We are near our destination. We can’t see land because it’s nighttime, but
we can see the hallow of light spread over land that indicates human life.
Human cities. Electricity. We can also see the glare of the lighthouse
that’s on the island’s Eastern front. By sunrise, we should be passing by
the Southern tip. Hopefully we’ll make the passage between the coast and
an area called The Shallows, where underwater mountain-like protuberances
rise up from the sea floor and cause swell and choppy waters.
Today had a last-day feel to it. We started the major clean up. Hugo
washed out their cabin. I cleaned the starboard toilet. The men put the
anchor back in its place. A shoal of dolphins – like a Barbados welcoming
committee – came to play along our hulls in the evening. We had a cold
dinner of salads, bruschetta, and Spanish cheese (curado) and ham with
olive oil. We have just about finished all our fresh vegetables – right on
time! We have but a few potatoes, a courgette and some suspicious-looking
apples left. Pauline and I took advantage of our shared night shift to
settle our accounts.
When we arrive in Bridgetown, we must call the port authorities who will
tell us where to berth. The captain will then need to clear our entrance
at customs. Nobody of the crew is allowed off the boat until this is done.
Tomorrow will be spent cleaning the boat from top to bottom and inside &
out. Pierrick will spend some time contacting ports in the surrounding
islands to find out where it’s best for us to take Slow Motion out of
water for careening. Hugo and Pauline have a flight booked to Trinidad on
the 25th; Clément is meant to return to France on the 26th. That will give
them very little time to explore Barbados. I for one already have a list
of things to visit and do and eat (thank you Camille for the extensive
food/restaurant recommendations!). I hope we’ll have time to visit a bit.
We need to careen our boat before early February when my brother is meant
to visit (Yay!!).
This crossing has been a very interesting adventure. My mother wrote to me
saying that she found my posts to be rather negative. I hope not all my
readers have thought so. There are dramas and there are tensions, of
course. What else would you expect when 5 adults – who don’t all know each
other very well, or even at all – find themselves in a confined space for
an estimated amount of time with limited resources? Still, on this boat we
have eaten better than many people on this planet do. Though stressed and
with some regrets, the captain managed all technical difficulties very
well. All in all, the crew remained friendly and agreeable, even if
sometimes patience was running low. I think it’s safe to say that we have
all learned something about ourselves on this trip. And that we are all
pretty excited to have carried out this feat.
Oh yeah, and tomorrow we’ll be cracking open a bottle of champagne! This
accomplishment demands celebration!