Going, Going, Not Quite Gone

Barbados is calling. We are waiting. Getting closer. Ticking the boxes. Trying.

Boats aren’t meant to sit in one place. We’ve been holed up with the weather for about a week now. The strong winds were forecasted – we’re glad we sought shelter.

For this, you can set the time with our captain. He can smell fronts. Low pressure systems, crappy weather that’s set to last a week. This must be because he’s from Borth. And he looks at the GRIB files. Loads and loads of GRIB files.

We’ve learned too that Le Marin really is a city – not just for boats, but for boating services. We think you’d be hard-pressed not to come here to get any work done. There is so much of it.

You see it onshore. Sailmakers, metal workers, the riggers at Caraibe Marine. Everyone in their workshops. The production line of supply and demand whirs in Le Marin. A thousand boats wait their turn.

Five days ago, Caraibe Marine came to our boat looking for a part. They had a customer who needed to leave. The riggers were caught on the hop, not having the part in stock. Solution? They went around the mooring field, asking for it.

We had the part and gave it to them – a knuckle-style connector on the genoa pole. I didn’t know it existed until they took it off. Looked like a metal hip. Today it arrived by plane. Caraibe Marine re-installed it on our boat and gave us a 20% discount at their store. Boom. We bought three new mooring lines. Haven’t bought mooring lines since buying Questie in 2013.

For infrastructure, this place seems even to beat Trinidad… though the price of work is up-for-grabs. For sure you pay for it here. But, like our captain notes who smells workmanship alongside inclement weather, the quality of work is key.

Still, no boat is meant to stay in one place. Especially where the water is too dirty to swim in – one of the results of having thousands of boats in one spot.

This seems to be our dilemma in travelling. You get itchy feet to leave, but at the same time, the days leading up to a passage carry a certain tension. You think of reasons to stay where you are. Reasons not to get ready to go. ‘I don’t want to go the supermarket today. Headache. Maybe we should stay and rent one more car.’ It’s weird. The paradox of travel: the closer to going, the more you think you should stay.

I know the minute we slip these mooring lines and start moving though, we’ll feel exhilarated. We’ll get that euphoric sense of freedom. ‘Why didn’t we do this earlier?’

It’s only about a sixteen-hour crossing to Barbados. We’ll spend the passage feeling like the luckiest people on Earth. This is the high, no? The serotonin spike that makes people move.

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