I perched on the bow watching Bermuda and the determination of my fate draw closer.
The blues shifted from dark purple and bright ocean navies into the array of turquoises that are inexplicably unique to the islands that possess them.
After nine epic days with the phenomenal crew aboard Grande Ourse (Big Bear),
I was all but ready to say goodbye.
But if Sophie, their new crew member, existed and had actually awaited our five-day late arrival,
I’d need to be jumping ship.
We rounded Saint George and made for the channel where we dropped the main and fired up the engine.
Even over its roar, my heart beat like a drum!
How many boats would there be?
Would any of them need crew?
Would they take on a poor gypsy and her mangled bear?
And, more importantly, would they be nice??
We were still in the channel when we were hit by a flood of vessels heading off across the Atlantic.
Forty-odd boats on the Atlantic Rally Crossing.
My heart sank!
I’d missed my ticket to the other side.
And to make matters worse, Sophie did exist.
And was still waiting to join the crew.
(Although she’s really lovely so I can’t bear a grudge.)
And, believe it or not, it gets even worse;
The cheapest beer in Saint George costs $8!!!
In a panic I started plastering posters anywhere I could find a spot.
I ran around befriending every person who moved in a mile radius,
“You looking for crew?”
“You know anyone looking for crew?”
“You know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who’s looking for crew?”
And then I remembered to breathe
And went on a sunset adventure.
It’s amazing what breathing, beauty and a little bit of a walk can do for your soul!
Bermuda sure is a beautiful place!
And when the scores of cruise shippers disappear, Saint George is perfection
(apart from the prices again)
Every local greets you with a smile and proudly welcomes you to their island.
There’s a plethora of friendly yachties.
But they only seem to come in two breeds:
French and Scandinavian!
By the end of my first night I’d successfully hitch hiked with a local,
Visited three boats,
Gate crashed a BBQ,
And secured two offers for rides to Europe.
I stopped panicking!
By the second day I’d decided I was in no hurry to leave perfection behind me, sourced a new boat to live aboard, and gladly leapt at my good [yet excessively crazy] friend Rupert’s offer to be picked up in two weeks.
But the offers continued.
And I’ve never been much good at saying no to people who really need help…
I met a Frenchman to tell him that I wasn’t interested.
Next thing I knew Guy (“Gee”) had out-talked me and persuaded me to help him get his boat to Morocco.
And it was no small task either!
His pristine ketch makes the likes of this gypsy soul very uncomfortable!
And his lack of English and my non-French-speakingness are going to make this an interesting crossing.
But his crew had to leave at short notice, and he was desperate…
Despite removing all my crewing adverts, people have started chasing me through the town square telling me I need to join their boat…
I suppose sometimes when you pray for things, God over-delivers!
(If any of you are looking for a bit of an adventure, head to Bermuda now and You’re guaranteed an Atlantic adventure!)
But my plans are set. I’m committed.
And at eight AM (Bermuda time) we’ll be clearing out and setting off back to the ocean,
the closest thing I have to a home.
We’ve prepped the boat.
Checked the rigging.
Our stores are full! (Thanks mostly to very generous donations and reductions by the local supermarkets)
Although the visit’s been brief,
I’ve had fantastic adventures by foot, thumb, and Phoopa’s Glass Bottom Boat
(Well worth the tour! – find him at the Tourist Centre)
And I’m very sad to leave, but I have a feeling I’ll be back soon!
First stop the Azores and then off to Morocco.
At which point it may really be time to find a job…
So you better look out Europe, this gypsy’s coming back!
See you soon!