There are a great number of elements to cruising which I think is fair to say that no one has any idea about until they actually cast off the dock lines and go. For many people, the lifestyle is full of positive things that they never expected. A select few on the other hand find that it’s not all umbrella drinks and sunny beaches like they thought it would be.
I think it’s reasonable to assume that Rebecca and I did not enter into our charter arrangement with unrealistic expectations. We had no rose colored glasses on and knew full well that it would be a lot of work. The same goes for the chartering end of things. But like cruising, there were a few surprises, the most notable of which is the real community that exists between the crews working on the various yachts. That was one thing that we had not expected!
I touched on this subject briefly back in August. Now that we are here though and have met a number of the crews working in the business, I can say with even more certainty that a pretty cool dynamic exists here.
As an example, with our next two charters taking place back to back with only 24 hours between them, a lot of work is going to have to take place in that short time to get the boat prepared. Our friends Steve and Deb on Alternate Latitude have been extremely helpful, sharing tips and info on suppliers and services. We have had a few other charter crews offer advice on this subject as well and we hope they know that we really appreciate the assistance!
Knowing that we’re going to have some young teens on our next two charters, Rebecca and I were eager to get an electric pump that will quickly inflate our new Airhead tube (which gets pulled behind the tender). Unfortunately, I was pretty sure the pump that we wanted was not available here on St. Thomas. On one of his shopping excursions, our new friend Josh who captains the charter Lagoon Love Boat took the valve fitting from our tube to the chandlery here to check for us. He confirmed what I had already determined, they did not sell what I wanted. I did know where to get it though: at a particular chandlery in Tortola. How were we going to get it though? Two options came to mind:
- Sail there and get it ourselves
- Have it shipped here
With the way the wind is blowing these days (hard!), option one didn’t sound like too much fun. Option two would have likely been pricey and complicated.
Taking a chance, I posted a call for help on Facebook and almost immediately Ruth from the yacht ReAction offered to pick it up for us. How cool is that? I should point out that although we have seen their yacht around, even before we were sailing on One Love, we have never met Ruth or her husband Terry. That didn’t stop them from helping though. Last night we zipped over to where their cat was temporarily docked and picked up our little care package. Sadly though, they weren’t on board so we still haven’t met them!