Thanksgiving at Black Point All-age school
12/07/2009, Black Point
November 28th, 2009 Black Point, Exumas
Yes, that's Lorraine's Mom dancing!
The other day a boat approached us while at anchor here with a native couple aboard. They motored up, hailed us, introduced themselves and invited us to her birthday party to be held at Scorpio's on Saturday night. We thanked her and said that we would be there. So the party became our only task for today.
The north winds had calmed somewhat overnight and shifted a little more to the east so we decided to move back over to the south side of the anchorage a mile away to make our trips to shore a little easier.
First though, we made a trip to shore. In front of us there were three or four old cement block homes that were in various stages of decomposition so we decided to explore. We beached the dinghy and wandered around the first one picking a few palm fronds for Kathy to renew her weaving. We motored past a couple more buildings and stopped at a beach where there was a tiny boarded up shack with a chair outside and a couple of dysfunctional boats up in the scrub.
We anchored out a few feet from shore and waded in. As we approached the shore we heard a groan and one of the boarded up shutters, hinged on the top, opened slowly. Unwittingly we were standing in someone's living room. So we turned around, got in the dinghy and drove away. As we were departing, I looked back to see that the panel that had opened ... was again closed. Creepy.
Back at the boat we weighed anchor and motored back to our original anchorage in front of the Laundry. It was a mostly sunny day and I spent most of the morning making water from the solar panels and monitoring the amps in and out. The new Blue Sky controller seems to be living up to its billing generating about 15 to 20% more amps to the battery bank and the watermaker seems to working as advertized as well. It will be awhile before we get things down to a science but for now we are happy with the improvements.
Just before noon "Nice and Easy" pulled in and anchored off our stern. Bill and Sue spend their winters in Georgetown and were on their way to secure their spot early. Bill is the resident Bridge instructor on the beach there and we've played quit often together over the last two seasons.
We needed to go ashore to make an order and ended up at Lorraine's for lunch with Kim and Steve and had a nice time as always. As we were leaving, Loraine invited us, as her guests, to a Thanksgiving dinner that evening at the school. Although we didn't know what we were getting into... we accepted the invitation and promised to return at 5:30.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent reading in the cockpit and as 5:30 approached we heated some water and took showers. We reached Loraine's Café at the prescribed hour but there was no sign of Loraine. Her daughter was there minding the store and had a couple of friends at the bar. We each had a beer and sat down. A little later we were joined by Doug and Jean who have a house on the beach on the other side of the Point where we anchored a few times last year to get out of the north wind. They live here six months a year and have recently arrived from California for the winter and were in town to attend the dinner at the school as well.
We sat around talking to them for an hour when finally Loraine arrived. As it turned out, she was too busy to take us to the dinner but she handed us off to her mother who was all dressed up for the occasion. We all know and like her mother, so it was no problem to us.
The school is only a couple of doors down the street from the Café so our walk was short. As we approach the entrance, noise from the school spilled out into the parking lot. Someone had a microphone and there seemed to be at least three people talking at once.
At the door Mom stuck her head through and we were promptly seated at one of two long tables near the front of the room there were two more tables at the rear with mostly children. We were sitting at the dignitary table.
As we were seated, Mom excused herself and joined the ladies standing ... and talking at the front of the room. One of the students cued up some music on his laptop and mom and the other older ladies started dancing to a din of applause and cheers. They were great. When they finished and were seated, a group of middle school girls walked up the front to show everyone how kids today danced. More music blared and they put on another show.
After that...an older lady took the mic and tried to get people to quiet down without much success so we went on with her speech anyway... attempting to shout the crowd down. As near as I can tell she was talking about how things had changed over time on the island but that they still had lots of things to be thankful for. The crowd never really did quiet down until the food was served.
We had our choice of turkey or ham, which was served with peas and rice, mac and cheese, slaw and either beets or corn. There was tons of food and we could see Loraine in the next room partially hidden behind a large portable balckboard... slicing turkey.
The waiters came around serving soft drinks. They would come out with a mixed case of cans and the folks at the front of the table got their choice, as they moved down each table the rest of us we served what was left. Really, I am not going to drink grape soda.
When the dinner was over, we crossed the street to attend the birthday party. It was quite nice and everything was free. When they started serving yet ANOTHER ham and turkey dinner, we decided to head back to the boat. All in all, a nie day at Black Point.
