Days of Fun and Sunshine
13 March 2010 | Little Farmer's Cay
Beth / overcast then sunny, 85 then 75 then 85 again
Despite the wind - that blew Winfield Lash and Kolibrie off their moorings on two successive nights - we've been having a good time here. We all have anchors out now, in addition to mooring lines, and are more confident that we'll stay where we should.
Pat (Kolibri), Marge (Winfield Lash) and I went for a "women only" ramble around the island on Friday, shelling, sightseeing, and sharing our experiences of the cruising life. We didn't find too much in the way of beautiful shells, but the looking is always fun, and walking straight down the middle of the runway at the airport was a bit of a lark. We did keep our ears tuned and eyes alert for approaching planes! When we first entertained the idea of going cruising, Eileen Quinn told me that I'd find it important to be able to go off on my own from time to time, and all three of us agreed that it is true. Sometimes we need more space than 36x12 feet allows; sometimes we need to make decisions without consultation; sometimes we want to do something our partners are not interested in; sometimes we are fed up with the company at home and need an alternative!! We walked the whole length of the island, stopping at the Yacht Club at the north end for a cool drink, and at Brenda's kitchen for some bread ($4 per loaf).
Evening found us all, along with Paula and Larry (Lapidus) and Oskar (Eden Rock on Big Farmer's Cay) aboard Solitaire for happy hour. The lovely big cockpit of their Morgan 41 was a full and happy place for a few hours. Oskar showed us on the chart where to look for shells and we made plans to explore. Lapidus related their happy experience of having a cruiser make a special trip here on his way north to deliver a part for their engine. It had been on the mailboat but didn't get dropped off until Lee Stocking so Nike kindly acted as deliveryman. The array of foods was excellent too - artichoke/goat cheese dip, dragon's breath cheese from Nova Scotia, fresh and crunchy nuts, juicy purple grapes, smoky sausage along with assorted crackers and chips, and all washed down with sodas, beer, wine or rum drinks according to what we each had in our little carrying bags. I love the happy hour practice here - bring a drink and some food to share. It makes getting together so easy!
The front moved through here at midmorning on Saturday, bringing a 10 degrees F drop in temperature, a 70 degree swing of the boat and some showers over the course of an hour or so. I spent the morning weaving some of the palm fronds I collected on Big Farmer's Cay, and Jim finished reading Ken Follet's "Pillars of the Earth".
By afternoon, the sun had appeared and we were ready for a trip to town. Jeffery called across from the beach where he was cleaning fish and we dinghied over to see what he had. For $20 we got a couple of groupers, a grunt (all filleted) and a good sized lobster tail. Jeffery was our fish supplier when we were here last time and it was good to connect with him again, both for his fresh fish and because we enjoy chatting with him. He also went over the directions for making stewfish for me. I can find it in books, but I like the idea of getting the method from the guy who catches 'em!
At the waterfront in town - a tiny little curve in the harbour with a cluster of buildings and some tables for eating, drinking and playing dominoes - we picked up a couple of Kaliks at Ali's smallest bar in the world. It really is tiny - three stools, a bar, a cooler of beer and a wall of rum bottles. It's painted bright yellow and green and the always genial Ali welcomes all comers. We then ordered delicious conch fritters ($2 per order) from his wife, Brenda, at her kitchen around the corner, and sat in the sun to enjoy the breeze from the water, the laughter of school boys hanging out together and the slap of dominoes from a nearby table.
When I wandered by the domino table near the bar, intending to watch for a bit, Nick got up and insisted that I take his seat, with the advice that I could learn more from playing than from watching. These fellows, Ali, Stanley and Ramon (with the r rolled, please!) play a fast-paced, straightforward game. 7 tiles each, first one out wins, winner starts the next game with whatever tile he wants. I laughed and laughed, because I could hardly count as fast as they could, let alone keep track of what tiles were out, plan strategy and keep Stanley from seeing what I was holding. Barry kept warning me and trying to show me how to hold them (and they don't line them up on the table, they hold them in their hands) but I never did accomplish it. They were such good sports for welcoming me into their game.
Solitaire Jim introduced Madcap Jim to Aiden, who agreed to fix our Mercury outboard motor. In "non-mechanic" language, something slipped inside so that the gears didn't shift properly. He took it apart, fixed it and got it idling at a slower speed too.
Dinner on Saturday night was panfried Nassau grouper with boiled potatoes and broccoli salad. Mmmmm. What a fine day!