Sunday, May 27, 2007

Stormbound in Bermuda

I have lost count of time and days but I think we have been here nearly 2 weeks now.

We left Antigua to the sight of a humpback whale, awoke the following morning to dolphins over breakfast. After that we had 5 days of very very little. A bird spent an hour trying to land on our mast which was the only life we saw for days. Suddenly the little things become major events at sea. We saw a moon bow (a monochrome rainbow lit by a full moon at night) the green flash as the sun rose (yes that really does happen), shooting stars & sattelites and a hell of a load of ocean, sky & horizons. The clouds become your scenery & the weather your lifeline. We were lucky to only get badly knocked about for our last night at sea, others have had worse & 1 boat is missing. So here we are checking the weather maps daily, watching the lows fly towards us across the gulf stream & making another decision to stay put.

The harbour is filling with familiar faces from Antigua & beyond, all with the same story, all getting restless, but all knowing that the worst mistake a sailor can make is to go to sea from frustration of being in port too long. So we are biding our time & trying to make the most of this strange island of coral that is Bermuda

It is the land of petty rules & cleanliness. A little Singapore in the middle of the Atlantic. Endless pastel coloured houses all with white stone roofs which gives the strange impression of snow covered buildings in a tropical landscape.

The weather here changes on a penny. We have felt cold that we thought we'd forgotten then burnt orselves raw the following day. We have dragged our anchor in 50 knot winds & ended up on the rocks thanking our lucky stars for our solid steel hull. We sank our dinghy with rainwater & killed the outboard so now we are rowing by hand. The captain has flown out his wife & 20 month old kid so now we have a baby on board & tomorrow perhaps a dog. Our last rations at sea but I'm not sure there is much meat on a 3yr old jack russell called 'bird'!

And we have partied our nights away, our internal clocks thrown by the late setting northern sun, it is always midnight when you think it should be 9. A birthday in Bermuda was not one to forget. Encouraged by our newfound kiwi friends the jaeger bombs were flying, a druken conversation to the only girl on board the yach(Odysseus) which has sailed from New Zealand and it turns out she knows the only person I know down there! Instant friendships are sprung overnight in this place a million miles from anywhere. They left this morning for the Azores, they are heading east so no Gulf Stream hurdle for them.

Two days of vists to the US embassy has left me the proud owner of a 10 year mutiple entry B1/B2 visa, so I am legal for a while and can sail boats into the states for a good long time now without ever having to go through the dreaded Bush security beurocracy

We entertain ourselves with rule breaking competitions;'loitering' is a federal offence here & yesterday we got our first warning whilst watching a local being ticketed for having his car stereo too loud. Carrying a beer in the street with your shirt off is 2 offences in 1 hit, and if you stop and loiter you do 3 in 1 go. Trying to get into a bar with flip flops is a no no, and the bouncer will tell you to remove your hat after 10pm. I don't know how we got away with sleeping in a park which you are not even allowed to eat in, but that was our biggest crime so far!

Anyway I am running out of time & everything costs money here, and a lot of it. The third richest country in the world and don't you know it by the prices. $20 for an hour on the interent whilst my laptop is lounging in Bequia goddam!

So I am signing off and counting the days....soon to sea I hope

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