Breakfast - and More
16 March 2008 | Little Farmers Cay
Beth - hot and humid
The day started with a novel sight - even before breakfast. As I put the kettle on for coffee, I heard a motor and looked out to see a huge boat nosed up to the rock just up the shoreline from us. It was carrying fuel and because there is no dock big enough for such boats here, it went right up to the bank, let down a ramp and the trucks rolled off. Our neighbours said it came right in between the anchored boats - must have given them quite a start!
We had arranged with Ernestina at Ocean Cabin to try a Bahamian breakfast at 9 this morning, so off we went, mouths watering. The restaurant was all locked up when we got there, but we sat on the deck, letting ourselves fall into the rhythm of a Bahamian Sunday morning; roosters crowing, birds chirping, sun hot overhead already, water shimmering in the harbour, and the occasional person saying hello as he went by. Soon enough, Ernestina appeared, opened up her kitchen and went to work. The result was delicious and unusual - for us.
She made stewed fish - which was nothing like I have ever eaten for breakfast - or at any other time for that matter. It consisted of pieces of fried fish - grouper for me, snapper for Jim - served with onions and potatoes in a spicy gravy, and with Johnny cake as a side. I've seen recipes for boil fish (fish, potatoes, onions cooked together in broth) but this one was new to us. It was a "stick to your ribs" breakfast - meant to fill the stomachs of fishermen before they went out to start their day. The Johnny cake was different from what I make too - made with flour and not cornmeal. To top off the meal, we drank several cups of really good coffee.
Ernestine said the Americans generally won't try this, so we were pleased to be adventurous. I'm not sure we are adventurous enough to try the next thing she suggested - sheep's tongue, but she said it's delicious and that we wouldn't even know what we were eating. Maybe....
Lori, Dana and Nancy (Solitaire) arrived as we were finishing so we all sat around and chatted with Terry and Ernestine for another hour or two. We were the beneficiaries of their warm hospitality as well as their food. One thing we were disappointed to learn about was that the (Canadian) boat that had taken up the mooring next to us had left without paying. We were even more disappointed to learn that some cruisers do this on a regular basis. These moorings cost $10.00 per night - not a huge price. There is ample room to anchor if one does not wish to pay. We heard of people doing the same thing in the Park - where the moorings are put in to protect the coral from destruction by anchors, and the fees help to maintain the Park. It baffles me why some cruisers think it is OK to secure a mooring and not pay for it - kind of sounds like "stealing" a mooring to me. I know I grumbled about moorings back up north, but that was when harbours were filled with them and we were given no choice. This situation is different. There are many choices of anchorages and moorings, and installing moorings for the security and comfort of cruisers is one way the Bahamians earn their income. Every $10.00 not paid is money taken out of their pockets.
Jim replaced the seal in our head and it pumps much better now; we did some routine cleaning and had a swim to break the heat (32 C and very little breeze).
After a trip to the Yacht Club on the northern tip of the cay - where there is Internet - we'll shift our position around to the west side of the Cay where we think we'll be less rolly tonight and tomorrow as the anticipated wind clocks around.
We'll probably move to Lee Stocking Island on Tuesday, and then on to Emerald Bay on Great Exuma Cay a few days after that. We don't expect to have internet connections again till then.