where we go off to see the world, sailing on other people's boats
Resting here in Grenada I was surprised to see a pop-up on the cruisers net for a July 3rd Canadian/American Independence Day celebration. The marina at Port Louise hosted the event last night and I might say cooked up a fine American Cheeseburger with fries in commemoration. (Sorry the burger at the Sandbox in Boquerón Puerto Rico still holds best burger title hands down!) Nicest part was seeing all the cruisers we know but haven’t seen lately as we’ve bumped and jumped our collective sailing courses down through the Bahamas, Turks and Cacaos’, PR, USVI, BVI, Leeward, and Windward Islands. Short list but not at all inclusive was Bob and Janice of SV Tsmaya whom we met in Annapolis last fall: John and Kathy of SV Oceana; Jen, Greg, and Quinn of SV Mirasol; Mike and Cheryl of SV Happy Times; Martin and Johanna of SV Snowbird (a very pretty Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus ketch designed by the same marine architect who designed CELEBRATION); and Mike and Rebecca , SV Zero-to Cruising.. Then there were the folks from Venezuela, Brazil, Germany, France, Sweden, and many more. What a great group to meet…the evening ended with a guitar and ukulele sing along on one of the large catamarans moored at the marina. And….there was no 0400 thunderstorm this morning, woo who!
Tonight just before sunset I sat on deck and watched our dear friends Chris and Anne, SV Mr. Mac haul anchor and set off for points south.. It was one of those bitter-sweet parts of cruising. For those who don’t know, Chris and Anne were readying Mr. Mac at the same time and marina as Lynn and I were readying Celebration for her full time role as both our home and sea gypsy transportation. We left the dock a week apart each other. We ran together in Key West within weeks, then 6 months passed until we met again at the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) Gam in Annapolis. Nearly another year after that until we shared moorings in front of our wonderful friends Gary and Alex’s home in Newburyport MA followed by a couple weeks together exploring Maine. Again, off to different directions. One quick hello in Melbourne Florida at another SSCA event, and off to different ports. As we headed south this winter we met them in Boquerón Puerto Rico to realize we had similar plans for the storm season. Over the past couple months we have sailed the same routes, seen them in many ports, have snorkeled, hiked, shared a car or a bus to sightsee, and of course watched many sunsets together over cocktails while sharing past adventures and future plans.
Several times in the past few years Lynn and I have compared cruising relationships to those we experienced in the Air Force. The similarities are extraordinary. With 18 moves over 24+ years and many deployments, we made and found many, many close friends. The new adventure, excitement, risk, and shared camaraderie, brotherhood all led to the building of a common bond among peers and extremely close, even could say intense, relationships. Then one day, any day, Independence Day (as we all are, and literal) in this case, you just waved and moved on to another place, always with the assumption in our minds that we would see them at another stop. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn’t.. Time moved so damn fast that suddenly it’s all over and we were in different stages of life wondering where all those great people are. Oh yes the internet and cell phones have changed a lot of that as we can now stay in touch no matter where we are. But tonight as I watched them haul anchor and head out, even knowing we will meet again this fall in either Trinidad or these Windward Islands, I had that old familiar feeling. Close friends departing course with the assumption we will see them again, soon.… I look forward to that.