21 March 2010 | Georgetown, Exumas
Beth / temp in the 80's, ESE 12-17kn
We've been enjoying some of the best weather of the trip. Maybe spring means fewer cold fronts? The wind has stayed down (unfortunately that meant running the honda generator for a few hours on Saturday) and the skies have been sunny.
We went beach walking with Kathy and Mike (Sapphire) and both Kathy and I added to our store of palm fronds for weaving. I have finally learned to pick the right ones! The trunks of these are smooth, and the fronds don't go ZZZIP when I split them. It's worth splitting a frond whenever I'm plucking because the right ones and wrong ones are all mixed in together in the shrubbery. I'm amazed that we found any since there is such a weaving community here. Kathy's baskets are lovely intricate ones with a small tight weave, rounded and lipped and with decorative finishes - beautiful. I love the way each of us develops our own style. My baskets and those of the weavers I've learned from - Mary Lou, Nancy, Marilyn and Kathy - are all individual - finely detailed or chunky, round or oval or square, lidded or open, with and without handles. They hold breads, shells, fruit and vegetables. None of us is making the Red Bays kind that are so tight it is said they can hold water!
We have enjoyed happy hours and dinners in several places over the last few days. On Thursday we joined John and Jerie (Peking) at a happy hour hosted by Mary Lou and Bob (Cygnus). What fun it was to see those two again. Bob has shed his military style haircut and clean shaven look for a full head of snowy hair, white beard and a shiny earring in one earlobe - like a nautical Santa - without the belly! What a shift! He looks great and feels good after his heart surgery two years ago (shortly after we visited them at their home in the Chesapeake). Mary Lou is in fine shape too and has been having a busy time of it here in Georgetown. She was in charge of Children's Day at the Cruiser's Regatta, and is really into the swing of Georgetown life. We shared lots of laughs with John and Jerie including urging John and Jim to allow Mary Lou to pierce their ears. Neither one of them would accept the offer. Jib and Spinnaker, the two resident Yorkies on Cygnus were great fun to watch and play with, and Mary Lou once again helped me with my weaving. She was my original teacher and was able to give me some tips on making my baskets sturdier.
Mike and Kathy came over for dinner on Madcap one night. We made a stop at the Captain Ryan - a local boat fresh back from the fishing grounds - where we purchased some hogfish that I panfried and served with a spicy rice/chickpea dish. (We discovered that the rice was better cold the next day with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.) We had unearthed our last bottle of Jost l'Acadie Blanc wine from NS that tasted light and refreshing in the heat.
An invitation from Nathalie and Stephen took us over to Katmandu for dinner on Saturday. They were fine hosts and we enjoyed our BBQ pork along with BBQ sweet and white potatoes, as well as the chance to practice our French a bit. Nathalie has a really good linguistic ear and demonstrated the difference between English spoken with a French Canadian accent and that spoken with a Continental French accent. I'll have to listen harder now! Their children, Sabrina, Stephanie and Francis are lively, well-mannered and interesting and we enjoyed their company too. I have so much respect for families like this who are out here on adventures. They do home schooling (Nathalie had to make up her own curriculum for all three children), they learn to live together in small quarters (not an easy thing with adolescents and teenagers), they make friends with children and adults alike, and they share responsibilities.
We've each done some reading. Jim just finished "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and has moved right on to the next in the series of three, "Girl Who Plays with Fire". I enjoyed reading "Lost in Translation" set in China and nothing like the movie of the same name, and am now going back to "Guns, Germs, and Steel" until I have to have a fiction break again! I must admit, I'm more apt to pick up my weaving these days and listen to the radio than I am to pick up an "educational" book!
We took in the sights and sounds of the Heritage Festival during the afternoon on Saturday. Unfortunately the fine music is only in the evenings and we haven't gone over then, but we took in the corn husking and onion peeling contests and watched the children in their races among some other "people watching" on Saturday. The young men and women were "dressed to the nines" (as Mum used to say) with spiffy clothes, makeup, hairstyles - all out to mingle with their friends in the park. I bought some homemade cake from "Prince Trevor" and noticed that the champion onion peeler was "Lord Stanley". I need to find out whether these are given names or nicknames. I haven't quite wanted to ask the guys themselves, but I should have!
We're off to the beach again Sunday afternoon. The wind has picked up and there is no way we're going far in the dinghy. Each ride lately has meant soaked clothes and the life rails are full of washing - too bad Charles isn't here with his camera!