I had hoped Chris would fill you in on his last week but he’s a tad busy and mildly stressed right now so you get my perspective again!
Chris and the kids seem to have a great time while I’ve been away. Harry has been at the Antigua Sailing Academy most days sailing, fishing, tug-o-wars and all day fun. The sailing academy is an amazing non profit facility and Elizabeth and her team have been so great with Harry. Chris and Lily seem to have been mission in it on boat work, buoyancy aidless swimming it would seem and perfecting her backflips. Sadly most of that boat work has now been pulled apart.
After a whistle stop tour of Europe attending the wedding of my Bermuda bestie Lorna in stunning Sorrento, I headed to Dorset still on Carribbean time. House sorting was the order as our container was back from Bermuda. A massive clear out and fitting our landlife into 1 room somehow happened. The clear out wasn’t big enough and the reality is what we have on the boat is enough. A clutter of possessions and memories doesn’t fulfil anyone, but it is useful to have the odd bed to sleep in! Seeing family and friends that mean the world to me did make me a happy lady. Those meetings with girls I’ve known forever are precious & seeing my parents, brother and is family was priceless.
The downside of a necessary trip was so much time away from the boat and my people! I returned only to wish we were further South. The reality of hurricane Irma is upon us. We are preparing as best we can. We’re staging some kind of sit in on the dock at Antigua slipway & hoping they will find space in the yard to haul us out this morning. Chris insists this is not the time for blogging!
Gabri (weirdly from Sorrento) gave up a day of his holiday to help us while his gorgeous wife Shana took the kids. We stripped the boat of sails, cushions, biminis, pulleys, sheets and basically anything which may blow around in a potential cat 4 storm. Chris pulled all the halyards up the mast and had a crack at getting the wind gear off. We’ve packed the inside of the boat imagining everything may be soaked and damaged from a broken window or similar. The advice of our insurance company (Pantaeneus) is that we re insured 100% on the hard but 85% in the mangroves. In many ways I feel we’d be safer tucked away in the mangroves. On the hard we ‘re going to be sitting ducks for flying objects and debris but there it is.
It was a beautiful day yesterday, calm and flat. Perfect conditions for swimming what felt like miles after an escapee flamingo! The kids had a great afternoon at the beach skim boarding with friends. Not your typical pre-hurricane conditions but then it’s a long way off yet.
Irma seems to be as decisive as me with PMT trying to decide what to wear. The models were conflicting but now they seem to be in agreement that the leeward islands (including Antigua) are under threat. From my understanding the high around Bermuda is stopping the normal northern curve of such storms away from this area. But here’s hoping it does head off away from us and our to sea in the coming days.
It’s funny but a threat to your material possessions, life savings and family is daunting but we did put ourselves in this position! We did choose to cruise the Carribbean in hurricane season. Believe it or not there are some positives, particularly if you like surfing! Other than that you realise how kind people are. They offer their help and open their homes – thanks Rachel, Shannon, Louis and many others you guys have all been diamonds. Realising how fragile our existence is does make you feel grateful and more alive and ready to drink rum!
As we prepare to haul the boat in the humid muggy pit that is currently our players keep home, all I hope is that we are safe and that we can continue living this extremely selfish dream. Do I wish we weren’t exposing our children to this danger? Yes, but I do want them to have all the experiences this journey is brings.
Let’s hope Irma heads north and we’ve all worried for nothing. “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best” as my Dad would say. We’ve controlled what is now controllable and when they turn the power out we’ll be ready for the hurricane party. Oh and there is a second storm in the wings too!