Faithful readers of Smartini Life know that the crew of Smartini went to Italy for three weeks in May/June. What they probably don’t know is that two wonderful people stayed onboard Smartini for that time, and more important, took care of May the Cat. They are Paul and Denise Magnus. We met them almost two years ago when we took Smartini to a marina in Titusville to have some work finished. They lived on their boat, Orion, in that marina, and we became friends. Sadly, Orion was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in that same marina, but thankfully, Paul and Denise were not onboard.
When we were making plans for Italy, we knew it would mean leaving Smartini and May somewhere, in someone’s hands. We posted on one of the online boating groups that we were looking for a cat sitter and a boat sitter. Denise saw the post and almost immediately volunteered her and Paul – wow! They would fly all the way to George Town in the Exumas and live on Smartini, and take care of May, and Fran’s new Tower Garden – and asked nothing in return.
They arrived a few days before our departure to Italy, in early May. Over the next few days, we showed them everything we could about Smartini, and then they shuttled us to the airport, and we were off. We don’t have a lot of details about the three weeks we were gone, but we know it rained a lot, and the wind blew a lot, and they didn’t get to really enjoy living on a boat in the Bahamas very much. (They told us that one day, they barely opened up the boat because it rained so much – they just sat inside and watched movies all day. Not the kind of days we would have hoped for them, to be sure!)
When we got back to George Town, we finally got to spend some time with them, and even had one really beautiful day. We left the anchorage and went “outside” (the ocean side of the island) and fished for an hour or so, then snorkeled a bit. It was Paul’s birthday! We went to one of the restaurants that cater to cruisers and played trivia. We did get to experience one of their rainy days with them, and watched a water spout, from formation to dissipation, just a few miles away – that was exciting! (See pictures.)
And then, just like that, they were gone! Back to Minnesota, where they’re from, to resume work on a house they had bought shortly before coming to George Town.
Below are some pictures from the few days we got to spend with them. Thanks, Paul and Denise! We can’t tell you how much we appreciate what you did for us!