Location: Statia and Saba
A word from our skipper of the day, Charter:
“Now in Saba, after a mild evening sail from Statia, reflecting on the events of the day, I cannot help but be reminded of the ever-present force of karma. “What goes around, comes around.” However you choose to say it, it’s inevitable that any decision, even a seemingly good one, has the unforgiving power to come back and bit you in the tail, an appropriate metaphor considering that these events to which I am referring begin with a dog.
Awoke at around 8 o’clock, fairly late compared to our usual arousal, and began to prepare for a hike to the top of Statia. Our morning routine began much slower than usual because of the grogginess caused by too much sleep, and, as a whole, the shipmates of Los Escapados seemed reluctant to hike.
Once on shore, we began our hike up a trail that led to a road that led to a national park of Statia. The forest itself harbors endangered snakes, iguanas, and birds, as well as hermit crabs and tarantulas.
About half of the way up the trail, we ran into a dog, and shortly after that, his owners and their two daughters. As we passed them, having inevitably drawn the dogs attention, the middle-aged man stated bluntly, “Don’t lead my dog.”
Ironically and unfortunately, the man made absolutely no effort to hinder the dog from following us. The old, loyal mutt of some sort followed, or rather led, us to the top of the Mazinga trail, the summit of Statia, and did the same on the way back down, regularly looking back to make sure we were following his course, which undoubtedly was the right course. Even when he would sprint off ahead to chase mountain goats, invisible to us in the thick bush, we would shortly find him after that perched on a rock waiting for us somewhere up the trail.
At the top of the trail, I rewarded him with the remainder of my Gatorade, using the cap of my Nalgene as a bowl; he couldn’t climb the rocks leading to the top, and when I climbed back down, there he was, and when he craned his neck back to greet me I knew I was a goner. This dog’s fate became entangled with my own. If I didn’t return him to his family, I would never be able to forgive myself. Naively, I assumed his owners were waiting for his return at the bottom of the trail. Naively, I assumed they cared for this dog, their beloved pet, at least as much as I had come to care for him in the span of a few hours. But, we reached the bottom, and the family was nowhere to be seen.
He walked with us down the road that led to the trail and me, as anyone would do, kept reassuring myself that we would run into the family along the way. We never ran into them on the way down the road; I didn’t have a clue what to do with this poor, old, once obviously loved dog. As I stooped down one last time to let him drink from the cap of my Nalgene, he must’ve sensed me struggling behind my sunglasses. He’d enjoyed his time with us, but, being honest and brave as all dogs are, he didn’t want to burden us, didn’t want to burden me, and so, as we made our way back to the dock, he humbly began walking in the other direction. I didn’t have the heart to look back, and I’ll never forgive myself for that, never forgive myself for letting that dog become just another stray in Statia. So, I suppose, I deserved it when the wind lifted my hat up and away off my head only to be lost in a harbor in Statia. I suppose it was inevitable that the windlass control would get caught in the winch as we tried to raise anchor, and I suppose that the boom being three inches away from separating from the mas entirely was just a warning from karma saying to me “You should’ve never let that dog follow you, and you absolutely should’ve looked back”. So I count my lucky stars that we all made it to Saba tonight. After all, things happen in 3’s, so I think what’s gone around has come back around, and I can only hope my canine friend found his way back home.”
**After reading his blog aloud, Charter apologized for not being as “chipper as usual” but felt that these events could not be left out of today’s blog.