Georgetown, Sc in the USA is a interesting place for me. I’ve been there with 3 different boats, 2 different girls and Simon. Dave a friend I’ve seen every single time in this harbor should have some funny thought about me…
On a small boat, you know really fast if you will go well with someone or not. It’s a small area, no place to go take a walk if you have enough. If enough is easily achieved, it can turn into a explosive nightmare.
I am not a easy fellow to live with, I would agree with that. But I think that they are certain type of people that their mean of communication just doesn’t work together. Nobodies wrong it’s just not process the same way in the brain.
So the girlfriend is onboard helping me filling the boat for a trip down south. A Test out for “Joshua III” torward the Bahamas which was the “Popular” destination during that time.
The problem is going there is again’t nature: Winds and Currents. So you pick a day without South wind (We were in November) not being too picky about it, and go by all mean necessary (If doing Offshore, as I did). From a few weeks with a boring complete lack of wind (Even with the Drifter or Spinaker), it made us motor at 4 knots for 3/4 of the way. The real sailing really started when they engine went down and removed few weeks later.
So after a few weeks, she took the plane and I was in the Bahamas Alone, with a Engine falling apart and loving this life style.
I am a logical guy, I do algebra for living… In my head: If I remove the engine, I have more money in my pocket from maintenance, no tools needed and repairs. I can have more storage which is much needed (The diesel tank too), and can pack to go further…
From there a idea started to my head. I have to be more self-sufficient to go further. I’ve stayed in the Bahamas for a few months with a old friend Dany. I’ve learned how coconut work, how to open Conch and a few other things… That’s when I’ve meet Bob Zwickel, a local painter, bongo player, hat maker and life lover. I’ve spent lot’s of time with him learning the island life, I will always remember all his ingenious rat trap to get the one hiding in his home. It went from gravity, spring, electrocution and lot’s more options, which the rat found a way around to get the bait every single time!
It was fun racing on the banks of the Bahamas. It’s protected by reefs, and I’ve enjoyed racing in 45 knots of wind with absolutely no waves. I remember reaching 9.6 knots without any current with Joshua during those period.
After a few months, I’ve heard a call on the VHF radio on the “News Net”. They (A couple) were looking for a new head sail on a Contessa26. I needed money, had a extra and contacted them. After a nice day sail I’ve arrived in Marsh Harbor in the Abaco and meet a Norwegian couple Henrik and Nina from Bika. (Their Website).
Bad weather was coming again and again, waiting for a opening to head North (We are end of summer). So we’ve stayed together for a few weeks.
I have to say she cook some excellent bread, and those green lemon/rhum punch of Henrik are something to try once in your life… Unique in their kind. I’ve found their Norwegian language pleasing to the ear, all on the same “tone”.
Happily for me, we were both good enough in English to communicate (I am a native French Canadian). We’ve exchanged some tricks while talking boats, waiting for a opening to head in Ny, USA.
Finally the day come, and as they do not use engine either, we raised anchor and I’ve waited for them outside the harbor which obviously as you can imagine turn out as a sail competition.
Ok you may laugh while ready this, but I assure you it’s because I’ve sold them my best jib just before and my prop was still there, that they literally made circle around me. The pictures in Chapter 1 was taken by them that day. We’ve dropped hook in a bay ready to leave in the morning.
You know I’ve planned all out!
We anchor side by side at the same height. I am telling myself Ok if I raise my mainsail and back it to port it will swing me to starboard and I can tied to them. No need to lower the dingy… Well everything was nicely done, I was heading perfectly there and they where filming (They are the only one having that video), while at 2 feet of their boat I see a problem…
The angle was alright, the speed was slow enough… The problem… The FENDERS!!!!
Two contessa owner rushing like crazy to stop the boat right before impact…
Hey can you ask me if I’ve ever forgot another fender in the last 8 years?
After that nice heart attack, we took some rum to calm it down. Nina started scrapping the hull to gain some speed during the crossing while Henrik was enjoying the anchorage … (I have to say, he has a excellent advantage over all us men, He write poetry. All women in the world will fall for a sailor like that!).