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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Partly cloudy, mid to lower 70s
02/17/2009, Bimini, Blue Water Marina

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It was a cool, beautiful morning out with a good breeze. Made sausage and eggs and had some more of that delicious Bimini bread with it and we split a banana and orange. After breakfast we walked into Alice Town and out to the tip of the island where we'd come in at, to the cemetery and out to the wreck. I don't know how long it's been there, but it's pretty well mostly breaking apart. I couldn't imagine being the house in front of it watching it crash up onto the shore. Just think, for the next 100 years or so, they have a wonderful view of a rusting hulk sitting in front of their beach view and actually on their beach.

I was going to pick up another loaf of bread for when we leave tomorrow but the bread lady wasn't there today. When we got back to the boat I saw Denny standing out on the dock near his boat so we went over to say hi. They're going back towards Bimini Bay Resort with another couple (up the river) and wanted to know if we wanted to come along too but we need to get diesel before we can take off tomorrow. They plan on heading out tomorrow too so maybe we can buddy with them out until they head north. They're going to the Berry's and then toward the Abacos but we're both heading toward North Rock and Mackie Shoals? Another front is supposed to be coming in Thursday so we need to be tucked in off the bank by then. Rick (an instructor) was talking about going over to the End of the World Bar this evening so we might head over there too. It sounds intriguing.

Well we never made it to the Bar, we ended up over near the pool for sundowners with Denny and Brigid and Layne and Joan from the Shahadaroba (the motor boat 2 boats down from us on our dock). All the French speaking Quebec boats were by the pool also. After we got back to the boat I couldn't believe how cold I'd gotten. Made ham sandwiches with the last of the Bimini bread and now its time for some shuteye.

Part 2 of 2/16

We got directions on where to find the bread - don't leave Bimini without trying the bread - it's wonderful! The bread lady is the last one past the stalls that sell clothing and straw hats. After getting our bread we visited the museum (the last scene from the Silence of the Lambs was filmed here), the library (they have a ton of paperbacks) and the beach on the windward side of the island (breath taking with the onshore winds from the northwest cold front moving in). The sand is white and comprised of corals and shells. The water is so breathtakingly beautiful in light and dark shades of aquamarine with white caps and foam breaking into the shore and on the rocks. There's a small shelf of hardened coral sand that stands above the beach sand and further back from the waves that was previously eroded away by previous seas - coquina in the making, and conch shells all in varying states of decomposition littered along the beach.
They have an "all grades" school here and the kids were all out in the yard for lunch when we walked by. One little guy was in a tree and an older girl yelled out to me "Take his picture and send it to the Police" I responded "he's not supposed to climb the tree?" "No - he's in trouble" at which he hung then dropped down from the tree, then they all started admonishing him. The next time we passed it coming back to the boat, the yard was empty and the lunch ladies were carrying their stuff back across the street.
We passed by the Big Game Club/Marina, which stands strangely vacant, but in good shape. They have murals painted all along the wall along the street of various sea life that made me think of Steph and Alli. I could see them doing this kind of stuff down here. From the water as we passed by this place coming in - the docks are empty and look brand new. I wonder what happened to the place because it's quite the compound. Not enough business to stay open? Came back after exploring the town a little further and stopping at the Bank of Canada to get some ones and fives.

Pork chops, salad and Bimini Bread for dinner with the rest of my Verdi wine. The bread is awesome - similar to the Hawaiian Sweet bread but better. It's definitely worth the $5! After dinner we wandered down near the grills to see if anyone was still there. They weren't. Brigid said there's usually a group of cruisers there between 4-7pm but we didn't get there until close to 7pm. The air has cooled off quite a bit. The cold front is here - time to put a blanket back on the bed.

As I'm typing this up, the Frenchman is serenading life again. This time somebody else is joining in the singing. I think it's the boat from Quebec which is on the inside part of the T-Dock that we're on.

Presidents day
Sunny upper 70s
02/16/2009, Bimini Blue Water Marina

Monday, February 16, 2009

What a beautifully delicious sunrise. We're already starting off quite warm with our coffee in the cockpit. We walked over to the marina office to check in and I saw needle nose fish in the water, some damsels, small conch and a few other fish I'm not sure what type... The water here is a marine aqua color - more green than blue - but clear and lovely.

After that we dinghied over to Bimini Bay Resort/Marina to properly checkout (they had our credit card data, etc., so it wasn't needed) and explain why we left after saying that we were going to be staying. Peter was very apologetic and said we should have called, he'd have helped out and I had to bite my tongue about how rude and vile those people were. I think I said they were mean and nasty and that when we asked them to turn it down a bit, they decided to blow out our eardrums for the next three songs. So we thought it easier and more prudent to leave before they or we started some stuff. Our reasoning was that the BB people wouldn't help. We'd already asked for power and almost an hour and a half later there was nobody there to assist with that. They'd stopped responding to our hails on the radio even though they probably couldn't hear me - just music. We didn't want to stay in that racket, so why stay and pay for an evening of misery when we could have that anywhere for free if we wanted it. I repeated that they were rude, mean, nasty people and the girl at the counter gave one of those huh! kind of grins, like so what else it new around here? Then Peter told us that their mate said - they'd gotten into a terrible fight and he'd kicked the cabin door in and broke it. It figures. I really liked this place and the people that work here and felt bad that we had to leave. The place is really empty & Peter said, "It's Monday". He asked if we were anchoring out and we told him we were over at the Blue Water Resort and asked if he knew that place - yes (of course he does - what were we thinking?). Anyhow I felt bad all around and told him if we come back by on the way home we'd stop back here which seemed to bring a smile from him. I keep thinking about The Big Game Club/Marina. That was a rather large compound that closed down - they've been trying to cater to the upper levels of society but there aren't enough to keep frequenting them to keep them all open. I think that they're losing their niche by shutting out all the middle class cruisers by pricing everything so high (like the $300 fee to even cruise through the Bahamas).
After we dinghied back to the boat we decided to walk through Alice Town and ran into Brigid (oops I spelled her name wrong earlier) and Denny Vitton (Aurora) and chatted with them a bit first. Prices sound expensive here - bread $5 a loaf, milk $8 or $10 a gallon (yikes) I couldn't remember which - either is bad... He lamented that they both drink a lot of milk so this would be hard. I can see what we were told is true - bring as much as you can with you because everything has to be shipped in, then marked up so the merchants can make a living too.

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