06/15/2011, Sea view Marina!
We need to get a lot of things done today...water topped off, diesel, gasoline, laundry, groceries. We also have lots of angst when going to a hard concrete dock and this one is for big, strong ships, not a wee sailboat. We managed.
We met Claude, who took our Laundry, Jade who brought the cisterns on the back of a flat bed truck right to the dock...Shane at the grocery! We had a number of helpers all wanting to help us, for money. We do give back.
Claude brought our laundry back at 5p in time for us to see our way through the reefs. He's Haitian and a very bright, kind man. He's a sweetheart who brought us some conch as a gift even though we ordered it and told us to give him whatever we thought was fair for the laundry. Thanks Universe.
06/14/2011, Customs, Sea View Marina, Mae's, here on S. Caicos!
Get real. We got a personal guide from Will, a local guy who is smart enough to be sitting under a big shady almond tree when we decide to hike in the hot sun to find customs. Of course it's not at government dock where it should be.
Turns out that Mae's Bed and Breakfast is just at the top of the hill from the customs office. Shannon and Marika were sitting outside because the breeze was nice and government couldn't pay the electricity bill for this official office. The girls were sweet as ever, and called the immigration girl to come to us! I had plenty of time to explore Mae's.
Turns out the place is in ruins. It was originally the District Commissioner's home, then Mae turned it into a B&B. She got too old to care for it and passed it on to her son who clearly couldn't either...it survived two hurricanes recently and still stands proudly, albeit having had such an illustrious past so long ago.
No calling ahead for meals, no comfy overstuffed bed to fall into and definitely no long cool shower to stand under for as long as you want. Imagination is what's needed here too...would love to have seen it at it's zenith.
06/14/2011, Long Island/South Caicos...
Yes, Dudley is Mr. Do Right! "Get the work done first, then play"!
So I help tear the salon apart...move everything into the v-berth get him all set up, then I take off for the reef! We've been going strong and I think we need a balance...so I'm going by myself. There just isn't enough room for the both of us when the boat is torn apart like this.
Just like scuba, you should always have a buddy! I had this unnerving feeling and I whipped around to see this 'clan' of barracuda checking me out. Shoot, take the picture...nothing has ever stopped me before...wow!
Dudley got the oil changed, filters swapped, tranny fluid replaced, among other necessary things for the good ship Altair!
06/13/2011, Cockburn Harbor, South Caicos!
It's a skinny cut between Dove Cay and Long Island into Cockburn Harbor and there are not that many spots to anchor close to shore in this crystal clear shallow bay. We made three attempts to anchor with not enough water nor enough sand to hold our hook. We are seriously thinking about one thing...sleeping! Not food, not customs...just getting back and crashing.
We got the dingy down...headed to shore in record time!
It's the queens birthday...yep, nothing open. Customs and immigration are closed up tight. Somehow we have the uncanny luck to arrive on a weekend or a holiday! We are just going to fly the quarantine flag and call it a day!
We found Darrel, Danny, Mr. Edgar Claire, Whitfield (a firefighter too) and Cleaver. We were the beneficiaries of hospitality from Danny and Darrel of Sea View Cafe and Grill where we some sausage (baloney fried) and eggs and we got 'stories' from Whitfield and Edgar as entertainment while we ate. Cleaver remembered us from our three day soiree three years ago when we crossed the Caicos Bank and bought some conch. We are truly blessed.
It didn't take us long to pull up anchor and move over to Long Island. We got the 'cruiser skinny' from Stephen Pavlidas' guide and I can not wait to check out Mae's Bed and Breakfast. We will jump on that manana, maybe.
This is Whitfield...what a character!
06/12/2011, Mouchoir Bank
Still no wind. The little bit we have is wreaking havoc on the main that we are keeping up for the only reason which is to steady the boat from the excessive roll.
I decided to throw the fishing line out and get a dorado, or whahoo, or tuna, SOMETHING! There's seaweed, birds and I'm stoked. I fought that darned fish forever...the rod was bending, the fish was fighting me, and I was playing it as I've been taught over the years. it was just what we needed to spice things up!
It was seaweed! Just couldn't believe it! Imagination is a curious thing sometimes! Everything is interesting when approached with wonder, desire and love. Guess I wasn't a good student of fishing.
06/11/2011, Silver Bank
We are desperate to sail, but got what we asked for, mild weather, small seas, biiiiigggg looooong swells and a lot of what we didn't ask for...sweltering heat!
When we travel overnight or for more than a 24 hour day...we wind up getting in the sleeping groove just about the time we arrive at our destination. We are tired. It's day 3 of the big ocean passage and my honey needs to be at the top of his captainship...he needs sleep.
I'm the comfort queen! I strapped him with the boomvang bridle and tied him to the winch, brought his pillows from the v-berth, tied the 12v fan above his head and he finally started to snore.