Our Friends

At the end of the girls’ exams, Shona from White Arrow came round and cut our hair. It was the nicest thing. We are so lucky to have her. She is our New Zealand hairdresser/teacher/anchorage leader. She doesn’t want to be our leader – but if the hat fits. We love you, Shona.

A small bunch we are in Barbados – just six cruising boats left in our anchorage.

Mid-week, we all went out to a roti bar near the anchorage. The roti bar is where Posh St Charles ends and the rest of Barbados begins. The bar is on the side of the road. You have to call to pre-order for rotis. I went for vegetarian and the Ormerods went pork.

We dinghied there in the late afternoon and parked our dinghies on the fisherman’s beach. Crossed the road without putting shoes on. When the food was ready, we crossed the road again and ate our rotis on the beach. Sat on our dinghies.

These yachties still catch me with the weight of these recent times. Our anchorage had the strangest beginnings of our time together. As the pandemic began, we stared at each other from our lock-downed boats. We were in it together, even though we didn’t know each other. It’s normal for yachties to need each other’s help; moral and/or practical to live this life. We had neither.

Eventually though, through the lockdown and into this new type of normal, we have gotten to know each other. That mix of uncertainty and fear and trying to make the best of it has been a unique experience. I’ll never forget this group of cruisers.

I write this on the eve of one boat getting ready to leave. The Mob have to get to Martinique to get their warranty work done on their catamaran. The hurricane season is speeding things up for them. This means the only other group of boat kids are about to leave Barbados. Boohoo! For months, their boys have come round here for games and movies. Delph has gone for sleepovers to theirs. We all hung out on the beach when it re-opened. Another group of kids around was our lockdown gift.

And yet this is cruising life. The nature of sailing is that you never stay in one place forever. Otherwise you’d be living in a house.

We ate our rotis on the beach. Watched the sun go down while a group of frigate birds came and caught sprats right off the water’s edge. These are our friends.

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