Trampolines and Palominos

We had made a deal with Hans that he would teach us how to sail our new boat and he honoured it above and beyond!

Our last job was to visit the lovely Heather at her blue and green sail makers loft in Fajardo, to collect our main sail with its new 3rd reef point, for extra safety in case of rough weather. With her guys working at the sewing machines we walked barefoot over the sail, laid out for us to check and it was then loaded into a wheelbarrow, down the stairs past the lady smoking a fat cigar…and into the car boot.

So it was marvellous to finally be living aboard on the water, and getting some home comforts in place.

The next week was all about new skills and practising routes to local islands such as the dinky Isla Palomina and larger Culebra, which we could retrace ourselves later. So much to learn…

How to catch a bouy (yes really), raising sails, reefing, tacking, getting the dinghy up and down, navigating, manoeuvering around marinas, starting the outboard (still working on the bicep strength for that one), managing the solar and wind power generators and remembering to turn the bloody gas solenoid off!!

Other than a couple of knots and overcoming fear of sea sickness, I didn’t seem to remember a lot from my practical course unfortunately, but it had built my confidence for what was to follow.

After a night of rum and limericks (dear reader, mine was the best) we dropped Hans at San Juan airport in late November and planned our first trip alone with many nervous butterflies.

The beauty of electronic navigation devices is they also record where you have been, so as we headed back to Isla Palomina we were confident we could fall back on the water track from last time. We “parked” on a bouy in solitude in the bay and determined to collapse and recoup for a few days before we did anything else. Phew!

Even nicer was our return to the lovely Baia Almodova, on Culebra Island.

Sheltered from the ocean by pointy green hills and a shallow rocky bar, we enjoyed peaceful days swimming off the back of the boat and watching the sun from the trampoline nets slung between the front of our twin hulls.

We also took our kayaks out for the first time (yes, I fell in) over shallow turquoise sand bars, round mangrove islands and to the tiny beach across the mouth of the bay for my first bit of beach combing.

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4 thoughts on “Trampolines and Palominos”

  1. Hi Sue
    Great to hear about your progress and see you get afloat. It must have been very weird indeed to visit PR and witness the hurricane damage. I have a number of mates who have asked themselves the same questions re the next steps in their lives..strangely..they have come up with the same answer!! One friend must have been “out” for 15 years!!
    We completed our awesome 3 month sabbatical in September, have a look at the Instagram site “the_frankie_doodle”, and went back to work in October, started to get my feet back under the table and…..I was made redundant in November!! A bit of a surprise to say the least but made much more palatable having seen that life exists outside the corporate schlep! Interesting dilemma but will be aiming to work close to home, self employed, in a co-working space with others to help me and me them!! Will keep you posted!!

    All the very best of luck
    Andy

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    1. Hi Andy, lovely to hear from you! I think 15 years “out” is taking the mickey somewhat lol. Glad you had a good time and I will find those pics thanks. Blimey, you never know what’s coming do you… 😐 Best of luck with the next bit! Sue

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  2. hi Sue and Larry,
    how great to hear the start of your new adventure,hope all is going well. Atworth seems rather dull in comparison,
    looking forward for the next instalment,
    love and best wishes Gill and John xx

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    1. Hi Gill, lovely to hear from you both. We do think of our happy Wiltshire days, especially when trying to make the best of the “cheese” you can buy in the Bahamas! Glad to hear from John that you have a cool ski trip planned. Love S & L xx

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