Saturday, March 1, 2008

And then there were four

Tomorrow morning we plan to leave Antigua after a wonderful visit. We’ve spent the past two weeks snorkeling day and night (night snorkeling, by the way, is amazing, albeit cold), taking long walks on the beach, hiking up to stunning vistas and eating some really, really good meals, including lots of lobster (which it turns out I'm not allergic to since the ones down here are actually a type of crayfish...yet another reason to love the Caribbean). Though Antigua itself is great, it turns out that one of the biggest reasons the last two weeks have been so much fun is that Cielo has two new crew members on board. Marina and Marcelo are friends that we met in St. Martin who ended up needing a new boat to crew on after their original arrangement turned out to be a bit of a nightmare.

When we heard about their predicament we were still in Guadeloupe, but e-mailed them that we could meet them in Antigua so they could stay with us for a week or two while trying to find a more permanent arrangement. In the past, both Kevin and I have made impulsively generous offers that we end up regretting later, so we decided in this case to make a very time-bound offer that we wouldn't end up regretting down the line. With our short-term exit strategy in place, we invited Marina and Marcelo to become Cielo's newest crew members. Within a few days, it became apparent that if Kevin and I made a mistake in our decision to invite Marina and Marcelo aboard, it was in that we didn't invite them to stay longer. Marina is Swedish, but has lived all over the world through her work as a nutritionist with the UN's World Food Program. Her consideration for others is matched only by her skill in the kitchen, (hence all the good meals of late). Marcelo is Brazilian, quite simply hilarious and has a great way with people. Both of them also love to sail and are always anxious to help with anything that needs to be done on the boat.

So, the bottom line here is that these guys are pretty great. But perhaps more interestingly, Kevin and I are somehow greater for having them on-board. Part of it of course is that we're mindful of being considerate to our new guests hence we’re less cranky (me) and less frustrate-able (Kevin) than we might otherwise be. There's more to it though. For instance, Marina bakes bread and practices yoga....two things I've thought about attempting since moving aboard, but had never quite found the time or energy to attempt. Now I have the inspiration and a willing teacher. Marcelo has non-stop energy and is an always up for an adventure, which means Kevin has a partner in crime and a good reason to stop working on the boat (just for a minute) and to start having more fun. I know I've also come to appreciate Kevin more for his effectiveness as a teacher of all things sailing. It’s true that he's taught me the vast majority of what I know about sailing, but I think we all know how difficult (read: impossible) it can be to appreciate being taught by your significant other. However, as Kevin shows Marina, who's new to sailing, how to do things on Cielo, I've been totally impressed by just how patient and knowledgeable a teacher he really is.

On Monday, Cielo and her crew of four will set sail for The Saints, a small group of islands off of Guadeloupe. While there, we plan to buy wet suits so we can stay warm during night snorkels and a spear gun, so we can catch our own lobsters wherever it’s legal to do so, two ideas that we got from Marina and Marcelo. And we’ll be able to buy these items in a French-speaking country, because wouldn’t you know, both Marcelo and Marina speak French. Did I mention it’s nice to have them aboard?


Blogger kyle said...

wow... it sounds like the two new crew members are amazing! I am so proud of you guys and I found myself wanting to meet your new friends! If they have won a good place in your heart I'm sure they would in mine as well!

I'm sure it's also good just having other people around instead of just you two.

Just from reading... I can see the transformation that is taking place in you guys and I love it!

March 3, 2008 at 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Marinas sister and very happy indeed that she has found such great company and is appreciated for the considerate and lovely person she is! Going for Marcelo as well of course, (even if I don't know him as well as I do my younger sister). Best regards, Teresa (

March 6, 2008 at 9:01 AM  

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