In the Ground, Off the Island   3 comments

Firstly, here is a long overdue photo album of pictures from Puerto Rico to St. Kitts.

All the way to St. Kitts


It felt weird to put Pirat in a hole on an island and then leave. I can either think of the boat as buried or as hibernating in a strange nest. I’ll try to stick with hibernating.


Pirat on her nest.

Lee and I stripped as much as we could off Pirat’s deck. Sails, lines, hardware, deck bags, and anything else that could be easily removed came off. Meanwhile, an explosion of stuff turned the inside of the boat into a disaster zone. Everything had to come out of wherever it was so we could stow it properly, pack it up, or throw it out. I took many, many bags to the dumpster. It’s amazing how much useless stuff we’ve been carrying around on the boat for a year! How was I supposed to know I wouldn’t need all my climbing/backpacking gear?

Heat and bugs made working in or on the boat extremely uncomfortable. The deck burned our feet. We dripped sweat all over the inside of the boat. At one point Lee was trying to wrestle the wind generator (without it’s pole) through the head and into the aft cabin. It was quite a puzzle getting that thing through the doorways and Lee was smearing gobs of sweat all over the doors while he tried to open and close them in the right configuration. The wind generator never made it into the aft cabin.

I said goodbye to my little galley and all my cooking supplies. A lot of staple foods that I hope will withstand long-term storage in a tropical climate stayed on the boat. I brought a few things that I just couldn’t part with (Poachpods, giant Jack Skellington mug, favorite spoons…I know. I’m weird.). When Lee and I had finally sorted through the chaos down below I went on a cleaning rampage with lots of rags and a spray bottle of eco-friendly cleanser. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s a dirty stainless stovetop and sink!


Nothing left on deck!

Throughout the clean-up process, we staged the stuff we planned to pack in our checked luggage back at our hotel room. On our last night there, we tried to cram it all into 2 checked bags and 2 carry-ons each. Ha! That was comical. Quit a bit went back on the boat. Hopefully that unopened bag of oatmeal I left behind doesn’t turn into a huge bug/mildew mess.

Our dehumidifier is pretty much useless, as it turns out. The power on St. Kitts isn’t reliable enough for an appliance like that to safely run unsupervised in a boat. We ran it a bit while packing and then left it onboard but unplugged.

Pirat was battened down and ready to hibernate by late Saturday morning. Lee and I took our lunch up Brimstone Hill to the fortress and did some exploring in the hot sun. The fortress was really spectacular and we could look down on our boat in the yard below.

Then it was finally time to go to the airport and leave St. Kitts behind! Our only hiccup along the way was the unpleasant customs officer in the airport but we didn’t have the time or energy to argue with him over the color of our pens or whether the pen he gave us contained any ink. We stumbled onto a plane, sweaty and exhausted, and sat for 4 hours till we landed in Atlanta. That airport presented another customs circus. We spent our entire layover juggling baggage and tromping from terminal to terminal.

The next flight lasted another 4 hours and brought us to Los Angeles in the middle of the night. After an emotional scene on my part when I found out I couldn’t get into the Alaska terminal until morning, we ended up sleeping in the international terminal. The 6 hour layover went relatively quickly. Then I was off to Seattle and Lee boarded a plane to San Francisco.

What a trip, and what a week we’ve both had since then! Lee started work at Meka Robotics almost as soon as he got to the bay area. He mostly stayed with my Dad and Peggy in Napa but spent a few nights in SF with Doug. Meanwhile, I tried to adjust to the time change and the long, long days in Seattle with my mom. I got a good dose of girl time and packed up my things to bring to California. My aunt Kate also came to visit and we immersed ourselves in big city culture with movies and plays.

This Monday evening my mom and I started our drive south with my car full of stuff. We stopped in Klamath falls to see my aunt, uncle, cousin, and Doc! Doc (my favorite dog) is as cute and playful as ever. He is going to keep my cousin company on her move to Seattle. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see Doc, my family, and Oregon. I’m so glad Lee and I will be living relatively close by!

Yesterday I dropped my mom off at Sacramento airport and drove the last hour to Napa by myself. Lee didn’t get home till after 9pm. I’m very happy to be reunited with my husband : )

Now begins the great apartment search! This house is very welcoming but we can’t live with my dad and Peggy forever and Lee can’t commute into the city from here without losing most of his sanity.

These are busy and exciting times but I promise one more Pirat post before the blog, too goes into a state of semi-hibernation.

Posted June 22, 2011 by Rachel in Uncategorized

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