Let me begin by ‘fessing up that this is NOT our last week thanks to a mild cold front that approaches as I write this. Once it passes through we’ll point our bows north to explore more of the lovely Exuma Cays we sped by on our trip down and some we’d like to re-visit.
Meanwhile back in serene Elizabeth Harbour, 75yds off Sand Dollar Beach, Ortolan and crew continue to enjoy extreme R&R and the nicest stretch of weather since arriving in The Bahamas. Not even two downpours Wed. morning could ruin the day, plus the boats received a much needed rinse off. We, on the other hand, didn’t need one but dried off amazingly quickly.
In between trips in to town, boat visits and visitors (very common for an unannounced visit to occur and we do the same), beach and trail walks we’ve baked, entertained, attended Beach Church and kept dollars in our pockets by doing laundry aboard.
We are so happy (but sad we had to return the book) with our bread book find that we expanded our repertoire to include Challah, our favorite for French toast. Way more budget friendly than any store bought loaf, either here or in the States, with no preservatives or unknown ingredients. If we never catch an edible fish at least we’ll have bread!
Wednesdays the propane truck is available for cruisers to have their tanks filled without having to “drop off and pick up later.” The wait is another good opp for meeting other cruisers and the guys to talk boats. As you may have guessed, this method is also will keep more dollars in your pocket than dropping off your tank with a middle man.
One of our beach walks finally produced the elusive Sand Dollar; I mean we are at Sand Dollar beach but until we walked south along the beach never saw a single specimen. Of the two we found, just wedged into the sand, the best one is drying out on our roof. Since we’re on the subject of dollars … spending your money in the Bahamas is easy. A Bahamian dollar equals a U.S. dollar and at the George Town ATMs at least, you can choose between the two currencies. We love the colorful paper money and the cute tiny pennies with a sea star design.
We also listen for and look for new arrivals we might know and always enjoy a clever boat name. Some clever ones, that I can recall are: Living Well, Just Drifting, Sun Spot Baby, Meow (yes, a cat), Plumpuppet, Cat Ching (gotta say it fast) and Flip Flop with a tender Barefootin’. Elvis, the 50’ Gunboat was even there too.
Another MC 41 arrived- yes it was Double Diamond, who we’d seen way back in North Carolina. A trip north along Stocking Island past Volley ball Beach and Monument Beach was in order to check things out. No dinghy at the MC but Déjà Vu (did you guess it’s a cat?) was anchored behind them and Helen and Joe were gracious enough to invite us aboard for a tour. I know it sounds like we just stopped by and said “hi, we’d like to see your boat.” Sorta, except we met them a couple weeks ago and Joe had stopped by Ortolan to talk sail drives. Plus, Déjà vu is a one off, built by Joe in four years.
The Double Diamond folk were on board after we left Déjà vu so we talked MC stuff (yawn) and in the process were reminded once again how incredibly tiny the world is and even more so the boating world. Before we settled on a MC41 we chartered one in Hope Town, Abacos in 2007. The- how shall I say it? – man in charge of the MC charters in Hope Town, Captain Ron Engle is extremely diligent and thorough in his job. One important task is to take the boat and charter crew out on a trial run. Not only did we have virtually no sailing experience, just plenty of power boat experience, a cold front came through the day after we arrived which kept us on the mooring for the first couple days. After a visit to the candy-cane lighthouse and several strolls around town and becoming well acquainted with the Kathleen D we were chomping at the bit for our test. Finally said that we wanted to get going and just motor if it meant we could leave the protection of Hope Town. At the time, Maine Cat had two MC41s in charter and the other, Varekai was being chartered also.
Long story short, back in George Town, Captain Ron’s name came up and Double Diamond mentioned how they’d chartered in Hope Town after becoming MC41 owners. Even with a long sailing history, Captain Ron still wanted to test them out, but taking out the “power boaters” was a must do, so the Varekai folk were allowed out without a test. We all enjoyed a good laugh at the walk down memory lane and the fact that we were the power boaters who worried Captain Ron. Andy of Double Diamond did get a little red-faced at that one; whodathunk? And here we are cruising and sailing …and planning a visit to Hope Town. Big smile.