We live on a boat that is 36 feet by 18.5 feet. Not all of that is living space. It is small. But to us, at least by now, it is home and feels enormous. Plenty of space. But when one, two or three of the people aboard the boat are in a pissy mood, it can get really, really small, really, really quickly. Now normally the bad hair days are spread out so that if one person is having one, the other two are not and we all manage. But on the days when two or more of us wake up on the cranky side of the bed, the boat can become cramped. On the rare occasions when it is the two adults that are snappy, there isn’t enough space in the Bahamas to spread out, much less on this boat.
Start: Marsh Harbor, Abacos, Bahamas, 0817
End: Treasure Cay mooring field, Abacos, 1206
Total Distance: 17.3 nm
Time: 3 decades of hell.
Average Speed: 4.5 kts
Obviously our trip, as in a marriage, or in life, is filled with ups and downs. We tend to highlight the ups more so than the downs, if for no other reason than to get sadistic pleasure from taunting people from the midwest about weather in Jan/Feb/March. But there are days that are not so good. And we don’t talk about those, because who wants to hear about that crap! But sometimes it is good to remember that there are some not great times, which is where we found ourselves while on the way to Treasure Cay.
Our trip today was a relatively short one–17 or so miles from Marsh Harbor (Motto: Where happiness goes to die) to Treasure Cay (Motto: One of the top 10 beaches in the world!). Will take about three hours. Which it turns out, will seem like three years. Or decades. Centuries. Millenia. Long time. But I jump ahead.
We get up, pull anchor just after 8am and head out the harbor. The wind is fresh! Like blowing from the East at 15 knots. We are heading NNW, so looks like it will be good for a sail. Though it may be behind us which can be a pain. And we weren’t the only ones leaving. There was a boat in front of us, one behind us and two coming into the harbor. We all had to head out the channel and the two inbound were under sail–they had right of way. And one of the boats under sail (I’ll call him ‘jackass’ for easy reference) was a trimaran with low draft who was tacking back and forth to get into the harbor. So three of us, ducks in a row heading out. Two coming in. Which is no problem. Except for jackass. He was coming across our bow and we could see that he was running out of space on the far side of us–he would have to tack and come back or hit rocks. His option was to cross in front of us, tack and come back or tack before he got to us. He decided to cross in front of our line of boats. We sped up. Because you don’t need a crystal ball to see what is coming. Jackass tacked. And now is heading on a direct line back at us, though much, much closer. Our two little outboards are screaming as we fall to our port side to get some more space. He falls to our stern, but it is much too close for my comfort and we are now in a high hover.
We get out of the harbor and the channel and there are more boats bobbing around in the water getting sails up and heading off to their destinations. We turn into the wind and get our main up. and here is where our train comes off the tracks. Jan and I had two different and slightly divergent plans. Neither of which we shared with the other. Which led to each of us performing actions that ran counter to each other. And while none of them would cause us to end in disaster, they did cause us to bob about fruitlessly in what would otherwise be awesome wind, our main flapping like a sad hanky. And the two of us hopping mad pissed off at each other. And ultimately the main being brought back down on a day when IT NEEDED TO BE UP!
We managed to put out our genoa, turned the boat towards our destination and limped slowly towards Treasure Cay. The only boat that didn’t have two sails up on a glorious sailing day. And we were passed by everything on the water. Catamarans, monohulls, kayaks, SUPs, a dog swimming. On a day we should be BLOWING the doors off other boats were were slogging through the water. Our pathetic sail a screaming advertisement that ’THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG ON THIS BOAT!’
And it was a slog on board as well. I would like to say that we recognized that we were emotional, that we could talk through what happened, apologize where appropriate, make up and get on with the day, but that would require a level of emotional maturity that I have yet to exhibit in my 50 plus years on the earth. Nope. We are going to stew in this crap for awhile. So we separated as much as we could on this small boat. Which is not far. And didn’t talk to each other, other than some snappy barbs lobbed like grenades across the deck. Because when you are ticked off and angry, nothing says “I love you” more than a sarcastic barb. And there is no better balm for an emotional wound than caustic and scathing jabs across the bow. One good outcome? AJ, is a level of emotional awareness not seen before, realized that ‘something was up,’ sat down and knocked out all of his school tests without complaint.
I’ll save you the details of the next three hours. You can get a feeling for it by grabbing a pliers, gripping one of your fingernails and pulling on it. Hard. Or if you are of the mail persuasion, taking said hammer and knocking yourself in the crotch. Multiple times.
We arrived at Treasure Cay. And it does advertise itself as having one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It is a resort island with a large marina and a mooring field/anchorage that you can stay at. For a price. $30. Which seems to be a bit much, but we do get use of their (slow) wifi and shower. Our first real shower in months. We catch a mooring ball, head into shore, check in and then head over to the ‘top 10’ beach.
Which we have to say, is pretty good looking. Three miles of white sand beach with the clear blue water. There are a lot of people on the beach enjoying the sand and the water, so definitely not a place to go and get away from it all, but if you are in the area, worth stopping. They also had the obligatory tiki bar/restaurant, which we passed–we’ve had enough of those for now.
Back to the boat then to shore for shower. And at some point we remembered that we do love each other and that it is much easier to talk through what is wrong instead of sniping at each other. Especially over something trivial like the trim on a sail. We are stressed because our time in the Bahamas is coming to an end. We have a couple of days left here, but we are on our way out and back to the United States. While we have 1000 miles more to go up the east coast, we know that we will be starting the last leg to home. We don’t want to leave this place of blue waters and white beaches. We have a nice dinner together, play a game and head to bed.