Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Homeward Bound

It's 144 miles from Dominica to St. Vincent. Brad and I planned to cover the distance in 24 hours, skipping over Martinique and St. Lucia in order to get closer to our turnaround point. The winds blew pleasantly over our beam as we glided through the ocean under starry skies, aiming directly at the Southern Cross. We were able to spare the diesel engine for most of the trip and arrived in Wallibou Bay just before sunset. This place is famous for the filming of the first Pirates of the Caribbean. Once ashore we visited the scene and could clearly see the place Johnny Depp declared "you will always remember today as the day you almost caught the great Captain Jack Sparrow." But, the set had been shoddily built and was falling to pieces. The large dock was full of holes and appeared ready to fall over, probably onto the scores of local children who use the derelict as a playground.

Debbie, a friend from Wesleyan, is working for the Peace Corp in St. Vincent. We met her on the beach near Kingstown. The three of us took a van back to her house. Let me take a moment to describe these vans. I live in Boston, and I've been to Italy and China. None of these places provide nearly the same excitement for a passenger as St. Vincent. The vans have 4 rows of seats, but no one batted an eye when nineteen people were crammed inside. The van screamed around blind turns, pedestrians and other vehicles at breakneck speeds with little regard for the imaginary double yellow lines. A few times I had to close my eyes so I wouldn't have to watch my death. Additionally, (and I'm not making this up) the driver is commonly drinking beer.

Debbie showed us around her town and the next day we went hiking in the lush forest with a fellow PC volunteer, Ryan. We met up with a local friend of Ryan's, Juice, who showed us the way and helped us find some delicious cranium-sized grapefruits (see pictures when they get posted), coconuts and bananas.

Debbie and her friend, Amanda, were able to take a few days off from community building to help us tour the Grenadines. We sailed down to Bequia and had dinner with a group of PC volunteers. They were all personable, friendly and interesting. Brad and I felt a renewed interest in continuing our international travels with a program like Peace Corp. Maybe next year.

The next morning, we visited the Tobago cays, a navigational double-black diamond. The beautiful, picturesque anchorage was located near a turtle beach. The four of us snorkeled the water and after becoming disappointed with only a solitary turtle, swam ashore to build a sand castle and partake in traditional rock throwing. We retired to the boat for White Russians and beer as we cooked dinner and watched the sun set on the Southernmost anchorage of our expedition.

So, we've finally turned around. On April 20th we turned the bow towards the 'N' and set sail, beginning the nearly two thousand mile voyage home that will take the next two months. We have traveled almost 5000 miles and are now returning after reaching The Tobago Cays in the Grenadines at 12.38' N, just 100 miles North of Venezuela.

We stopped yesterday in St. Vincent to drop off Debbie and Amanda and are currently off the coast of Martinique en route to the next landfall, Guadeloupe. A pod of dolphins greeted us as we sailied away from land, swimming along the bow. As they left several executed 360 degree spins completely out of the water for no other apparent purpose than to impress us.

For the next day, there's almost no food on the boat and preparing it under way is near impossible. I'm currently eating raw pasta and spoonfuls of peanut butter for dinner. It's almost 7PM, which means my first 3 hour night shift is about to start. Crap.