Persistence can pay dividends. About a year later than planned, we are in the Bahamas. (Please forgive me for a small exclamation here….yaa! That’s for you Richie and Jayne).

After what has, at times, felt like a tortuous battle to get south from Canada, we finally dropped the hook at lunchtime on Christmas Eve.  A night crossing of the Gulf Stream under a bright and full moon delivered us here.  So bright that when we reached the shallow Bahamas Bank we could see the bottom. This was a slightly disconcerting experience when you still have about 50 miles to the anchorage, sailing in such shallow water.
Dave always said we’d get to the Bahamas for Christmas….can’t honestly say I believed him as we battled 45 knot gusts across the bow one day. And this was on the protected Intra Coastal Waterway, not even out at sea. That would have been particularly unpleasant with bold capitals. However, that ‘all be history’ now. The double duvet is packed away. The kerosene stove is redundant. Hats and gloves are firmly back in their drawer. Shorts and T-shirt’s have an airing again. White flesh is on show. The brits are in town.
Christmas Day, passed at a relaxed gentle loping speed. 33rpm. Ignore 45 or 78. We’d chosen a secluded protected anchorage tucked up off the mangroves on an uninhabited cay with a sandy beach a short walk away. Dave bought me something sparkly. An unexpected lovely surprise. We had no comms so were not able to let anyone know where we were. We’d have loved to chat to family but my inability to read instructions meant our Bahamas SIM card wasn’t activated. Doh!
On reflection, now it’s over, we did have some positive memorable experiences coming south. We caught our first tuna. It was feisty. We probably didn’t bleed it for quite long enough but it was a fine way to end the day. We had our second curry since leaving the UK in July 2016, in a place called a Palm Coast. Dave provided the sweaty entertainment while tackling his jalfrezi. Definitely out of hot spicy food practice there. And we saw a rocket launch as we sailed past Cape Canaveral, a space x rocket carrying a GPS satellite up into orbit. We weren’t actually that close, 45 miles away but clearly saw the burn as this thing hurtled skyward.
I messaged my brother. His response, “an Easyjet flight to Belfast came right over our house earlier.” No bragging needed big sister!
Finally…..uploading any pictures was taking forever so revel in the written word and look forward to piccies at a later date. 🙂


My Laura Kuenssberg Impression


Windswept beachIn writing a blog, I feel I want to share ‘something of myself’ otherwise what I write has no individual character. I do however operate a sensitivity filter which is set to monitor how much I reveal about what we do, what I think and who we meet. Otherwise I could easily dig some humongous big holes for us!

Generally if something makes me laugh, it ought to be shared. That’s a rule. Why deprive others of a smile. Just because something is a little embarrassing is not a reason to keep quiet about it. Like the time I came out of the shower in my altogether one morning several years ago, opened the bedroom curtains and the window cleaner was plumb outside the window, up the ladder. I’m not sure who was more shocked. I shared that story when I got to work as it felt right for everyone for enjoy the humour of my discomfort.

I write this as a precursor to sharing how we went out to dinner recently with an enthusiastic and spirited republican. In my world of free speech and democracy, everyone is rightly allowed an opinion. However, listening to someone with such diverse views to mine was uncomfortable. I’ve thought about this this quite a lot, and my underlying number one value is integrity. It shapes and colours who I am and what I do. If I say I’m going to do something for someone, then that’s what I strive to do. If I don’t deliver, I’m embarrassed. Saying x then doing y destroys trust and respect in the big bumper book of how Helen sees the world.

So back to the republican story. It was really the first time I’m heard a true republican first hand, talk in my presence about why they love and respect Trump. (We’ve chosen previously to stay away from politics on our trip). His whole misogynistic history and blatant lying episodes were deemed irrelevant. He was described to me as a brilliant negotiator who will definitely win another term in office. When I heard this I could feel my world shrinking a little bit and become a shade more inward looking.

I’m not an American so I don’t truly understand the call to ‘make America great again’. I do know I want to live in a world that is outward looking. It was dinner. We were out having a good time. America is an amazingly diverse country and I’ve enjoyed being here. We’ve been welcomed by so many people.

So what’s my point here. I’m not a political animal. Politics is pretty weak in my DNA. I believe difference is to be appreciated. However when your fundamental values are jarred, discomfort is inevitable. What’s my point… point is Trump is an ass and the sooner he and his ego disappear from front line politics, the better. So my foray into political comment ends here. Probably best.

Back in boat-world, we have a new stainless steel arch at the back of the boat which supports two new solar panels. And a second battery charger too. The weather is not cooperating with a weather window to the Bahamas so we’ll likely continue down the US coast towards Georgia / Florida at the start of next week.