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Published: February 11th 2017
Last night we spent the evening aboard a pirate ship!! Before anyone panics, it was of our own choosing; no hijacking or kidnapping involved.
Captain Billy of the Flying Dragon, is a “real” pirate, complete with two gold hoops in his left ear, a scarf knotted around his head and an endless repertoire of sea shanty’s. Besides cruising over 45,000 blue water miles over the last 30 years, he spends some of his time traveling around the United States and the Caribbean, visiting “pirate” festivals as an entertainer and hosting groups of boy scouts and Montessori students on his pirate ship.
We are anchored next to Flying Dragon in Red Shanks (yes, we are still in George Town), and being one of only a few boats in this bay, Captain Billy graciously invited us along with a couple others to board his ship for an evening of drinks, snacks, sea shanty’s and tales. Captain Billy had us howling at his stories and cheesy pirate jokes…well, ok, apparently, I was howling at the jokes; everyone else was laughing more at me than at the jokes! (What is a pirate’s favorite fast food restaurant? Rrrrrby’s!!) He also pulled out his song
Alexis Coming Into Harbour
The arrival of our friends from Port Dover on their majestic 72 foot yacht.
books and taught us a few rowdy pirate shanties and shared some piratical (my new favorite word!) history; all in all a great evening!
What else have we been doing this week? Do you all want to guess what we have been doing, do you??? Painting!!! Again!!
All kidding aside, we have done many other things than painting; and it is all just part of this lifestyle. If you try keep up on a little maintenance, there is less damage control later. And besides, not to make our friends at home feel bad, but I would rather be painting here in the sun, surrounded by blue water, than shoveling snow!!
A few days ago, the weather finally cooperated enough to allow us to get out to the ocean side for some exploration. A friend of Lukus’ from Port Dover, Jamie, arrived to spend a week with mutual friends on their boat. He and his wife, Karen, came and found us the second day they were in the area to say hello. We had never met Karen before, and it was a pleasure to be able to get to know her a little. Both she and Jamie are
Our friend Jamie, hunting for lobster
a wealth of information about this area since they have spent many winters here in the past. Jamie then extended an invitation to Lukus to head out to the ocean side with him and a few other guys to do some spear fishing the next day. Not wanting to miss out on a new experience, I invited myself along. It was well worth the trip; we had a lovely morning snorkeling some beautiful reefs. Lukus even spied a spotted eagle ray swimming along the reef.
Unfortunately, we did not catch anything; mostly because we were not properly prepared for spearing. If you have never snorkeled before, you would be surprised at how difficult it is to dive down into the water, especially if you are wearing a wetsuit, which makes you more buoyant. Added to that the extra buoyancy you experience in salt water, and it can be humorously ineffective to try and get down even a few feet. As I am learning, you need to have a proper amount of extra weight to help you achieve any depth. Since we did not bring our proper weight belts, and the depths were about 15-20 feet, we ended up spending
most of the morning just floating along the surface and watching the others dive down to hunt for lobster.
We left the guys after a couple hours, which apparently was a good luck token for them. They were fortunate enough to spear 10 lobster by the end of their expedition! Not that we lost out. We ended up hitting a few more snorkeling spots along the way back to the boat, experiencing some breathtaking scenery. We also stopped in shallower water where Lukus scored his first lobster catch (in fact, he speared two), making for a tasty lunch!
I have had lots of fun snorkeling along this trip, but that day was the most magical. One reef I swam was only about 5 feet deep, and as soon as I dove in, I felt as if I had discovered an underwater garden. The diversity of coral and growth underwater is breathtaking; feathery purple ferns, puffy green cacti, orange and red serpentine branches sprawled along the ocean bottom, all in a dreamlike hazy blue water. We then headed over to a deep hole along the shore of one of the islands. The hole goes underneath the entire island from
one side to the other. In there, I experienced the most diverse array of vibrant fish and fauna that I have seen yet (besides maybe the Thunderball Grotto near Staniel Cay). The fish darted in and out of little caves and coral, like movers and shakers dashing in and out of shops and cafes along a busy city street. And the traffic! I was surprised to see no crashes; those little guys can dodge each other with grace, and no horn honking!
Although we have had great times here in George Town, there are moments I must admit I get antsy to be moving on. To forge ahead to the next destination, to discover our next adventure. And then I catch myself. Every day is an adventure; every moment brings us to a new destination (maybe not physically, but spiritually, emotionally, mentally). And here I am in a picturesque, idyllically breathtaking setting, with opportunity to jump into crystal-clear water, walk rocky island trails, dinghy along jagged shorelines, or relax with a book, all with my best friend, and instead of focusing on that, I drift into anticipation of what’s next.
Recently, we watched a movie, Midnight in Paris,
that resonated deeply with me in my moments of restlessness. The protagonist yearned to live in Paris of the 1920’s, what he believes to be the utopic era. Mystically (the movie doesn’t really explain how it happens), as he is visiting Paris, he is transported back in time to the “golden age” of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Picasso. What he discovers through the movie is that no matter what era is ones “present time”, there will always be an allure of a better time in the past. The “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome. But, ultimately, there will never be a time, or place, where everything is finally perfect, because the world is not perfect. Instead, we must learn to embrace the moment we are in, to accept that each season of life holds revelation (sometimes joyful, sometimes painful, but always beneficial), and to search out and focus on the good of the here and now instead of what is lacking.
I know I have probably shared a similar insight before; hey, sometimes a good thing bears repeating. And honestly, sometimes I am a little slow in really learning a lesson. I have to receive revelation, digest, apply
and then repeat (and sometimes repeat, and repeat) to really get it!! So this last little monologue is probably just as much for me as for any of you, our readers. Thanks for patiently allowing me to ramble!
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