Summer Meetup

October 20, 2021

As you might have noticed, I haven't been posting. But I've been trying to write a little bit every week, because it's fun for me. I end up in this weird place where I tell myself, "I can't post about Y because I haven't even gotten around to writing about X, and it ends up where I don't post at all." That's as dumb as you're thinking it is, so I'm just going to start posting some things here and there. It won't chronicle life sequentially, but who cares?

This Summer, we sailed again to the Bahamas. While we were there, we enjoyed beautiful days, floating above crystal clear water, with cool breezes perfect for sailing and ventilation blowing night and day. But as good as the good stuff was, we'll also remember all of the fiascos. I'll probably circle back and try to detail the broken boat equipment, salt-ruined electronics, and travel snafus, but it will be more fun to document other people's misfortune first.

Hard not to miss the Bahamas when you go through the pictures.

Our friends Crystal and Robert were due to meet us in mid-July, right before we turned toward home. The morning they were supposed to fly out, I got a call while still in bed. Robert had been denied travel, because he ordered a "passport card" instead of a passport. It's a little cheaper, and as far as I can tell, it will get you on a cruise ship, but that's about it. I really don't know why they offer such a thing. It must cause problems all the time.

They were ready to cancel, but after spending all day looking for a new plan, we found a ferry from Fort Lauderdale that could get them in. (The cards are good for boats.) So they drove all night to Fort Lauderdale and were on the boat the next morning.

They arrived in Bimini, went to clear in to the country, and they were turned away. It turns out that Crystal wasn't in a place yet where she trusted the vaccine that has been in the works for 20 years, and her negative Covid test was about 5 minutes older than Bahamian customs would allow. Back on the ferry they went, for the return cruise to Florida.

But all was not lost. Robert knew someone who knew someone who worked for a US Congressman, and this samaritan got him an appointment at the Miami passport office. So they booked new plane tickets, scheduled a new Covid test, and started the next morning at their appointment.

It turns out that the appointment was just an appointment to stand in line. For five and a half hours. If I remember correctly, you can't even bring your phone into a federal building, so they stood in line for all of those hours with nothing to entertain them other than the back of the head for the person in front of them.

On day four of their week-long vacation, they finally boarded the plane that would get them to the Bahamas.

I'm tempted to describe the days we had as packed. We did force activities into every daylight moment and plenty of the nights as well. But at least a few of those days looked like this.

A lot of this.

We swam with the famous pigs, and I don't remember from our previous trips that they just shit constantly. These are some really photogenic pigs, but people go through great pains to get photos that don't include pig excrement of some variety or other. The fastest I moved the entire summer was a mad scramble, 10 yards away from a pig's behind, to jump into the dinghy and get away from a floating cloud of nastiness.

We had the grotto to ourselves, free of big boats full of tourists, which was amazing. We took side trips to Little Farmer's Cay and to Black Point, which was late in the day, and where I believe at least one of us was too drunk to remember. No shame there -- we came to play.

Vanya took up some time during the week getting himself invited to visit and eat with people on big giant yachts. One night, he had free lobster curry on board, while we ate $18 hambergers 50 yards away inside the yacht club.

They ended up being able to extend their trip by a couple of days, so all we really missed out on was rest. But there's plenty of time left for that when we're dead. Or when you have a 13 hour drive back home from Fort Lauderdale to end your vacation.

After we returned, Crystal's mom made a suggestion that I ran with as soon as I heard it. We now have this trophy to pass back and forth after each time we meet up, assuming someone does something dumb enough to deserve it. (Someone always does something dumb enough to deserve it.)