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Wednesday, May 1st, 2002 - Moving Aboard
Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles

Well, we've moved aboard! Where on earth will we put all our stuff? And not just our clothes, CDs, toiletries, tools, etc. We have to find space for all those extras that came with the boat that I told you about yesterday… it's like trying to fit a whole garage into a walk-in closet. And even with that, we haven't even begun to provision the boat with food.

We also met our new dock neighbors. To port we have Ben and Monica (Germans) and their dog Titan. He's the dock manager and in charge of collecting our rent, getting us water, keeping order on the dock, etc. To starboard we have John and Kathy (American southerners), their 3 ½ month old son, and their dog Palmer. John is the store manager at Water World and yet another perk of our arrangement. Whenever we go in to buy something, he always saunters over to steer us in the right direction and help us out with tips and tricks. And being a neighbor in such close proximity, he'll see us doing our boat chores and always offer his help. He and Kathy are also cruisers that happen to be building up their cruising kitty for a while. They assure us they're there to help when we need it, assuring us they've made "PLENTY" of mistakes along the way, so they'd like to help us avoid them. So kind.

Our first night on the boat went smoothly overall, but because it was a holiday and everything was closed, we had to sleep without sheets. I hate to admit it, but I was miserable. The upholstery was scratchy, it was humid and hot, and there was an invisible mosquito that was out to get me. And of course, like any new place… there's just plain old getting used to a new environment. Even at dock, the boat rolls some and the winds gust in (very pleasant actually- but different). We slept with all the hatches and companionway open, so with every sound I found myself listening intently to see what the noise was. I ended up sleeping in the salon with only mild success.

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