Friday, June 08, 2007

Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: NE 10 knots, gusting to 25 and rainy overnight

Happy birthday, Mom! Sorry I didn’t get to call you today--I tried. I used the cell phone that Karl spent three hours on last night to call my family this morning, but I was only able to spend an hour, and couldn’t get through to many people. After all, Karl squandered all our communication funding, not that I’m bitter or anything. We’re thinking seriously about Skype, an internet communication service where you can call anyone you’d like over the web.

We’re falling into town time, waking up late and going to bed late, and trying to get as much accomplished as we can a day, which is not really very much. Today our plan is to go over to our friends’ boat, Pegasus, and have lunch. People are beginning to discover that Karl used to be both an electronic engineer and a diesel mechanic (at Mount Killington) and are wanting him to mess around on their boats with them. Yesterday, Plan B, a 42-foot Fountaine Pajout catamaran, wanted him to come over to tear apart his alternator with the captain, and today Dan off Pegasus is going to have Karl resolder their broken autopilot. It’s kind of great to think that maybe he could get work just fixing up broken electronics on other people’s boats. Not that he’d ever charge our friends (and I don’t always think that he’s brave enough about asserting the knowledge that he has. He thinks everyone knows what he knows, that it’s obvious, when that’s the farthest thing from the truth), but if we find a big harbor full of laid-up yachts, he could probably do pretty well. He really wishes that he’d brought more electronic supplies. If he’d brought everything he had, he could probably even be building circuit boards for people.

It’s fun to use the barter system, too. We could probably get everything we needed from the other boats in the harbor, and we could probably trade them for something that we had on our boat or a skill that we had. Plan B offered us a Racor water-separating fuel filter for our diesel, exactly what we need, for having Karl help him with the alternator, and Dee (off Pegasus) is helping me repair our 130-percent genoa’s rip along the spreader with her Sailrite sewing machine in exchange for the autopilot repair. They’ve also invited us for lamb chops for lunch, which sounds fantastic--we haven’t had fresh meat in eons. I feel a little bad, because we can’t exactly reciprocate. Yesterday they came over for a little bit of a visit, and all I could offer was lukewarm, bad-tasting water, fantastic hostess that I am. I kept racking my brain for some kind of snack food I could feed them, and somehow I couldn’t come up with one among cabbages, hot peppers, coffee creamer, and uncooked rice. Even though we survive off dried and salted meats, beans, cabbage, and rice, I don’t expect other people to!

Even if we could offer reciprocal hospitality, I’m a little embarrassed to even have people on our boat because of the head smell. I haven’t been on a boat yet where there wasn’t a slight bad tinge of head smell, but at least they can let guests use their heads. I live in horror of the day when someone needs to use our head, and I have to say--just stand back when you pump to avoid the spray. The little sewer-ish smell is something I’ve gotten used to, as is the horrific whiff of methane gas from the outside vent when you pump into the holding tank. It’s just funny--we’re using a holding tank, the way we’re supposed to, not out of choice but for lack of any other setup, and our head is the embarrassing one. Everyone else pumps directly out into the harbor, but at least they can have guests over.

Was it Oscar Wilde who said, “Everyone likes the smell of their own farts”? Maybe it’s like that in the cruising life: everyone likes the smell of their own head.

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