Farewell, Arrivederci, Au Revoir, Farvel, Ciao, Hedja, Adios

“Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before we can meet again and meeting again, after moments or a lifetime, is certain for those who are friends.”
– Richard Bach


It’s that time of year again, and no, I am not talking about the holidays or the visit from the grey bearded man in the red and white suit. It’s the time of year where the harbors in the south of the Caribbean seem to empty out. Some cruisers heading north, back up the island chain to experience what they missed on their way down, some heading south to destinations they have always dreamed of, while others head west to try their hand at going through the Panama Canal or just enjoy the East coast of Central and South America.

We have met so many wonderful people during our first year cruising in the Caribbean. Several, who we now consider to be close friends, we met in the Bahamas and ran into frequently or “buddy boated” with on the way down. Many we met here in Grenada over the past several months while waiting out the hurricane season together. I guess no matter where you are, a house in the suburbs, an apartment in the city, living aboard a boat at the dock, or cruising – living on anchor and waiting out hurricane season in Grenada, you get to know your neighbors. You become socially active with your community of friends and fall into a comfortable way of life. Half price pizza night at one of the local pubs, hashing (hiking) on the weekend together, taking trips to Budget Marine, or sharing dinners on each other’s boats – just a few of our social activities.

Then one day, that comfortable social life on the water seems to be disrupted by your boat friends weighing their anchors and turning the pointy end of the boat in a different direction. That is a big part of the cruising life. Everyone has their own agenda, their own time frame, their own desires to fulfill. We have met several people on different boats that wouldn’t dare plan a meal, much less move to another anchorage without first consulting their “buddy boat”. We certainly don’t want to be tied at the hip (or the rub rail) to anyone, but it is a little sad to see all of our new found friends sail over the horizon.

We are going to stay put here in Grenada for a while. I am working again (Oh no! Not that four letter word!), to try to recoup some of the unexpected expenses we encountered in our first year “out here” and get ahead again. As long as I have Internet access and an airport I am all set. While I am not so happy about going back to work again, I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work, in a bathing suit, from the salon of our boat, while anchored in a beautiful island in the Caribbean! I mean, if I have to work, what a perfect situation…

So as we watch all of our friends take off to continue their journeys, we wish them safe sailing, fair winds and following seas. We will be looking for opportunities to make new friends with the locals and other cruisers that remain here over the winter. We will also cherish the memories we have made throughout the year and look forward to someday saying “hello” once again. You never know, it could be next hurricane season when and if they return to Grenada, or if we get itchy feet and can’t stay put maybe we will run into them up island, or in the future when we finally get to head out and cross into the Pacific. One thing we do know is that we have made a lot of friends for life and feel very privileged to have done so. If you have the opportunity to spend your holidays with family, friends and loved ones, that is a wonderful thing. We will be spending the holidays with our “extended” family, friends we might not have met yet, and our loved ones who come to the islands for a visit.

Wherever you are and whoever you are with, the crew of Beausoleil would like to wish you a wonderful, safe, happy holiday season!

Shawna, a former Key West resident lived aboard S/V Beausoleil, a 1979 Formosa 51 Ketch, with her husband Jon until December 2011 when they set sail to begin “living their dream” of circumnavigating the globe. She wrote to us each month with stories of their journey. She currently resides in North Carolina, awaiting the next adventure.

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