Junkanoo and All Things Noisy
28 February 2014 | Marsh Harbour
Well, we got our prop issue resolved. The boat yard had it back to us and installed when they said they would, and at a very reasonable cost. We still had to wait another day for the bank so that we could get cash to pay the bill. We left Man O War Cay on Friday, February 21st and headed to Marsh Harbour to take in the Junkanoo weekend. Marsh Harbour is only 5 miles, and we wanted to test the new prop, so we motored over in less than an hour. We anchored in the harbour along with about 40 other boats in ideal conditions.
We met up with Liz and Chris off of Groovin (our buddy boat that we crossed with) and headed to town to take in Junkanoo. It’s hard to describe what Junkanoo is if you haven’t seen it, but it’s a cross between a parade, a band competition, a dance performance and Caribana. How’s that for a vision?
Wayne had been to the adult Junkanoo a couple of years ago and there were only 2 bands, so we thought we’d take in the Junior Junkanoo to see how it compared. The juniors were fantastic. There were 12 groups, starting with the pre-school group all the way up to high school groups. The little ones were so cute – trying to remember their dance steps, or blowing their whistles all while staying in a group was funny to watch. There were 18 judges and each judge had a different category to look for – choreography, costumes, banner, float, etc. It’s a very big thing here. The groups were amazing though. They put so much effort into their costumes and floats – it was spectacular. The lead picture gives you an idea of the amount of work that they put into for Junkanoo. Marsh Harbour isn’t the only Junkanoo – many of the other islands have them as well and these same groups will compete in each of the different locations. Serious business. The event started at 7:30 pm and didn’t finish until 11:00 pm. I spoke to one of the judges and she said that this was only round one – they all regroup and perform again, with the exception of the pre-school group. It went on until after 1:00 in the morning!
We took the opportunity while we were in Marsh Harbour to do some provisioning and laundry. Marsh Harbour is the largest city in the Abacos and has well stocked stores. You can get just about anything you need here. The weather forecast for the following week was calling for some thunderstorms and high winds, so we figured that we would leave Marsh on Tuesday and head back to Man O War to the mooring that we rented for the month to wait out the weather. In the mean time though, it was interesting to stroll around Marsh Harbour and realizing how much more "urban" it is than the out islands.
While we were waiting for the tide to give us some depth so that we could leave, a boat neighbour told us about a man named “George” that sets up shop beside the Harbourview Marina and makes fresh conch salad. We love conch salad, so I decided to go and get some. I have never seen them take a conch out of the shell, so I was fascinated to watch George perform this task. He hit the shell a few times with a hammer, then stuck a knife in the same spot and slid it around a bit and then stuck his hand in the shell and pulled out the conch. Kind of an ugly thing, well actually a very ugly thing, and I wish I had brought the camera to take a picture. He trimmed it up with a knife and then proceeded to do the same thing with the next conch shell. Once he was finished that task, he started to chop up the conch for my salad. It was probably the best conch salad I had tasted and obviously the freshest we had tasted. We enjoyed the salad for lunch when we got back to Man O War. Now I just need to try and figure out how we can get conch at home!!