NMC064 Last Night on Dawn Treader Part 1

Daphine Mbithuka

Episode #64: Last Night on Dawn Treader Part 1

Recorded: January 09, 2018

Location: George Town, The Bahamas

Subject: Prepping to move off the Dawn Treader temporarily.

When living on a boat, one has to always be mentally prepared that plans can change at any moment. Although accepting the changes might be difficult, there’s always not much that can be done.

Rosa Linda Román narrates how their long-planned sail was cut short by the insurance company with claims that the family couldn’t leaveThe Bahamas for Puerto Rico without some documentation. Failure to adhere to that only meant that the insurance company would not cover them.

Rosa Linda goes on to share that this change of plans led to a decision to temporarily move off the boat. This called for preparing everything that would guarantee that all would be well with the boat once they returned. Sounds hectic, right? To find out about how all this drama unfolded, follow along this exciting episode of New Mexi-Castaways and we hope that you’ll enjoy it!

P.S. If you liked this episode check out our most recent episode:

NMC048 Audio Issues Atlantis to Palm Cay


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Episode Transcript:

Rosa Linda Román (00:29): Hello, and welcome to New Mexi-Castaways. I'm Rosa Linda Román. And I will apologize in advance for that heavy breathing sound that you will hear throughout this recording. Basically, I have been trying for the past, at least, half hour to figure out a way to actually record an episode while I'm working here on the Dawn Treader. If you're new to my channel, let me say hello, welcome. And I apologize, again, for that breathing, but I live on a boat. She's called the Dawn Treader and we have lived on her for a year and a half. I live on this boat with my three kids, my husband, and our German shepherd, Nala, as well as, for the past month, we've lived aboard with a nanny named Lauren, and in the past, we've had a nanny named Allie, and before that a nanny named Linda, but we have lived on this boat in one form or another for the past year and a half straight. Rosa Linda Román (01:33): And right now I'm prepping to move off the boat, at least temporarily. And hopefully, only temporarily. Now, there has been a lot of talk about whether we were going to sell the boat and the boat is technically on the market right now. But my hope is that we will not sell the boat and that we will figure out a way to make it work financially and still sail. But I try to do some recordings and the reason for the heavy breathing is that all of my mics have failed or are just not working while I'm working. And what I usually do is I use my, what do you call it? My iPhone 7 to record using either my wireless headphones or this, what do you call, you know, the normal white Apple headphones, which are not great, but still seem to record at a decent level. Rosa Linda Román (02:41): The problem is I dropped that phone, my iPhone 7, which had all of my audio recordings, and all of my video and photos from this entire trip, which I will tell you about in a moment into the ocean. So, that's awful. And I not only dropped my phone into the ocean, I dropped my husband's phone into the ocean at the same time, along with my personal journals, and everything pretty much that matters to me as far as documenting this trip, and my thoughts, and feelings and all of that. So, that's pretty awful. I'm hoping at some point to be able to salvage the data off that phone. They are supposed to be water resistant, at the very least, if not waterproof, but obviously, that was not the case because it stopped working. I sat it in ice, ice… I sat it in rice for days and hoped for the best and the best did not happen. Rosa Linda Román (03:43): The good news is I was able to get the SIM card out of there and we just put it in an old, let's see what kind of phone this is, an old Droid from Verizon. My daughter was using it as, basically, a music player. So, I was able to take the card out of my iPhone and use it. I'm using it in my daughter's phone, which is very cool, so at least I can get texts and phone calls, which I haven't been able to get for the few weeks since I did that dumb thing and dropped everything in the ocean. So, I'm onboard the Dawn Treader. And like I said, we've lived aboard for a year and a half. Well, now we're moving at least for a bit off the boat. We were supposed to be sailing to Puerto Rico as a family. That was the plan. That's what we were prepping for. That's what I've been talking about, and dreaming about, and excited about for a long, long time. And then, Hurricane Maria happened and there were all kinds of changes of plan, but one of the plan changes was not to not sail there. We were still planning the sail and that was what we were doing until all of a sudden we were heading out to sea. Rosa Linda Román (05:11): Literally, like we were leaving… we're in George Town, in the Exumas, in The Bahamas. And we were literally going out the cut to the sea when we got a call from the insurance company telling us that we were not going to be covered if we left The Bahamas and we would be on our own, and they would drop us unless we had approval to get increased coverage. The problem was it was a holiday weekend and there was no way to get that approval in time to make the weather window. So, we lost that opportunity and the window closed. