Church and Chill Jan 26- Jan 29

Sunshine equals energy generation on Ortolan and with the boom swung to the side we get a full day of Ms Sunshine beating down on our four solar panels. Power hog that we are, the sun provides most of our juice although not all.  We have fallen into a 3 day cycle with the generator: day 1 no use- yea!, day 2 run it an hour and day 3 run for two hours to charge the batteries well and make enough hot water for showers. Making water is another matter. Harbor water is clean enough for us to make fresh water, but will run down the batteries unless we run the generator. Did that once but otherwise we lug our two 5 gal jugs every time we go in to town.

A very full dinghy dock

Exuma Markets provides free R/O (reverse osmosis) water right at the dock, making it easy to dinghy up and fill your jugs. So now you have the background story on the “chill” part of the title because when Russ hurt his back lifting a jug from dinghy on to the stern, we ended up lying low for a few days, and taking things easy for a few more after that.

Once again I played galley-slave and baked coconut bread, cranberry/oatmeal bars and poached chicken breasts for chicken salad. We visited the Corner Laundry one afternoon when the wind calmed down; always feels good to get that chore done with.

Saturday afternoon and evening was a celebration at Regatta Point in honor of Buzzy Rolle, boat builder extraordinaire. Bahamian sloop races, delicious ribs, burgers and fish, rum punch all enjoyed to a danceable selection of Bahamian /Caribbean music blasting from the speakers.

Donald- the man can dance!

Sunday we attended Beach Church, an officially recognized non-denominational church… under the pines, on the sun-bleached wooden benches and picnic tables. A prettier setting is not to be found. Oh, and a choir accompanied by organ music or on some days guitar and violin.  Coffee and tea is provided (not sure by whom) in thermoses and cruisers who want to socialize afterward bring a treat to share. We brought some coconut bread. Dress is naturally very casual and footwear is scarce.

The roughly hour long “service” and I use that word in the most general sense, is led by George Hohenstein (more on him and Toby his wife later) on Puff and proceeded such: greeting and messages, new attendees stand and introduce themselves, hymns, more hymns, more hymns – no ok not that many, but to me, who can’t carry a tune, it was more than I was comfortable with- songbook provided of course, then a “lesson”, concerns and anyone who needed to be prayed for, choir song and closed with everyone joining hands and singing the Lord’s Prayer.

Russ had no more than picked up a coconut cupcake than Toby came up to us and shared that she and George hailed from Groton and would love to chat. We were eager to get a look at the inside of a house boat- be there at 5pm.

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