Several years ago now (how time flies!), I joined my family down in the Virgin Islands for a sailing trip. I have been meaning to write about that in more detail ever since, but haven’t got around to it — until now!
Here’s a link to a post I wrote over on Medium (which is where I’m doing most of my blogging these days). It’s about a rather more-exciting-than-planned crossing from the BVI to Saba in the Lesser Antilles.
Over the coming months I’m hoping to be writing more about sailing adventures and destinations because I’m hoping to be doing a bit more sailing myself. I’ll try to remember to cross-post links here, but if you don’t want to miss out, you’ll be able to find all the stories over on Medium.
[Don’t know about Medium yet? It’s a blogging platform which is member-driven and supported. You can read three stories a month without becoming a member, but it’s not a bad idea if you’d like a way to support your favourite writers. It’s pretty cheap – only $5/month – and when you read and respond to articles, your membership fee is distributed among the authors you’ve read. If you’re a writer, you should definitely check it out.]
My visit to Pender didn’t last long, but it was heavenly to enjoy the sun, water, beaches, friends and food at the Bluewater Cruising Association rendezvous at Poet’s Cove.
… and the dog, of course! I don’t have any grandchildren, but I sure do enjoy hanging out with my grad puppy Spartacus (Sparty). He’s becoming such a confident little boat dog!
My visit ended with a great potluck! The dinghy rode a bit lower in the water when the time came to shuttle me back to land to catch my taxi down to the other Pender Island (there are two – north and south).
I took lots of photos so I have more than enough reference material to get back to work drawing various things once I get back home.
I even managed to find a bit of time to work on my lines for Romeo and Juliet while hanging gout in the cockpit.
I also managed to find a bit of time to do a blind contour drawing of the Dragon Fountain from Butchart Gardens.
Here’s a photo…
The idea is to not look down at your drawing but to choose a line in the object and follow it without ever lifting pencil from paper.
About to board the ferry now and head back to Victoria for another couple of days before hopping back on another flight to Calgary.
Flying back from the BVI via Puerto Rico and Chicago after a week that was equal parts stressful (unfamiliar boat, mechanical problems, electrical issues, under-experienced crew, under-experienced captain, spicy winds, seasickness, sunburn) and wonderful (warm waters, quiet anchorages, beaches to explore, reefs to snorkel, shorelines to paddle along, the Baths for bouldering).
A strange, sometimes uncomfortable bonus was spending most of the week device free, which meant meeting and chatting with people on the dock, chatting with each other, looking at the stars, feeding fish off the back of the boat, watching the sun set over the islands, going to bed early and getting up when we were done sleeping – all without being interrupted by constant beeping and buzzing and vibrating.
The exceptions to that idyllic break came during times of crisis – engine alarms, blinking electrical panels, dead batteries, a dying engine a that triggered flurries of trouble-shooting messages on a cell phone that we kept alive with a solar panel and saved for navigation and disaster interventions.
All that said, I learned a lot this week and challenging though it was at times, can’t wait to go back for more. Not the problems, of course, just the good stuff!
In particular, down there on Norman Island on a mooring ball in The Bight. Our very kind neighbor at the dock in Manuel Reef loaned us his kayaks (thanks, Philip!) so we could get ashore once on our mooring ball… Checked the weather (rainy tomorrow, a bit on the windy side) but getting slowly better as we inch toward departure day next Tuesday.
Hurricane debris and damage can be seen everywhere – and the boat wreckage makes you want to cry.
These boat owners painted the names of the two nasty storms on their boat’s hull…
Don’t have Internet per se (using my data plan to upload) so won’t add too many photos.
Managed to do a bit of snorkeling in the caves just around the corner… paddling into the headwind coming back to the boat wore everyone out – the rest of the crew is sound asleep.
I recently decided to set up a Patreon account as a way to help smooth out the fiscal bumps and hollows of a life spent writing. Patreon guides you through the steps of setting up an account and as part of that process they encourage creators to make a short intro video… I am, for a change, playing by the rules… And so, I present to you, my intro video for Patreon:
Enjoy the blog? Consider becoming a patron to support the creation of these blog posts, photo essays, and short videos. In return, you’ll have my undying appreciation, but you’ll also get access to Patron-only content, advance peeks at works in progress, and more – all for as little as a buck a month! It’s easy – head on over to Patreon to have a look at how it all works.