I have officially moved on to the yacht and have been working for the past five days. I am extremely comfortable onboard and for the time being I have a cabin and head all to myself, which is very nice! We plan to pick up more crew before the Atlantic crossing and at that point I will have to share my room and bathroom.
I’ve always loved the noises of a marina. The sound of water lapping under smooth fiberglass, the dull hum of the electrical banks, the hiss of hoses cleaning off the day’s grime and that clanking of metal on hollow metal that calls my childhood (OYC) sailing days to memory (not that I ever cared about sailing as a kid – but I did spend a lot of time there eating frozen milky ways).
I don’t want to say that I romanticized my days of marina living while aboard Kialoa V, but give any memory four years to mature and the minor annoyances fade away under the veil of pleasant memories. At least, I definitely don’t remember the laughing gulls!
Every year around March or April the “laughing gulls” return to the Virgin Islands. We have always told tourists that these obnoxious birds return to the island just to “laugh” (or squawk) at all of us suckers who stick around through the slow season. I always wondered where these birds slept, but I’ve finally found the answer: THEY DON’T SLEEP! They all come to Crown Bay Marina, directly next slip T2 where there is apparently a nightly rally for all birds in the area. Hundreds of them! And they squawk. All. Night. Long. Needless to say, all romantic memories of harmonious Marina living have officially been crushed.
Our first order of business was to roll up and cover all white carpets, tables, floors and basically anything exposed that could be damaged. We swapped out the bright white helm covers with weathered versions. The once immaculate looking boat is now back to working order – which is actually a much more comfortable state for us.
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I am very lucky to have a wonderful crew who all seem relatively normal! We’ve got the British Captain named Tony who is extremely knowledgeable, kind, patient and thorough. He seems excited and willing to teach me all kinds of new things from engine maintenance to celestial navigation. I cannot wait to learn from him!
Tony’s partner of the past twelve years is a lovely German woman named Liz. She is the stewardess onboard and runs everything on the interior. Not only does she have a fabulous name, she seems like a fabulous woman all around.
The other deckhand onboard is named Zoe. She is also from the UK and is incredibly sweet and funny. She is a tiny little girl with a huge appetite – just like me. I think we are going to get along just fine.
The work onboard has been constant but manageable. Since I’ve joined I have made a 4-page list of projects that need to be dealt with. A lot of it will get done before the crossing so I am looking forward to checking items off the list.
We are headed off to St Maarten today – we leave in about 30 minutes. The trip will be about 18 – 19 hours so we should arrive tomorrow morning in time for the drawbridge. I plan to send some photos and maybe even a video with my next update. My one request is for all of you to think of your favorite books! I want to download some new ones to my kindle before the 3-4 weeks at sea. I am currently reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and I’m loving it, definitely recommend it to everyone! Please let me know what you think of!!