Sunday, October 07, 2007

French Wells, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: NE 15-20 knots, thunderstorms rolling through all afternoon

Karl began to take all of the measurements we need for our boat parts early this morning. I’d deleted all of the pictures on our 1GB photo card yesterday so we could fill it up with boat pictures. I hope they’ll be a big enough resource for us to get what we need in the States. It’s hard for me to explain exactly our goals for our visit, or how important it is to be able to have access to all of the means of a capitalistic society. As much as I denigrate the good old US of A, I know that many of the things I deplore are a necessary evil. I just wish we could find a good balance between an idyllic rural existence and a healthy society based on the division of labor and manufacturing. (Yes, I have been reading Adam Smith.)

We’ve decided that we need a new roller furler, a new head, and new sails. Even though these things can be shipped to the Bahamas, the impossibility of communication down here is making the shipping process unbelievably difficult. Just to communicate with vendors and suppliers is next to impossible without internet access or any working pay phones. We can borrow other people’s phones, but we know (from hard, cold experience) how expensive calls are to the US. I completely understand why Nappy lives and dies by his Blackberry. It’s the only way for a businessman to succeed down here, let alone prosper.

In addition to the things we need shipped, there are countless light, small items that we can buy in the States, fill our bags up with, and cart back to the boat with us. The examples are endless: plastic cups and plates for the boat that go here for 99 cents and cost $6 a piece in the Bahamas, leather to protect our oars--completely unavailable around here, sailing reference books, compact and easy to carry but brutally expensive to have shipped, vitamins and dried fruit and music (which we can fill our computer up with and has no weight), electronics... The list is endless. If we run out of space, we can always ship a box to ourselves. I think we underestimate just how valuable the endless stream of information is in the States, too. Sure, it’s overwhelming, but impossible to live without. I intend to spend days entirely on the internet, downloading every conceivable file that I can think of to keep in our burgeoning electronic file cabinet.

So today was a hard day of work: measuring things, taking pictures, trying to remember absolutely everything we need, trying to decide what to take and what to leave and what to leave at Nappy’s, stripping everything off the boat’s exterior and finding its best possible place to be kept inside, battening down the hatches, and saying goodbye to Secret. I’ll miss her. I quote this song now, sent to us by a good friend, because it expresses so thoroughly how I feel about leaving her behind. I’m so afraid, but at the same time I trust her, and I know it’s the right decision. If you love someone, let them go, right? Here it is:

Beyond the reef,
Where the sea is dark and cold
My love has gone,
And my dreams grow old.

There'll be no tears,
There'll be no regretting
Will she remember me,
Will she forget.

I'll send a thousand flowers
Where the tradewinds blow.
I'll send my lonely heart
For I love her so.

Someday, I know
She'll come back again to me.
'Till then my heart will be
Beyond the reef.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

FYI, the source for this poem/song, whom I neglected to credit, is Jack Pitkin.