My first night in Bermuda was surely a memorable one. My trusty crew and I were hanging out at Wahoo’s with rounds of darkNstormies when some drunk British sailors come stumbling by and randomly stopped at our table to say hi. Very shortly after they appeared there was somehow a conceived desire for a wedding between Michael and I; for after this evening he was from then on referred to as my husband by all witnesses in the group. I don’t recall how it all went down (I was more focused on why these guys didn’t hail me back in Newport and being super psyched to meet the people on the boat we were racing) but I thought it was odd as he was the second guy who referred to themselves as my husband on that Rock that month. Funny guys these day with wild imaginations as I don’t recalling ever agreeing or saying I do to either of them! Either that, those darkNstormies are stronger than I thought. Regardless, Bermuda was already looking like a fun place as I was meeting some great people and it was turning out to be way more entertaining than Boston Harbor! Aw, and as a side note, husband number one was a good guy but he wouldn’t come back to New England and help me sail my boat to the Grenadines. His loss.
Anyway, back to Wahoo’s where Guy, the young Captain, and Michael, older Mate were hanging out with us from s/v Sleipnir! They had just arrived into Bermuda 10 hours before us; I’m now thinking we were in that race all along!! Does anyone have any idea how much time they would owe me?! Did I win?? 🙂
The first few days on Bermuda were mostly devoted to getting everything situated on Acedia again. I had to clean, find drinking water, my way around town, organize, and do laundry, laundry, laundry, and more laundry. My forward hatch leaked and soaked my whole bed and all the clothes stowed around it. A salt water soaked bed is not fun. Nor does it ever really dry…especially in Bermuda that time of year. The weather was cool, windy, and pretty rainy at least every other day.
The guys on Sleipnir were hanging around for a few days, Lance and Bob frequently ran into my husband around town during their short stay before heading back to Boston. In and amongst laundry, I myself ran into the crew as I was about to push off the dock and go find myself a good spot in the anchorage. The Sleipnir crew asked if I wanted to go explore Hamilton with them and very kindly offered to help get me off the dock and wait until I got Acedia securely anchored. I was completely relieved about getting a hand off the dock because it was blowing stink and this dock consisted of a concrete wall; I certainly didn’t want to rub Acedia up against that. They cast me off and there they all sat watching me try to get anchored (and of course I happen to struggle a little bit because there was something caught in my anchor chain and it wouldn’t come through my windlass nicely) and when I finally got back to land, John jokingly claimed that Michael was like the Greyfriers Bobby as he wouldn’t leave the dock until he saw that I had gotten the anchor to hold strong. Not knowing the British reference they explained the Scottish tale of Greyfriers Bobby where a terrier guarded the grave of his owner for 14years until he died himself.
Aw! Despite the fact that I was a now sailing solo in a foreign new place, I had new friends who immediately took up helping and looking after me. New sailors are some of the best people to meet, no matter where you are in the world! They offered up advice on a few issues I had on Acedia including my leaky forward hatch and they are who I learned about sealing up the gasket with vasoline. At this point I was ready to try anything to prevent my bed from getting soaked again!
So, back to finishing the zany British sailor faux marriage story, as I can’t leave you all hanging! This day entailed a road trip to Hamilton and was just another silly time with some British guys who happen to be sailors passing through Bermuda at the same time as me. I rode the bus with my new husband as John and Guy instigated the new arrangement. Despite the fact that British guys are said to be more refined than most, they are nonetheless downright nutters. I went with it as it was entertaining and I was super excited to have new sailor friends to hang out with (and made up romance is better than no romance!). We went to Hamilton, explored dockyard, harassed some America’s Cup Sailors (meaning I had not a clue who this guy on the street was that I started talking to but he claimed he was participating in the next week’s International Moth Regatta; I pestered Chris Draper for a Moth ride. He basically said hellz no to me! Ugh. Turns out it was a misunderstanding, errrrr sorta, and that’s a story for another chapter) and
found the rumcake factory. For some reason, it was determined that the faux marriage was official if there was wedding cake. I thought it was a good excuse just to have cake so we had a tasting of the different varieties and I chose the coconut rum one. Shortly thereafter there was cake and a reception at the local pub awaiting the next ferry back to Hamilton. Michael, who now referred to me as wifey, and I immediately started to argue about where to honeymoon. He refused the French Alps for skiing this winter and I thought it was boring to consider sailing the Caribbean because I was off to do that anyway. Sounded like we were off to a typical marriage right away-oye! We then went off and found the largest darkNstormies they serve in Bermuda. The guys saw me safely to my dinghy when we finally found our way back to St. Georges and they were off delivering Sleipnir to St. Lucia the next morning.