Saturday, May 4, 2013

13 Days and Counting

In less than two weeks I will be winging my way to the Virgin Islands to meet up with my next boat. The past few months with family and friends in the U.S. have been precious. Still, I am excited to get back to life on the water. 

George contacted me a few weeks ago through FindaCrew, asking if I was interested in joining him in Grenada. I originally declined his offer because it didn’t fit with my round the world dreams, but was eventually overcome with temptation at the possibility of seeing Soper’s Hole, the cove on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, where my parents were married thirty one years ago.

The oh so proper Registrar General (above on the left) married my mom and dad only after grilling my dad to make sure his intentions were honorable. The captain (above on the right) of the Flying Cloud, a three-masted barquentine, gave my mom away, shaking with fear as he walked her down the isle of palm fronds on deck, though my mom wasn't sure what he had to be afraid of since she was the one getting married. Illuminated by the setting sun, the ceremony took place at anchor in Soper's Hole on October 16, 1981.

As strangers who met over the internet, George and I have agreed to a get-to-know-you trial week. If things don't work out because of incompatible personalities, expectations or whatever, I'll fly back to the continental U.S. having made a pilgrimage to Soper's Hole, a place I consider my point of origin. If things do work out, we'll sail Carpe Diem from the Virgin Islands to the Bahamas and possibly on up the eastern seaboard to New York.

S/V Carpe Diem, Hunter Passage 420
I've never been to the Caribbean before and am looking forward to sailing through historic pirate stomping grounds, exploring tropical islands, tasting local cultures and most of all - getting back out on the water. I'm also a bit intimidated. In a few weeks I'll be flying to a region of the world I've never been to before, to meet up with a person who I've never met face to face, to sail on a boat that I've never seen. There is so much unknown involved in this process and yet so many incredible moments and friendships have resulted from taking the crewing leap in the past. With George's patience, we have worked through a list of standard questions I ask every boat to make sure that we're on the same page and we've checked out each other's references. That said, it doesn't always work out. In the past I've met up with boats that just weren't a good fit for me. I have to go down there with the thought that I'm going to the Caribbean for a week that might turn into something more, or it might not. Either way, it'll be an adventure.

So here's to meeting up with George on S/V Carpe Diem, a Hunter Passage 420, on May 17th in St Thomas and one wild ride!