Saturday, May 26, 2007

Big Galliot Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: NE-E 20-25 knots
Seas: 5-8 feet offshore

I keep remembering the boat boy who wandered around at the marina, selling a dozen conch for ten dollars in Bimini. An obnoxious American on a half-million-dollar boat responded, loud enough that I could hear her from Secret, “That cheap?!” It was rather disgusting, the obscenity of American wealth compared with the natural resources of the Bahamians. He could make a living diving for conch, though.

It doesn’t seem like such a bad life. We could emigrate, become Bahamians, and then sell conch for $30 a day. We could live off that easily here. There’s nothing to do, nowhere to spend money. The ennui would get to us, I suppose, as it is now on the sixth day in a row on the boat doing nothing.

There are a seemingly infinite number of things to do on the boat: draw, write, read, watch DVDs or listen to music (if we’ve made enough electricity), clean, reorganize, do boat projects, play cards, sew. After all this time, though, I become exhausted even contemplating the possibilities. It could be the heat--with the wind we can’t leave the front hatch open, which makes it unbearably hot below decks, even though it’s cloudy out. Our rain-catcher (a ghetto-ass tarp weighted with miscellaneous pots and pans) is spread out in the cockpit so we can’t even lounge out there, even if the wind make it comfortable to.

It’s almost a couple’s test: could you survive in less that 200 square feet of living space for a week with your significant other? With no way to get away from each other, the only entertainment and electricity what you can make for yourselves, without cleaning facilities and with limited water, in dirt, and stench, and sweat, and heat? We could sell this as a retreat, a Hopi-style spiritual sweat lodge. Reconnect with your mate in adverse living conditions! It’s hard to overemphasize how important being able to jump in the water (which we can’t do because of the strong wind and swell) or hang out in the cockpit, or just being able to sail is to our collective psyche. This continued weather, our prolonged siege, is bearing down heavily on us. All I can do today is daydream about diving for conch. That alone would be luxury enough.

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