FYI: This post is a little late going up due to technical difficulties...
|Touch down in Barbados|
I survived my first week! And by the end of the week I had stopped thinking that the ship is a lot nicer when she’s not moving. Partially I’m getting some semblance of sea legs and partially the seas were a lot calmer the last day of our sail.
Getting back to Sorlandet is a bit like coming home. Some of the crew I know from the summer and it was nice to be welcomed back so warmly. As crew I got some ship T-shirts which now brings my Sorlandet shirt total to 4. I don’t think I’ve ever owned 4 identical (except that now some have various bleach and other stains) shirts before!
This week was a very relaxed island hopping sail for alumni of Class Afloat and their friends, family, etc. We didn’t spend a lot of time actually sailing, most days we anchored and the tenders (small boats that live on the big boat) got a workout ferrying people into shore and back again. I got ashore in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and in Hillsburgh, Carriacou, Grenada. We also anchored outside Charlotteville, Tobago but we were only there for 4 hours and I chose to stay on the ship and have an unrushed day instead of trying to squish in a shore leave.
|That's a tender coming towards me.|
On New Year’s Eve we had a BBQ on deck. Appetizers, beef tenderloin, ice cream with homemade caramel for dessert. Very fancy times! It was a lot of work (I finished cleaning after 11 pm) but worth it I think, everyone enjoyed it and it was fun to ring in the new year in a place I’ve never been before.
|The deck dressed up for New Year's Eve|
Everywhere is very picturesque and full of palm trees and buildings painted bright colours. I didn’t spend enough time anywhere to really have an informed opinion but people seem friendly and on the whole I enjoyed Hillsburgh more as it was smaller and less touristy then Bequia. Both times shore leave has involved provisioning a bit for the ship but I’ve also been able to send a couple post cards, sneak in a swim and try sorrel juice at a beach side café. Pretty unreal considering it wasn’t that long ago that I was chipping ice off the car!
|Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines|
|Another view of Bequia|
I’m enjoying having a cabin instead of sleeping in the banjer. This week I have it to myself as the teacher I’ll be sharing with is on her break. I keep reminding myself not to get used to this luxury! It’s not big but it’s a private space (or semi private in the weeks to follow) with a bunk, ample storage, a sink, table and bench and closet.
|Shore Leave on Carriacou, Grenada|
My days are full of galley business – food prep, dishes, supervising others, organizing provisions, shopping for provisions, washing garbage, meal planning, etc. but they are good. In between galley times I try to go out on deck and enjoy where we are. Whether we are moving or not there is always water to be seen (close to shore it’s a gorgeous Caribbean turquoise blue, out in the deeper water it’s a darker, almost steel blue) and there’s always a chance of dolphin sightings (so far, I’ve seen them three times). At night the stars are incredible! With very little light pollution you can see much more then I’m used to at home. Given the chance I’ll also jump in with deck work – hauling on lines, coiling, etc. I went aloft once but just for fun times, there wasn’t any work going on. I’m hoping as routines get set and we have a more regular galley team I’ll be able to get out on deck more.
|At anchor somewhere in St Vincent & the Grenadines|
The weather has been great, a few rain showers but mostly sunny and warm (high 20s without humidex). So it feels like summer but the sun sets around 6 which is not what I’m accustomed to in such warm weather!
|View from a beach cafe on Carriacou|
We’re back in Bridgetown, Barbados now and hopefully I’ll have some time off to do a little exploring. The harbour we’re docked in is used mainly for cruise ships. They arrive early in the morning and leave late at night. Next to them Sorlandet is a small fish in a big pond which is quite the reverse of what it was this summer in the lakes.