I haven’t written in these “pages” for far over two years. It’s surreal and long overdue.
Muir and I have spent this non-sailing time in London (where he completed a Masters in Space Physiology), then lockdown, then buying a house, and enjoying life in False Bay, Cape Town.
Our sea legs have faded and I have no memory of how to tie a bowline. It’s shameful!
On a recent evening a few weeks back, our infrequent conversations of trying to make it to the boat suddenly sparked action. Fast forward to 5AM on this Friday morning and I’m sitting on Ongemak in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, on the island of Carriacou to be more exact.
I’m not going to go into the logistics of getting here because you all know the deal. Lots of nose prodding and document checkpoints. Even a quarantine. We did spend a week in Serbia, but that has nothing to do with sailing and is for another blog that doesn’t exist, so let’s get back to the fun stuff!
Ongemak was left on the “hard” last year by Oloff and Gabi who spent about 9 months on the boat during the global lockdown. Just enough time to…drive Oloff to buy a dry Karoo farm. What were YOU thinking?
We were ecstatic to see Ongemak. She was so welcoming and immediately feels like home. She’s familiar and strong. In Muir’s words “it’s like visiting an old friend”.
So here we are – in the incredible humidity, heat, and friendly hospitality of the Eastern Caribbean Islands.
Ongemak is looking fine but she still needs some TLC before we can put her in the water. We’ve prepped her for her new antifouling paint job – stopping the barnacles from overtaking. Muir is servicing the engine and a few other bits too. The ETA is Tuesday!
Today is meant to be raining so we might not be able to paint yet. Luckily there is lots of interior prep work to do. Our laundry is being taken care of by a mother of eight, so she is basically at expert level. The rest will require some elbow grease. The sun and salt aren’t all that kind to material things.
Food and drinks are really expensive here but we’re sniffing out local farmers and eating sensibly. It’s lobster season so we’re allowed to take out at free will. I went for a quick snorkel yesterday but didn’t see any. The ones we’ve seen being pulled out were huge! It’s on my near-future bucket list for sure, and it will be documented here. My future bucket list aims for a coconut crab but that’ll have to wait for the Pacific Islands. Google it, they’re formidable.
It’s also perhaps a good day to practice my not-so-hot knot-making skills.
The next post will hopefully feature a beautifully painted Ongemak, potentially heading for the water. Although who knows what happens in between?
Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it after all these years!