Sunday May 5, 2013
This weekend we’re down a few people in our group. They boys on Tamarisk have a rental car during their stay here, and after spending four straight days with us they decided it was more than enough and needed to get as far away as possible. I’m just joking. What they did do is extend their Jamaican stay past just the town of Port Antionio and are now in Negril on the other side of the country. They did even invite us along with them but we turned them down so that we could watch their boat in case there were any more mishaps like the other day’s storm.* Plus, you know, we’re too poor to just off and run away to a resort town for a weekend. So we’ve been staying at our usual hang out of the marina with our usual group of friends, minus the boys. But since they’ve been gone we’ve been able to replace them with a couple from South Africa on their boat Skebenga (which means ‘honest thief’, and if you learn the story of how they got their boat, is utterly hilarious). We had actually met Lukie and Elmarie the same morning we met Tamarisk, they were anchored next to us and popped by to introduce themselves that morning while we were making breakfast. We had a feeling that our next few days may be a little busy, but they were very nice people and we told them we’d make a point to get together for a beer sometime while all of us were still there.
Yesterday evening they were in the pool area the same time we were so we all sat down to talk and Brian and Stephanie joined as well. We learned they have been out cruising for 7 years, first going from South Africa to Thailand, and then back down to South Africa and up to the Mediterranean for a few seasons before crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean where they were currently sitting with us. With all four of us being very interested in making it over to the Med someday, we quizzed them on what it was like there and approximately how much the cost was since the one thing that might possibly keep us from going is just that. When we found out that they were able to live comfortable on 900 euros a month, we all about fell out of our chairs. That’s cheap! That’s cheaper than just about anywhere else we’ve traveled so far. (Although we did have a $500 month in April due to being away from civilization for so long in the Raggeds and Jumentos, whoot whoot!) Lukie and Elmarie explained that if you do your shopping in the little markets and stay away from big tourist attractions it can actually be pretty inexpensive. This is good news and now the two of us might be able to make it over there next year instead of spending this entire trip in the Caribbean. Brian and Stephanie though, their not even sure they want to wait that long. There was some excited squeals from Stephanie of “Let’s go now!, Let’s go now!”. We’ll see how that pans out as it’s a pretty big last minute decision to make. Matt and I are were looking to go to the Rio Dulce but now have our eye on Cartagena Colombia for hurricane season. I guess plans really can change that quick.
Tonight we gathered back at the pool for a little Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Yes. Even though we are no longer in America, I fell it fully necessary to celebrate this Mexican holiday. Joining us once more were Lukie and Elmarie, and we even had Lance join us for a couple of drinks since he was now back in town. We started out the evening a little early, pouring over charts and books about the Med that Skebenga brought in with them. We looked at nice little coves and anchorages, found out that not every place requires to you do a Mediterranean mooring (a whole nother problem for us in itself) and that once you make the initial four week cross, everything is just a day sail away. This made Stephanie even more excited and she kept poking Brian, making in very apparent that they should make the trip over this year. Once all the charts were reviewed we retired to the other side of the pool away from the in demand electrical outlets for laptops to enjoy a few drinks and general boat and travel chatter. Stephanie and I were quick to order margaritas while everyone else stuck with beer. It was a nice relaxing evening and we had even tuckered ourselves out enough that we were ready for bed just past cruisers midnight. Geez. Take my boys away and I turn into a sixty year old again.
*After the storm they moved their boat to the far part of they bay, just inside the channel buoys. Keeping our radio on at anchor while we travel with friends, I heard a call go out from the marina addressing Tamarisk, so I answered it. The marina thought they were too close to the channel and might get hit by incoming traffic that didn’t see them and asked if the boat could be moved. I replied, “Sure”. Matt, who was standing next to me gasped. ”Why would you tell them that?! We’re not going to move their boat, we don’t have the keys! And even if we did, I’m not going to re-anchor someone else’s boat! You need to tell them we can’t move it.” Wait….isn’t the whole reason we were watching their boat is so we could move it if necessary? If another storm came through and they began dragging anchor again, was I just supposed to message Jason on Facebook with, ‘Btw, your boat is running lose in the anchorage, it might be in shambles by the time you get back. Hope you’re having fun in Negril! ;) ’. And I’m pretty sure I was told a secret location of where the keys were housed. Grudgingly I called the marina back and after switching to a talk channel, let them know that we were in fact only boat sitting and could not ‘move it out of the way of all the incoming traffic that would have to come barreling in at 20 knots to not be able to make out the boat before hitting it’. When I was finished explaining this and ended the call, Matt turned to me and berated “Now everyone on the radio knows they’re away from the boat and that it’s open for robbing. Our one job was to keep that from happening. Way to go.”. Oh. So that’s how we were watching their boat….
The usual group with the addition of Lance, Lukie, and Elmarie.
If you can’t make it out, that’s a metal sailboat in the background.