“Talk to your friend Brian, the broker. He knows a lot and can give you an idea of what you’re looking for”, John said to me before pulling out of Nanny Cay.  I wasn’t sure I really was ‘looking’ but the gods answered that for me when not 5 minutes later Brian pulled over: “Need a ride back to Trellis?”

We started talking boats… Brian always talks boats… and pretty soon I was mumbling something about being interested in buying one myself. “Seriously?” He took his eyes off the road to pose the question. “Uh, maybe, possibly, seriously?” I winced, knowing what was coming.

“Well, you must have heard about Juno!?”

I hadn’t. But John and I had tacked past her that very morning, commenting on her pretty lines. John said “I bet that’s a Cape Dory”. He knew my love for Cape Dory’s and had a keen eye for spotting them when I was on board. So yes, Juno was a Cape Dory, and she was moored right there in Trellis Bay, just outside my hut’s window.

How hadn’t I noticed her before? She was suddenly the cutest little boat in the bay and that I’d ever laid eyes on. I stood on the beach, digging my toes into the sand, gazing out at her, my heart skipping along to a thousand potential adventures. I borrowed a kayak and paddled out. Around once, twice, four times. Trying to take in every detail… A nick in the toe-rail (my, she’s pretty!), hairline cracks at the bow (so cute and compact!), worn out sails (just look at those curves!)… and decided she was in relatively good condition.

I paddled back to shore, dumped the kayak, grabbed a mask and swam out. Again, going around and around, my heart pumping. I had heard that to know if a boats ever going to work for you, when walking away, you should have to turn back and look again. I swam back three times.

From the beach, she was close. Then I got offered a boat-sitting job – the Columbia 43 moored RIGHT next to Juno. In the morning I woke up to dreams of her, at night I fell asleep imagining our journeys together. For 8,000 dollars (a loan), I could sail her away. I knew I would be giving up the freedom of lightweight travel, I knew I would be buying into a life of debts and bills (a boat’s just a hole in the water you throw money into)… but I could taste the sweetness of having my very own sailing queen, I could already feel the wind that would blow us around the world.

I waited for time to point me in the right direction. I made lists, I spoke to people, I checked her over again and again, inside and out. I learnt about her strengths, her weaknesses.  And finally, I decided to make an offer – next week.

The Sunday before that next week began, a road forked in my plans. Johan, a Swedish delivery captain needed crew for a sail up to Newport, Rhode Island, via Bermuda, in a 59ft Hinckley. A paid job. Leaving tomorrow. To the North East coast, my original coast-coast bike beginning. Shit.

Life will throw you so many choices and questions – the only way to answer them is to follow the signs. This felt like the right thing to do. The path was clear. I sailed off into the sunset, two days later, on a much bigger, much fancier boat that I will ever own… and Juno stayed, bobbing along on her mooring, calling to me in my Caribbean Dreamings.


One thought on “Juno

  1. heyy lily its richard from the farm! hows life going so you never sailed back up with ramble? i see the boat all the time over in stj…when do you get up to states? good luck on the biking !

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