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, I think. And I can talk more about that in a minute, but let me finish the audio recording point and why you're hearing me heavily breathing. Rosa Linda Román (06:13): So, I usually record on my phone. I have this H4n recorder, which is what I'm recording on now. And the problem is, I don't have any way to, it's not really good for on-the-go recording. It's good for, like, if you set it up and you're recording stationary sound, or you're, you know, in one place. But on the move, there's a lot of jostling and a lot of problems with that. Well, I thought, well, let me just record using my RODE lavalier mic, and that's a mic I've had for a long time, and I loved it, but it has been acting up, and it hasn't been working very well with this H4n recorder. So, then I thought, okay, I tried that. And it just had, like, I think the problem is with all the times that I've used this lavalier mic, I think that one of the wires, or at least, actually, maybe both of the wires are just past their point of use, because there's like crackling, and popping, and too much movement. Rosa Linda Román (07:21): So then, I thought it was the actual microphone… I mean, the wire, the adapter. So, I got a XLR adapter from RODE so that it would be more secure in the H4n recorder, so it would kind of be more snug and I'd be able to move around and it wouldn't affect the sound. Well, that didn't work and it actually sounded even worse. So, I tried all that tonight. And then, I had the RODE VideoMicro that I had bought in recent months or maybe it was a year, who knows? I bought it and I actually haven't used it for anything yet, which is kind of funny or sad. I don't know, however, you want to look at it. So, I tried that, but there's no way to rig that so that I could be hands-free. Rosa Linda Román (08:14): It actually sounded really good when I held steady and it attached to the H4n recorder and pointed at my mouth. I was able to hear very clearly. It was a nice, clear recording, but I couldn't use my hand, because I had to hold it the whole time. So, that's not going to work, because I am doing all this work around the boat. Right now I'm cleaning some disgusting sludge under the floorboards where I just got the dog… so like there's a container of dog food that I don't know if you know, but underneath the floors there's storage. And I keep Nala, our German shepherd who lives aboard with us, I keep her food in a sealed container under one of the floors in my kids' room. Rosa Linda Román (09:07): And so, I was cleaning that, and you know, that's the kind of stuff I'm doing. So, I'm all over the place, I recognize that. But if you are not new to my channel, you know, that it's totally normal. So anyway, so I tried that VideoMicro and the Zoom recorder, and I just couldn't do the work that I need to do, and have that recording at the same time. So then, I said, "Well, let me see just what it sounds like with the Zoom H4n by itself." Well, it sounded good except for, I have to go keep it close to my mouth. And that's when you hear the heavy breathing when I'm working, and walking, and talking, and all of that. And then, I thought, well, I tried to hook it up, like, clip it onto my belt, waistband, and that didn't work. It sounded terrible, and jostling, and bumping, and I bumped into the cabinet. So, then the only place that I could put the recorder is smack dab in the front of my chest. So, that is why you hear the heavy breathing. Hopefully, it is not too jarring and too distracting and you will be fine and still want to listen if I haven't scared you off already. So, yeah. So, let me pause, gather my thoughts, listen to this recording and I will be right back. Rosa Linda Román (10:34): All right, I'm back. I just talked to Nathan and he's exhausted. He went all over the place and did all kinds of stuff. And he flew from here yesterday, which is Georgetown Airport to Fort Lauderdale. Well, actually to Nassau then had like a two-hour layover in Nassau, and then, flew from Nassau to Fort Lauderdale, then met Miss Allie, our former nanny who picked up our mail, and then, went to the hotel there. And now today he drove down to Miami and went to go see the owner of Kevalli House, which is where my family is right now. So, I'm going to tell you that story. I'm sure I was starting all kinds of other stories and I was on tangents, but let me just tell you the story of how we ended up in Hole 3, which is where Dawn Treader is right now on a mooring ball which belongs to Kevalli House. Rosa Linda Román (11:39): So, I don't know if you heard earlier, I don't think I shared it in this recording, but basically, the way people communicate is through VHF radio. When you live on boat you communicate via VHF radio, and every morning here in Georgetown, and also, in Hope Town, they have this too. I'm sure it's in other places as well, but basically, they have something called