Tuesday, June 4, 2002
D-Day (Departure Day)
Have you ever been so well prepared for
an exam, you think surely you're going to go completely blank
when the test is placed in front of you? Or so prepared for
a speech, you think surely you'll forget something? Well,
it seemed that way to me when, even a half an hour before
we're supposed to pull away from the dock for good, both Curt
and I felt that we were totally prepared for the voyage ahead
and happily bid farewell to the docklines.
I had woken up wondering what it would be
like, and moreover- what to say, to our new dockside neighbors,
friends at Island Water World, to Sean and Jo when we left.
Most, if not all, are cruisers, so they are veterans at the
vagrancy of the lifestyle, but still I really felt unsure
of it all. In the end, I reminded myself (and them) that we'd
be coming back through after hurricane season to say hello.
We passed out well deserved thanks to everyone who so kindly
took us under their wing as the "new kids on the 'cruising'
block." Everyone was so kind, with so much sound advice
Curt and I wanted to get an early
start to our first port, Statia (formally called Sint Eustatius),
and so we had to spend one night anchored outside the lagoon
as the bridge only opens a handful of times each day to let
boats pass through. The first opening (9am) wasn't early enough,
so we passed through the night before and anchored outside.
Slipping out of our space at dock was uneventful and without
incident, but as we waited at the bridge that afternoon, our
new and dear friend Jerry came swooshing up in his limo dinghy
(as we've begun to call it) to take some bon voyage shots
as we set out on our voyage. Once again, Curt and I felt so
lucky to've met such a great cast of characters.
June 5, 2002
Our Plan Changes Before We've Even Begun
Our journey began with an unexpected turn.
We had planned to sail first to Statia, but the wind was "on
our nose" (coming directly from the direction we had
intended to go) so we opted to make our way there via St.
Barts. While we both wondered what this change in plans so
soon out of the starting gate foretold about the rest of voyage,
we both felt good about our decision. We aren't pressed for
time and felt, why beat our brains out heading into the wind
when we could have a leisurely passage and relaxing evening
in the familiar anchorage of Anse de Columbier? I mean, isn't
that why we're here in the first place? To stop and enjoy
life passing by?
The anchorage was particularly peaceful
and quiet that night. Force Five might well have been sitting
at dock she rested so quietly on the sea with the stars twinkling
at the top of her mast. A school of tuna seemed to be setting
up camp under our hull so Curt got himself good and frustrated
trying to catch them off the transom while I made oatmeal
cookies down below. I could hear him grumbling expletives,
as the tuna would come nibble off the bait, but not take a
hold of the hook.