All this week I have been at home with the flu; a nasty bug with a very strong will to survive. It seems that the short passage to Turks and Caicos and the vacations in Ecuador took place a long time ago.
I haven’t had the energy or motivation to do much in terms of work. A couple of conference calls which always take much longer than needed, e-mails, and yesterday afternoon I was able to edit a report. Some guidelines that are supposed to help countries design better youth employment programs. Not sure how useful the report will be but the ideas are sound and good.
Because of the infection the nights have been mainly dry. Tuesday I had half a glass of G&T, a glass of wine with dinner, and then a joint before watching Trump’s State of the Union. But I didn’t feel good and not only because of the speach. Two nights ago I tried a glass of Macallen to numb me a bit but again didn’t enjoy it.
I started to think about the next leg. The boat has to be out of Turks and Caicos before May 18. Because of work related travel, I doubt I can take more than two weeks of annual leave between now and then. One of those weeks will be taken by the girls spring break vacations. I would like to go with them and Natalia to the islands for a relaxing cruise. If I do that, then I will only have one extra week to sail Antares to the next destination. It was supposed to be Panama but I m now thinking Jamaica.
Jamaica was never part of the plan. I did some work there in the mid 2000s and I didn’t connect to the island. But the reality is that I only visited Kingston; other parts of the island seems to be very beautiful. Hence, once I realized that I will not have enough time for a Turks and Caicos to Panama passage that could take me good heigh days, Jamaica became one of the best options. I can’t make it to Cuba, Dominican Republic is out of the way, and Haiti is too dangerous and with poor infrastructure in terms of marinas. There are also security issues in Jamaica but the little research I’ve done suggests that crime is confined to specific regions, mainly urban slums, and not targeted to tourists. You still shouldn’t anchor anywhere but there are good marinas with private security where you can be quite confident your boat will be safe.
One of those is Erron Flynn marina in Port Antonio. It is located in the north east of the island and therefore protected from the northerlies that tend to assail the island during the winter season. The marina, while government owned, seems to have all the services you need including haul-out facilities and a fully functional boat yard.
I can get there from Turks and Caicos in three days. Thus, if I travel on a Friday, take two days to prepare Antares and three days to sail her to Port Antonio, I can be back to the DC the following Friday. Exactly one week.
My plan therefore is to do the passage the last week of April and leave Antares in the marina — in the water or in land still to be decided — until the end of the hurracain season. I might return during the summer to cruise around Jamaica and then, for sure, go back in early December for the passage to Panama. I know, the trip to the pacific is progressing more slowly than I wanted.
This morning I am feeling better and Natalia and I are thinking about going out for drinks and dinner. Juan David might join. I m looking forward to have a G&T.