Sailing Toward Home

The captain gave us all the instructions ahead of time: what we were to do in preparation and how we were to behave Really, he just wanted us to stay out of the way of the crew. I’ve personally gotten better at that as the week has progressed.

But first, there was time for one more dive this morning, at Ray’s Reef. It was another shallow dive with easy pace and plenty of air to spare.

It wasn’t the most exciting dive (none really have been), but on the way to the site I saw many more of these mermaid’s wineglass algae (it’s the little one on the left – they look like martini glasses). They’re all over here. Until recently, I didn’t know they were single-celled organisms. In fact, they’re one of the world’s larger unicellular organisms, and I think that’s pretty cool.

Along the way I saw more hermit crabs. And this damselfish hanging about.

And I was a little bit proud to have I found this arrow crab hiding under a rock ledge. I love his vibrant blue claws.

And this barracuda tolerated me like none ever has, just holding his ground and watching warily as I slowly crept closer and closer.

With that, the diving was done and we hoisted the jib and were on our way for one last 5-hour sail, our wet gear hanging on the railing to dry, as it has all week long.

We had another meal from the tiny below-decks galley, served buffet-style in the main cabin downstairs. Today, we spent a good deal of energy struggling not to spill it amidst the heaving influence of the wave and winds.

“Butterblogger” was once focused on food, so I guess this is that moment for this trip. Meals this week have generally included a protein, a starch (often rice), a vegetable, and a salad. There is only enough room for a few of us to eat belowdecks, so most of us eat in the open air, and often gusty wind, above. I don’t personally like salad, so didn’t have the ritual experience of watching leaves of lettuce getting blown off of my plate, although I’ve personally seen more than a few grains of rice go airborne. People seem to deal with the salad issue by ensuring it is more than adequately dressed, reinforcing my personal biases.

Today I tragically lost a cookie when a wave heaved at the boat and I lost my footing.

The food this week has overall been decent. I’ve read some review from divers who have described it amazing, but I’m perhaps more spoiled, or perhaps just direct. But I honestly think “decent” is a fair word, and that’s OK. Yari, the cook, has done great things with a single stove and tiny kitchen, and everything has been the quality I would expect or hope for. I don’t come on dive trips for the food, so I was happy with what I ate.

As we approached the port in Nassau, the sail was reefed and our gear all came off of the railing to optimize the captain’s lines of sight, leaving only a string of heavy spring clamps that serve as clothespins here.

We came about near the dock and the captain and crew expertly guided us into our berth. Then the suitcases we had abandoned 5 days ago were returned to us and we began to pack our gear for the journey home.

We all had COVID tests shortly after arrival. A negative test is required to get on the plane for a flight back home, so they brought a nurse to the marina to collect swabs from us. The captain said they’ve never had a positive, and I’m not surprised. The nurse, after collecting the swab, simply placed it back in the packaging without any transport medium; I feel like the test might be rigged

Finally, after cleaning up with proper showers, we headed into the lonely, deserted, streets of Nassau to enjoy some beer. As the evening grew long and we grew tired, we returned to the boat for our last night aboard.

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