Tuesday October 2, 2012
Since our friends from Antheyllide have been anchored in the creek with us for the past few days but our only chats have been while they’re holding up their full size bikes in their dinghy and have stopped by to say hello, we invited them over for a few cocktails since they’d be on their way once more the next morning. They finally got the tour of our boat which doesn’t normally happen unless it’s spotless because of someone’s OCD. Even as they dinghied up Kim’s first question was “Is it your boat that smells like apple pie?”. We had just replaced the air freshener in the head and apparently Glade was doing a great job of making our boat smell Fall fresh even from hundreds of feet away. I just hope it doesn’t start attracting other boaters who think we’ve cooked up a tasty treat.
After the tour was done with comments of “This is the perfect space for the two of you” and “It’s totally your style” (our boat is suddenly becoming the smallest in the lot and we’re getting a little bit of larger boat envy) we settled into the cockpit to enjoy the strangely warm evening. We had just gotten through the first bottle of wine and lots more helpful hints of places to visit or avoid on our way down to the Caribbean when Brian and Stephanie joined us as well. They were just in time for Stories from our year in Venezuela as told by Antheyllide and they were not the kind of stories we had heard from other cruising blogs. Stories included were How our friends found a dead man in a boat (on the can) a day before we arrived to see it ourselves (besides the body); How we thought we might be arrested for accidentally overstaying our Visas; Getting bullied by officials into paying $0.35/gallon for diesel instead of $0.08; and best of all How we came across multiple shipwrecks of brand new boats that ran into reefs. ‘Oh, you’ll be fine’ they comforted on that last one, ‘I’m sure it won’t happen to you’. I had never personally put much thought into it before but apparently it was one of Stephanie’s biggest fears.
I had also not known until hearing this that if you’re boat is deemed abandoned or wrecked, as in you can not get it off/away from it’s current location, that it’s open to scavengers. As soon as you step foot off that boat the locals, including police, will come and strip a boat bare, usually selling pieces to unsuspecting cruisers passing through the area. Clothes, dishes, and even silverware are taken from drawers. Winches are sawed right out of the cockpit. As soon as you’re off the boat it’s a free for all. And it’s all legal. I could not imaging setting off on this journey, getting into a storm where we had to be pulled off the boat and going back to it a few days later only to find out it’s been completely picked apart by someone who got there before we did. Although we’ve both decided that our boat would have to be sinking before we’d abandon her, and I would much rather the sea have her than for someone to pick her apart.
*Knock on wood. I’m not willingly going to give my boat to anyone, even the sea.