Bill and I were looking forward to Cay and George’s arrival for months. Sharing this journey with family and friends makes everything more real, more special. I must admit that I was a little concerned that they would find Alembic too small, too salty, too rolly at sea or at anchor, the food too limiting, or the challenges of using a marine compost toilet too gross! You’ll have to get their honest reactions, but from my perspective, it was all perfect!
Cay had only been sailing twice; once on Alembic for a few hours in Maine, and once on another boat for a day trip. She didn’t really know the first thing about how anything worked or fit on a sailboat, let alone how to walk about without hurting herself. George had more sailing experience, but mostly on very small daysailers. Both have plenty of ocean experience on kayaks and skiffs, and their seamanship was evident.
George took over the galley for both production and clean up, and Cay did her best to try to keep up there as well.
Every task that involved sailing, from removing covers to raising and adjusting sails, steering, anchoring, and dingy hoisting and deployment, was mastered by both Cay and George by day 3.
Most fun of all, was their eagerness to snorkel. Our days were spent seeking the next site and reading the books to learn the names of everything we saw. I learned more during the ten days with Cay than I had in the last few decades of snorkeling.
When we returned from a snorkel excursion, Cay immediately dove into the books (not enough on board) to learn the names and behaviors of each new creature and shared her new knowledge with all of us.
We sailed every day, many long days, and Cay and George both smoothly got into the rhythm of running around to set sails, then lounging and enjoying the passage.
We were blessed with perfect weather, so we could go anywhere we wished, as long as there was daylight to read the coral heads under our keel. We managed to go significant distances yet have energy for immediately plunging into the water to explore the underworld.
Our friendship with these two strengthened as we blended our daily lives and shared dreams and hopes about our futures in retirement. All four of us have had careers that we loved, still love, and are somewhat perplexed about how to proceed without the identity, salary, and structure that these professions have provided. We all have many projects and intentions that we are pursuing and I enjoyed the camaraderie around these conversations.
Saying goodbye was sad, but I knew we would soon carry on with adventures together when we return to Maine. Seven weeks is not far off!!