Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Crandon Park Marina, FL

0 nm
Wind: NE to E 15-20 knots

Our window to the Bahamas is holding. It makes me nervous and excited and scared all at the same time. I feel like J. Alfred Prufrock. Dare I eat a peach? As old ladies say in France before they cross the street: on ne oserais pas! Dare I? Dare we? Are we really ready? There are a zillion things we still need. At least a zillion, maybe more. The thing that scares me the most is our lack of an SSB receiver. Without one of those, or a barometer, our sole source of weather is our little handheld VHF radio, with its receiving radius of three nautical miles. Is it just stupid to go without an SSB? Or do all these people just use this gear as an excuse not to go? People have been doing this for millenia, after all, without laptops and SSB radios and GPS and satellite television and weather routers. A lot less successfully than they do now, to be fair.

Lise and Marcel have made their decision, they told us tonight. They’re leaving for St. Augustine on Thursday, to spend the hurricane season at a marina there, with their friends on the Hispaniola. I can’t imagine--if we did decide to stay in Florida, it’d be here or someplace south. There’s no way I’m turning around. That may be our fatal flaw, or it may be our saving grace.

We had a blast today, though. The other day at the library I got an email from an Appalachain Trail friend who refused to let us pass by Fort Lauderdale without seeing him. I regretted to inform him that we were already past Fort Lauderdale, but Key Biscayne was one of his stomping grounds too, so he came out and visited us before his night shift at work. Lise and Marcel came over too, for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and the group of five of us was disparate enough to be amusing.

Boo Boo, our friend from the AT, had recently returned from a five-month stint in Africa where we was building a clinic for a non-profit. He had crazy stories to tell, as one would imagine, about the locals and the paddies (the Irish nonprofit contingent) and his fellow expats. When he was there there was a funeral every night for another person lost to AIDS. He had three of his friends die, young men, under 25, who had been helping him build. He also had $200 stolen from him, money he needed to backpack around the country as was his plan. He was on a tight budget, so it was a big loss, but now he makes $40 an hour as an electrician at the airport. The person who stole the money could feed their family off that for three years. It really put things into perspective for me, as we prepare to (potentially) move overseas. How much more we Americans have than the rest of the world. How little we realize it. How rich every single last one of us is.

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