Kim and Joshua-Lorraine's little one!
11/28/2009, Black Point
November 27th, 2009 Black Point, Exumas
11/28/2009, Black Point
At 4:30 we both woke up to a rocking boat and couldn't get back to sleep. The front had finally arrived and although the winds we not bad they were from the NW, from which our anchorage here in Black Point has no protection. We had great holding and were not worried about dragging, it was just difficult to move around the boat.
After daylight we moved to the north side of the harbor and found some protection there. Although we were out of the wind the swells were rounding the point and bending toward us which still made some bouncing most of the day.
We had some left-overs for a late breakfast and then I began working on boat projects. I hadn't plumbed the watermaker into our main tank because I wanted to test the system out. Now that everything is working correctly, I cut the plastic fill line for our main tank and inserted the coupling that I had made to tie in the small water line from the watermaker. It took about 30 minutes and I was finished.
Next, I removed everything from our lazarette, crawled in and removed the "Water Witch" which serves as our automatic bilge pump switch. It is located in the bottom of our bilge suspended by a 5 foot section of pvc pipe which had to be removed. After some nasty work hanging over the open bilge in an amazingly uncomfortable position, I had it disconnected and Kathy hauled it up the cockpit.
We removed the switch and remounted our replacement. After testing the new switch in a bucket of water, I went back down the hole and spent an hour getting it back in the right position.
Since I was in the basement of the boat already I decided to run some heavier wire to the solar panels and install our new Blue Sky controller. When I got to the controller however, I found that although the wire to the panels was 10-gauge, the run to the battery bank was all 8 gauge. I installed them about 3 years ago and did it right. I must have done the calculations and figured that out that the run was too long for the smaller wire.
So, not having to re-wire, I removed the old controller and installed the new one in a matter of minutes.
I re-stowed everything below decks and sat down to read for a while before putting the cabin back in order. The garage had had to be emptied this morning to gain access to the storage area behind the engine in order to remove its back wall ... to gain access to the pvc pipe suspending the bilge switch.....which is usually the way things go on a boat.
We had shrimp for supper with a salad and some broccoli and then listened to Florida beat the Spartans. Where is Raymar during big games? It seems to be a habit of his that he's honed for three years.
November 26th, 2009 Black Point, Exumas
We got up to find cloudy weather with squalls in the distance. After breakfast I made a garbage run and stopped by "Fine Lion" to find out that Kim was heading in to help Lorraine work on Thanksgiving dinner and would pick up Kathy in about an hour. She was busily defrosting the refrigerator at the time they arrived to pick her up and was in need of a shower. I sent them on and would bring Kathy in a little later.
About that time the skies opened up and it started to rain quite hard washing a weeks worth of salt off "Sapphire." It rained on and off for a couple of hours but eventually I got Kathy ashore to help with the dinner.
She spent a few hours cutting up ham for the lunch crowd which consisted mostly of teachers and students doing take away. While she was gone I rewired the watermaker into the shower sump circuit. I actually took two tries to get things right. Two switches operating two different appliances was a little confusing until I diagrammed it for my second attempt. Eventually I figured out my mistake and corrected things.
Steve brought the ladies back about 3pm for a couple of hours off before going back in for dinner about 5pm.
At the prescribed hour we returned to the Café and had a nice dinner with Lorraine and Uriah, her husband.
We returned to the boat a little after dark and watched some video before going to bed.
November 25th, 2009 Black Point, Exumas
After coffee and some breakfast, Kathy got our laundry together and tried to call Ida on the Vhf with no response. We continued to call during the morning on and off and finally saw her sweeping her steps. We loaded everything up to go into the dock just about the time "Fine Lion" arrived and anchored just off our stern.
I helped Kathy unload and then returned to the boat to try to figure how to run some heavier wire to our water pump. After taking apart the inside of the cupboard that houses our 12 volt panel I really couldn't see an easy way to do what I wanted so I quit, I'll spend some more time thinking about the problem.
I went back in to the laundromat and stayed until we were finished. Steve and Kim came in around noon and started their wash and then the four of us walked over to Lorraine's to see her new baby and use the internet.
We ended up spending most of the afternoon and had a late lunch before heading back to the boat to read.