So far most of the time people are astonished how young cruisers we are. The main reason for that is of course our healthy lifestyle (sporty, abolishing all bad things in life like alcohol, greasy food and tobacco). Therefore we still look damn young. A second, very vague, theory indicates that we are currently in the retirement cruising grounds of whole North America: 90% of our fellow cruisers are therefore retired and have kids in our age. This may make us look a bit younger as well.
Sadly we know this will change as soon we hit the Caribbean, we will be the old guys there! But that's not the story for now.....
We had one of the famous cocktail parties on the beach tonight. When it was time to get back to the boat there was this elderly couple on the dinghy dock with some trouble with their inflatable. They were loosing air in one tube and it looked like the dink was sinking. The old guys' hand pump could barley put enough air in to keep them afloat. And please remember, we are in Americas retirement cruising grounds, so when I say elderly I mean they could easily have babysitted Fidel Castro as Teenagers. Nevertheless, I offered help...and that's when the whole story begun....
The lady was already in the boat and asked me to pass her the glass with a drink which was still on the dock. I was amused, the boat was obviously sinking, the man was pumping like hell and the old girl was scared the ice would melt and making the drink watery. Anyway, I told them I have an electric pump on the boat which could make the job easier and that my boat was right in front of the dock. They agreed, hitting maybe 15 other boats while pulling off the dock. The lady still holding on to her precious drink while the guy fires up the engine. When the engine finally started I was really astonished: It yelled like a formula one engine, at least 15'000rpm in idle! The dinghy dock and the guys on the beach were immediately covered behind a cloud of grey, oily smoke. The lady was maybe used to that demonstration of brute power - at least she continued unaffected to sip her drink in the bow of the sinking ship.
Obviously the ice was not melted when we reached Habibi. Rahel helped HIM to tie up while HE managed barley to keep the boat afloat: The grande dame was still holding on to her drink. God, by now I was really impressed! That's this kind of old school you just got from hearsay when the Titanic sunk; The band is playing and the guys are drinking at the bar while the boat dives into its icy grave. Nothing like this Italian "The captain leaves the boat first" from our days. Maybe she survived Titanic herself, why be scared of some 25 degrees Bahamian water? Finally me managed to pump the dink, but then they missed a part of the valve to keep the air in. So the lady was forced to help to search and therefore had to let the drink go....she convinced the husband to pour the precious liquid (still some ice cubes there) into a thermos before she finally draw her attention to the sinking boat she was in. After we fixed the leak somehow they finally disappeared again in a grey smoky cloud. Needles to say that they stay on the other end of the anchorage - which is maybe a half an hour dinghy ride at night with 20 knots of wind - I guess that was the reason for the thermos.
If they survived they may be on board their big trawler by now. And as Rahel mentioned - lets be happy we met them in their inflatable boat, far away from the big mother ship - imagine what disaster could strike if they do the same with 20 tons of steel and a few hundred horse power more. They could easily whack your boat in half while she may be mixing some dry martinis!
After that night we still believe you're never too young for cruising but now we know there may be an upper limit my friends! Maybe you should really think about going back to landlubber life when your first grand kids retire. Seriously.