Yesterday, we had visitors to Quest! A family from New Zealand have just crossed the Atlantic and anchored behind us. We watched them, saw the kids and didn’t think much of it. I mean, we didn’t think they’d stay in Barbados.
No one stays in Barbados. We’ve already met two cruising families who have gone. I’ve seen pics of them since, meeting other cruising families in St. Lucia, ready to explore the rest of the Caribbean.
To be honest, I wasn’t that keen of a host when these guys came today. It was after midday and I was still wearing my pyjamas. The green flowery ones too… urghh.
I’d just finished school with the girls. Jack was in Bridgetown and I’d come up to the cockpit to check if a washed bed sheet had finally dried. We’ve had a bit of rain.
As soon as I was out there, the parents began to dinghy over to Quest. I invited them aboard. Just for a minute, they said.
In that minute, I felt it. I felt the badge of the experienced cruiser. Not the newbie. I know this because they are newbies. No disrespect either when I say newbies. Just that I’ve been so used to meeting other cruisers who have been in the Caribbean longer than us.
These experienced cruisers are savvy. They have thick chains for their dinghy and outboard. They live low-key, without needing to convince anyone to go and visit different islands. They are just, well, living.
Turns out these Kiwis are on their way to the Panama Canal anyhow, largely bypassing the Caribbean for entry into the Pacific. They are on their way home into ‘God’s country’ – the Pacific region. After only a few minutes, they asked if we wanted to come with them.
I laughed. Heard that before. We’ve met and loved cruisers who have gone. It seems really the ones who really have the chutzpah, do go into the Pacific.
Most of the Caribbean is about anchoring and living within the islands. The Pacific is the ultimate playground of sailing adventure – with huge distances in between. We can’t go though; not now. We’re too tied to home. See, once you go, you’re gone. It’s hard to sail back.
I explained we’re set to sail back to Wales in a few months. Then they explained they also like Barbados. They like surfing. In fact, they’ve already been – after only arriving the day before yesterday.
And here is the exciting bit. They have kids. Three boys. Ages 14, 13 and 11. Could this be actual cruiser friends for our kids?? I took a breath. Kids who aren’t on a Caribbean island hanging out by the side of bars where their parents gather at happy hour? Kids who aren’t on boats in more sheltered anchorages, but because of this, there is little surfing or diving?
We’ve agreed to meet them by the beach by the Hilton today. If I was the most experienced cruiser, I’d be nonchalant about the whole thing. Whether they stay or go, we’re not too fussed. We’re living our life day-to-day. We’ll be parting company with them soon and that’s it.
Well, I guess I’m not that experienced. See you at the beach 🏖 .