The last update on Jan. 24 was a little rushed and had errors. I also screwed up the sending, forgetting to blind copy, thus cluttering up your emails, and sending twice to some groups. But I’m getting back in the writing groove and will try to do better. I hoping I can continue to communicate with you by email. Facebook and other social networks take a lot of time and require more internet than there is easy access to out here. And I don’t even understand what Twitter is for.
It took Richard two days to take out the old fridge kit and hook up the new one, with help from Jim on Morning Star. And we took another day to buy fridge groceries and get them onto the boat and stored. (The fridge has deep storage for a couple of cases of beverages.) Richard worked many hours just to organize and put the boat equipment away.
With clean laundry and full water tanks and jury jugs, we headed for our favourite usually almost empty anchorage, Red Shanks. Our spot was empty and a day later Jim and Lynda joined us there. Richard doesn’t like me to mention it, but I think the cat is out of the bag about this anchorage. There are more than two dozen boats here as I write this on Feb. 9.
There have been happy hours on land. The first was on the perfect beach that faces away from the anchorage. We walk and swim there every day. For the second one, Lynda and I dinghied around and invited everyone to the Red Shanks Yacht and Tennis Club, which is on the chart but slowly being drowned by the rising waters of global warming. But on those rare afternoons when low tide coincides with Happy Hour, it is a delightful little beach on which to gather. I also wanted to show off my paintings; there are now nine on the boat, which I have been unable to take home. The Yacht and Tennis Club is backed by a steep rough cliff face which made a perfect gallery wall on which to hang them.
A recent supper, salads and sandwiches prepared by Lynda, with custard made by me, was on Sea Wolf, Gabe and Gail’s luxurious Krogen. One night Bernie on Countess Cosel cooked spaghetti with lobster sauce. He likes to go down to the Jumentos and spearfish, and had just returned.
We have been sleeping nine to eleven hours a night, playing cards, and sharing meals and watching movies with Jim, and Lynda. We swim off of our boats. I have been squeezing in writing and painting and a bit of yoga. It doesn’t make for a ripping seafaring tale, but it’s what sailors over seventy years old like to do.
Life is not completely without excitement. The wind has varied between twenty and forty knots the last few days. When it was calm one day Richard squeezed into his wetsuit and he and Jim went snorkelling. They saw many beautiful (and possibly tasty) fish with whom Richard made eye contact and couldn’t bear to shoot for food. And one day Lynda and Jim watched from their boat as a medium-sized leopard ray raced toward their boat, leaping out of the water. It made a sharp turn at their boat and was bit into by the large shark chasing it. Jim and Lynda noticed a strong smell of rotten fish, probably the contents of the ray’s stomach spilling out as the shark chomped it down. Now we are waiting for a forty knot wind promised for tonight, tucked into the Red Shanks anchorage with lots of chain out. And friend Rebecca will fly in in a couple of days to get us doing things again.
Follow-up, Feb. 17, 2015: Rebecca arrived and shook us out of our quiet routine. We went on long walks to the ocean, more Scrabble, lots of discussions, more swimming, exploring in the dinghy and properly planned meals. There have been fronts with strong winds. During one, many boats crowded together in the most popular anchorage, at Volleyball beach, dragged onto each other, lost their anchors, and had a terrible experience. It didn’t help that a large barge loaded with cement dragged on its anchor towards that beach as well. But we were tucked into Red Shank with a couple of dozen boats, well-protected from the wind and listening to the drama on the other side of the harbour. Now we are back in Red Shanks waiting for the next big front to blow through. I am at the Peace and Plenty today with Rebecca, who is staying at the downtown hotel, Marshall’s, tonight and flying back north tomorrow.
From Sharon and Richard on Lucky