The Burnetts are ready! Sea-trials went well and the fridge is full. Next step in our trial of patience exacted upon us by Master Oogway, the Atlantic wind god: spend three weeks offshore, crossing the Atlantic! Oh, Master Oogway, you toy with us after the Great Test of Worms! Barbados, here we come! We are leaving as Mel uploads this post.
As with our last crossing, Mel will try to post daily updates. Don’t panic if she misses a day now and then; she’s probably just barfing. We will not have internet, so we won’t be able to read any comments until we hit land, but feel free to comment away!
For those reading our fiction, there will be a temporary hold on the release of further chapters of The Mystery of the Flor do Mar during the crossing. But don’t worry, Marvin’s adventures will be released twice a week once we arrive in the Caribbean.
When we get across the pond, you better hold on to your Spring hats! The Burnetts will be unleashed! We are talking “Triple-C”, CCC, HARD-CORE CRUISING. Allie is already imagining changing into her swimsuit as soon as land is sighted. Expect swimming! Snorkeling! Diving! Fish picturing! Sunset shooting! Non-frozen-margaritas-made-with-actual-limes-drinking and enchiladas-made-with-CORN-tortilla-eating! (Wow. Mel is really stretching the gerund here…) And more effing boat fixing probably, but less!
Oh, and as far as getting out of here is concerned, we are not deterred by our cracked window and our brand new engines that need breaking in. We aren’t deterred by the memory of that awful fish-farm-hitting noise, or the fact that just today Greg repaired three broken things (two were toilets), and we’ve had to return three times to the chandlery since we said goodbye to everyone there a couple of days ago. We aren’t deterred by anything, including any sailory desire to avoid shameless motoring when the winds slightly weaken. In fact, this is our criteria for our weather window for the crossing: Is there a hurricane coming? No? Let’s go!
We did have to resolve one, er, minor issue before we left. After a heated debate (in which Allie weakly defended said item because “it reminded her of her Las Palmas friends”), the Burnetts decided to trash their “good luck star.” Granted, 3 out of the 4 boats carrying the star made it successfully across the Atlantic, but 1 out of the 4 had high morbidity. In medicine, a 25% rate of severe side effects pretty much kills a drug. One recalls the tale of the klabautermann, a merry, musical creature smoking a pipe and wearing a yellow jacket. This happy fellow was strapped to the mast and was initially a good luck charm instilled with the powers to rescue men overboard. As happens with anything sailing-related, however, “luck” changes, and eventually enough ships went down with the jovial gnome smiling from the sinking spar that the poor klabautermann was eventually seen as a dire omen. Such a fate has befallen our “good luck star.” So the Burnetts are replacing it, with something no other ship has. We call our new talisman, “The Great Blargh.”
Blargh looks a little crazy, because he is. And Mel can’t imagine a better charm for people who spend 18-22 days crossing an ocean in a fiberglass-coated cork when the same feat could be accomplished in just 8 hours in a high speed jet that was likely built with footprint-free rudders.
To paraphrase a line from the classic travel film, The Blues Brothers,
“We’ve got seven days of fuel, half of our money left, it’s 2800 nautical miles to Barbados, there’s a new moon, and we’ve got duct-tape holding in one of our windows.”