the cruisers net, and it's a wonderful way to communicate every morning. They call it a controlled net and they come on, say, like an anchor, let's say comes on and he or she goes through various categories of communications starting with emergency, traffic, anything that needs to be communicated emergently followed by weather, which is, of course, the next most important thing, is the weather, pretty much the most important thing for everybody around here, whether you're going to be able to sail or what your night is going to look or your day when you're sitting at an anchorage. Like, today, when we had a torrential storm when we were trying to organize a playgroup and everybody's car, you know, instead of getting around in a car, you're getting around in a dinghy. Rosa Linda Román (13:00): So, if it rains, that's not super fun, but for me, I actually made the most of it and scrubbed the deck. So, that was cool, because water is like 50 cents a gallon here in The Bahamas. So, when it rains, I scrub the deck for free. Okay, so anyway, on the cruisers net, they ask for, you know, emergency traffic, and I guess at some point Nathan had overheard, it was New Year's day and we had had a party here on the Dawn Treader, New Year's Eve. So, I actually had slept in and was missing the net, which is very unusual for me. I love listening to it in the morning. It happens at eight o'clock every morning. So, it's very unusual for me to be sleeping so late. Normally, I get up like at five so I can be awake before everybody else and have some quiet time around here before the busyness of the day begins. Rosa Linda Román (14:01): And so, that morning I was sleeping. Nathan listened to the emergency traffic, I think, or maybe it even happened before the net. I don't know that for sure. And he heard them ask for some antibiotics, said, "Does anyone have any antibiotics on board?" A specific kind? And we do have that on board because Nathan is a physician and so he keeps, you know, emergency supplies of various medicines here on board, and also, like sutures, and other things too, in case he does have to help someone in an emergency. But of course, he would never just give medicine to someone without actually seeing them. So, he responded and had a conversation to find out more, and from what I understand they were saying, they thought that the patient, the man that needed it was in need of some medicine because he had Lyme's disease. Rosa Linda Román (15:13): That's what they were saying, that he had Lyme's disease. Well, Nathan, you know, of course being a curious guy and an amazing physician, not just in my opinion, in many, many people's opinions, he wasn't going to just give medicine to someone without actually seeing them. And there's something about the story or about the description of this man's problem just set off a red flag. Like, he felt like there was something more going on than what they believed. So, he said, "Let me go over there and check out the gentlemen." Well, good thing he did, because it turned out to be an emergency situation where the man had to be life-flighted, or medivaced, or whatever you want to call it out of The Bahamas so he could go to get surgery right away in Florida. He went to Miami where he went to the hospital. And by all accounts, like many different people commented within, you know, some of the people who received him, the people that transported him, you know, just over and over again, it was said that the man was very lucky that Nathan was there, that if he hadn't been there, he probably would not have made it. Rosa Linda Román (16:48): As it stands, it turns out it was much, much, much more serious than what they thought. And he is still in Miami, basically, you know, fighting for his life. And Nathan, you know, as I said, he went down there to go check on him, because he has a business trip. Before we head to Puerto Rico he has a business trip to New Jersey, which was kind of last minute and I'm not thrilled with, because it means we had to buy a ticket for him to return to Florida, because his work doesn't really… they're not going to buy him a ticket from The Bahamas, I'm closing the door, they're not going to buy him a ticket from The Bahamas. So, he needed to buy a ticket to go back to Florida, but anyway, so he went to visit the guy and he definitely is in a serious life-threatening situation. Rosa Linda Román (18:02): So, we were not sure what we were going to do with Dawn Treader. The plan was to sail to Puerto Rico. That was the main plan. Like, we've been saying it forever, that's what we were planning for, that's what we were preparing for. And then, as I mentioned, we got the call as we were going out the cut telling us that we were not covered insurance-wise. And so, then we were scrambling to think of what we were going to do because we are going to Puerto Rico one way or the other because our daughter Ahava has her bat mitzvah… You hear that that's the bilge pump, and what that is by the way, let me pause the bat mitzvah thought, that is the bilge pump, which is a pump underneath the floor. There's two on each side of the boat because we have a catamaran. Rosa Linda Román (18:53): So, on this side, actually, I think that was the other side. Each one has one under the floor in case water gets under there. And the reason water is under there is because it has been pouring, as I said, a deluge, as I said, and we have the top windows, or hatches leak, and it's just a small leak, but with that much water, it made enough that it drips down into the bottom of the boat over time. It rained many hours ago. It's drizzling now, but the big, big rainstorm was many hours ago and it drips down into the bowels of the boat and it activates the bilge. And it has an alarm to let you know that the bilge is going on because that way you know that there is water in the bottom of your boat. We know it's just a little bit now, but you know, water in your boat is never something anyone wants. So, that is why, you know, whenever it goes off you kind of make a mental note and pay attention and if it doesn't stop, that's when you have to figure out what's really going on because usually, it's just that little beep. Our nanny Lauren, says it sounds like the New Year's party favor, you know, where they go, "Happy New Year." And she said every time she sees the bilge goes off she thinks, "Happy New Year." which is hilarious. Rosa Linda Román (20:28): So anyway, Nathan, because we didn't get to sail to Puerto Rico, he was here to help this man. His name's Bob, everyone calls him Bob, and he is a well-known majorly early active and important part of this community. Everyone that, you know, I've talked to about him and his wife love them. And they own this place called Kevalli House, which I didn't even know existed until Nathan went over there to help him. And anyway, so because we didn't sail to Puerto Rico, it turned out to be a good thing. And Ahava, who like me, was very upset about the fact that we didn't sail to Puerto Rico as planned. She came to me because she had been with him on that call the whole day. She went on the boat, you know, to go talk to him and stayed with him throughout the day. Rosa Linda Román (21:37): And she came home from that trip and said, "Mommy, now I know why we didn't sail to Puerto Rico because if we had daddy wouldn't have been here to save this man's life." So, you know, things happen for a reason, for sure. And it's been really cute, because they have two small children, as I mentioned, and she's been so happy to be mother's helper, and babysitting and making some money, which we didn't really want them to pay her much. But you know, it's been good for her because she is turning 13 in five days, which I cannot believe I'm going to have a teenager. So, Ahava turns 13 and she's over there babysitting, she's spending the night, even tonight. And anyway, so what happened with the Kevalli house is we had a plan once we realized we weren't sailing to Puerto Rico, we pulled into a place called Emerald Bay Marina, and Emerald Bay Marina seemed to be just right for what we needed if we were going to leave the boat while we flew because we scrambled to get some flights. Rosa Linda Román (22:48): While we flew to Puerto Rico Emerald Bay seemed like the perfect place to leave our boat. And they said, "Yes, we have a slip for you and that'll work out fine, no problem." Well, it turned out they didn't have a slip for us. And so it was a real problem. But all of this ended up working out because the house that… so the guy that Nathan helped, he and his wife, their home is a place called Kevalli House and they have two guest cottages and a mooring field in this very sheltered protected area called Hole 3. And they offered, or I don't know all of how it went down, but basically, Nathan secured a mooring for us and access to the guest house so that as we're prepping to move off the boat we could have a place to stay and not have to be on the boat the whole time. Rosa Linda Román (24:00): Which is why I'm over here on the Dawn Treader on a mooring, which is on a morning ball in Hole 3 harbor. And the kids and Lauren are at the guest cottage on land and Ahava is at the actual house on land. So, it's funny how things work out, you know? I mean, we really didn't know what we were going to do about leaving the boat. Oh, and even more than that, one of the big sources of stress for not sailing was the fact that we have a German shepherd that lives on the boat with us, right? And we were thinking, okay, we'll have to play the… she's a service animal card, which we did not want to do, even though she's a German shepherd and she's trained. Rosa Linda Román (24:54): And so, she is technically registered as a service dog, but I didn't want to do that. I really didn't want to say she was a service dog, because obviously, that is a whole different designation and a very important thing that I do not want to belittle in any way. But here we are in a foreign country with our dog and trying to figure out, you know, how are we going to get her not only from here to Florida but from here to Florida, to Puerto Rico, you know, safely. And then, once we're in Puerto Rico, you know, an island that has been devastated by a hurricane, how's that going to go with our dog? So, long story short, it turns out that the owners of Kevalli House their beloved