Anchor Watch

We are currently at Anchor in Iles-des-Saints, which is a small group of islands that are just south of and part of Guadeloupe (France).   Although we were planning on coming here at some point, we were not planning on arriving today.

Earlier today, we were at anchor at Marie Galante – also part of Guadelope.  My sister and her family (husband: Jon and daughter: Kailey – 6) are visiting us for a month over the holidays.   We found a nice little anchorage just off a small beach club where we could get internet access.  (Lucy and Jon are still working which is the only way they could get to take 4 weeks away so they really need the Internet.)  Although the anchorage was rocky and we were contemplating moving, we left because something else entirely rocked our world: Lucy got word from our brother (Nick) that our father is doing very badly and that we should fly back to Canada immediately to see him as this might be our last chance.

We immediately upped anchor and began to sail back to the port with the closest airport (Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadalopue) to purchase some exorbitant airplane tix ($2,500 pp/rt).   But en-route, we managed to talk to Dad and he told us not to come as that he’d be around for a few weeks yet.  Nevertheless, the doctors are talking about Palliative Care….  It was tough to let him talk us out of jumping on a plane.  But we’re still here…

With the anchor raised we decided to move locations anyway as Marie Galante clearly had bad “ju ju” (Emma-Kate’s words).  So here we are in Iles-des-Saints.  We arrived late: after sunset.  And as we made it into the harbor and dropped anchor, the anchor dragged.  And by the time we pulled it up, it was pitch black.  I motored around the other yachts in the charming but crowded harbor.  If there were people aboard, they came out to look at us clearly hoping that we wouldn’t try to anchor anywhere near them as it really was inky black.  And in the end, after several attempts we’ve come back to our first location where our anchor is clearly slipping in 55ft of water.  And so I’m up on Anchor Watch thinking of black things.

My father had non-Hodgkins lymphoma about 5 years ago (Mantel Cell for those in the know).  Everyone told him “this was it”.  He was put on Chemo therapy and no one thought he’d make it to the end of the course.  But he did.  And I went around boasting to everyone: “that’s my Dad, even at 85 he’s got it.  And I’ve got his genes”.  I was sure he’d kicked it though he kept telling me “this type of lymphoma doesn’t go into remission”.  He was 85 back then.  He’s 90 now.  And the doctors are not putting him on the same treatment as last time.  Clearly this time it is only to “make him comfortable”.  I’m told he’s signed a do not resuscitate order.

As I’ve said in other posts: the roots of our current adventure can be clearly traced back to my Father.  He bought “me” a dinghy when I was 12 and we used to sail it in “Fishers Green”: a gravel pit outside London.   We’d grab a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and take out the dinghy.  Stopping on some little outcropping for lunch.  And I was bitten.  The bug took hold and grew inside me until here I am with my  family on a slightly larger vessel in a rougher patch of water.

I don’t want to lose my father.  But something tells me that I’ll be visiting some cold weather very soon and that nothing good will come of it.

About the Author

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesangreen