Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Sad Part of Cruising: Saying Goodbye

An important thing about the cruising life - important enough to keep some people from choosing this life - is that you leave good friends and caring family members behind. In many cases they are thousands of miles removed from you and live – sometimes quite literally – on the other side of the world. Luckily, the internet keeps communications and updates available, although it is not the same as being face to face with the people you love.

A positive part about the cruising life is that you meet people along the way. Loads of them. With at least one thing in common: a passion for the sea or for a life on the water. Still, it is pretty hard to find like-minded spirits, sailors and travelers, who you can laugh and cry with, share stories and experiences with, have fun and a cocktail with, and exercise and explore with. When these matches happen and you actually get to hang out for months – or years – together, bliss and awesome times result. The need for social contact is fulfilled and not just with the random cruiser. The downside of all this happiness is the inevitable moment to say goodbye. While friends “at home” will always be there, the cruising alternates go their own way (or you do), in different directions. Who knows when and where or - even worse – whether you will ever see them again?

About one year ago, Mark and I had our last drink with Sim and Rosie on SV Alianna, after being great friends and around each other for a couple of years. That happened in Grenada, when we decided to head west for new horizons and adventures. Fortunately, we have been in email contact frequently and we still share our stories and rants, but not in so much detail and without the facial expressions. We wish they would still be with us, though. They decided to stay in the Eastern Caribbean, which they love and cherish. And, they’ve been in our neck of the woods before. I hope that we can keep our friendship going, as we further the distance between us.

Just before leaving the San Blas, Mark and I had a last dinner with Mark and Michele on SV Reach, good friends whom we spent a few months with this year. She and I did yoga almost every morning and we went snorkeling when the weather and desire permitted. My Mark sometimes joined her Mark to go fishing and he learned a lot from him. We didn’t go hungry thanks to his fish supply! Many evenings were spent in each other’s company with good food, drinks, stories and laughs.  They were the first to learn about our big decision to transit the Panama Canal and to go sailing in the Pacific Ocean. With all our new plans, preparations, research and tasks, the moment to part ways came quicker than anticipated. But, we are not on “the other side” yet and Mark and I both hope to make one more trip to the beautiful San Blas islands towards the end of this year. Hopefully Michele still has some champagne left! :-)

Saying goodbye to Michele (and Mark) with a glass of champagne. The color coordinating was not planned!

Forward bend at our daily yoga spot on BBQ island in the Holandes Cays

A beautiful pigeon by Michele

It has already been a year: saying goodbye to Rosie and Sim in Grenada

No comments: