08 April 2014

Packing for the Caribbean

Fiona, here we come again

All my students were surprised when I told them they were getting a vacation from piano studies. They were even more surprised when I told them "Yup, I am back on Fiona."

What? After all you went through? After all that suffering and night watches and stress?

Yes, it's like giving birth (sorry boys, I must go here for a bit, skip to the end of this paragraph if you can't take it!) In the hospital bed you promise, swear, vow you will never give birth to another child for as long as you live. But how soon you forget, only to find you back in that bed a year or two later.

The thought of being back on Fiona has not been on my mind for a while. Granted it was a great adventure, but as John said several times, a once in a life time adventure.

But how soon I was longing for another “child”. How soon I was telling John that another chance to be on Fiona, even for an overnighter, would be amazing.

So here I am again, looking forward to another adventure, another night being rocked to sleep, even another mid-night watching for small fishing boats and gigantic tankers. Seeing whales splash, flying fish jumping over our decks, cocktail hour back-dropped by a wonderful sunset. Have to admit, but I miss the adrenaline rush.

A while after we came back from our Brazilian leg on Fiona, we started to discuss what would we have done differently, what traps we would avoid, what we would bring, and more importantly, not bring. As I face the job of packing again, I wish we had written it all down. We actually did, but cannot find the list.

The first thing that springs to mind, is an extra pair of glasses for John. Probably because losing his glasses overboard was a traumatic and expensive mistake.  But what about all the other little/big things?

Clearly, we needed to reduce the enormous (and I don’t use that word lightly) number of things we brought on board… sleeping bags, life jackets, water boots, pillows, winter clothes, summer clothes, beach clothes, rain clothes. The list goes on and on. We brought so much stuff that one of the few times the Captain mentioned us in his blog, was about how much stuff we had brought on board and how much water we drank. I guess we did distinguished our selves from the pack in some way.

John just suggested we shouldn’t bring sleeping bags this time, because they are so bulky. Heck no. I am bringing mine. The cushion on the bunk is not that soft and I need that extra fluffiness. Sleeping should be comfortable. OK, after some arguing, John is probably bringing his sleeping bag too. How about pillows? Well, I left my favorite pillow on the boat, if it still there I just need a pillow case, maybe two.

Last time we loaded the pilot berth with gallons and gallons of bottled water. It competed with the space reserved for the rum. We are now considering bringing a Brita water filter. I just don’t know if the filter will remove the metalic taste from the water that is stored on the boat. I guess we can try. If it doesn’t work we can then go onshore and buy gallons and gallons of drinking water.

Maybe we're just soft... The Captain thinks the water tastes just right.

One of my regrets last time was not taken enough pictures for my scrap-book. The camera we used was John’s phone and he was very leery about getting it wet. Since we were in danger of getting wet almost all the time, we didn’t take many pictures. This time I am bringing my camera and snapping away!

I don’t think we will need winter clothes or foul weather gear, only light jackets and a cosy sweater.

Of course we will need mosquito repellent, sun block, hats, snorkeling gear (no, scratch that, Eric has them on the boat), bikinis, summer dresses for strolling on the islands, trashy novels, motion sickness pills and wrist bands. I am sure John’s list will include a lot more than casual needs.

Ok, time to stop talking and pack. We are leaving in 2 days.


From John: I'm not packing any bikinis!

Sometimes I wish I were a piano teacher like Helena. All she has to do is tell her students, "I'll be gone for a week. Ta!" While I have to slave away for two weeks, battening down the hatches on my business so my clients don't face any crisis while I'm out of reach.

So I've had to abandon most of my work on the Blue Moon til I get back. No matter. The weather has been awful, anyway. Hopefully by the time I return, the weather will warm up enough to use paint and epoxy out doors.


I did get the Blue Moon out to her mooring, though. And since it was such a nice day, I took her for a spin out to the light house, just to take a look at the bay, and to slough some of the winter growth off her bottom.

If you've ever wondered what Huntington Harbor (home of William Atkin's first boat house) looks like, take a look at this very informal video.

Next Episode: Less is More?

1 comment:

  1. Loved your tour of Huntington Harbor. It made me (a little) homesick for Huntington and Northport.


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