Saturday, August 29, 2015

life's better on a boat

Andrew grew up sailing with his parents on a boat they kept in northern New Mexico. But then the rain stopped falling and ten years later, there wasn't much sailing to be done out here in the desert, so Andrew's parents joined a few clubs that allow you to show up and take a boat from any of their harbors around the world.

In the past year, we did a few sailing trips, the first being to San Diego Bay. Just the bay? you say. Yup, just the bay. There is no more exciting place to sail than San Diego Bay. You're out there on the water with sailboats, motorboats, aircraft carriers, battleships, submarines, pirate ships--you name it, they got it.

Andrew inspecting the boat.

The marina.

Andrew's mom checking the rigging.

Maggie taking the wheel in the wind.

Another great thing about San Diego Bay is cellphone service.

Sea lions just chillin.

We stayed on the boat in the Marina, so every night we'd look for a micro-brew / restaurant to go to. The second night we ended up in Hillcrest and found the best one ever. If you take a good look at the names of their beers and realize that Hillcrest is known as the gay neighborhood, you'll get all the puns--and they were great beers to boot.

A little later in the year, we went on a week long sailing trip the the British Virgin Islands (BVIs).  On our way we had a one night layover in Puerto Rico that ended coinciding with the arrival of a hurricane that shut down the whole city and caused our flight to be delayed an extra day. We weathered the storm in a hotel a few blocks off the beach (probably not the best idea). It hit us while we slept, but with no severe consequences.

Eventually we made it to the BVIs, just a day late. We flew into Tortola and picked up the boat there. We also stocked up on the food and most importantly, the beer. You never feel more like an alcoholic then when you are adding up how much beer you need for five people for a week on vacation. And it was the first time we had been on a catamaran, and we loved the extra space. Catamarans are boats with two hulls attached by a cabin area, instead of the typical single hull boats where the only cabin space is in the one hull. Andrew's parents had one hull, and we got the other to share with Andrew's brother.

The BVIs are one of the best places to sail because all of the island are within eyesight. You feel a lot like a pirate as you make your way between islands during the days and spend the nights taking the dingy to shore to have drinks and eat dinner. As we always do when we sail, even in San Diego, we slept on the boat. It's just not the full boat experience unless you sleep on it.

From Tortola we sailed to Copper Island and celebrated our wedding anniversary there, with a friendly (at least that's how I remembered him) sea turtle swimming around our boat. The next two nights took us to Virgin Gorda and then Jost Van Dyke, with a quick stop Sandy Cay (maybe the most photographed island ever--trust me, you've seen it in commercials). The next night was spent in Frenchman's Cay, where a barracuda spend the whole night under our boat, unnerving Andrew. The final night we found a buoy on Treasure Island, the island believed to have actually been the one written about in the book with the same name.

Copper Island

Frenchman's Cay looking back out at our boat.

Andrew and his Mom having a five o'clock beer.

Andrew and his Mom looking for a buoy for the evening.

Barracuda friend from Frenchman's Cay

Andrew and Maggie on their anniversary in Copper Island, sunburned after a day on the water.

Our boat at Treasure Island.

Snorkeling was more hazardous than usual with a lot of jellyfish about.