Well it’s been well over a year now we have been living on our 43’ cutter rigged sloop, Last Tango. She’s a warhorse, and I thank her every day for keeping us safe and sound, just like I did my multitude of Volvos that kept me safe on the freeways in Texas for many years.
Sometimes we are “on the move”. We get tired of one spot and move up and down the island chain checking out new anchorages, going to their markets and grocery stores and visiting the locals in the occasional restaurant or bar. We also spend a lot of time in chandleries looking for boat parts we can use. We hit the other stores as well, but don’t typically buy touristy things unless they would enhance the boat or it’s a “I gotta have that” moment, which is not often.
Sometimes we stay in one spot for a couple months at a time. In Georgetown, we had a previously arranged cruise to the Bahamas!, after which I went home to Texas for a visit. In Grenada, it was hurricane season so we stayed there with our buddies, and I also used the opportunity to fly to Texas, plus I had my BFF from college come and visit us in Grenada. In Martinique, we had a series of adventures we had to sort out, but we are now whole again and heading north.
I typically cook everyday on the boat, both lunch and dinner and then do the dishes by hand. Laundry is either done in a bucket with a plunger, detergent, and clothespins or better yet, I can typically drop it off with the local laundry person and pick it up later, washed, dried and folded. Some things you want to do yourself, but for the most part, I’m all over the laundry service. Either way, you have to pay to use the machines, and for a little extra, they will do it for you.
The boat gets dirty often, probably because we don’t run the A/C and keep the hatches open instead, so dust, dog hair, rain, mildew and dust get into the boat. I could dust, vacuum, and wipe down the mildew every day and it might look sparkly for an hour or so, it’s an uphill battle. I try to just focus on an area at a time, but sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to do that, with the heat and humidity. Lately it’s been cooler and rainy, so it’s getting a bit easier.
We’ve put some miles on Last Tango. Florida to Bimini, down the Exumas, through the Turks and Caicos, DR, PR, all the way down to Trinidad. Now we are working our way north again, taking our time, as the hard part of getting here in the first place is essentially over.
We told ourselves up front, “Let’s give it a year minimum before we made any decisions about abandoning ship.” It’s been over a year and we both agree that we are not ready to return to the life of four walls. We can’t do this forever, but as long as we can make it work and are still enjoying it, we will.