or Boat Owner’s Warehouse and purchase and install a new one. This time a fully encased one that hopefully won’t let in salt water and corrode. It’s getting a little tiring replacing that thing every 4-6 months.
The funny thing to the whole situation though was Georgie’s reaction. Even though we’d called off the passage and were not even moving, the fact that the engine was running and she had her harness on was enough to get her into super-affectionate passage mode. Where, once we start traveling, she becomes your shadow. Follows you up and down the companionway and sits as high on your chest as possible when you’re resting. She didn’t get the memo that she was safe for the night. Poor thing was still all over us as we sat in the salon below, pouring over the West Marine catalog and the next day’s forecast. Pick me up. Don’t let me go. Love me, love me, love me. There’s Pavlov’s Theory on dogs, but I think we’ve just come up with Johnson’s Theory on cats. Make them think that they’re going on passage and they turn into a cuddly anxious mess. I think I might turn to this whenever I feel lonely and need some of her headbutt affection.