Rain, Music, Rain
01 February 2010 | Bimini, Bahamas
Beth /damp but warm
We've had more rain in the past couple of days than we've seen in months. But it has been warm rain! And we didn't have to shovel it!
All my grand plans for exploration of this community on Sunday washed away, and instead, we just tucked ourselves inside with our books for much of the day. (Jim is reading Steve Berry's "The Charlemagne Pursuit" - and really enjoying it - and I've got my nose in William Deverell's "Snow Job" - not my favourite of his but still entertaining.)
We spent part of the morning up at the covered picnic area chatting with Tom (Amity) and Alain and Judy (Ramha), and decided to get together in the evening for music. Despite the rain all afternoon, those hardy folks from the anchorage came dinghying in with instruments and food. Tom got out his concertina, Alain produced his guitar and it wasn't long before Guy (Arieta) came along with his harmonica. I brought a wooden spoon and my vitamin bottle which made a pretty good shaker! (Liam, remember OffBeat and your vitamin bottle??) More folks appeared to sing and clap. Plates of food kept appearing too and it turned into a very fine evening. Liz (Knot Pete) makes the most wonderful pickled "things" - asparagus, beans, jalapenos, dill pickles. Jim and I finished the evening at Whisper where we made short work of Vic's potato salad and ham. These are great folks and the best examples of legendary Newfoundland hospitality.
We rocked and shook all night and were so very glad to be at the dock. Madcap could rock all she wanted and we didn't have to get up to check anything. It is a luxury and we appreciate every minute of it.
Monday morning brought more rain so it was 10 o'clock before we set off down the road to the hardware store. Praise be, they had the right size drain, so we happily walked home again along the upper road with a detour to the beach where I found some bits of seaglass and one sea bean. I was amazed that they can be found this far east since I thought they came from Africa. Once I looked them up in my lovely book, "Florida's Living Beaches: A Guide for the Curious Beachcomber" by Blair and Dawn Witherington, I discovered that the sea hearts and purses are from vines found in the Central and South American tropics, while the hamburger beans may come from there or Western Africa. The book says that the discovery of a sea heart in the eastern Atlantic helped inspire Columbus' explorations.
Jim repaired the sink (once again with a little help from his friends) while I did laundry. It's odd - the things that turn out to be satisfying in the cruising life. Fresh sheets are never so appreciated as on a boat, and the act of trundling the load off to the laundry in these communities is somehow very pleasing. I loaded the bag of clothes and bedding into my little cart and off I went down the road. Melinda runs an excellent laundry - spotlessly clean with lots of machines and she provides the tokens. The washers are front loaders of different sizes. A med and a small wash, and one large dryer cost me $12. It is a reminder of how precious water is on these cays. As I walked back, I met school children who had just been released from classes. They burst out in happy, giggling groups or cool and nonchalant groups depending on their ages, all dressed in their sparkling white shirts and blue skirts or pants. In fact, they sparked all over - from gleaming skin and shining eyes to friendly smiles and greetings. When I stopped in to a couple of shops to buy pigeon peas (for my first batch of peas'n'rice this trip) and to look for water shoes, that same friendliness was there.
Monday's evening entertainment was "sponsored" by Guy and Denis (Arieta) who brought us Karaoke! We had so much fun singing along in French and in English to all sorts of the old songs that a bunch of retired and semi-retired cruisers can remember.
We have enjoyed our stay here, but other destinations call to us and we will probably head out across the banks on Tuesday. It may be a few days until we find another internet connection. Of course if it is raining, or the wind isn't conducive to comfortable sailing, we might be easily persuaded to stay another day!