Our boating life has changed notably the past few weeks, so here are some of our observations about how life has changed since the islands and the signs that we may have gone north too quickly.
Signs you are no longer cruising in the Islands:
You see a Ferrari and Porsche in the same day while wandering around in port.
You can access cellular data 10 miles from land.
While sailing you hear Securite Calls being broadcast by US Warships doing live fire exercises asking boaters to keep a safe distance. What the heck is a safe distance anyway? It would be a pathetic excuse for a warship if it can’t fire beyond VHF transmitting range.
Instead of a random wooden post in the water to mark a harbour entrance (with no indication which side is the safe side to pass) you have a well defined channel with red and green buoys and they are even lit for night!
You can decide what meat and vegetables you want before you go to the grocery store.
Big shipping ports have buoys with AIS transmitters to let you know if they are in position. Very cool! I didn’t remember noticing them on the way south.
You bought fresh milk instead of the UHT shelf stable tetra pack milk.
You spray every square inch of your boat with water while washing it a dock because the water is free, and then do it again.
And a few signs that may indicate you went North too quickly:
You are the only boat on the dock on a long weekend in a destination town and first paying customer for the season.
Your refrigerator evaporator coil defrosts itself because it seldom needs to cycle on to maintain temperature.
You are glad you have a diesel furnace and don’t understand why anyone would install an air conditioner.
You are in the same state as the boat you met in the Virgin Islands that is heading for the north west passage this summer.
Pilot house sailboats that never before caught your eye start looking awfully attractive.
You start to wonder if you should have a second source of heat to have redundancy.
Your dog that used to swim in ice cold water, wades in, starts to lay down and hurries out the second the water hits his belly.
You know where every fleece garment, toque, mitts, pair of wool socks and the heavy foulies are stored and couldn’t care less where your swimsuit is hiding.