The Cap'n is Back
26 February 2011 | Georgetown, Exumas
Beth - high 80's
This week has flown by and although the wind has picked up in the last couple of days, it’s sunny, hot and “friendly”.
I haven’t been back over to town until tonight when I went to pick up Jim, but I have been busy! The evenings have been social and gustatory experiences. Barb and Bill (Suncast) from Toronto invited me for dinner on Thursday and we feasted on BBQ’d steak and potatoes with salad topped with bright red, juicy tomatoes from one of the little produce stands in town. The next night, I was out again - this time joining Mary Lou and Bob (Cygnus) for a creamy and tasty chicken/broccoli dish accompanied by salad with Mary Lou’s special caesar dressing. I laugh when I get home each night because folks always want me to call on VHF to let them know I’m safely back. It’s like being 15 again! I’m glad the runs have been short the last couple of nights because the waves are higher and in a situation like that I run the risk of bouncing right out if I get up on plane with just me in the dinghy. Instead of roaring along, I plowed along, in and out of the waves.
My daytime hours have been filled with work and education. I cleaned the interior of the boat from top to bottom and bow to stern - getting rid of accumulated dust and paper, and reorganizing drawers and lockers. Then I tried to tackle a job with a higher “yuck factor”. We have a stronger than usual “odour” in the cabin after the head is pumped and I tried to get the floor boards up to have a look. Some of the screws did not want to come up, so after much grumbling and a few choice words with no results, I left it for Jim to take care of when he comes back. My inspection by flashlight wherever I could get a peek didn’t reveal anything bad so maybe it just needs a really good pumping out.
On earlier walks this year, we’ve found some nice pieces of sea glass and I took some pretty bits over to Mary Lou on Thursday. By the time I arrived there yesterday, she had transformed them into lovely pendants and earrings. Her work is distinctive and beautiful. Rather than wrapping the glass with wire, she attaches little charms or else just uses a simple silver bail and I really like the look of my beautiful new jewellery. If you’d like to see her work, find her on Cygnus (currently at Sand Dollar Beach) or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connie (Oz), Peach and Chris (Star of the Sea) and I along with 50 other folks jammed into a room at the St Francis resort this afternoon to hear Chris Parker in person. He is the weather guru to whom we all listen eagerly 6 mornings a week at 6:30 on the Single Side Band radio. It was a real treat to hear his weather philosophy, and to get a better handle on understanding the forecasting process. He is a weather forecaster, not a meteorologist, although he has studied meteorology, and most of what he has learned has been from flying gliders and sailing. I loved his statement, “I would rather give you information that means you won’t be surprised by what you get, than be “right”. He said the goal of most forecasters is to be “right”, but he would rather be overly cautious than right on the nail. I hadn’t realized just how much of the process is watching trends and making educated guesses. No wonder we are sometimes faced with wind that is not just what we expected. One good nugget of information concerned wind along coast lines. He told us that wind tends to parallel coasts so if we are expecting a NW wind and we are going N up the coast of Florida this spring, we will probably get a N wind instead - right on the nose. That situation is exactly what we have found on many occasions when we’ve been cruising along a coastline.
On Saturday afternoon, I took a walk up over the hill at Sand Dollar beach. The view was spectacular out over the ocean and sparkling over the harbour too. It was perfectly lovely to relax on the bench at the top, chatting with Valt and Sandi (Amber Isle) before continuing along the ridge and back down to the sandy beach. The report today was that there are 184 boats here. I was astounded to hear that there are 52 in Thompson Bay, Long Island; we haven’t seen more than 20 there in other years. Now I know why we didn’t see as many boats up north - those who are still able to cruise this year are spending their time further south.
By 5 o’clock it was time to head to town to pick up “Captain Madcap”. He arrived in a roundabout way from Ottawa, ON with a smile on his face and Cuba charts under his arm. He also seemed to bring a dark cloud with him and we took shelter under an overhang and chatted with Ralph - another Nova Scotian. We were lucky enough to make it across the harbour without getting wet and before long, that big black cloud moved clear away. An omen for the next few days, I hope!