Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What do you do all day?

We get asked this question a lot! Well I thought I might tell you what I did yesterday for example. I usually am up around 6:30AM or so and immediately put the kettle on for coffee. We have a french press type, stainless steel and insulated. It's the only one I've seen that holds 4 large mugs worth. Our coffee comes from Columbia now and it's good, but we really prefer a dark French roast type. That's generally not available here.
We have two cups of coffee each. I sit outside in the cockpit looking at the sun rise and the sky change colors. This morning the full moon is still very visable as the sun comes up. That's the view heading north above left and the one towards the shore and east below right. Scott settles into the internet in the salon and checks out the news. We get the NY Times on line. The newspapers here in the ABCs are mostly in Dutch or Papiemento, the two official languages.
Breakfast is usually eggs or cereal. This morning I made eggs scrambled with onions, peppers, tomatoes and ham with toasted banana bread. I eat a bit less than usual because it's my Body Balance Class this morning. This is a mixture of tai chi, yoga and pilates - a tough hour, followed by five minutes of total relaxation (see the picture below left).
It's 7:30 AM and my turn to pick up the other women in the dinhy - Val on "Angel" and Ellen on "Patience". My friend Barbara, formerly of "Enkidu" and several Dutch women I met last summer here in Bonaire at a similar class, attend too. When we return Scott has finished several small projects. Our clock stopped working so he bought a cheap one and has exchanged movements with our formerly good one - yeh it works! He's also mended the teak step on our swim ladder. A productive morning and it's only 9:20AM.
A much needed rest follows. Both of us curl up in favorite spots and read. Scott's almost through with Richard Russo's "Bridge of Sighs" and I've just started Tracy Chevelier's "Virgin Blue". Most of our books come from trading with other cruisers or book exchange shelves in marinas and bars.
It's getting hot now. Bathing suits and snorkeling equipment are needed for a cool down swim. We snorkel/swim most every day for a half hour to hour, usually right from the boat. Today we get in the dinhy and speed (new outboard!) over to Klein Bonaire for a snorkel along the windward side and then a walk back along the beach when the current coming back proves exhausting.
We're starving when we get back. Happily there are lots of leftovers from last night.
This afternoon I'm doing my laundry and shopping trip. Zoe gave us a great folding cart which is invaluable for this. I hump the big load of dirty laundry and several shopping bags (they don't provide bags at the markets free) into the dinghy and take off (that's me above with the cart). It's about a half mile walk to the laundromat where I drop it off. It will be ready in two days, nicely folded. Then off to two supermarkets to do my shopping. They are small and vary wildly on what is available. We had no eggs on the island for over a week recently. This is a small island and most everything comes in by boat from Venezuela, the U.S. and Holland.

Another swim to cool down is necessary when I return. Scott puts everything away. Tonight we've been invited to dinner at the home of Randy and LuRay, "Pizzaz" (picture below). They are a famous couple among cruisers, the authors of the only cruising guide to Columbia, which they give out free. It was invaluable to us during our trip along that coast twice this last year.

They designed and supervised construction on their beautiful spacious home, high on a hill overlooking the island. The huge deck stretchs across the whole front with a sapphire infinity pool in the middle. Wonderful use of local materials, soaring multi shaped wooden ceiling design, and windows bringing in the views everywhere create a feeling of floating in space above the sea. Furniture and personal items shipped in from home make it homey and inviting. Watching the sunset there was a spectacle indeed and it was a lovely night.
They drove us back to the marina and we motored back to the boat in the dark, stars lighting the sky only as the moon had yet to appear. It's 9:30 PM and time for bed in cruiser land. And that's a fairly typical one day in the life of Heather and Scott on "Scott Free".

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