Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"COTTAGE BY THE SEA"


During the first week of November, we hauled Beach House here in Carriacou at the Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout. There are - wait for it - a boatload of repairs to be done. We're optimists but realistic. We expect to be on the hard for 6-8 weeks. Ho, ho, ho anyone?

In many boatyards, people continue to live on their boats, using the yard facilities for washroom needs, showers, and washing dishes. Not so here – even hardened, old single-handers, who have seen it all, seldom live aboard in this yard. So off we went to check out the possibilities for land accommodation – something cheap, cheerful and clean. Our timing was wrong for some of the leads we had from local friends. After some phone calls, some bargaining, and a good decision, we decided to take the cottage behind the Tyrrel Bay Yacht Club.

It was a quick and easy move from Beach House to the cottage – food and drink into the fridge, our linens and pillows on to the bed, clothes in to the closet, electricity sorted for conversion from 240v to our required 110v, computers and phones plugged in to charge. Good to go.

There are pros and cons to any accommodation, but we certainly have everything we need and some definite advantages.

ADVANTAGE # ONE - PROXIMITY TO BEACH HOUSE

Our temporary land digs are right next door to the boat yard, an obvious convenience. Looking at her from the front grounds of the yacht club, Beach House looks quite content with palm fronds and a cactus framing her stern.


ADVANTAGE # TWO – ATTRACTIVE SURROUNDINGS

The yacht club grounds are quite lush and beautiful.
From the boat yard, this is our approach to the yacht club.



To the right of the club building is the path to the cottage.

And here’s our view from the cottage, looking onto the back of the yacht club.

ADVANTAGE # THREE – A KITCHEN

The yacht club rents rooms to land-bound cruisers in the main building, but since we expect this haulout to last many weeks, a kitchen was an important consideration. There’s simply no room in our clobbered budget for eating out three times a day. The galley style kitchen that spans one entire wall of the open-style living space, is modest but has all the necessities, including two dishwashers.

We brought our own boat baskets of cutlery, spices, oils and vinegars.

ADVANTAGE # FOUR & FIVE – AIR CONDITIONING &
HOT WATER-ON- DEMAND FOR SHOWERS

When we’re at anchor we almost always have decent sea air moving to cool us, but on land? Not so much. It’s a real treat to return to the cottage after a hot, dusty day in the yard working on Beach House, have a hot shower and luxuriate in the air conditioned air with an ice cube or two.

ADVANTAGE # SIX – A COMFORTABLE MATTRESS

The queen size bed in the main floor bedroom is very comfortable. We are very happy sleepers here. The yacht club provides linens but we brought our own from the boat – just a touch of home to have our own pillows and sheets. The stairs that lead up to a small loft bedroom serve as shelves for our bags and clothes.
ADVANTAGE # SEVEN – MAID SERVICE

We haven’t taken advantage of this service yet – I have the time to clean up and prefer to do it myself – maybe so it feels more like home rather than a hotel? It’s not a huge space to keep clean and tidy. But Chantal from the yacht club will come up to clean any time and she keeps us supplied with extra towels as required.

In HGTV parlance, the d├ęcor manages to bring the outdoors inside. Notice the satisfactory furniture that probably lived another life on a patio somewhere. Here’s our office/dining room and the living room/den, both situated conveniently along the wall across from the kitchen.

So just what are the disadvantages?
Let’s see what makes the short list.

Lush moist gardens are mosquito havens. Yes, it’s buggy. But we’re used to ‘spraying up’ most days around four in the afternoon even at anchor. Our scent of necessity is Eau de Cruiser with overtones of Deet and a hint of ‘other ingredients’.

Hmm. That’s about it for disadvantages – it actually is a very short list. There’s really not much to complain about. Not everything is up to North American standards, but why should we expect that? We’re not there, we're here - in the Caribbean.

Would we rather be on Beach House at anchor? Yes. Would we like to be on the move, sailing to another island and meeting up with friends? Yes. But while Beach House continues to get some much needed TLC at the boat yard, we’ll manage quite nicely
in our little cottage by the sea.