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Senior Correspondent

Jan 18, 2013: “Captain Carter, a sailboat can be a pretty small space. I’m glad it’s you onboard with her and not me.” Night Watch.

We have now have had two guests onboard, well three if you count the cat who seemed to want to take over the helm in Lucaya. Our invited guests have been familymembers. First our granddaughter, Ellen, and then daughter, Lilla. In both cases this worked extremely well partly because we have history with both of them. We have sailed with Lilla many times, including in the Bahamas over the past 20 years (yep, it’s been that long). Ellen has sailed with her Dad but that has now been 10 years ago and while she has not sailed with us, she lived for a semester with us in our apartment in Paris.

The other part is, both Ellen and Lilla snorkel and scuba dive and being on, or in the water is part of their lives. When inviting guests, you have to remember, a sailboat, including our 385 is a small and personal space. Living on a sailboat is different from living on land and requires a level of familiarity than doesn’t come with all relationships. Just as an example, taking a shower (in a small) bathroom (called a head) requires first wetting down, turning off the water while soaping or shampooing, then turning the water back on to rinse off. Oh, and turning on the shower sump pump so that you don’t flood the head. No long showers. Water is expensive and wasting it, isn’t allowed. It also means refilling the water tanks more frequently.

Everyone has to agree to boating priorities which includes stowing everything for passages and putting things back where they came from as there may not be time to hunt for the binoculars, winch handles or flashlights when the time comes. Boat chores also differ from home chores. They do include, cooking, cleaning, washing dishes but also includes washing the salt water off the decks and stainless, filling water tanks, and checking lines. A boat will take care of you, if you take care of her and that means not procrastinating until there is better weather, safer harbor or less fatigue. For example, just last night the wind increased and changed directions so Ed had to get up at 3:00 am to check the dock lines to make certain they were holding us off the dock and Sable was not taking any damage.

We are now in Hope Town on Elbow Cay in the Abacos. This harbor is best known for its lighthouse. Built in 1863 and still powered by a kerosene-fueled mantle and a huge rotating glass lens. We learned yesterday that there are 6 lighthouse keepers who rotate each night in two-hour shifts, cranking the glass lens by hand! No electric motor here. This Elbow Reef lighthouse is one of the few left in the Bahamas that still uses this old technology under the jurisdiction of the preservation society.

Jan, Ed and Sable

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