Four Years & Counting

Our footprints in the sand. Bimini, Bahamas

Mark and I recently celebrate four years of continuously living aboard Cream Puff.  The years have gone by so fast. Here are just a few of the hundreds of things I have learned along the way and some pictures from our adventures. Some of the pictures you might have seen before. Some are new to the blog.

Arriving in Bequia. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Lesser Antilles.

In no particular order

  • I now know how to read “Microwave this side up” in four languages.
  • As we gain more confidence in the boat and in ourselves I have learned to move further out of my comfort zone. We have been in bigger seas and higher winds than we ever thought we could manage.
  • I have learned that local people sit inside the restaurant in the air conditioning. Tourists sit outside to be in the sun.

Saint Kitts, West Indies.

  • I have leaned there is nothing more important than being prepared and being safe.
  • I learned that Europeans are either wearing swimsuits or nothing at all. This is not a bad thing.
  • I can buy food in four languages. I can also buy the wrong food in four languages. It is fun to try new things (Is it peaches or apricots? We will know when we open the can!).

Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

  • I have learned that deep breaths and counting to ten is important.
  • I have learned that translators are helpful but due to dialects can often be wrong. One example: At a restaurant in Colombia the waitress’ sentence was translated as: “We are out of fire extinguishers but we have paprika”
  • I have learned to transport eggs from the grocery store, down a rickety dock ladder, into a wobbly dinghy, along a bouncy dingy ride, up the transom of our boat through the cockpit and down the ladder to the galley without breaking them.  Believe it or not, this took practice and planning. Same goes for getting fresh bread to the boat without it being squashed or wet.

    Dinghy Dock. Saint Anna, Martinique, French West Indies

  • I have noticed that the guy who owns the business washing and waxing boats often looks happier in his life than his customers (the boat owners).
  • I have learned that I am happier when the air conditioning is running than when it is not.
  • I have learned how to order repair parts from all over the world and have the parts shipped to a tiny island that no one wants to ship to. This often involves groveling.

    Union Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • I have learned to slow down and take more time to enjoy the places we visit.
  • I have learned that no matter what, Mother Nature wins. Our lives revolve around the weather. We have a great deal of respect for what Mother Nature can do. We have time on our side, we can wait it out.

Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas

  • I have learned to say “We hope to see you down the road” instead of “goodbye.” There are too many goodbyes in this lifestyle.
  • I have learned that I now have more time to contemplate all the things no one wants to hear about once I have contemplated them.
  • I learned that this is not a race, it is not a vacation, this is a lifestyle. I worked hard to get to retirement. I try not to let others pressure me about how I want to live it.

Warderick Wells Cay, Exuma Land & Sea Park, Bahamas

  • I have learned how to live with less and how to make things work with what we have available.
  • I have learned that other people bring their baggage with them wherever they go.
  • I learned that the University of YouTube is a big help and so are other boaters and blogs.
  • I can get my haircut in four languages. Mark has not cut his hair since he retired. I am not sure if it is defiance of his old work life or wanting the look of a pirate.

Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico

  • I have learned there are a lot of nice people in the world with interesting stories. All we have to do is ask and listen.
  • I have learned that I still have a lot to learn.

Mooring. Dominica, West Indies

Categories: Caribbean, Funny Stuff, Questions Women Ask, Sailing Blog, Shorts and Musings

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