St Patti's Day
17 March 2009 | Warderick Wells, Exumas
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
There was barely a breeze last night. It seemed strange not to have a breeze coming through the hatches making my hair dance across my face tickling me awake at some time during the night. I got up and flicked on the radio to catch the weather from Highborne at 7:30 over coffee, then started reading Margaritaville. I noticed our electrical panel was reading 12.13, another indicator of no wind last night. Wayne kicked on the engine when he got up after I brought it to his attention. Then our daily weather from Exuma Park and the announcements of who is leaving, who wants to come in, and the list for tomorrow's boats that want to come in. It's become a strangely satisfying morning ritual.
I thought I'd come below and start breakfast and turn on the computer. While turning on the computer, a little bananaquit landed on my computer to say good morning. I didn't bother him. From my computer he flitted to the coffee pot, then the basket, the hammock, the V-berth, back to the table to look at me mournfully as if to say, "what, not even crumbs?" I had to laugh, then finally shoed him back out of the boat. Time to dig into the frig for some eggs. No green eggs or green ham for St. Patti's day though, eggs and sausage... Good morning world.
I read some and rummaged through the storage under the port side seats to dig out the remaining 7-2 liter bottles of coke for Wayne and to find my salsa and cheese dips. I've been craving salsa and chips for the last week for some reason. After that we dinghied over to the beach and walked to the park headquarters to settle up so we can take off tomorrow morning. Dave was sitting on the large wrap around porch with his computer (charging it up and trying to connect to Skyppe) and there were new people shuffling around inside the office looking at all the shirts, shells and artifacts. Judy gave me a smile as she was manning the radio, giving directions for the boats coming into the various moorings. How she can remember each turn by heart always amazes me. I told her we were going to check out tomorrow and figured we'd better settle up and also wanted to join the Bahamas Trust. She told me about the next island down and said to be sure to stop by the aquarium - I'd love it and asked if we'd be stopping by on the way back. Yes of course - I'd stay the 10 years that Wayne had joked about on our first day here if I could. She smiled and nodded in agreement. I also purchased a coffee mug. I forgot to bring sugar to leave for the banaquits so I'll have to remember to leave it on the return trip. Once we return to the boat the dinghy will be hoisted up for tomorrows trip.
We took the dinghy to Barefoot beach where I snorkeled a while, then we swam and loafed on the beach and took a saltwater bath, before returning to the boat. It's really very good for the soul to be able to find so many little beaches where you can pull up to and wander by yourself without another soul intruding on your quiet moments. There's something about the clear, aqua water that swirls around the white sand beaches that's very rejuvenating to the soul. Some of the water is so clear, you'd think it's only inches deep, but when you climb out of the dinghy it's almost up to your head.
Back at the boat, Wayne noticed a large school of fish right under us. Now I gotta ya that those fish were really pretty. Silvery with split tails the color of lemons. Theirs eyes were huge - like doe eyes and they had oval, rounded heads with an overall tear drop shape. It looked like you could reach down into the water and touch them. I know the water beneath the boat was 13 ft deep but you'd swear it was just right there. We have a book of all the fish of Florida, but couldn't find these at all. There were about 10 of them about 18 inches long. Really wonderful to watch them looking at us while we looked at them. They even came closer to the surface to look at us.
While making pork chops and sitting up top reading, we noticed that several dinghies were up on shore and several more were joining them. There must have been an announcement about a St. Patti's happy hour on the beach that we missed while we were out, because most people were in various shades of green. Unfortunately we'd already put the dinghy to bed and neither wanted to hassle with it so we just watched the festivities from the cockpit, Wayne hoisting his beer to them, me hoisting my diet Coke.
There were 4 young girls walking the low tide zone, collecting small conchs out of the water and piling them up in the water. "Is this one alive?" "I think this one is dead" We watched them scouring the tidal zone, taking count of how many each had found. I wanted so very badly to jump into the water and share some of what I knew with them about tidal zones, the algal mats they were walking on, etc... It reminded us both of many years ago when we had 4 little girls on the beach in St. Johns. We listened to these 4 chatting and were transported back. There are some days you wish could last forever. But those days get lost so fast doing what you need to in order to make a living. Those days in St John's I'll always treasure. I wish we could have had more of them. It saddens me to think that those days escaped, and were perhaps, not really appreciated. That was a time when we really didn't have a pot to piss in but we scrimped and went into debt and tried to make memories for the girls as best as we could. Even though faded, the memories are still with me, still with Wayne, nudged back to the forefront watching these 4 young ladies playing in the surf/tidal zone at sunset, collecting their treasures.
The conch horns are blowing now and I've got pictures of this golden sunset to take, so enough for tonight.