We know that sailing south to Grenada is the “safer” option with hurricane season upon us, and we had 100% intentions on going. But while Eben was away in Tanzania a lot of new things to consider started popping up, making the decision not so black and white for us anymore. The harder part of all of that was with him being away we didn’t have many phone or internet chats to bounce ideas off of each other, we just both waited on our respective sides, heads full of options, till we could discuss it as a couple. That day finally came yesterday, the day after he got back home.
To the outsider, us being so “all over the place” may make it seem like we are unreliable or that our pockets are overflowing with cash, but its actually the opposite. Because we are open to ideas where we could make some sort of living, when an actual opportunity arises we have to consider it. Going to Grenada didn’t mean work opportunity. Going there meant passing time until we could get sailing again.
Lets get more specific. The plan was to head to Grenada to avoid possible hurricanes. At the moment we are in the Virgin Islands, which is smack in the middle of the hurricane belt. But banking on hurricanes (or more like hoping they don’t come) is like playing the lottery, its a gamble. There is no real knowing what’s going to happen. Many say this year seems like its going to be a “slow” year in that respect, but still, that doesn’t mean much. We have many friends that we know that have decided to stay in the area (you just keep an eye on the weather and have a good “plan B” in your back pocket) while many others have headed south (which isn’t exempt of hurricanes either by the way). So our plan was to go south with our friends from Where the Coconuts Grow. We had decided, that was what we were doing…
While Eben was in Tanzania he made good friends with some people over there and was offered a couple different work positions. Work = money = a good idea. The possibilities include working with the Adventurists for the next sailing race, helping them make it slightly more “general public friendly”. Another option was to help set up/build a tree house hotel on one of the islands there. Or another was to help manage an existing hotel. The thought of going to Tanzania as a family is extremely exciting, a new country, make some money, a taking a small break from the boat, could be good all around.
Then there were things popping up on my end. With all these articles that are starting to appear online about our girls, and how we are raising them on the boat, the blog, our Facebook page, and our instagram are starting to get some more attention and new followers. With this attention comes some new sponsors and “work” opportunities. The thing with sponsors is that they require you to have a shipping address where they can send you stuff, and receiving things in the USVIs we have come to know, is relatively painless. As for work, I have been asked to write more articles, publish more pictures, and do a few interviews, which requires us to have a pretty good internet connection. Staying in the VIs, a place we have been the last 7 months, brings the ease of knowing how and where to get decent access to wifi.
There was also money and timing to consider. Heading to new islands can be a costly endeavour. Not only do you have to fill your diesel tanks, but then you have to consider the costs of checking in and clearing out of every island, getting set up with new phones/sim cards, finding the new grocery stores, etc etc. Which may seem small, but the $$ sneak up on you fast. And the timing. If we were to actually consider Tanzania as a real option, then we are talking about possibly an October departure, which would mean heading to Grenada for only 2 months, and then either sailing back up this way or leaving the boat there.
Yesterday morning, as we watched our friends raise their anchor and start the trek south, we had to make a decision, now. We couldn’t just keep wavering and re-hashing the pros and cons of it all. We decided what would be best for us is to stay in the Virgin Islands these next couple of months. We are going to use this time to work on the boat. Get some our those projects done (possibly flooring and a dodger). I can do some more online work, and we can do more exploring of these islands while they are virtually empty of other cruising boats. (which means we get the best anchoring spots!)
The girls are also stoked with this choice, they really like it here. The sailing has been short hops, and easy ones, which keeps everyone happy. We have a few good Plan B options, but if all goes well we will never have to use them.
So for the next few months the Virgin Islands will be our backyard, our construction shop, and our office. And we will see what October brings.
Until then we will enjoy places like these a little longer.