Something Old and Something New
05 January 2008 | Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay
Let's start with the new: the weather has taken a significant change to cool and windy the last few days. It seems hard to believe that on Tuesday, New Year's Day, we were ambling around in t-shirts and drinking lots of liquid to keep hydrated. By Wednesday it had cooled some and we took a very comfortable long walk on the beaches to watch the surf on the Atlantic side and stretch out our legs.
The temperature kept falling and the wind blew harder. The thermometer in the last couple of days has been registering as low as 66 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind has been blowing consistently at 15 - 20 knots with some gusts up to the high 20's. Even inside our protected sound, we pulled and pulled on our mooring ball, swinging this way and that. Madcap is a heavy boat and we were sure giving that thing a workout, so kudos to Rick Sawyer for keeping his moorings in good shape.
Because of the high winds and the fact we've also been plagued by battery problems again (this is the old) we stayed put rather than go up to Manjack for a change of scenery. The power level dropped while we were back in Canada for 12 days and we could not seem to get it up by running the engine. So we were back to the same old solution of tying up and plugging in to get topped up again. The disheartening part of that is that both times the battery charge dropped (now and in early December) something happened to drain the starting battery too. Roger (Stout Wench) spent hours with Jim poring over the system and then used his dinghy as a tug to push us over to a dock. Once the batteries were up to full charge again, he spent more hours and the two of them could not find out what was wrong. Grrr. The good news is that Nancy and John (Panache) discovered a second generator in Marsh Harbour when they went to pick up theirs so we made a quick phone call to reserve it.
We tracked down and fixed a smelly head problem - there was a block in the air vent. We pulled up the floor in the salon and disconnected the vent hose to have a look at it. I thought maybe I would earn brownie points by being the one who crawled into the stern locker, disconnected the hose at that end and blew into it. Unfortunately, Jim got the points because he was holding the end that had been connected to the holding tank when the "stuff" blew out. Blech!! - he kept his cool and deserved the points. I dinghied over to do a load of laundry at the Abaco Yacht Services - enjoying a chinwag with Gail (Jabiru) in the process - and we made some inroads on the rust that appears with regularity on some of the stainless steel.
We also found time to read our books and socialize. Open these days have been Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay, Divisidero by Michael Ondaatje, The Race by Richard North Patterson, Crisis by Robin Cooke - all different and all recommended. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Macintyre's one day with Sandi and Steve (Princess) and their guest, Baird. (pineapple chicken with peas n'rice and plantains, cracked conch, macaroni, all appeared on various plates and went into various stomachs amid animated conversation. On Friday night, we discovered that folks gather at Dave's - otherwise known as the Liquor Store and Café. We had been in for lunch a few times, but hadn't known about the Friday evening gatherings. People started arriving around 5:30, and by 7 the place was packed. We all purchased our bottles of beer or wine or soft drinks there at Liquor Store prices, Dave produced glasses, a few people brought crackers and cheese and the standing room only crowd of locals and cruisers mixed and mingled. Those with wine left in their bottles had a choice of taking them home, or leaving them there for next time.
I talked with delightful Lana who has moved to White Sound. She and her husband cruised in the area for years, made plans to build a house here and then he died. She had a choice of living back in the States near her children but found that she had more of a purposeful life here, so she is staying. Another couple from South Africa has recently moved to New Plymouth. Yang is building a cabinetry business over on the mainland, Toni is gradually getting involved in community activities and their son goes to school in Marsh Harbour. He found a wonderful community of friends from Green Turtle so they decided to make this their home base. Jim and I are always so interested in the adventurous spirit and courage of people and we love these opportunities for conversations with friends old and new.
Pineapples continued to be another interesting stop. Many folks gather there for happy hour between 4 and 6 when the drinks are 2 for 1 and laptops are scattered around on the picnic tables. My "problem" is that I always find someone interesting to talk with and the e-mail and blog-postings take second place.
If the weather is agreeable, we'll slip away on Sunday morning from Green Turtle Cay - our home since early December, and head off to Great Guana Cay. It will bring to an end our long and pleasant visit here and leave us with a perfect place to come back to on the way north in the spring.