Our anchorage here in Chacachacare is paradisaical. The water is blue and clear. We see fish swimming by and bigger fish chasing them. Birds, especially pelicans, swoop and soar (we ignore all the vultures). There's a turtle that makes a regular appearance near the boat. It's been hot and humid, but tolerable with a light breeze. If we could just sit in the cockpit and veg out, it would truly be paradise. But, of course, we live on a boat and we're hauling out soon and catching a flight back to Boston soon after that. The list of chores is long, and so, we've been hard at work each day. We typically rise with the sun, around 0530. That's when we wake up, have our coffee, write and decide on the day's activities. Any foray ashore is usually done as early as possible while it's cool and calm, and we place a time limit on how long we stay. Chores really do come first when the days to accomplish them are few.
We decided that several of the saloon and galley lockers are long overdue for painting. I've been methodically going through lockers, removing all contents, discarding all outdated, never-used and gnarly-looking items and scrubbing out the lockers. When I've finished each locker, David comes along with sandpaper and masking tape to prep for painting as soon as we haul out. He plans to apply three coats and then we'll let it hard cure while we're away.
In order to remove and stow all the locker contents, I cleaned out several crates and bins from the forward cabin (lots more discarding) to make room. All the crates are now lined up on the port settee with seat cushions piled above them. It's absolute bedlam … my least favorite state of affairs on Cups … but all will be clean and sparkling when we return. Of course, we'll have to stow all that stuff on the settee again, but that's a few months from now, so no worries.
All the filled-to-capacity trash bags, and the quantity of them keeps growing, are piled up in the cockpit at the moment (so they don't get sopped when it rains), ready to be discarded as soon as we get to Power Boats. I hope their trash bins are empty when we arrive because we'll be offloading at least 100 pounds of “stuff”. Just watch our waterline rise.
I've stowed gifts and souvenirs in various and sundry hidey-holes as we've sailed along and now I'm finding them and putting them in yet another crate in preparation for packing for the trip home … something I've given absolutely no thought to as yet. David has hauled out the duffel bags from under the forward bunk, but they're now hidden somewhere beneath the sail bags in the aft head.
Since we'll need winter clothes (what's that?) for our trip to Boston, I've gone through lockers and I've been airing out jackets, slacks and sweaters that we plan to take home. They smell like … well, they smell like “boat” … a mix of salt, sea, diesel and probably a bit of mold/mildew. They need airing, believe me!
Using up open and fresh stores has been a current preoccupation of mine. We have cheese, butter, eggs, bread, potatoes, onions ... beer/wine … that need to be consumed before we leave. All menus lately have taken these ingredients into consideration and we're making a dent in the larder (some items more than others ;-). So … what goes with a nearly outdated can of spinach (really? did I buy that? where?), outdated UHT cream, a chunk of cheddar, olives, two small potatoes and marinated squid? I'm sure it's a frittata or omelet or quiche of some sort … I'll figure it out at dinner time. Hmmm...maybe not the squid.
Do I sound as if I'm complaining? Perish the thought. There's work … 9 to 5, at the office or the shop, every day … and then there's “our” kind of work. Everything is getting done, but it's in Carib time. Clean out a locker...take a coffee break and watch the turtle for awhile, then clean out another locker. Repeat as necessary. Replace the bilge pump and get all sweaty and filthy … take a cool swim and wash off. Find all the souvenirs and stuff we want to take home (it's like a scavenger hunt) … take another coffee break. Write a blog … time for a beer. Fix the snaps on the dodger cover … time for another refreshing swim. Make dinner … have a glass of wine, watch a movie. Nah … I'm not complaining.