Retirement is Exhausting (but we wouldn’t have it any other way)!
Retirement conjures visions of sitting in a comfortable rocking chair on a long, shady, cool porch. A cold glass of ice tea leaving sweat marks on a side table. A good book open and facing down on your chest as you snooze away the afternoon. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
Our retirement has been and probably always will be a roller coaster, constantly moving and changing directions with no notice. Fun, exciting, exhausting….that’s our life and we would never trade it for the porch life!
We had a wonderful month up in the Exumas then headed south, past the Jumentos and to the Ragged Islands where we are now. Along the way, we’ve traveled with new friends Ted and Jenny (Nordhavn 47, “Southern Star”) and Steve and Patty (Nordhavn 57 “White Raven”) and met up with old Manta catamaran friends, Mark & Michelle (Reach), Ralph & Leslie (Now & Zen), Ed and Cathy (What if) and Will and Rita (Powercat Majic). We even spent a few days next to our old Manta (Previously named Double Wide and now named Soujorn – congrats Karen and Duane!).
The Raggeds Islands are a group of islands south and west of the Exumas. Ragged Island, is the primary island in the group. It’s located at the southern end of the chain and is less than 65 miles from Cuba. At it’s peak, the Raggeds was permanent home to less than 200 souls, a few pigs and thousands of goats and chickens. Hurricane Irma (2017) decimated the area and now there are less than 40 people are here, trying to recover what little they had (more on that in another post).
I wasn’t in the Bahamas in the 70’s, but those that were, say the Ragged Islands much like the Bahamas of their time – rugged, remote and unspoiled. Getting here is a bit dicey for a 6 foot draft boat displacing almost 100,000 pounds. From George Town, you have to head east toward Long Island, then cut back southwest and tiptoe through a shallow cut in the banks called “Comer Channel” at, or near high tide. If you time it right (we didn’t), you can arrive at Water Cay in the Jumentos Cays before dark then continue the next day past the rest of the Jumentos and on to the Raggeds.
Is it worth the effort? Long white beaches, crystal clear water, abundant sea life, a sea of stars at night, and very few neighbors. Snorkeling and spearfishing are daily activities along with beach combing and hikes across/through the islands/cays. Spectacular sunrises, green flash sunsets almost every night and night skies so bright that you can almost read a book from the unfiltered starlight. A very few great people that share our love of the cruising life. No distractions, no politics, no cars honking, no deadlines, etc., etc. etc. Is it worth the effort? Oh, hell yeah!