Care to go shopping with her?

Apologies: this blog REALLY needs pictures but sometimes one is too caught up in the activity to make selfies.

Friday was a major storm day. Winds at 30+ gusting to 50…MPH, not Kms/hr. 50 to 80 kms/hr. Our wind turbine was screaming. When the winds exceed 30, the unit has a small centrifugal brake in it that slows the revolutions but it does so by applying gradual friction and that results in what sounds like a dog barking. I awoke to that. Sheesh!

“It’s a howlin’..think the water taxi will run today?”

“Yeah. Forty feet of twin dieseled heavy aluminum cuts through most anything but they won’t go around the Cape. No one will go around the Cape today. They’ll go with the storm, head north and creep back down the back channels. Why?”

“J and I are going up to get the food the taxi is bringing. We are going to help distribute it and then come home. “

I was looking at the whitecaps and feeling the house shake. “It is mayhem out there but, if you go with it, you’ll be fine. Coming back will be a slog. I recommend discretion rather than a shower.”

“Can’t. Jud is coming down from up northways in her little boat….she’s gotta pound into it. And you know her area…..she gets water spouts up there! We should go just to make sure she gets down safely. Still, we may be a bit longer. If it gets crazy, we’ll stay up there somewhere til it calms down.”

They were gone almost three hours. The pick-up point is just two miles away. Getting to the grocery meet was relatively easy but coming back was insane. The waves were at least five feet and, for a 17′ boat, that is a challenge. And they were stacked up so that the space between them was short. Makes the boat leap up and down. One second they are looking down a wave and the next they are thinking they may be blown over backwards. And they are getting soaked.

“We were just off the point when a major gust hit. HOLLEEEEEEEE!!!! The gust was enough to make me stop the boat. I could not see for the spindrift. We were face-washed by waves coming over the bow and we have a good windshield! J was just trying to look out for stray logs so that we didn’t hit one and could barely open her eyes! We were both soaked to the bone. I left the bulk of the groceries at her place. Too much to carry. We can get ’em tomorrow.”

Good boat. Good company. Short distance (two miles). Took three hours. At least one of them was of hard going. Got soaked. She just went to the store for some milk, bread and a few veggies. Grocery shopping is sometimes a bit different out here.

“Wow! Quite the adventure, eh?”

“Nah. Just a little wind and water. We’ve had worse. Piece o’ cake!”

10 thoughts on “Care to go shopping with her?

    • That would have to be arranged in advance and awkward. We could do it but it would also be TOOOOO expensive. Station to station is a reasonable cost and already incorporated into their schedule. Jud came down from her northern island she has a 14′ boat with about 8″ of freeboard. And she pounded into it…even tho she had it following when she went home. Sal had it following getting there and had a hard slog coming back.


  1. It would be safer probably if you had a bigger boat! Don’t you ever worry when Sal is out in that kind of storm in a small boat? And I guess you can’t go overland with your 4×4 to pick up the goods? In any case, I am glad Sal is safe, huge respect, you have a tough lady!


    • We live on a boat access-only property. The nearest road is a mile away and heads off in the wrong direction. The nearest real road (where two cars could pass) is still a converted logging road and takes on from the south of the island, up the middle to about two thirds up ending at our community dock.
      Do I worry about ol’ Sal? I used to worry a lot more but now we are well into forty years on the water employing small dinghies to large yachts. Plus, Sal has always been as close to fearless as anyone I know. She has all the gear save for a survival suit but she is rarely more than 100 feet from shore, knows her boat and knows the seas. Boating is, for us, as ‘normal’ as driving a car.


  2. ‘’Piece of cake” or not that damn water is cold! What about going into the water? Overboard? Survival gear? Eight inches of freeboard! Hypothermia ain’t no fun.


    • The 8″ freeboard description was used to describe J’s boat. Sal was in Pumpkin and P is a normal runabout with 12″ to 16″ of freeboard. Sal was better equipped than J this time.


      • Wet weather gear, layered over warm clothes (all natural fibers), portable, floating VHF radio. That ‘layered’ thing is huge. Portable and floating ‘walkie-talkie’. Life vest. Small boat operator’s requirements (whistles, flares, heaving line, etc). Flashlights, floats, floating cushions.


    • Well, Sal is brave but fearless is a better word. She chased off two huge Rottweilers who were attacking her dog one time and scared them off after kicking them and yelling. Each dog weighed the same as Sal.
      But, but, but…..sometimes lack of fear is also really just a short moment of NOT thinking. We have been in some crazy places due to that naturally occurring phenomena. El Salvador comes to mind. “I wanna go see it! C’mon!”
      “But, it is full of crazies and revolutionaries who don’t like Gringos witnessing their drug trades!”
      “We’re going!”
      Two weeks later she said: “Unh, ya know, we do not have to stay. I mean, we came, we saw and we have not been killed. That’s good. Maybe now is the time to get to the relative safety of Guatemala.”
      “Awww…too bad, I was just getting a good deal from Diego on some AR-15’s. You sure you want to give all this up?”
      “We’re leaving!”


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