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Lee and I are weighing anchor and heading out to sea one more time together in the Caribbean. I am certainly ready for our time in the tropics to be over. I think Lee is too, although we will both miss swimming off the boat in turquoise water, buying bags full of mangoes and papayas at the market, and standing night watches in minimal clothing. We are not hot weather people and our boat is better suited for a different climate. I, for one, feel like I’m doing the equivalent of smoking cigarettes after being diagnosed with lung cancer by spending all this time in the equatorial sun post-skin cancer.

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Okay, I don’t want to start a rant. Montego bay is a bit on the boring side, especially now that we’ve been in Jamaica for a while. We can only get places by cab. The yacht club’s trusty driver, Brenton, took us to just the right shops to get a replacement hydraulic hose for our vang. The fittings aren’t stainless but Lee can replace those later.

We also went out to lunch on the tourist strip (called the Hip Strip I think). Lee tried the national dish – ackee and salt cod, my attempt at which had totally flopped. It was tasty – served with green bananas, plantains, and some kind of fried dough ball. Afterwards the cab took us to Mega Mart, where we loaded up on supplies. There are a surprising amount of Jamaican products around: Jamaican coconut water, coffee, jerk sauce, oatmeal, tea, cold medicine, and even a pillow (Lee was in need of a replacement for his damp, moldy pillow I threw out a while back).

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Last night and today we mostly hung around the yacht club, ferrying water and fuel out to the boat and trying to track down customs and immigration so we can check out of the country. We made a final run to the store for ice and to check for bananas, which they didn’t have! Anyone who has eaten breakfast with me before knows how much I love my bananas. How ironic for me to end up in Jamaica during a banana shortage! Mangoes and papayas will have to do.

I am clearly nursing a full-blown head cold at this point. At first I thought it was a side effect of the scope patch but even after removing it I am totally stuffed up and woozy. Being sick in an oppressively hot environment isn’t much fun.

We are leaving tonight for Grand Cayman. I have my flight out from there booked so all we have to do is get there by Saturday. It should be a 2 night, 1 day sail, so we should get to Grand Cayman on Thursday morning.

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It feels strange for my role in this journey to be coming to a close. Curacao seems both far away and vividly recent. Covering miles and miles between island nations by sea certainly makes the oceans seem vast and time slow. I still cant believe that we can spend days at sea and arrive at some place hundreds of miles from our starting point. It feels too much like time travel, or time suspension while we move across the sea.

I’m going to savor this last sail. Lee may be continuing north with other crew, Pirat will certainly go home to New England, but Grand Cayman is where I get off. I may be done with the heat but I don’t know if I’m ready to return to reality.

Posted April 16, 2013 by Rachel in Uncategorized

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