26 March 2008 | Thompson Bay, Long Island
Monday morning found us ashore to track down the internet connection we had heard about. This picture above shows Jim in what has become his typical "office" environment. The real estate office has a wifi signal but it wasn't open so we perched on the rocks just outside and hooked in. When I went into the Long Island Cargo Services office to check on the source of the signal and say thank you, it was so refreshingly cool and air-conditioned that I also asked if I could just sit down in a corner and work there. The lady seemed a bit surprised but said, "OK." I got the last few postings made and as I was leaving she offered me a big bunch of red grapes - just in off the freighter that was nudged up against the shore. We haven't had grapes in ages so they were a real treat.
In advance of the northerly, the air was heavy and humid. Ominous clouds were skirting overhead early on, but didn't amount to anything. On those humid days, every footprint shows up on the floor of the cabin, the bedding feels sticky, the grains of sand cling to cushions and skin. We never did get fans installed and our air conditioning is through open windows and hatches, and it hasn't been a real problem. Most days there has been enough breeze for comfort, and these humid times aren't really too frequent. It would be different further south, but here in the Bahamas, the air is generally just lovely.
The wind was forecast to come up strongly, peaking about sunset on Monday, clocking around from S to W to N and NE by Tuesday, with gusts to 25 and then steady, strong trade winds for the rest of the week. We moved ourselves closer to shore to shorten our dinghy rides, and with any luck decrease Madcap's pitching in the waves. We got in surprisingly close and have seen no less than 6.8 ft. at low tide. By dusk, there were 24 boats here in this corner - with lots of room for more. The wind never did come up on Monday except for a slight increase as it shifted direction, and on Tuesday at dawn, the water was so still that reflections of masts were absolutely straight. It was one of those stunning mornings when the colour is all blue and the line between water and sky is hardly visible.
That changed about 9 and we all stayed hunkered on the boats as the wind came up and the chop increased across the bay. We were pleased with our position - lots of swing room and very little wave action. Mostly everyone stayed on boats all day and there was surprisingly little VHF radio traffic. Jim worked on his taxes and I read - just finished "A Conspiracy of Crowns" by Alfred de Marigny - about the murder of Sir Harry Oakes in Nassau in 1943, deMarigny's trial as the accused, and the involvement of the Duke of Windsor, Governor of the Bahamas at that time. It made for a very interesting read.
By late afternoon, we were anxious for a stretch and the wind/water seemed accommodating so we headed ashore. Everyone else was staying aboard, but after all this time of steady wind and steady direction, we really could not see any indication that it would be dangerous to leave the boat. A brisk walk took us to the Parrots Bar and Grill out on Indian Hole Point Road where we sat on the deck and tried some grouper fingers and conch fritters. Neither were particularly good - the fritters heavy and doughy, and the fish dry. But, the place is really attractive, the service good and the beer $3.00. We chatted with a couple who have purchased land here and will build a house on it, and engaged in a lively conversation with Marge and Jerry, from Chicago, who have owned a house here for 15 years. They filled us in on some places to visit - the Columbus Monument, the Blue Hole, and the Midway Inn's Happy Hour on Friday.
From there, we walked to Club Thompson Bay and made arrangement with Tryfina to go back on Wednesday for her Bahamian Feast. On our way "home" we took a tour out through the anchorage, discovering that it was indeed much calmer in closer to shore. The wind stayed pretty much the same overnight, NE 15-20 with occasional higher gusts, and that north wind blew all the heaviness out of the air.
As we woke up on Wednesday, the thermometer read 22C - one of the coolest mornings, and Chris Parker's forecast is for ENE and E winds of 15 with scattered showers for most of the week. Hmmm - feels like we've already headed north!