Friends, Not Fish

exquisite sunset after HH with Carole & Jean

George Town, nestled snug in Elizabeth Harbour. As you may recall, the reasons to love it are many and varied; as are the reasons to dislike it. We sit somewhere in between, with Russ leaning further from “love” than I. One aspect that we agree on (right Honey?) is that it’s a friend magnet; both to make new friends and to reconnect with those we may not have seen since last year, or simply to spend time “getting to know you”.

Once the bad winds abated we left the extreme protection of Red Shanks and had the good fortune to find a lovely spot close in at Monument Beach and two stones’ throw from Cort’s Place. More than once we thought shifting winds would encourage us to leave but they clocked around to SW and NW at less than 8mph, so even we could endure a few hours of slightly wavy. And a tad creaky- don’t forget that.

Cort's Place- view in to Gr Room standing at entry sliding door

Cort’s Place- standing at entry sliding door, looking at the common room.. and Cort!

We got our first look at a completed and livable Cort’s Place and joined Cort and grandson Max in singing a long distance Happy Birthday to Carolyn; thankfully the guys’ voices drowned out mine. When Cort’s friend of many years, Giff, (how many are still friends with your freshman year roomie?) visited we received an invitation to dinner- featuring assorted fresh catch of the day caught by Max and Bahamian friends, grilled by Max too!

Transfer- from table to plywood for transport to the grill

Transfer- from table to plywood for transport to the grill. Three to move  and one to photograph.

Snapper, parrot fish, grouper, etc – all delicious and not a morsel remained at the end. But the potatoes- oh they almost stole the show. Sliced new potatoes, lay in an overlapping line drizzled with olive oil, seasonings and onion. Wrap in heavy-duty foil and grill for 30-45 mins. Divine. Try it.

Dinner is served!. Slice pots with oil & seasoning- grill 30 mins wrppd in foil

Dinner is served!

Every day the harbor magnet drew in more boats; on Jan 22 the boat count was 166, 198 on Feb 6 and swelled to 297 by Feb 13. Always amazed at how the harbor can absorb all these boats, and more, with ease. But at 6 miles long and mostly one half-mile wide with scattered multi-sized cays throughout, that’s a lot of harbor. The heaviest concentrations are off Monument Beach, Volleyball Beach, Sand Dollar Beach and Kidd’s Cove.

Met and got to know friends of friends, joined in on a birthday lunch at the Rusty Anchor at February Point Villas; gorgeous view!

View of Kidds Cove from Feb Pt- Soulstice to the left

View of Kidd’s Cove from Feb Point Villas

Reconnected with Jean and Carole on their unusual hybrid motor yacht Apollo II and happily received a gift of  hand-made (by Lesli of m/v Soulstice) pelican hook pull tabs- so very sailor nautical and white!!  Our old ones looked ancient even after we’d bleached them. Give fish, get spruced up; I like this. 🙂

Looking out from Flip Flop Shop at Elizabeth Harbor

Looking out from Flip Flop Shop at the northern part of Elizabeth Harbor

Flip Flop Shop further up and in corner- looks like new

Flip Flop Shop – comfy hangout and meeting place

We’d heard about Flip Flop Beach (way back in the day it may have been “clothing optional”) but didn’t know where the heck it was. As you can see, I found it. We dinghied up to Starfish Beach which is the beach north of Hamburger Beach, aka Big D’s  After a bit of a beach walk we came upon Flip Flop Shop tucked into a corner right before a rocky outcrop that kept you from continuing unless the tide was low.  Not sure who uses it but a gathering of Leopard catamaran (other cats invited too) owners held a potluck there one night.

After two weeks at Monument, the weather suggested we move; Red Shanks welcomed us back with open claws (it’s behind Crab Cay). This would put us very close to the large stone dock where you can tie up and walk 50 yards to Baranki Laundry. No matter how much hand laundry we do, the day comes when a washing machine and dryer are needed for towels and sheets. The bummer was wi-fi was no longer available and nothing at all is within walking distance, so we hung out. The cost is $3/load; same price wash or dry so that’s reasonable.

After the grueling laundry process we were eagerly looking forward to exploring the HUGE sand bar that extends northward from Man o’ War Cay toward Red Shanks. It’s a very short dinghy trip from anywhere in Red Shanks or Masters’ Harbour but quite a long ride from the usual harbor anchorages.

Fine exampleof a sand worm tower

Fine example of a sand worm tower

Our first sand worm sighting- he was flopping about and never able to get into the sand

Our first sand worm sighting- he was flopping about and never able to get into the sand

Sand bar selfie

Sand bar selfie!

After two hours of exploring and learning what makes those sand noodle piles, rescuing a few sea stars and snapping sand bar selfies, we hitched a ride on the party barge. 🙂 Not really a party barge per se, but transports people in chairs to sandbars and secluded beaches with ease.

Melanie & Paul (of ToTW island house and the Vineyard, who we met thanks to Cuttyhunk T-shirts and through our friend Cort), came down on their new barge with cruiser friends Libby & Frank. They (Libby & Frank) are from Maine, so only a mild surprise to hear THEY have a Maine Cat story too. Loved our story and are even happier with their Horizon power cat after hearing only the salient points of our pirate tale.

Old Paint departs sand bar after picking us up

Old Paint departs sand bar after picking us up. Mel and Paul give all their boats meaningful names!

Winds down back out we come; this time anchoring near what I call Lumina Pt beach and very near Sand Dollar. PDQ Soulstice had scored a spot off the beach near Ti Matou. Don and Bernard know each other; ah all the Canadians!  But good for us as Soulstice had planned to leave, but then ended up staying another week. That meant Lesli was available to beach walk with me (Russ nursing a sciatic nerve leg issue) and I even got a paddle board ride on her very stable board. And yes, this the closest I’ve come to using a paddle board.

Russ helped Don with an oven problem, but like so many boat projects just because you think it’s fixed doesn’t mean it really is.

Valentines Day-the perfect reason to check out the new Lumina Point Resort for lunch on the upper deck. Soulstice joined us and as it turned out it was a farewell meal too as they were heading north (most likely) the next morning.

In to Lumina Pt for Valentine lunch with Soulstice

In to Lumina Point for Valentine lunch with Soulstice

You dinghy in to the (sturdy, new, floating) docks which are located in Turtle Cove, aka Hole Zero. The open air covered space used for lunch and Happy Hour activities overlooks Elizabeth Harbour and we chose a table with a great view.  As you can see, the place is lovely, the drinks carefully crafted (and pricey), the food quite good and the service, well, it’s the Bahamas mon.

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day

And can you stand to hear that strong SW-NW winds were coming??? And this time the best spot would be the Litterbox by February Point. Have you ever heard of Crokinole?  It’s a Canadian invention. I wish I could show you a photo of the board game that is played sort of like shuffle board but you hit the round pucks (think checkers or backgammon) with your finger, trying to land in the center hole or near, but you have to touch an opponent’s puck first, if one is on the board. And watch out for the small bumpers set in a circle around the center! Think pool and pinball too. Girls vs guys and we won!  I surprised everyone, but mostly myself!

Soulstice departed the next morning to explore “Exuma cays less visited”, but would this be the end of Friend time?  Hint:

Well, “Top o’ the Mornin’ to Ya” as I sit here shoe-less, aka bare feet, on a mission to get this posted! 🙂

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