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Reconnecting with friends

I don't know what it is about technology and my husband, but it seems to be a hate/hate relationship. Not that he hasn't used technology and media before. But in this nomadic life, there are so many other issues that can cause problems. If the tool or software doesn't work correctly the first time, (or perhaps second, or sometimes third) he's done. This week was another example. After working all day on a new post, the computer froze up, and later we discovered that his post was never posted. Or saved. Just gone.

That was the last straw. So here I am working on a post, as my husband has now sworn off posting. It won't be the same, but it will be something. This all-or-nothing mentality is part of the high highs and low lows that he talked about in his last post, and, as a wife, the characteristic that I probably struggle with most when interacting with my husband. It manifests in different ways. After finishing up at Nassau, we are sailing on into new (to us) Bahamian waters. This week we spent with friends we met last year about this time. Craig and Roxanne have been living and sailing together for about 10 years. They both did a

lot of sailing individually before

they met. Roxanne is a civil rights attorney and is still working on one last case that won't seem to die. Craig is retired. He's had many jobs and experiences and is just one of those people knowledgeable on

almost every subject because he's done it himself.

When we met last year, they were the first actively cruising couple we had met. We seemed to mesh well and stayed on their boat talking for quite a while. A couple of days later they stopped by our boat with a car and we toured around the island of Eleuthera for a fun-filled day. It's hard to say what attracted me most. They were fit, enjoyed each other's company, and worked well together. They were what I hope Russ and I could be after sailing for 10 years.

So we were very excited to catch up with them again this year. They were headed north, back to the states to renew their visa for the Bahamas and beyond. We were headed south. We met at Bennett's Harbor on Cat Island. An absolutely beautiful spot. We watched them tack as they headed to a spot a couple of hundred yards from us. Tacking for us has been hard, so it was great to see them sail in and turn on the motor just to anchor.

We were going to give them some time to settle in, but they hailed us on the VHF, and we headed over to get hugs and plan our days together. And what a great week it was! Our first day we spent snorkeling and spearfishing

around the harbor. I saw my first trigger fish.

(They are so interesting.) It was HUGE, over two feet. I only snorkel, not spearfish, so I was trying to get the attention of the three spear hunters, who were far enough away that they couldn't hear me through their snorkels. What's funny about triggerfish is that they know when you are holding something. I had the GoPro with me to record him, but he just kept 15 feet away from me. When I put it away he got a lot closer. We've noticed that behavior on later dives with other fish species as well.

The most exciting thing about that first spot was a turtle I happened across. He was hidden under a rock with one eyeball and a flipper sticking out. You have to stop when snorkeling and look at things closely or you may miss something interesting. This turtle was fairly large and was a hawksbill turtle, an endangered species.

After not finding any fish big enough or close enough to kill, we dinghied down to the end of a mangrove creek. The tide was going out so we floated out with the current, towing our dinghies behind us, looking for dinner.

We saw stingrays, conch, and a few fish, but dinner seemed to be hiding from us. We finally made it back to the other end of the creek, right at the harbor and our boats. After eight hours on the water, and six hours in the water, I felt like my whole body was waterlogged. We all slept well that night! The next day we walked to the closest business, a restaurant/gas station/convenience store/rental place named Yardies. We negotiated a two-day rental and went on a recognizance on the north half of the island. Craig and Roxanne introduced us to a game of "road or driveway" last year. We tried to play, but as Cat Island only has one road, it turned into a bust. We stopped at Orange

Creek Inn and Grocery and picked up a few things.

We followed the road to a resort and restaurant, which was closed for the hurricane season. Our rental had a low tire and we were forever hitting a rough patch of road, scraping the bottom of the car, making Roxanne and I cringe. As we drove we enjoyed some beautiful views of the remote countryside, with abandoned, half-built, or dilapidated homes scattered all over the place. A strange dichotomy that a third-world country seems to have; the line between the have and the have-nots is huge. After our northern trek, Russ used the car to haul water from a community spigot. It was too far for us to haul

40-pound containers of water, so that was a godsend. Craig and Roxanne have a watermaker, so they are pretty self-sufficient in their Catamaran.

The next day we headed south in the car (which no longer had a low tire), down to the end of Cat Island. We stopped at Hawk's Nest Marina and Resort, which was also closed for the season. To get to the Marina, you had to cross the airport runway. The marina did not have a single boat staying during the week but had two coming in the next day. Russ and I considered stopping there to get fuel and water and were thankful to place eyeballs on the facility. Even though things look different from the water, it's always helpful to see what awaits you. We do rely on electronic charts (verified by paper charts if needed) for water depth, obstructions, and even reviews made by others. As we headed back north to where our boats were anchored, we stopped at New Bight at their cultural village and had a delicious meal of BBQ Ribs, pasta salad, corn, peas and rice, and for dessert, ice cream! It rained the next day, and both boats prepared to leave the following morning. We agreed to meet for dinner that evening. Craig and Roxanne made homemade pizza! They also gave us recommendations and information on the places they anchored and spent time. We parted that night going opposite directions but knowing we'll stay in touch and will cruise around again the next time we meet.

I love making the most of every encounter and every cruiser we've met since has been just as welcoming and open.

Till next time folks! Fair winds and following seas to you all!

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