For those who don’t know, I’m a science fiction geek. I probably always have been. I grew up with the old-school Star Trek and Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5, and any other space or future-based science fiction movies or TV I could find. I’ve always enjoyed the escapism it brings. It transports you to another world, to where your issues and problems can seem far away for a while. And hidden within all of the great science fiction is a mirror on reality, a narrative of where we’ve been, where we are, the struggles of today and how things are quite cyclical in nature recurring over and over throughout history.
I was recently reading one of my favorite science fiction books (The Expanse book #7, Persepolis Rising) in a bleary-eyed daze that comes with being mentally engrossed for 3 straight days in a literary work of art. In it, one of the characters (Amos) was being questioned by their ship captain and mission leader (Bobbie) as to their mental status, and they replied that they were actually having a problem. They stated it like this. Amos said, “I don’t want anything. I never want anything. It’s what keeps me sane, but lately I’ve fallen into the trap of wanting something. I want something good to happen for someone else, and no matter how hard I try I can’t make it happen for them.” While I know that this is out of any possible context for you, this was not out of character for this person in the book given the intimacy with which I’ve gotten to “know them” through the last seven books and almost 4000 pages of adventures. But it was for me another juicy dessert of literature on which to ponder our place in the universe.
I find myself here on our boat, floating at anchor in one of the most amazingly beautiful natural surroundings I’ve ever seen. We made our crossing to Grand Bahama two weeks ago then to Lucaya for a few days and then down to the Berrys. We were in the Berrys for nearly a week and then down to Rose Island just east of Nassau. On Saturday the 16th of February we motored down to the Exumas over glassy calm water. Marge and I spent a good deal of time on the bow of the boat looking down into the water at the starfish we were passing. At one point Marge said, “How deep is the water?” I said, “probably 15 feet”, but when we went and checked it was nearly 30 feet deep and we were seeing starfish some of which had to be the size of pizzas on the bottom as clear as day. In the Bahamas the water is very clear. You can see for hundreds of feet through the water, but in the Exumas it kind of takes that whole thing to another level. They say the water here is “GIN CLEAR”, and that is as good an analogy as any. What I now know is that any water that isn’t perfectly clear is so not because of the water but because of everything else in it. Clean water and even salt water are perfectly clear. It is very interesting to see the boat floating on water that is as clear as the air above it.
In our first night in the Exumas we stayed at Allen’s Cay (always pronounced ‘key’). We went ashore to Leaf Cay in the dinghy to see the iguanas that live there. Tourist boats bring people out to the island to feed the iguanas fruit on kebab skewers and take pictures. It was very fun to see. We met some other boaters and they shared their Rum Punch, always a great way to make friends! Then we chased a nurse shark we found in the sandy shallows around for a couple minutes and back to the boat. I dove in and snorkeled around a coral patch that had a lot of fish in it and found a lobster living under one of the rocks. I tried to grab him, but he was feisty and able to retreat where I couldn’t reach him. I’m sure it was equally exciting for both of us! Now that we’re here in the Exumas, our daily travels will be of much shorter length as we make our way down the chain of islands towards Great Exuma and Georgetown. We are spending our days swimming, snorkeling, walking on beaches, hiking, reading and relaxing.
Today I woke up when I was ready to, put on the same clothes I wore yesterday, had a coffee with Marge and started reading a new book. Marge wrote up some of her thoughts for yesterday’s blog post. We spent about an hour cleaning a part of the boat that hadn’t been cleaned in a while. We talked and made plans for where to go anchor next after here and maybe next after that. I had a can of soup for lunch and Marge had some crackers and cheese. We took the dinghy to the beach and walked around and explored. I went snorkeling along the rocky shore and saw fish and corals and conchs and shells and a million squishy looking aquatic plants and animals. I took videos of them so we could look at them together and share our experiences. We walked on another beach, saw mangroves and sand and shells and rocks. We talked to some other boaters and learned about where they were from and where they were headed. Back at the boat we looked at the videos and tried to identify the fish I saw. We had hot-dog roll-ups and potato chips for dinner and spent time reading after, watching the sunset and looking at the weather.
I know that I have been very internal for the last eight months, sharing mostly only with Marge and keeping my thoughts to myself. I am happy mostly. I’m happy about the things I can control, and unhappy about some of the larger things (government, climate, etc.). I have been learning Spanish. I think I know enough to order a taco at Taco Bell and ask where the bathroom is, but maybe a bit more. I have read 15-20 books since July and enjoyed them all. And we’ve traveled over 3000 miles by boat and seen some amazing things, some ugly things and some tragic things. And I am sharing my experiences. Because those are the things that are making me happy these days.
Today I had a day where I had enough and it was great. I had everything I needed, and only a little that I wanted (a good cell signal). More and more I find myself thinking like Amos did, that I don’t ever want anything. Not needing things is a good position to be in, I know that I am lucky even though I’ve worked hard to get here.
And now I hope that I have been able to give you all a bit of escapism for a few minutes too. Keep watching for Marge’s Travel Log updates for the most recent pictures and daily stories. Marge is really the one doing the heavy lifting of keeping our journey logged and uploaded for all to witness. I’m just enjoying the view.
And for a tiny look at what we’ve been up to….
David and Marge Back
s/v Wandering Toes and Verne!
9 thoughts on “Exumas”
Can’t say enough. Beautifully done. And it’s not done. Welcome to the beginnings of all your wonderful journeys.
Wish we were there ❤
Sounds Blissful! I have been waiting for a post. Did you crack the champs yet? I just landed back home today, spent 5 day’s with Scott in Albuquerque,NM. The highlight was the Bob Seger concert, it was absolutely incredible! The best part is we had the best seats in the house. Happy to hear you two finally made to paradise. Give my best to Marge and look forward to the next post!
Thanks for doing this new blog. It’s so fun to see your pic’s and hear your stories. So neat…It is so beautiful and what a great adventure. We are soooo glad for you both. Marge I love your daily blogs and pic’s to. This is truly the dream of a lifetime. Be safe and have fun.
Living your dream! So happy for you two. Thanks for sharing. Sending hugs.
Sooooo great to catch up with you guys!! Just love the pics and your filling us all in on your adventure. As you know I’ve been on this journey with you sence the start, checking in daily to see where I am, and having a FABULOUS time.
Sending hugs n snorts – JR
You can believe I am living your adventures vicariously. Loved the photos on Marge’s Travel Log and David’s thoughts on Blog. Sail On!
This so amazing! I look forward to your writings and the wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. It looks glorious.
What a nice way to spend my lunch hour!! Thanks guys, escapism it was 🙂