dog passed away a week ago and Nathan got to talking with her, and she said she would love to have a dog there because you know, she's there by herself and it would be nice to have a dog until her husband can recover and get back home because they have these two small kids. Rosa Linda Román (26:06): So, it worked out. Our dog has a place to be, we had a place to be while we were prepping for, you know, departure. And our boat is going to have a home away from home while we are gone. So, you know, it's amazing how sometimes things, you know, what do they say? When God closes a door he opens a window or? I don't know how it goes, but basically, you know, it really did come together in a way that I didn't expect. It looks nothing like what we thought it was going to look like. We thought by now we would have been sailing either somewhere by now in the Dominican Republic, on the Dawn Treader, which would be a whole different adventure and challenge or get all the way to Puerto Rico on the Dawn Treader. Rosa Linda Román (27:01): Never really did I entertain the thought of having the boat here. Our backup plan, if we couldn't sail, was to go sail back up to Nassau, leave the Dawn Treader in Nassau, and fly out from there. We had, like, backup flights from there, but that was definitely not ideal because number one, we didn't want to go back up toward, for me it was like just conceding defeat if I said, "Sure, we'll go south, and we'll go down, you know, to, I mean, not south, we'll go north to Nassau." And that to me is like, that's the end of that dream. There's no way we're ever going to sail to Puerto Rico if that is the case. So, I was very pleased when things changed completely and we ended up with this unexpected option that really is such a blessing to know that we have a place for our boat, a place for our dog who, by the way, thinks she died and went to heaven because she's on land on this island. Rosa Linda Román (28:08): The property is like 12 acres and on this side, it's got the harbor. On the other side, there's like a hill and it goes across to the ocean and [indiscernible] wild, beautiful sandy ocean beach. And Nala loves it. I love it. I love this place. It's beautiful. I didn't even know it was here, but I'm really, really, really grateful that we got a chance to be here and enjoy this lovely, lovely place. So, it's amazing how things work. And you know, I've talked about this on the show before the idea of The Secret, you know, when you get clear on what you want, the people and the resources show up to make it happen. Well, I wanted to continue this dream with the sailing and I didn't know how it was going to happen, but like they say, you know, that's not my business to figure out how it's just to get clear on what I want, and then, the rest of it will work itself out. Rosa Linda Román (29:16): So, yeah, that's what's on my mind. So, you should see this house. It looks like when we moved aboard. I've got things pulled out of everywhere. I'll talk about kind of what I'm doing to prepare to depart coming up. Let's see, how much time am I… how far in am I, it's hard to see you when it's strapped to your chest. So, now you're going to hear a little bumping and clicking. It's like we're 30 minutes in. So, I think I'm going to stop here, check this recording, let this be the end of this episode. And then, since I know I've got a few more hours of work ahead of me and it looks like the batteries are running low, I'm going to replace the batteries, and then, I will have another episode. I'll start recording where I tell you some of what we have to do to prepare to leave the boat. Rosa Linda Román (30:07): And also, talk about what we anticipate might be our next step. All right. I hope you enjoyed this very out of the, you know, disjointed podcast. It's kind of my norm. I used to call them Rosa Linda's Ramblings because it's really just my chance to talk and share our wild crazy lives with anyone that actually is interested. So, if you do like this podcast, I really would appreciate if you would go to iTunes, or Stitcher, or one of your podcast listeners and leave a review for me. And if you want to see more of the photos and videos, in fact, I'm going to take a picture right now of this rig, this audio recording rig, how I have it strapped to my chest. And what I do is I share that in a private Facebook group called New Mexi-Castaways Crew. Rosa Linda Román (31:04): And I also have a private album, a Google photos album that I share some more of these kind of behind-the-scenes photos. So, I'll make sure to upload that. And if you are interested in that, I'll put the link in the show notes, or you can just go to the New Mexicast Facebook page and find the Signup button. And that Signup button will take you to the Signup page. I'll ask for your email, but I won't use it for anything other than to send you a link to the private Facebook group and the album, and then, maybe in the future, if I need to send out a note or something, but it will be only me. All right. That is it. Thank you so much for listening. I'm Rosa Linda Román, and I will check in again very soon. Bye.

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