30 January 2009 | Hope Town, Abacos
west winds 40-50kph
We've spent the past few days exploring the island on the bicycles and meeting lots of the local folks.
We cycled to the very south end of the island and met some works building a $25M mansion for a movie star at the southern tip of the island. The main house is 30,000 sq.ft. with several out buildings and a private marina for the floating toys..... I should have been in the movies!
I spent a lovely morning visiting the local museum, followed by an afternoon visiting Winer Malone, the local boatbuilder (80+ years old) who is still building lovely 16' sailing dinghies with hand tools in the shed behind his house. He's just announced he is stopping taking orders until the current backlog has been eliminated. A wonderful gentleman with wonderful handtools. He doesn't even steam or bend the wood, preferring to find the correct trees with the appropriate curves.
Louise is in the ocean daily, snorkelling along the reefs, looking for beach glass.......we saw a pretty 3'+ barracuda yesterday which worried her sonewhat.... she removed her jewellery so she didn't look like bait.
We visited the famous lighthouse again, and I was able to help Jeffery ( the lighthouse keeper) to light the lattern. The Kerosene lattern is about twice the size of a standard coleman lattern c/w delicate mantles which last 4-6 weeks. The mechanical elegance and simplicity is wonderful and reminds me of the old sawmill at Lac-en-Coeur.
The winds have picked up and are blowing from the west today, and expected to swing North tomorrow bring more cold winds from Canada, so we'll relax a couple of more days then see where the wind blows us!