06: Cruising: The Caribbean


Our buddy boat friend, Steve, on Slow Flight, busted a piece off of his forestay (that’s the metal wire that runs from the bow of the boat up to the mast; it helps support the mast and is what the jib sail flies from). So we are all anchored in Redhook, east coast of St. Thomas, hoping we’ll be able to patch up Slow Flight here.

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Steve climbing his mast to check out the problem. Steve’s mast has these neat little hand/foot holds screwed into the mast so that he can easily climb it himself. On Free Range, Stéphane has to get into his harness, we attach the harness to the halyard, and I crank him up from below.


Steve’s waiting for this guy, Skip, (“Skip’s Rigging”) to call him back: Skip *may* have the part he needs to fix the forestay. He’s checking. He’ll call Steve back.

We’re killing time eating lunch and Stéphane says, “Steve, maybe it’s your lucky day. Maybe Skip has the part and he’s going to drop it off at the dock!!!”

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Free Range chickens hanging out with us at lunch.


Steve: “Maybe he has TWO of the parts so I can have a spare!”

Sara: “Maybe he’ll give you two for the price of one!”

Stéphane: “Maybe today his wife’s doing laundry and we can get a few loads done!”

At the end of all this, I’m laughing because we are all REALLY excited about these things, which, to most landlubbers, are non-issues. I know when we get back to Colorado, I will not worry about how I am going to clean my socks or how I will get to the grocery store for fresh food. Or if I have a spare water impeller.

The big money items we get excited over in our cruising lives:

  1. Transportation. Because walking five miles one-way in 90 degrees / 90% humidity carrying eight bags of groceries – the milk slowly curdling – is not awesome. Getting a ride in the a/c to and from the grocery store? Awesome.
  2. Spare parts. Because when you’re doing your business in a bucket because your macerator pump fails, yup, you’ll be wishing you forked out the extra $100 for the spare.
  3. Freebies. Because you’ve spent $30K on top of what you paid for your boat and you don’t really want to spend any more.
  4. Laundry. Because clean sheets feel so, so good. And laundromats can be hard to come by. And you can only wear your underoos right side out – inside out only so many times…Just sayin.

Not included in our conversation but of equal significance to cruisers:

Trash (disposal of).

Fuel & water (acquiring of).

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