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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Part 2 of 2/16
02/16/2009

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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

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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.

A poem
02/15/2009, Bimini

I came across the following poem which I think says it all about this cruising lifestyle:

Mother and Father go sailing, you know
Every autumn they pack up and go
Far from the winds and the cold and the snow,
South to the sun and the sea.
I love to think of them sailing there,
The blue of the water, the gold of the air.
Skimming the whitecaps without a care;
Imagine a life so free.
I build up a picture of sea and sky:
Of lazy harbors and bays drifting by.
I build up this image of pie-in-the-sky;
Till their first letter reaches me.

Oh! The propeller shaft is knocking
And the fuel injector's clogged.
There is dry rot in the transom
And the hull is waterlogged.
The heat exchanger's bugged up
And it won't exchange its heat.
When the spinnaker blew out last night;
We lost another cleat.
But, in spite of these small incidents,
When all is said and done;
It's great to spend our holidays
sailing in the sun.

Mother and Father are sailing, you know,
Down in the south where the fair winds blow,
Basking all day in the warm sun's glow
While sea birds circle and dive.
I think of them strolling the silver shore,
Small dinghy bobbing, the flash of an oar;
Sleek hull shadowing ocean's floor.
Then a second letter arrives.

Oh! We lost both anchors overboard
And now the gasket's blown.
A connecting rod has broken
And the piston rings have gone.
Some moron ran aground last night
And blocked the harbor's mouth.
But we couldn't leave here anyway;
The wind's not from the south.
But, in spite of these small incidents,
When all is said and done,
It's great to spend our holidays
sailing in the sun.

Yes, Mother and Father are sailing today;
Crisp bow throwing a fine salt spray.
Sails stretched taut as they cleave their way,
Through the crystal waters clear.
I like to think of them browned by the sun,
Enjoying the speed of a long clear run,
To a small still bay when day is done.
But a third letter is here.

Oh! The captain gets quite anxious,
When the oil pressure drops.
The main bearing seizes solid
And the halyard ties in knots.
We hit a small reef yesterday,
So now the bilge is full.
And he says the blasted bilge pump,
Is clogged with knitting wool!
But in spite of these small incidents,
When all is said and done,
It's great to spend our holidays
sailing in the sun.

From: The Cruising K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple System) Cookbook
Written by: Corinne C. Kanter

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