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July 22, 02
Follow-up the Boarding in Bequia While We're in Carriacou

We woke this morning at 7am to the sound of dozens of birds squawking as they dive bombed the water around the boat. I couldn't pass up even the most remote chance that I might catch whatever the birds were trying to get at under the water. Even Curt had to smirk at the prospect from behind his displeased grimace as I left him all alone in the v-berth. I pulled some ratty clothes on and crawled out to the cockpit as quietly as I could with our fishing pole, trying not to be noticed. A school of small fish were being chased by some big ol' ones, and the birds were trying to get a piece of the action. I tossed the line, and before it had barely hit the water, I got a bite! But alas, it wasn't meant to be because whatever it was, it broke the line before I could reel it in.

I went back below to make coffee and to continue my quest to master the making of a decent loaf of bread. Round one of my attempt went overboard to the fish, but round two was pretty decent. In the process, we had had the VHF on and an interesting transmission was broadcast to all "Mariners in Bequia and surrounding waters!" You remember the story we'd heard of the boat that armed men tried to board in Bequia back on July 18th? The Captain was now on the VHF, speaking to anyone that would listen. He was warning that after the perpetrator had been caught and placed in jail, he was about to be set free on the coming Saturday. Outraged, the cruiser declared he'd wished he'd shot the bandit on the spot, as justice would've been served rather than to just have the police let him walk away. Anonymous boaters tried to make further inquiries of the events, but there was no reply.

That afternoon, we upped anchor and sailed around the island to Tyrrel Bay. A weather front (possible tropical depression) was due to roll in Friday night and this bay was well protected. After an uneventful trip, we chose a spot near the front of the anchorage so we wouldn't worry about anyone dragging into us. As I steered Force Five to the spot we had picked out in the anchorage, I couldn't figure out why Curt seemed so distracted up on the bow while dropping the hook. It wasn't until we had already anchored that I realized we were surrounded on both sides by French boats and therefore, bodies ranging from topless to buck-naked!

July 26, 02
Homemade Sushi

Cha-Ching! The dried seaweed, wasabi and pickled ginger we've been toting around since Saint Maarten paid off today! True Blue pulled in with a tuna they caught on the way up from Grenada and we all had a sushi party to celebrate their arrival!


July 27, 02
The Celebration of Public Transportation in the Caribbean

It seems backwards to me that on these funny little islands where you're lucky they have indoor plumbing, they all seem to have public transportation that's efficient, affordable and well utilized by the public. In a thriving metropolis like Orange County, the government can't seem to find an effective solution for moving people from one place to another, but in the Caribbean, it's the only way to fly!

They call them different things on different islands: buses, maxi-taxis- whatever. But they always seem to take form in a brightly painted van of sorts that is blaring music so loud you can't hear yourself think. They've all got names like, Jesse James, The General, D Right Stuff, Keepin' D Fait, Taliban, Lion, Irie Mon', and so on, painted across the front windshield. They go bumping and veering along the narrow winding roads at top speeds, dodging the unfortunate goats, cows, chickens- even people, that find themselves in their path. A few taps on the horn seems to give the drivers the confidence to keep the pedal to the metal as they go careening by their would-be targets as they scamper out of the way. Inside, the seats are packed to the gills with people, bags, packages, babies… and in our case, at least one lone sweaty white yachtie couple pressed against the glass. Soca music pumps so loud, it makes the seats vibrate and the three year old in his mom's lap next to you bops up and down to the beat with little braids sticking up out of his head like the beams of a shining sun.

I can never get off the busses here without being in a better mood than when I got on- always smiling and chuckling to myself as I go on with my day

July 30, 02
White Island, Carriacou

This afternoon, Curt and John brought home two lobsters from their snorkeling trip and I made homemade tortillas in preparation for a feast! I love lobster pretty much any way it shows up on my plate, but the "free from the sea" variety is at the top of my list! We couldn't help but laugh at the good fortune of the life we've chosen, but yet I've found so many cruisers (including me) can still miss both the better and worse parts of "home". Turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and no 9 to 5 are certainly nothing to complain about, but it doesn't automatically give you all the answers to life either. As a matter of fact, I'd say most cruisers wouldn't have a definitive answer for you if you asked them what they're doing the next day, no less with the rest of their lives.

The dinner plates were washed and put away when the four of us stretched our feet out in the cockpit with a bottle of port and the stars twinkling above us. Peter Gabriel's, Salisbury Hill blared from the stereo as we sat and watched the sky, quietly singing along- but not talking with one another. Maybe I wasn't the only one feeling introspective?

My mind is often filled with questions and thoughts that I never made the time to pause and consider back in my life on land. I suppose I hoped, though never really believed, this time cruising would provide some answers to questions, or at least some clarity. For instance, a day sailing to a new destination leaves you free of all the normal chores of daily life. Underway, we often have the time to sit out on the rail of the bow with our feet dangling in the splashing sea below, watching the horizon and just thinking. I'm surprised to think about conversations and situations that happened years ago- that I thought I had forgotten. I find myself getting hot under the collar about meetings at work that happened ages ago. Friends come to mind that I haven't spoken to in forever- and I wonder why? Why have I let so much time pass between us? Sometimes it feels like a life-review.

But while I play old situations and stories back in my head, I remind myself too, to be here now… to really revel in each of the hundreds of amazing things we're seeing and experiencing almost everyday: an enormous stingray floating under the boat while I'm rinsing dishes off the transom, the electricity of a sunset as a thunderstorm clears the sky, the serenity of a nighttime shower- outside under the moon and stars… the air still warm enough you don't catch a chill. I hope I can keep my promise to myself to recognize these things once we return home too, because they're everywhere if you remind yourself to look.

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