Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I can't recall every having fallen in the water when getting on or off of a
boat. Before yesterday.

I was stepping on to Cat Tales, Dawn and Laurie's boat and just plain
missed. Bam! On my side across the transom of the boat then down into the
water. It hurt. It really, really hurt. Hurt such that when Laurie said "are
you OK?" there was only one answer.

I thought I had broken a rib at first, and was really mad at myself for
putting this complication in the trip. But by this morning, when I could
breathe without much pain, I became convinced that it is just a bruise. I
was afraid that I would not be able to proceed.

Since I last wrote, I sailed to Montserrat and witness the devastation of
the Volcano eruption. It was good timing for me, as I have been reading Bill
Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything", particularly the chapter on
the earth's formation. We were able to view the houses and public buildings
covered in ash up to the second floor. We took some pumice and set it afloat
on the sea.

I saw Montserrat with Dawn and Laurie. Together we shared a tour with Sammy,
who was the first really pushy local I had encountered. He kept breaking
into our VHF conversations to see if we needed a guided tour before we
reached the island. You have to give him credit for the initiative, but when
we were on the tour you realized that ambition was his strong suit, quality
of service was not as good. The tour was worth the time and money anyway,
but the island is currently dominated by all of the construction as the
island rebuilds on the north end what was lost to the lava and ash.

Today I sailed to Antigua. I have to give my back a little time to
convalesce, and I wanted to do it on an island that has a little more to do
on shore. Once I feel better, I am looking forward to kiting Barbuda. I hope
that it is not too desolate for safe kiting.