Mar 6-8, 2016
We had a night visitor before we left the marina. If people leave trash in the bins on the docks overnight, rats show up. We had a rat, as evidenced by the footprints all over the boat, and also all of the dirt from it rifling through the remainder of my lettuce and herb patches. I don’t know if it peed in my plants, like Mean Kitty did, but there isn’t much left of my little gardens.
The marina diesel pumps were not working, so we could not fuel up before we left. So, we headed to the metropolis of George Town and the cruiser Mecca at Stocking Island. This will be our first time there. We are not sure what to expect.
We had a gorgeous sail with the Code Zero out and no engines, all of the way through Conch Cut. The waves were crashing on the rocks and reefs as we entered. We were going 4-5 knots with 8-10 knots of wind. It was a great sailing day!
There are hundreds of boats around Stocking Island. We were pleasantly surprised that there seemed to be decent distance between the boats in the anchorages. They were not packed in like sardines, as we had envisioned. We even got there in time to enjoy the Sunday BBQ at the Chat and Chill. There were a lot of people hanging out around the volleyball courts and beaches. Kids were feeding the stingrays in front of the conch salad stand. We were schooled by a 13 year old on how to tell the difference between the male and female stingrays. It is all about the shape of the anal fins. Males have spiral looking fins and females have flat fins. Now we know!
We had Angie’s “forced socialization” time (to keep her from becoming a hermit) and Mark sat us at a picnic table with a few other boaters. He immediately offended every person on a monohull by stating how overweight we were because we have too much room to pack stuff. It was a very long meal for Angie. However, she did meet someone who has only had “6 decent days on the boat since departing in December.” So far, she still hasn’t gotten her sea legs and feels really unstable when underway, something Angie can relate to. She is going to give it a try for two years, for her husband’s sake. Angie thought that was very noble. (We are more on the 5-10 year plan.) They also have two cats that need to get Bonine’d up, along with the humans for the boat movement. Puking cats and puking humans made great dinner talk.
There was also talk about the cruisers that were just attacked down in The Grenadines as well as the one attacked off of St. Croix. Even the USVI is not immune to evil people. The other topics of discussion included all of the boat fires that have been happening. There were 3-4 last week that have been surfacing around the internet. And, one of the boats crossing with them sank while crossing the Gulf Stream. They crossed within a few days of us. It all makes you think about your boat and what you can do to prevent these things from happening. Sometimes, though, luck just isn’t with you, no matter how much you think you are prepared. As long as “the juice is worth the squeeze,” we still keep planning ahead.
We took the dinghy around to check out the hurricane holes for boats on Stocking. They seem packed in there on mooring balls. We still feel very uncomfortable leaving the boat in a place so far away. However, we have discussed it a few times this year, since crossing the Gulf Stream does not go well for us most of the time, with pushing the weather windows. The Atlantic beach was crashing. Glad we were not out in that wind!
We got in a few beach walks and started working on boat projects. We are hoping to cross over to the outer islands, come the weekend. Mark is working on running the main and reef lines back to the helm. Angie is working on polishing the stainless steel (the salt air makes it rust) and designing/making hatch covers. Yep, the new caulk job didn’t do its job.
We took a day and went across the channel to George Town. Winds were blowing 25-30. The dinghy ride into Lake Victoria was decent. We needed to get our propane tank filled and stock up on some veggies. The ride OUT, however, going against the waves and wind, had us sopping wet with the first wave, along with all of our food that we had just purchased. We had a few more crash over us before we got back to the boat.
Note to Self: Take jackets and dry bags, next time.
After soaking all of the veggies in bleach water and peeling the labels off of all of the canned goods (to keep the bugs and cockroaches out of the boat), we motored to the fuel dock. Mark spun us in the marina like we had bow thrusters. He did an excellent job getting us on and off the fuel dock in the wind conditions.