A few weeks ago I found myself begging the staff at our marina for dockage AGAIN, our month was up but we had a pretty sad looking motor. Our injection pump was in the US along with Carl who was delivering a yacht to Newport, RI, the kids and I were holding down the fort (and cockroaches and ants) while those two major components were elsewhere.
It had taken me begging everyday for a week to get a spot at the famous Nanny Cay Marina (British Virgin Islands) and now we needed another 2 weeks. Luckily the Spring Regatta had finished and the marina was finally showing some bare patches. Success! We weren’t kicked out!
The kids and I spent about 6 weeks living of what some may call a magical dream of “marina life”. We had wifi, water, power, a pool, beach, laundry, onsite grocery store and bar (extremely important for a solo mum). Nanny Cay really does have it all, but book ahead for a spot – the secret’s out.
I know a lot of people LOVE marina life and honestly I thought I would too but it truly isn’t for us. One important system you should have on your boat at a marina, especially in the Caribbean, is an air conditioner. From 9am to 5pm our boat was a constant humid hot mess of 92F/ 33C with no breeze. The kids found it too hot to do school work (typical) and by the time 10am pushed around we were all escaping to a cool tree to sit under.
The long walk to the pool with what seemed like every beach toy, swim suit, snorkel gear and snack our boat had all in one huge bag. Three kids picking every flower, looking in every crack and running their hands along every wall on the way. It was the death walk that I dreaded everyday, and we did it TWICE! We eventually borrowed some scooters (Mini Micro Scooter) and sped up the process 10 fold. A must with kids at a marina are scooters (bikes are too scary at this point) and a sturdy wagon to get from A to B in a speedy fashion.
I’m not too sure about other boat kids but our kids are much happier on anchor, they wake in the mornings and play instead of “I wannnnnna geeeet off the booooaaat Muuummmma” or maybe I’m much happier on anchor not having to listen to the whinning.
Apart from the heat and constant kid complaints, Nanny was awesome. Carl was astounded at how many people we made friends with (I’m a closet hermit) and how social we had all become. Brittany and her girls (Wind traveler) made Nanny a home away from home, no wait we were at home – totally confusing. A week into our dockage we all came down with what may have been the flu or dengue or some weird Caribbean thing. There was weeks of fevers, vomitting, coughs, snot noses, fatigue, diarrhea – awesomeness! Brittany mothered us all back to health, love you sweetheart if you’re reading this. We all lost a few pounds during that time but quickly gained it back with beer, bread rolls and pizza.
Marina life sure did have it’s ups and downs. We felt apart of a community (up) but we also caught all the illnesses of that community (bloody down). I think without kids I could easily do the marina life but with our strong willed munchkins I believe we’ll be steering clear of them in the future. A few days of wifi, pool and heat is fine but 6 weeks was a bit much.
We are now back with our buddy boats, anchored in some gorgeous cove in the BVI.We may get the ferry wake every 20 minutes, tossing lego across the boat but I’ll take this and a constant sea breeze any day.
Sorry for the out of sequence photos, the internet at Normans patchy and I don’t have the patience to fix it all. Better things to do, you know.