The sun was showing her fatigue and as she slipped down behind the trees she left a moiré pattern on the water. All around the bay lights were flicking on like fireflies in a forest. The water lapped gently against the hull as the tide pushed in and I could see tiny pearls of dew collecting on the dinghy and the deck.
It was time to go in.
We lay down in the salon, we didn’t want to miss the moon.
We pottered over to Pender Island for the night, a boat trip that was well over due. LilyB had been tugging on her lines since the beginning of summer, eager to get back out on the ocean, and so were we.
After and hour or so of motoring, dodging crab traps and floating logs, we turned into Bedwell Harbour and dropped anchor. I wanted to sit in the last rays of afternoon sun and read, while Robb wanted to do “boy-things” like get the dinghy in the water and test the motor.
I’m not a soccer fan, but I get it — unlike American Football — and I enjoyed watching some of the action on TV. Thank goodness F.I.F.A banned those dreadful vuvuzelas during the World Cup in Brazil.
Ah, Brazil, where the nuts come from andwhere we made landfall 5 years ago after crossing the mad Atlantic. We sailed to Salvador da Bahia, joined the carnival for a few days, filled up with diesel and then sailed across the Bahia to Morro de Sao Paulo. We anchored in the lee of the tiny island and took shelter for a few days before we started our journey north. Our first night back at sea was slow and tedious as we pushed hard against a fierce current hardly making any headway. It was like trying to score against a great line of defenders. We tacked east and west and back again, all night, only to find ourselves right back on the centre mark. 3 days later, we saw a gap and headed the boat into Recife. Our next fixture was Fortelza and a marina just around the corner of the big bulge of South America!
It was our last stop before tackling the Caribbean.
We cast off those lines and left Brazil standing still in our wake laden down with diesel. 240 litres In the big tank, 60 litres in the day tank and 80 litres in cans on the deck. Diesel and wind, nothing could stop us. We were coached to stay well clear of the Amazon Delta and to head due north. We did and 11 days later we reached Trinidad.
What about the doldrums? I hear you saying.
Doldrums? What doldrums? We never found the doldrums.
We crossed the imaginary line with 35 knots of wind in the sails and never used one drop of all that diesel. Not a single drop.
Gee, but it’s great to be back home . . . and it really feels like summer this year. I’ve just kicked off my flip flops and padded across the kitchen floor in dusty feet and yanked open the fridge.
It’s summer and it feels so good.
It tastes like summer too — in the evenings — when we sit out on the deck eating cold white peaches wrapped in proscuitto, and it smells like summer when the land sucks up the cool sea air and spritzes us with a cool cucumber mist. I hide behind the window boxes of lavender that trim the deck rails and watch a pair of quail scratch through the grass.
She scuttles ahead dipping her head under every bush and peck-pecks away at the ground. He is on watch and flicks his head around check-checking as she feeds. The plume on top of his head makes it look like he’s wearing a hat! I point this out. Then he scurries off as if he is late for the Royal Wedding and assumes a new position. Robb throws a handful of sunflower seeds out onto the grass. To keep the customer’s satisfied.
We made a quick stop before going to the airport … Hooters!
In South Africa the thing in the middle of the steering wheel that makes a loud warning noise when pressed is called … a hooter. Rhinos have horns (a lot of them don’t, but that’s another story) and owls hoot. The hood is the bonnet. The trunk is the boot. And the geyser — a term I have always used and which caused much confusion during a conversation I had with a plumber — is a hot water cylinder.
I suppose a parliament of owls debating under a full moon can quite easily be mistaken for a “bunch of hooters”, as the name suggests, but it was here that I learnt that hooters are American slang for … breasts!