Fear has ruled certain parts of my life. As I’ve gotten older though, I think I have got better at not feeling this emotion so much or let it take control of me. But I am sure I missed out on quite a lot, because of my apprehension over what [invariably bad thing] could happen.
On the spur of the moment, I decided to go to Carriacou last weekend in celebration of my birthday. I was definitely not going to fly on dat dere 7-seater which would have taken a short 20 minutes. So the 2.5 hour ferry ride was the lesser of the two evils. I had only ever been on it once, about 13 years ago and remember the sea-sick feeling I had had on one leg of the journey.
Setting off on Saturday, the weather was great and it made the trip a rather pleasant one. Had I thought about all the things which would have happened on this trip, I might have backed out, yes, because of fear……real or imagined. This is one encounter.
Although most of the trip was unplanned, I knew I needed to go over to Petite Martinique (PM), which is one of the islands in the tri-island state of Grenada. The ferry company has a tender boat which is a reasonable size. Unfortunately, it does not run between PM and Carriacou on Sundays. I had got the number of a boatman and called him before leaving the mainland. But I didn’t confirm the trip with him as I needed to see the boat when I got to Carriacou.
As luck would have it, I stopped in at the ferry office in Carriacou on Saturday and the ladies said “yes, the tender dropped people there yesterday so it will be running on Sunday.” Yippee! After a leisurely breakfast from a cafe which allowed a full view of the dock, I waited and waited and waited. No tender boat from PM. Eventually, the ferry from Grenada arrived.
I presented myself on the dock, still hopeful that the information the girls had given me was accurate. After the last passenger had disembarked, I asked the Captain (BO) where was the tender. “Why they tell you dat? Why dey never call me? Ah tell them all the while if dey not sure, they must call.” I asked BO what he suggested and he said there was a lady on board who was going to PM and he would ask the guy who was picking her up for a ride for me. I asked how much it would cost and BO said the guy wouldn’t charge me. Even better! I didn’t give the boat size too much thought.
BO said he was going to take the ferry out further to sea to wait and asked me if I thought I could manage to climb down from the ferry into the boat when it came. He asked it like he knew what my answer would be. Hell no! He said he would ask the guy to come to the dock for me.
True to how things happen with me, I asked them to wait until I switched from my glasses to my prescription swimming goggles. I had visions of my glasses flying off into the deep ocean. They obliged. Then Chocolate took off. And so did BO from beside me. No one to keep me company and distract me from thinking “what the dickance are you doing on this likkle boat?”
They told me how to hold on and my biceps were called into action. Even the seat was too high for me so I slunked down into the bowels of this little speedboat, leaning on the luggage for support. At one point, all the other three passengers stood up and leaned forward. BO was by this time seated on the front of the boat! Later, I was told they did this in order for the boat to “breakaway” ie. for the front to kick up in the air and not “drag”. Too much load would cause that.
In between that, I exclaimed…..a sharp intake of breath. At one time, the lady, who by the way was not holding on to anything, and was checking her phone ie not looking where the boat was going, turned around and asked me if I was ok, and wanted to know why I was not sitting on the seat. “As long as I don’t see where I am going, I’m ok….sort of.” She smiled.
I was keeping time in my head. Fifteen minutes was the trip time and when I sensed we were nearly there, I was wrong. That was Union Island they said. Geez. So after we passed that rock, I got brave and took out my camera and began to take photos, with one hand of course as the other was still pressed into service.
When I was sure we were almost there, I eased back up on to the seat and exhaled. Then, for a moment, I thought to myself “you silly girl!” PM high school students have to take the boat every day to school in Carriacou. With under 1,000 people, there is no secondary school in PM. I can’t recall hearing about any incidents at sea while living here.