Caribbean Day 5: Sailing

I didn’t sleep quite so well this time, I’m not sure if it’s because of the fan or lack of AC or the noises outside, but it was a bit restless. I took my time getting up, instead electing to process photos and work on my journal while Gary snoozed. Today was also meant to be slow so no problem.

My bug bites are getting worse, I think I’m well past 30 now, and some have been irritated by my sandals which is annoying. I’m going to buy new bug spray in town, hopefully that will help. I don’t think I got any new ones while I was sleeping, but I surely did while I took a quick nap yesterday when I immediately noticed 2 new ones on my hands.

Gary finally got up and we set into breakfast. Josee our host had left OJ, bread, eggs, milk, and cereal in our fridge for us. She reminds me a bit of my mother, the perfect hostess, nothing hasn’t been thought of, and always warm. I go for the eggs while Gary goes for the corn flakes. I kinda messed up though, not only were the egg shells a bit tougher so I ended up with several shards in my pan, but the heat was way higher than my stove can get at home quickly burning the butter and the eggs. At some point I had to kind of give up and scrape it into scrambled eggs. What a failure. I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

Josee came by again to give us instructions on renting a Hobie Cat, which was the goal for the day in order to get the best deal we were told to tell the guy on the beach that Josee and Pierre said to give us their best deal and that we weren’t supposed to pay more than $30.

Gary and I walked down the hill again stopping at the market for water and bug spray. The walk up and down this hill is giving us plenty of a work out. This time I got Off Active which has less DEET, but says it won’t be affected by sweat, which I’m hoping is the reason for why it’s not been helping much. I might stop in at the pharmacy later to see if they can give me something to help with the itch. We then took the ferry across the harbor to the resort renting the boats. The guy at the bungalow greeted us and immediately was trying to talk us up for an all-day pass. We told him all we could give him was $40 which wasn’t enough so he settled for $30 for the cat rental. I think since it’s the low season he should have taken the extra $10, it’s not like anyone is using the kayaks.

Either way they handed over the helm and off Gary and I went. The Hobie Wave as it’s called had a small sail with a soft boom made of a batten. I aimed right towards the harbor entrance going down wind and took us out to deeper water. I wonder at this point what the guys thought on the beach as I quick disappeared out of sight. Once out of the confines of the channel I reached back and forth going north up the coast just a little ways before turning around and going back south to the little inlet our guest house sits on. Gary had never been on anything like this and was a bit nervous at first. I gave him my camera since I didn’t want to hold it and asked him to be the camera man. As we kept going he got a bit more comfortable, but seemed better when I brought us back towards the bay. I tacked back and forth through the harbor as deep as it goes before turning the boat around and running mostly down wind back towards the spit where we drop the boat off. After a few more passes I came in, turned the nose up wind to luff the sail right on the beach, jumped out, and pulled the boat to shore. The guys who ran the bungalow I think were a bit surprised that I didn’t just come straight onto the beach. It had been a while since I had sailed, but it felt mostly like second nature to me. Gary remarked how precise it was weaving between the boats in the harbor as we tacked back and forth, but I used to get a lot of practice at this in the harbors as a kid.

I noticed today that this trip feels different from the others. Usually there is a certain nervousness or tension. I’m stepping off into the unknown for me. But this time it feels much more old hat than it ever has. I felt kind of at home immediately. I wonder if it’s the environment or because I’ve traveled so much now that it’s lost that edge a bit (I hope not). I wonder if National Geographic’s “Lead Explorer” feels like this. I also wonder if Neversoft would print me business cards that list my title as “Lead Explorer”, I love the sound of that, it’s something to aspire to. Maybe also this trip is a bit too touristy, maybe I need something a bit more off the beaten path like Dominica, or the trip I have in my head for the future going through Laos.

We headed back to our pad for some rum punch, and a swim to kill time until happy hour at the Doolittle Restaurant across the harbor. They advertise 10EC drinks which is about $3.50, which sounds pretty appealing to me.

I used my time a bit to process photos from the sailing, Gary got some good ones. Then I headed down to the pool. Gary and I talked shop a bit, and I now have some good reading suggestions that might help prepare me for being not a Lead Explorer, but a Lead Programmer one day.

Dolittles was a pretty happening place; the music was pleasant with good ambiance. The drinks, Bahama Mamma’s were great, and the happy hour bar food filling enough. We ended up spending about $35 each for 2 drinks and dinner which isn’t too bad over here and caught the ferry back.

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