Saying the W-word to a cruiser is like holding a cross up to a vampire.
Which is why I try not to mention it too often. I’ve learned othing scatters cruisers from a friendly happy hour conversation quicker than talk of w-w-work.
But, for us, it’s a necessity. Sometimes we’ll be at an anchorage, lolling happily on the hook in view of a white sand beach, swimming to shore, snorkeling and driving our dinghy up to other boats to invite fellow cruisers to Hideaway for sundowners…
…and then sometimes we’ll disappear to a marina where there’s internet and a phone connection (usually timed when the weather is also acting up), leaving our cruising friends to wonder where we’ve gone and if they’ve said something to offend us.
The answer is we’ve gone to work. And it’s always a little stressful, trying to face down hundreds of unattended emails in an Inbox and trying to make contact with the “outside world” when the very tall BaTelCo tower you’re staring at doesn’t actually provide a phone connection.
But, this is our reality. We’ve gone from a life of 100% work and 10% play to a life of 100% play and 10% work. I know, though math is not my strong point, that’s 110% either way. But that’s a pretty accurate depiction of the force at which we live our lives. It’s just that now we swap a few days of stress, now and then, so we can snorkel and run on the beach and meet new people and work on boat projects (more than I would like). Whereas, before, it was swapping a few days of sailing, skiing or what-have-you for endless weeks of 14-hour days in the office. So maybe we haven’t achieved a life lived “off the grid” just yet, but it’s certainly better than what we had before, so what’s there to complain about, really?
And, as it happened on Friday, the winds started picking up and spinning around to the south, giving us poor protection in our anchorage, so we decided to duck into Highborne Cay Marina and get some work done through the weekend. As we’ve learned, though, the winds in the Bahamas work on almost a weekly cycle, rotating clockwise… so if they’re blowing from the south, they’ll soon move to the west, then the north, the east, and so on. Which gives us a window each week to move quickly onward before we get stuck again, waiting out a front.
But Highborne Cay is hardly the worst place to get stuck doing work, considering we practically live on a harbor-sized fish tank, at the moment. However, with gale-force winds arriving this Saturday, we need to get a move on.
And as the Bahamians like to boast, there’s an island in the Exumas for every day of the year. Except with only a 130-day cruising permit, we don’t have time to see all 365-or-so islands. So, today, we push on to Norman’s Cay with a plan to get to a safe mooring in Staniel Cay before the gale blows through on Saturday.
And with a good chunk of work wrung out of us in Highborne, we’ll be able to enjoy the next few days of snorkeling, running along beaches and cave exploring with a little more gusto.
This is one of many possible ways to support a cruising lifestyle. Just, whatever you do, don’t mention the W-word at happy hour.