A PERIPATETIC JOURNEY
not all who wander are lost
On the morning of January 2, our international fleet of three catamarans - Juggernaut is from Belgium, Element is from Canada - raised anchor for the brief motor into the wind to the anchorage known as the Swimming Pool. It is situated between small islands (BBQ, Banedup, and Calubir) surrounded by extensive coral reefs that protect the anchorage from waves and swell. When we first arrived, it was a bit crowded, so we went to the other side of Banedup to anchor. After the anchor was secure, Brian went out to explore and found a shallow reef within our swing circle. The wind would have to come from the south for us to swing into it. Although that isn't the most common wind direction in the Caribbean, the weather at the time was a bit unsettled and we decided not to risk it. The anchor came up and we headed back around Banedup to the Swimming Pool which, by now, was much less crowded.
We spent three days at the Swimming Pool doing boat school in the mornings and paddle board, snorkeling, and dinghy excursions after lunch. There was also plenty of back and forth shuttling of kids from boat to boat to play. Late one night, when the full moon illuminated the seafloor below, Kendall saw a shark swim slowly past the boat. The shark (or one like it) was spotted circling the boats during the day as well. Although the water was very clear when we arrived, as the weather changed it grew more murky and we couldn't see through the 10-12 feet to the bottom. With the low visibility, the shark in the area, as well as the two crocodiles reported to live on Banedup, the kids preferred to swim from BBQ Island instead of off the boats.
Every afternoon was the same, however. Around 5:00, we all got in our dinghies and headed to BBQ Island for the sunset. The kids would swim or play on the island while the adults would gather at the palapa-sheltered picnic table with drinks and snacks. The multi-generational family living on the island sold water and Balboa beer, as well as a few handcrafts. We would see the grandmother, the father, and three children when we went to the house to purchase beer. It was common for the younger women to stay inside when visitors came to their islands, so we never saw the kids' mother. The children were between 4 and 7, and they usually come out to play with the boat kids. One afternoon we brought frisbees and had a great time teaching the island kids to throw and catch them.
Often when we arrive at an anchorage, we don't have a plan for how long we will stay, or even where we will go next. Having a strict schedule can get a sailor in trouble by requiring them to travel when the weather is unfavorable or even dangerous, so we try to be flexible whenever we can. When we've been in the same spot for a while (sometimes it is a few days, sometimes it is weeks), the need to move on begins to grow and we start looking for the most favorable weather to move on. If we are in an anchorage with friends and we want to stay together a while, the decision to move on is a group decision. Other times, we may love a spot more than our friends or vice versa, and we'll go separate ways for a while, often ending up in the same place again in the future. After three days at the Swimming Pool, we three boats decided to move a bit further east to Green Island. It was another beautiful anchorage with a larger town reachable by dinghy where we could find SIM cards and gas.
I enjoyed your guest post at Aha-now and this is spectacular. I love the sharks concept even though I have never seen sharks as friendly.
There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
For people of almost all ages, swimming is one of the best ways to stay healthy in mind and body. If you are looking forward to making swimming a daily habit from home, but find it expensive to install a pool in your home, then you should try investing in swim spas. A swim spa is both a great way to swim and to relax. They consume little space compared to swimming pools and are also cost effective.
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McGlynn family 5 (Isla, Marin, Eoin, Kendall, and Brian) sailing Counting Stars
DeLorme InReach map