April 30, 2003
More of the Bahamas
Curt and I have been cruising the Bahamas
now for, what? One- or is it two weeks almost? My first impressions
were so enthusiastic - so hopeful for what great stuff we'd
find. And I suppose it is - great. Sort of. Maybe if we'd
done this trip in reverse? Maybe if we started our experience
with these islands fried out from too many hours in front
of a computer screen or too many voice mails to return? What
I mean to say is that, the beauty here lies in the remoteness.
The solitude. But after a year of white sand beach after white
sand beach, Evian clear ocean after Evian clear ocean
well, I'm over all this and couldn't be more ready for a wall
to wall packed blues club alive with the frenzy of people
and something to make my derriere wiggle a heartfelt jig.
How awful that must sound to some people. All this beauty
around us, and I just want to cut loose on a dance floor stuffed
to the gills with bodies. All this solitude can leave one
feeling so remote and lonely. It reminds me of what a people
person I am, and makes me once again consider if perhaps this
life in not well suited for me.
It goes without saying that we have met
fellow cruisers from all walks of life: photographers, truck
drivers, wallpaper hangers, lifeguards, consultants, salesman
after salesman, housewives and moms, EMTs, and more. Those
people that I could observe as happiest cruising are, yeah
- sorta "people people". But, I suppose for me it
goes beyond just that. I love the energy I get from a crowd.
I love the buzz of a metropolitan city with honking buses
and bustling streets. It charges me up. And I admit with some
chagrin that perhaps I've held myself back from developing
closer, more rewarding relationships with even the closest
of my cruiser friends. I know, for better or worse, that given
the impermanence, getting too close will lead to a chain of
small heartbreaks with each boat weighing anchor - not unlike
the enormous sadness I felt when we first left San Francisco.
No reason to set yourself up for that most treacherous goodbye.
And imagine if every day in your world is
filled with rain. How does that differ from world where every
day is filled with sun? In either case that's all you know.
In either case the sureness and unwavering rotations numb
the heart to lighting with a change in scenery. If day after
day in this world holds no marks of time passing other than
a setting sun, wouldn't the sameness numb your senses? No
change of seasons. No Christmas. No birthdays. No delineation
of a weekday or weekend. Everyday the sun comes up. Everyday
the sun goes down... in just the same way as it did the day
It seems poignant to consider that the landfalls
I've enjoyed the most are those that held the culture most
different from our own. Places like the Dominican Republic
and Venezuela - where there is a buzz to unravel in the political
structure, where the people lead lives so far from what we
know. I've come to understand that if I had to pick the one
thing that would draw me back to the cruising life, it would
be the opportunities in store with other lands and the wonder
that comes from becoming part of a world that looks like nothing
we know back home.
One night I made a list of all the
places I thought I might like to visit, given the right opportunity.
I somewhat cautiously shared it with Curt, fearing what can
of worms I might be opening. Of course it was him that pointed
out that nearly all were places we could sail to. For a moment
I was delighted - it could be possible to see these far off
mystical lands! But of course, that meant long ocean passages.
And weeks at sea are not my cup of tea. Still, it's something
to consider. At the moment, sailing along the African coast
or along South America sounds like a great adventure. If we
could just beam the boat there like a Star Trek scene, it
would be a perfect solution.