May 18, 2019
I feel a bit guilty taking photos of Exit tied to a marina dock. She seems sad. It seems so undignified, kind of like taking a photo of someone sitting on the toilet… not how you want to be seen.
We had spent three nights at West Bay in Grand Cayman, just south of Grand Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach. Cruise ships in and out every day, jet skis, never-ending swell. We had finally figured out the subtleties of rigging and setting a swell bridle to alleviate the relentless rolling, but the traffic was unfixable.
We had to move to North Bay to get access to Barcadere Marina, where we had decided to put Exit under house arrest during our return to the States.
The reunion with our Scuba Junkie colleague of old – Nicola, or Island Nic as she was known on Mabul, had been fabulous. It had been over five years since we had worked together in Borneo. Especially after the catastrophic news we had received about the passing of another Scuba Junkie family member, Rachel (FUCK CANCER!), it was an exceptionally poignant reunion.
We had intermittently maintained contact with her, but there is nothing like a hug, smile, and catch-up time in person.
Our timing was perfect in that Grand Cayman’s annual Carnival Parade was scheduled for the weekend before we left. Even better, Nic was a participant. An afternoon in the bar awaiting the arrival of the parade, which passed just in front of the bar, and then a get together at the beach afterward made for a thoroughly festive day.
Our trip back to the States revolved around two things: 1) the desire to see friends and family back home at least once a year, and 2) my parents’ announcement that they were planning on selling the lake home that they had owned for nearly thirty years on Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced “Ponderay”), Idaho.
We had a number of boxes of stuff left over from when we had left the States in 2008 still at the property; so we wanted to get them moved out, as well as offer any assistance we could to my parents in the selling process.
We considered waiting until reaching Guatemala before returning to the States, but there were just too many uncertainties regarding leaving our boat for a month there. Plus, better to get lake house sorted out immediately so the selling process could be helped instead of hindered. It just made sense.
Though hurricane season for 2019 in the Caribbean would officially start with the arrival of June, we felt confident that we were okay leaving Exit where she was. Our insurance didn’t mandate that we be out of the area until July 15. Furthermore, Barcadere Marina was tucked in a tiny bay at the shoreline of another giant bay with depths less than fifteen feet, inside of a barrier reef with only a few small cuts running through it. The back corner of the marina in which we were placed seemed to be nearly completely isolated from the outside wind, as demonstrated by the scorching temperatures and stiflingly still air around us as we prepped Exit for our departure.
With the comforting reassurance that Nic would kindly come and check on our baby occasionally, we headed for the airport.