Lights, action, blow!
20 April 2009 | Hope Town, The Abacos
82* Mostly sunny
Monday, April 20, 2009
Last night/this morning - I was dazzled! Around 2:30am I woke up and decided to go topside to look around, and to make sure everything was copasetic. It was another snapshot moment in life. The sky was crystal clear and I could see soooo many stars - they all but blotted out most of the constellations. I had to search to find Orion's belt and the dippers - so far above me. How small we are in the scheme of things on this planet. Between the mast lights, the stars, the Milky Way and the lighthouse - it was just a breathtaking sight. I was amazed that the sky was so "viewable" considering we're moored with so many other boats and right under the flashing beacon of the lighthouse. It's sad that such moments are rare in life when you can suddenly be awed by the world around you. This trip has reminded me of the moments that are lost during the course of our life where we can truly marvel at our beautiful planet. I only hope that my students back home can someday experience such a sight or feeling as this. Sometimes it's hard to realize there's a wonderful world out there, when city walls and circumstance surround you. There were so many times, in my life, that I had forgotten it was there - I'm grateful that I've gotten to experience it.
I had a beautiful sunrise again this morning. Quite golden. Radiant. A cool breeze welcomed me topside with my morning coffee. This is a much nicer place than Marsh Harbor - I'm so glad we came here. Coffee is gone so it's time to get ready and go exploring more...
We wandered the beach and town during the morning and I have a beautiful conch shell/horn! Now all I have to do is figure out how to blow it and make a sound come out of it that doesn't sound like air pushing out of my lungs LOL.
One part of the island, the part we're moored in, looks out over the turquoise Sea of Abaco, and the other part of the island faces the mighty deep blue Atlantic Ocean. In our walk about - both views were spectacular and I love the colorful little village here. There are two grocery stores in walking distance and some wonderful little shops to browse - which we did - much to Wayne's chagrin. He stood outside with other males that were also drug along to browse with their mates and enjoyed the view from the shops along the streets. We came across a cholera cemetery where about 100 people died and were buried during an outbreak in the 1850s. There was also a monument erected at the top of the hill that overlooked the Atlantic and the Elbow Cay Reef - dedicated to the souls lost at sea off the reef. A tragic place situated next to the volunteer fire department.
After lunch on the boat we dinghied over to the candy-striped lighthouse to explore it. It's a 120 ft beacon that can be seen for 17 miles and is the only remaining manned lighthouse in the Bahamas. I was surprised that they leave it open for people to access without someone monitoring the visitors. When we got there, we could see people at the top of the lighthouse, but it appeared to be locked from inside - the outside lock was hanging loose. We shouted up to the people to see how they got in, and a little girl from inside, finally opened it and said, it must have locked somehow. Mmmm hmmmm. The wind threw the latch and locked it...
There was a guest book that we signed and a sign asking to please not touch any of the equipment or mechanisms inside the lighthouse. Made sense to me. We climbed the 101 stairs and greeted the people at the top. I was surprised to see the lens spinning and commented on it - it shouldn't have been, and a crank was lying on the floor. I think I realize why the door was bolted from inside now. One of the people asked me if I knew about the lens and I prattled off the statistics of the Fresnel lens (and I was reminded that it rotates/floats in a sea of mercury, instead of ball bearings). Some of the lens pieces were broken/chipped but what a magnificent lighthouse. The 360* view was spectacular from outside the lens room. You could see the palm edged beaches reaching out to the coral heads, breakers splashing up over the reefs surrounded by vivid colors of green, turquoise and various shades of blue water; the quaint little houses and streets, marinas, shops, cascading flowers and the boats in the harbor and at anchor in the coves and surrounding shallows. The wind was quite gusty but felt good! Once we climbed back into the lighthouse, I noticed the lens had stopped spinning finally. They should seriously think about manned tours - it appears, sadly, that people can't be trusted to keep their hands off. I hope that this misplaced trust doesn't endanger anyone's life at sea.
Back at the boat, I checked our email and then made dinner - salad, chicken, homemade bread. At sunset I tried to blow the conch horn. Key word - tried... Then Wayne tried... we definitely need to practice - but not in a crowded harbor. Baleful blowers is what we are... we sounded like a cow passing gas