Gone to the Dogs

Before I go on any longer, the readers of the blog need to know the cast of characters on this adventure.  So here goes.

The Captain is Brian.  He is very cautious and knows his business.  Here’s a picture of El Capitan and first mate, Michel.  So far, we have had to be reminded that he is the captain and we should not be delegating to him.  It isn’t supposed to work that way.  But the crew is frisky and we keep delegating to him.   He isn’t all hung up with nautical terms.  The round thingy was a description he used.  Thingy being a technical term.  Actually in his defense, he has four neophytes and he has to resort to ducky and bunny language so we know what’s he talking about.

First mate Michel acts as back up to the captain.  She also subs as a dinghy back up.  She is a 76 year old cancer survivor who exercises every day.  She is a role model for everyone who knows her.   Michel doesn’t mind sharing her past.  We know a lot about Michel which will go unmentioned here.  I can tell you that she has two cats and four children.  She really knows how to sail and that is very important for all of us that have never done this before.

Then there is Ruth and Tom.   Tom is the dinghy captain but he has not been able to do his job because he bent over on the second day and hurt his back and now he finds himself living on valium, alleve, painkillers, wine and rum.  He jumps in the water in the morning and hangs from various ropes to stretch himself out.  He has not been happy in the a.m. but once cocktail time starts, he gets looser and looser and forgets about his back because he can’t feel it…and then he becomes very funny.  He’s a retired L.A.P.D. detective but you’d never, ever know it.  Tom is an experienced sailor and a good barbecuer.  He should write a book on how to save a buck.  Somehow he paid less than everyone else for his air travel and hotel in San Juan.  Also, we have nicknamed him Mr. Nautilus because virtually every shirt he wears has Nautilus printed on it…and that is probably because he bought them on sale.

Ruthie is the organizer.  She took charge of the food purchasing, organizing the food on board.  She was a surgical nurse so she can cut up a chicken!!  She is also a great cook and an experienced sailor.  She can wash dishes in a spoonful of water and she always looks like a million bucks when it’s time to go ashore.

Pat and Richard are neophyte sailors.  This is their virgin voyage.  He’s a retired banker.  Pat does it all.  She just jumps in and does everything.  She’s learned how to tie knots, conserve water, manage trash, secure a mooring.  You name it.  She is completely unphased about most things.  Richard is more cautious but also eager to learn and do stuff.   Richard loves vodka and OJ.  To the point were if he doesn’t get the brand he likes, there might be grumbling.  He is the best golfer of the group.  He has a fabulous game of golf but it doesn’t do him any good on board the Caty Wampus.

Then there is us.  You all know us so I’ll just leave it as I am deck fluff and Ray is eager beaver.  Tomorrow though I am going to learn to tie knots.  It’s my birthday so I’m sure everyone will let me have my way if my requests are reasonable!!

So.  What happened today?  We sailed to the Dogs.  It was an island with good snorkeling.  That’s where we saw jelly fish, squid, cuttlefish, and a turtle!!!  Right after snorkeling, a big motor boat race went by.  Cigarette boats mostly.  They were loud and fast.  Put on quite a show.  We ate lunch then took off for the Bitter End.  It’s a harbor and it is fabulous.  Went to the Saba Bar which is a building that sits on a very small island.  It took about 5 minutes to walk around the island.  Ray and I sat in a hammock and looked out to sea.  The island also has a small hotel, just a few rooms.  Picture below.  Then we returned to the boat and Tom barbecued chicken and Ruthie made potato salad, asparagus, black bean salad.  Dinner was fabulous.  Now we have about 4 pounds of chicken left over for another day.

Please note the helicopter in the picture on the right.  We just missed photographing the entire thing.  It was really moving out and we were really rocking from the wakes of the boats.

Boating is stinky.  Our cabin is starting to stink…so Ray bought a can of Glade air freshener today at the market at Bitter End.  It now smells better!!

So one of the running conversations on board is water.  The boat holds only so much water for bathing and cooking and cleaning.  So, everyone is told to be judicious about using it.  This drives Ray wild because if you use it non-judiciously, you can get more at any number of harbors.  Why not just use it and refill it?  The group has sailed together before and they have always managed it the way they manage it…which is judiciously.   So we talk a lot about water.  We tease each other about how they are using the water.  Ray said tonight that he would personally buy the next tank of water for the boat….that way he could take a long shower.  We’ll see how that goes.  In the meantime, it is a hoot.

Pat making sandwiches for lunch.  Ruthie’s chicken dinner with all the trimmings.  (missing pictures)




Leave Comment