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THOUGHTS on out of the Ordinary

As I sit here in the salon of Afterglow typing this, I am thoughtful about what a wonderful trip this has been, how much we have seen and learned, and even how to put the hard spots in perspective of what it takes to sail in the Exuma cays in the Bahamas.  This is no ordinary place. Just yesterday, for the third time snorkeling in The Aquarium, we have been privy to the exotic, beautiful, natural beauty of the landscape and seascape and the ever-glowing turquoise tints of the seas.

The day before, sitting in the cool, warm Bubble Bath at Compass Cay, we swam with the many fish, (while Allen enjoyed a fish pedicure by the many little fish that nibbled at his heels), sauntered over to the baby ray in shallow depths, observed ancient trilobite fossils embedded in the blackened limestone and enjoyed lunch here with our friends on Further, Lee and Wendy Beckerman.

In the salon, however, I am ever present whenever flies are around, and there have been many at Compass Cay. (I swatted 40 over the space of two hours, and then they got the hint to stay away from the bug killer.) I am also looking at my two bags of garbage, one filled inside the cabinet and the one getting filled by our daily doings, and I am wondering where and how we can safely and honorably dispose of the refuse.

The trash heap at Chat and Chill, Georgetown,

Not every cay offers refuse services or any cans or fresh water or stores or fuel or laundry or restaurants or supplies or shelter from a blustering west wind.  What are considered ordinary services and opportunities in the States may or may not be readily available in these beautiful islands for cruisers.  For us, it is life out of the ordinary, and it’s hard to believe that we have been living on this boat for more than one whole year (and we still talk to each other (😊)).

Rockside Laundry at Black Point is said to have the most beautiful view of any Laundromat in the world/

My Aunt Natalee asked me what we did all day.  Well, other than sailing from place to place or swimming or snorkeling at a given location, I cook and clean and repair odds and ends and read. I constantly straighten out the covers and pillows on the two couches in the salon, make the bed, set up activities for our resident stuffed animal crew, and I plan meals, clean the refrigerator when a can of diet coke explodes. (Since Allen accidentally broke my stepstool, he now helps reach into the refrigerator to get much of the deep cleaning done,) often de-icing the condenser while at it.

Now, on our way back to Fort Lauderdale to get to the huge cargo ship that will take Afterglow to Victoria, Canada, for us at the end of April, I have the responsibility to use up any perishables, make wonderful, healthy meals from whatever is in our freezer, conserve but use the water stored in the boat and in our jugs so that it lasts for the next 3 weeks, and just deal with growing bags of garbage and laundry.

Allen is always busy, either playing his harmonica or planning routes or looking at weather long term and short term. He spends many an hour reviewing various weather models and electronic charts, making sure we are safe if any bad blows are coming through.  He fixes everything that breaks, and he goes out of his way to help others, make friends, and keep the boat ship shape.

Learning has been important. Now that Norma can check the oil level of the engine, and replace some when needed, she has also learned to attach and detach the snubber—the line that gets hooked to the anchor chain to keep the anchor from banging into the boat as it rocks back and forth with the wind and waves. We both have learned about the fragility of the beauty of these islands and how lucky we are to have had this wonderful year of exploration.

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I know how much you appreciate the wonders that you have seen and the many experiences that you have both had. We here in Seattle are looking forward to having you back and hearing more of your stories. Much love on homecoming😍

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