25 February 2010 | Staniel Cay, Exumas
Beth / windy
It's amazing what opportunities a one-word photography assignment can provoke!
Our friend, Charles, had a mission when he set off to walk the streets and beaches of this bit of the Bahamas: take "laundry" pictures for his photography group back home in Ottawa. That assignment took him into a back yard in Staniel Cay where he and Jim shared some laughs and conversation with the owner and "hanger-upper". Jim was a little hesitant about entering someone's yard and taking pictures of the clothesline, but Charles is not easily discouraged so in they went! The lady of the house laughed at his story and kindly posed for pictures as well as telling them about her flowers and shrubs. They moved on to the government wharf where they purchased a hogfish for dinner - cleaned and split into 2 lovely big fillets - and picked out a beautiful conch shell for Linda. She really wanted to find her own, but just in case that didn't happen, the guys decided to choose one from the day's catch. While the fishermen cleaned their catch, and the locals lined the wall along the beach, Charles picked up one after another and the group indicated which was the best. I must say, he brought home a beauty - a large flared and rippled lip tinged with orange and gold, with a deep pink interior. It is gorgeous.
As they walked down the road, fish in hand, Stephen came along in his golf cart and it was time for another photo op and conversation. He agreed to have his photo taken and took one of them also, while agreeing that their fish purchase was a good one. Stephen is the local electrician - having grown up here with his grandparents after his mother died, studied in Nassau where his father lives, and after getting his accreditation as an electrician, moved back to Staniel Cay where he is able to make a sustainable living. (All students have to go off island for high school and further education, and most of them go to Nassau where they can live with relatives. Charles visited the school and learned that there are 17 students and 3 teachers.) Also of note is that Stephen has one hand. This guy is impressive - smart, skilled and determined. Among all the bits of information he gave the guys was some real estate info. It costs about $1.5 million for a 1.5 acre lot with a beach view. Whew - I think we'll stay on the boat! Staniel Cay is experiencing a building boom at the moment, but they are being smart about it - no high density development that might change the character of the island.
It was so windy that we had to panfry the hogfish rather than grill it, but it made a fine dinner with peas'n'rice and cole slaw, and we dipped into the bag of chocolate truffles donated by Sandi and Steve (Princess) to finish things off. Mmmmmm.
We stayed on our mooring ball in Staniel Cay another day because of the first cold front of their visit. After a night when the wind howled around, and we bounced some, but managed a reasonable nights sleep, we got up, ate breakfast and headed ashore to Club Thunderball. The club is closed, but the solid dock is handy for those of us anchored and moored in this part of the harbour. From there, it is an easy walk down the road, up the hill past the dump, and then down the sandy slope leading to Ocean Beach.
Despite the strong wind that set the sailboats rocking, this protected beach was perfect for walking. Unfortunately, the temperature was cool so it was not perfect for swimming - unlike the days we spent there on our last trip. Also unfortunately, there were few pretty shells and no sea glass to put in our pockets. On the other hand, Charles managed to take a few pics of shirts draped on rocks and boards, we got some good exercise and we managed to spend a chunk of the day on land!