The first friends visiting Rivercafe
Since 10 December we have been in Antiqua. A beautiful island, big enough not to get bored and small enough to feel at home.
From Guadeloupe North, from Deshaises to be precise, (the filming location of “Death in Paradise”) we sailed straight north. 40 miles against strong wind and waves, with 4 squalls and lots of salt on the boat.
We are here because we have visitors.
Visitors at last
Now we have been at sea for one and a half years, have seen some of our friends only once in that time, the family twice. And nobody was allowed to come. You know the reason.
Now most of the travel restrictions have been lifted. We and almost all our loved ones and friends are vaccinated. A good beginning.
Rike and Stephan first, later the year Marc and Vera and – rejoice! – Jil, Hannah and Henri will come for a visit on Rivercafe. We are very excited because Rike and Stephan are coming next weekend and we will spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve together.
And now we are preparing. Just like before Christmas. We clean and prepare the guest cabin, make the beds, wash out the fridge, find nice guest towels and decorate for Christmas. We buy Christmas treats and bake biscuits. Sure, we would do almost all of that if there were no visitors, but it feels completely different. It is exciting.
We are planing
Where can we go for dinner. What will we do, where are the best full moon parties, we can snorkel and dive, stand up paddle. What do we need or have to organise. It’s very different to be a visitor in a house or on a boat.
Life on a vessel is special. Everything that is consumed has to be brought in more inconveniently than on land. Drinking 15 beers in the evening means schlepping the next day. When something breaks, it is often difficult or impossible to replace. For 3 months we’ve been looking for a decent carafe for water, which broke. Not to mention technical things. Just ordering things from Amazon, unfortunately, is not possible. Rike and Stephan have a suitcase full of things we couldn’t get anywhere.
For us, life on board is well rehearsed.
We are proud to be completely autonomous. We make our water with a watermaker and the sun provides the electricity. That’s perfect when there are two of us. But we’ll see how it works with four or even six. This morning in the shower I thought: oh, I haven’t had a hot shower in a very long time. It’s hot and I rather enjoy a cool down. But what if our guests want to take hot showers every day, maybe even long and extensive ones, or if the girls want to blow-dry themselves? A hairdryer needs an enormous amount of electricity. Long showers and hairdryers are just not possible with the limited resources of a vessel.
What I’m looking forward to: showing Rike what sugar cane tastes like, diving with Stephan, hanging out in cool bars with Marc and Vera. Letting Vincent do the fishing and swimming with Nelly. Showing my daughter and grandchildren a little piece of an ideal world, spending all day in the water with Hannah and Henri, talking about NFT’s with Jil and giving everyone a slice of our happiness.
Actually, it’s the uncomplicated things that you have to watch out for. For example, no one boards with shoes on. There might be cockroach eggs underneath. Getting rid of them takes a long time and is really disgusting. Or the toilet. Oh how I always hated that. No paper is allowed in an on-board toilet! Nothing except what comes directly out of the body. The rest goes straight into a rubbish bin, which is often emptied. Martin, a most of the time solo sailor who actually always has friends on board, hates it, for example, when someone takes too long to look in the fridge because it needs electricity.
Sometimes I think it’s really not that comfortable on a boat. And on the other hand, there is hardly a more expensive holiday than chartering a sailing yacht. All those people who charter have even less water and electricity. Charter boats are usually underway without much technology. It’s more the freedom, the proximity to the water. Jumping off the boat when you feel like it, swimming with turtles and watching starfish grow. Drinking a sundowner in the evening and staring at the starry sky.
We will see. In any case, we are looking forward to it and nothing is stopping us from this JOY. / Karin Binz