Semi-America

Tuesday May 21, 2013

  5.21.13

As far as passages go, our one from Cuba to Grand Cayman was a rather calm and uneventful one. Two nights out at sea, and besides doing a little motoring through light winds to steer clear of a few storms, there were no worries at all. The first 24 hours we were actually ‘buddy boating’ with Rode Trip, where we each had each other in our sights. Which seems pretty amazing considering that we often lose each other, even on 20 mile sails from cay to cay in the Bahamas. The second evening, after we had eaten all the leftovers packed in the fridge, we grilled up a couple of steaks, or whatever those pieces of meat were that we picked up at the market in Cuba, along with some diced potatoes and it’s potato like friend. I still have no idea what the heck these things are that we picked up, but they taste like a mix between sweet potatoes and regular ones, so I’ll have no problem slicing up the rest and cooking them up. Dinner was enjoyed with a cold Red Stripe for both of us (at the suggestion of non-drinking Matt, can you believe it?), and I’d have to say it was hands down the best passage meal we’ve had yet.

When dinner was finished, we turned to Georgie, intent on helping her get over the heat exhaustion she was experiencing in Cuba. I’m sure part of it had to do with the fact we were not at anchor and had no breeze rolling through, but poor Georgie spent a good portion of her days with her tongue hanging out, trying to get any reprive from the heat that she could. Our solution? After a suggestion from our friend Tasha who cruises with her own two cats, we were going to shave her. Matt held her in place as I ran the hair clippers over her and watched the nice downy fluff fall to the ground. I have to admit, it did make her lose a little visual appeal, with her lower half looking like a four year old got carried away with a pair of scissors, and bandage wrapped around her neck to help with her scratching, now rendering her the opposite of a butter face (you know…where everything looks good but her face). But I’m sure she’s much more comfortable, and that’s all that matters. Then the next morning, came the other Georgie issue.

We always check noonsite before heading into a new country to see if and what the restrictions are on pets. Most just state that the pet needs to have up to date shots, and in some countries, they can’t land. Which is fine because she stays on the boat the whole time anyway. What we read about Cayman, however, is that she needs to be micro-chipped and have blood work sent out no less than 30 day before entering. We didn’t have either of these. Our solution to that problem? Hide her. We weren’t sure if the officials would come on the boat or not, so we tried to stow away any evidence of there being a cat on board. Luckily her litter box is a giant Rubbermaid container with a hole cut in the top, so we just covered that hole with our tool bag. Her food, dishes, and toys were all stowed in the back of the aft cabin. And as for Georgie herself, we stuck her in her favorite little hiding spot under the combing and blocked the hole with a sport a seat. It was all for naught though, because this is the easiest country we’ve ever checked into. We pulled up to the dock to tie off, I was handed about four form to fill out, and even though one question was for us to list any pets on board (which I did…I don’t want my boat confiscated for falsifying), when I brought the forms back to customs and immigration they glanced at them, stamped the papers, stamped the passports, and we were good. What a load off our backs.

Because with that taken care of, we could get down to the important things and one of drawing factors that brought us here. Sitting right on the water and right in front of our (free!) mooring ball, was a Burger King. Did you hear me? BURGER KING!! Matt and I have now been without fast food for over two months, which about seven times as long in fast foodie years. Our mouths were watering at the thought of flame grilled Whoppers and bottomless fountain drinks. We quickly lowered the dinghy and roared over to the only ‘water access’ Burger King in the world. Stepping inside there was air conditioning, and we were able to pay for our food with a credit card, which means we never even had to make our way to a bank first to exchange money. The food was just as good as I remembered it, and being forced into haven eaten only fresh food for the past few months and dropping about five to ten pounds in the process, I was ready to snack on thick cut french fries until the cows came home.

While enjoying our little slice of heaven and looking out the windows that framed the West Bay, we watched as Brian and Stephanie made their way in, about two hours behind us. We let them get checked in and settled until we went to bug them about going to explore town together. They weren’t as keen on spending their entire time in Cayman at the Burger King, like we were. The four of us walked down West Bay St. which is mostly meant for the tourists of the cruise ships that come in for the day. It houses a Margaritaville, Hard Rock Cafe, and a million duty free shops. We strolled past all my old favorites, Victoria’s Secret, MAC, and Sephora. I had to laugh a little as I finally realized, that after 9 months of cruising, I no longer have the envy or need for any of these things. Ok, that’s not true. I do still want a few cute and lacy things in my drawer. Want to be my sponsor, VS?

We found a nice local little roti shop for Brian and Stephanie to get their eat on, and I jumped at the chance to try a new local beer.  I’m trying to tally up as many on our travels as I can.  Take that ‘Old Chicago World Beer Tour’, I’m making my own!  We were also able to taint Rode Trip’s eating habits a little bit on our walk back down West Bay St. where I would say we forced them into a Dairy Queen, but with the stifling heat outside, I think they went pretty willingly.  Sucking down a Bizzard faster than I probably ever have in my life, we then went to the local grocery store to see what kind of provisioning we could do.  Wow.  It was like stepping right back into America.  They had everything we could want or need, and there was a large variety of each item.  There may be a 25% mark-up from prices back home, but I think we were all willing to pay that little extra for some really good stocking.  Only doing a browse of the store on this night, we purchased a six pack of beer to enjoy on Serendipity for our own little happy hour.  We might be fine paying the 25% extra of prices in the grocery stores, but I think we’re all looking to stay away from the 50% mark-up in restaurants and bars.

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“I am not cute….”

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He’s literally a kid in a candy store.

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How every night should end.  Cocktail in hand, watching a pirate ship depart into the sunset.

 

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