|Galliot Cut Sunset|
Cap and I were so happy to be back on the water cruising. It’s funny….I like staying at an anchorage for a few days and doing things…. But I also like being at sea and just hearing the hum of the engine and the gentle motion of the waves. I like seeing the dolphin off the bow or the occasional ray jump out of the water. I like looking at the AIS and checking for other boats around. I like looking with the binoculars when other boats do go by us. Our Autopilot – we call “George” takes us wherever we plot the course and if it’s not too rough or there aren’t any other boats near us, we let George steer the boat while Cap and I sit on the foredeck in the sunshine and enjoy this life we have chosen.
So when a dinghy pulled up in this empty anchorage, we were pleased that our neighbor on the Monk called “Adirondack” stopped by for a friendly introduction and chat. Jeff and Sally from Minnesota. You see….. That’s the thing about cruising – everyone is so friendly and helpful. They often help out with local knowledge, or assist you with problems with your boat if you need help or just plain keep you company and enjoy a drink with you. Boaters aren’t fussy people. They don’t have to get all dolled up to have a get together. There’s not a lot of competition on the clothing front. I’ve been wearing the same pair of shorts for 3 days now. As long as I don’t spill my lunch on them – they’re good for as long as possible! The women don’t wear any jewelry and many don’t even wear a wedding ring. And I rarely see painted toenails even. I wondered about that one – because you’re in sandals or bare feet a lot – seems like a natural to me – but it just doesn’t matter to most of these people. And get-togethers are pretty easy, because everybody brings their own drinks and they each pitch in a snack for cocktail hour –or if having a meal – each brings a dish to contribute. This way getting together is easy and not overwhelming in cost or labor!
|Our Boat Card|
We slept well that night. The anchorage had a sandy bottom with good holding. In the morning we were planning to leave at first light to travel to Georgetown and Stocking Island. Our friends from S/V Moon River, who were now going in the opposite direction and thus we will not see again for a while, again gave us local knowledge that if it was another northerly, Redshanks was a good, protected harbor to anchor. We thanked them and then looked at the chart – but it looked mighty skinny for us – so we opted to plan to anchor at Stocking Island – just on the other side of Georgetown.
Chris Parker – well known weather guru on the Single Sideband Radio (SSB) had said the seas were going to be swells of 5-7 feet – but gentle and spread apart. But it actually was 5-7 feet with 1-2 ft chop on top and …..Bumpy….but not bad – just hard to make tea and coffee or food – so it was back to the cheese and crackers for lunch! Richard kept reassuring me that this was okay – nothing too unusual and so I was pretty calm - until we got to the northwest cut. This is where there is a lot of reef and shallow water and strong current. On the Explorer Chart it says: “unsurveyed area” and “Caution: Good weather and sunlight conditions required for navigating this route” – which means we don’t guarantee anything here!
|It's hard to take a picture of how rough it was!|
As I calmed down and started to breathe, I actually looked up from the instruments and at the view in the harbor, and there were hundreds of boats! (As an aside – this is what I do when I try to ski in Switzerland too. My sister Millie keeps telling me to “Look where you’re going – Not at your feet!”) They were mostly sailing boats – their tall masts rocking with the wind. Then I started to wonder if there was room for us to anchor in this mass of boats – would we be able to anchor and put out all that chain without coming dangerously close to another boat? Oh God – I’m exhausted with worry! I’ve got to stop this worrying about everything! It has nothing to do with Richard – I know in my heart he’s very capable – I just haven’t had enough experience myself to know, in my brain, that this is the way it all works.
|Our Beautiful Anchorage|