For weeks we had been talking about sailing north to Antigua. We heard the island was doing much better since the treacherous hurricane season and it seemed like a great place for us to explore since we hadn’t seen it on our way south. We had been scoping out anchorages, places to see, things to do, etc, etc. You know, the normal things you do when you anticipate traveling to a new location.
In our most recent stop, Îles des Saintes, we planned to sail north to Deshaies, Guadaloupe and then continue about 40 more miles to Falmouth Harbour, Antigua. My excitement was palpable. I felt like a kid at Christmas. “We’re so close! I can’t wait to get there!!” I would say to Dave, clapping my hands and wriggling around.
The let down
Our plans were solid as we left the Saints around 10am the next morning. As we neared the closest point of land off Guadaloupe, Dave mentioned something ridiculous, “Let’s just go to the BVIs.”
I felt my insides getting hot. NO. JUST NO.
I turned my head and gave him a crazy, wide eyed look. You know, the kind of look you’d make if somebody just said something that would completely set you off. “No!! We’re going to Guadaloupe and Antigua, David! That’s the PLAN, DAMMIT!”
Dave explained that he’d just checked our bank account which was depressingly low. He also used the little internet that we had to see that the weather forecast was predicted to be extremely favorable for smooth sailing to the BVIs, which would help shave weeks off of our trip, saving us money.
Just go with the flow
The phrase “write your plans in the sand” is commonly used in the cruising community when discussing your foreseeable future. Nothing is etched in stone. Weather, a change of heart, or just shitty luck (among other reasons) could flip your entire sailing itinerary upside down and over a cliff. Everyone understands that “sailing around the world” sometimes turns into “sailing to the Bahamas and selling the boat”. It’s no big deal.
However, I struggle with drastic change. I’m not a crazy, ‘must plan everything to the last detail’ type of person, but you guys need to understand that I like to plan in advance. I’m trained as an educator and used to live by the code of ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. If something doesn’t work out, I will have a back-up and another back-up to the back-up.
So when Dave just looks at me and says, “Meh, let’s just do it” everything inside me writhes and pulses with anger.
“I DIDN’T PLAN ON THIS!!!”
“Just go with the flow, man.”
I wanted to scream. This is my husband- the “slow is pro, you don’t know until you go” surfer dude. In most instances, I appreciate his laid back attitude because it’s what normally keeps me calm. However, in this case it only added fuel to the fire inside of me. I was LIVID.
Big girl pants
Despite my UTTER disappointment, I could see his angle.
Yes, we were running low on money. Yes, we have to get back to the States with something in our bank account. Yes, the weather is perfect and it would get us there sooner. So even though I was pissed off and aggravated, I put on my big girl pants and reluctantly agreed to a new plan. Sigh.
In Dave’s defense, he was right. We really did have an absolutely, beautiful sail. We were down winding for the entirety of our trip, and had mostly following seas. It is a rare and fantastic thing to experience. The boat glides down waves, with the slightest movement, barely rocking or rolling. It was so comfortable, that I went down in the cabin and made a pot of ham and bean soup and continued to prep more food to last the remainder of the passage.
We sailed for three days and two nights. It was longer than we’d hoped because of light winds, but really we can’t complain. It’s funny to think a trip like that scared the living day lights out of me when we first started cruising, but now it’s just a part of life. In the evenings we had a luminous, full moon to guide us along and hardly any boat traffic to worry about.
We dropped hook in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, just outside of The Bitter End Yacht Club, which was completely destroyed from Irma. After taking in the apocolyptic scenery, we sealed up the boat and crashed.
Although we missed out on seeing another island that I REALLY wanted to visit, I suppose I shouldn’t get greedy or complain. We have already seen SO MUCH of the Caribbean . Maybe we’ll get to visit Antigua and the other islands we skipped someday, but for now we have more important things to handle, like not going broke.