I will be! Soon! Big announcement folks (cue that ratta-tatta news room sound) — this Little Sailor-that-Could is going to the Bahamas! Not on our boat, not with the Captain and apparently (at times) not with clothes. Say what?!? That’s right. Times are a-changin’!
To make a long story short (I know, I know, I’m not so good at that, but I’m really going to try!), around November of last year, the Captain and I, having just finished our pretty-involved solar panel project and chased down our baffling alternator aftermath, were itching to get our boat out for an extended stay on the hook to really enjoy our new solar input and make sure we wouldn’t have any trouble this time with the starting battery. Thanksgiving was coming up, so we decided to use the holiday time to do what we do best–enjoy a nice, serene anchorage on our beautiful boat.
It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.
As you know, I had been piddling around on the aerial silks for a few months by then and when I mentioned our upcoming trip to my instructor, the completely unattractive and untalented, Garrett (this one’s for you ladies):
he says, “Oh yeah, that reminds me, I’ve been meaning to tell you about Hanna.”
“Who?” I ask, wondering what’s so special about this Hanna chick.
“Hanna,” Garrett says.
This chick. Little did I know this fiery little redhead was about to turn my world upside down (literally).
At the time, I had been playing around on the silks for a few months and always made my way to the gym any time I wanted to get a silks session in. I mean, you need like 30 feet of height to rig up a pair. Where am I going to hang a set of my own? I hope your gears are starting to turn, because I have to admit, had I not seen it myself, I’m not sure I would have ever thought of it on my own.
Hanna doesn’t just DO silks. She does it … ON A SAILBOAT.
Just when I thought sailboats couldn’t get any cooler … I couldn’t get to her fast enough. I Facebook stalked her, texted her, tracked the poor girl down. I had to know where she got her magic “sailboat silks” and how she rigged them up. Thankfully Hanna was way cool, she forgave the stalking and clued me in. Her husband’s parents own a 47′ Beneteau and they had rigged her silks up on the boat using the whisker pole for the spinnaker. While I didn’t think that would work on our boat (we don’t have our whisker pole mounted on the mast) I started tinkering around on our boat and was pretty sure I had figured out a way. I mean, there’s a 50 foot mast, dozens of lines, rods and standing rigging to utilize. If the boat can hoist and fly sails, surely it could hoist and fly me?!? At least that’s what I told myself when I clicked, clicked, clicked, confirmed and bought my very own set of silks in hopes of hanging and playing on them during our turkey day trip.
They arrived the day before our trip and were the first thing I packed on the boat. I couldn’t believe I was going to be able to combine one of my favorite hobbies (the silks) with one of my favorite pastimes (lounging around on the boat). Could life get any better? Not in my book! With the Captain’s blessing, I rigged my brand new set up for the very first time on our boat on Thanksgiving day and set to it!
Now, did I get blown into the mast about five times? You bet! Did I care? Not a bit! Apparently, you need to have like ZERO wind to be able to do the silks on the boat, but it’s still very doable and easy gear to carry along and rig up. I was happier than Richard Simmons at a fat camp. It was one of my favorite days on the boat in all of 2014, even including our trip to the Keys. It’s just such an incredible feeling to be virtually weightless, dangling, suspended over the anchorage. Ahhhhh … And, Ft. McRae is such a gorgeous place to “hang out” (ha ha).
So, how does this lead to the Bahamas, or better yet being stranded and naked there? Well, having sailed on her husband’s folks’ boat often, Hanna herself has a love for sailing and (I think) a little hankering to Captain her own boat one day. A woman after my own heart!
As such, she soon became a fan, follower and sponsor on the blog (thank you Hanna!), got a signed copy of my Salt of a Sailor book and passed word of it along to her inlaws hoping they, as sailors, would enjoy it as well. (Thank you again, Hanna!)
Surprisingly, even after reading the book and knowing full well all of the incredibly stupid things I said, thought and did in it, Hanna’s inlaws still thought highly enough of my sail abilities, or my sea worthiness at least, to ask me to help crew their boat this July in the Abacos Regatta!
Ben and Sara needed a few extra hands on deck during the July 4th and July 6th races, and they generously offered both Phillip and I a bunk on the boat if we would fly out to the Bahamas to help them with these two legs. Sadly, Phillip had a conflict and could not make it, but after some serious talk, we decided it was an opportunity I could not and should not pass up. So, I’m going to the Bahamas folks!
I will fly into Marsh Harbour from Ft. Lauderdale, cab it up to Treasure Cay and then ferry over to Green Turtle Cay where Ben and Sarah are moored. July 3rd is the famous Stranded Naked, Cheeseburger in Paradise party (although I’ve been advised we do wear clothes — bummer!). I will help crew the July 4th Green Turtle race and the July 6th Treasure Cay to Guana Cay race then fly from Marsh Harbour back to Ft. Lauderdale.
Red = cab. Green = ferry. Blue = sailing.
Thankfully, the room and board will be free on Ben and Sara’s spacious Benetau, the s/v Cheval — French for horse. Perfect for me.
With just a flight to cover for a multi-island sailing experience through the Bahamas with two incredibly traveled, generous sailors, it was an opportunity I simply could not turn down. While Phillip and I plan to sail our boat there in the years to come, this will be a great way to get a flavor and feel of the Abacos and participate in their famous, party-style annual Regatta. The decision was actually pretty easy. Little did I know it would all develop from what I thought was simply a fun acrobatic hobby, which turned into a sailboat side-sport, but that’s the beauty of it all. If you keep your mind and plans open to new places, pastimes and people, amazing opportunities can arise. It’s okay if things get turned upside down. If you just kind of go with it, you may find it was the best thing that ever happened to you.
Thank you again Hanna for setting all of this up! And, Ben and Sara, for your generosity (and bravery!) for inviting this tenacious little sailor aboard your vessel. I … Cant … Wait! I’ve had an empty passport for too long. It’s time to stamp this baby up! Even if I have to go it alone. Life doesn’t wait for you. Live while you can. Bahamas … here I come!
Many thanks to the
patrons Hannas! who help make these posts just a little more possible through PATREON.