02/22/2008, Black Point Settlement
We were back at the Laundromat reasonably early and finished three more loads by about 10:30. Later in the morning we returned to shore to make reservations for dinner at Lorraine's, which was about two houses down from the Rockside Laundry. Along with Jim and Beth, we placed our orders for Bar-B-Q Ribs and checked out her internet lounge.
We wandered down to the store to purchase some limes, and ended up buying some frozen fish that we found in the freezer that were locally caught. The bag we picked had one trigger fish and three grunts.
It was much too much fish for one meal, so back on board we partially thawed the bag to divide things up, leaving the trigger fish for tomorrow's dinner.
We were all back at Lorraine's at about 5:30... Dinner was a 6:30 but we wanted to take advantage of her computer room for a while.
Besides the four of us, there were five others for dinner. At 6:30 Lorraine served conch fritters... hot out of the fryer. The next course consisted of ribs ... that were well done with a mild sauce, peas and rice, slaw, and Bahamian macaroni and cheese. Desert was warm lemon cake.
I also need to add that at Lorraine's there is a small bar and a cooler filled with beer, wine, juice, water and soda. Lorraine is often away, so the place runs completely on the honor system. If you want to mix a drink, or have a soda you grab one and leave the money on the counter. Donations for computer use or internet access are also accepted.
The people here are friendly, polite, and outgoing....
Great Guana Cay
02/17/2008, Black Point Settlement
This morning I helped Jim and Beth for a while troubleshooting a charging problem and then we spliced a junction into their new SSB antenna. Having finished a little "work" Kathy and I decided to head south to the Black Point Settlement about 10 miles south to do some laundry. There isn't much in Black Point, but their laundromat is nice and it is a quaint, very Bahamian town. We again had a nice sail in 12 knots racing a big catamaran and a big Hunter. We actually went into the wind better than both and held our own for the morning. We needed hot water and motored the last 3 miles... forfeiting the race, but had a great time tacking with them.
After anchoring, we loaded up some dirty clothes and some garbage and took off for the laundry. Garbage gets to be a problem in some places. In the Exuma Park you must pack it in and take it out. Some places charge you to take your trash, but Black Point has trash bins you can use for free. We had to wait about 45 minutes for the owner to get back for her mid day shower to sell us some tokens, but once started, we made good time and at least have some clean clothes to wear back to the Laundromat tomorrow for the real deal.
While things were in the dryer, we wandered down to the store which was similar to the one we were in yesterday. We'll probably go back tomorrow to pick up a few things like crackers and a few more vegetables. We are also planning to go out to eat at Lorraine's tomorrow... you make reservations and place your order via VHF in the morning.
We have one more stop before heading out in the Sound for our sail down to Great Exuma.
02/17/2008, Big Major's Spot
We got the anchor up at 9:30 and sailed west out of the Park. Our goal for the day was the anchorage at Staniel Cay which was about 20 miles south..... if you happen to be a crow. Sailing is not the fastest way to travel. We tacked a few times but and had a wonderful sail again. The trades here are from the east so with a little consideration for bad weather, the sailing is great.... good winds and only moderate waves.
We arrived a Big Majors Spot, where there are wild pigs on the beach that swim out to greet you when approaching in a dinghy. We stayed away from them as we anchored well off the island. Later we took the dinghy into Staniel Cay to check out the town. It was a ride of about 2 miles and a little rough . We tied off at the Yacht Club Dock and went for a walk around town. There were a few rental cottages on the water painted in vivid colors that looked nice but as we walked further, it was evident that the village was not all that prosperous.
Back at the Yacht club... which in truth is a bar/restaurant with a long dock, we had a slow lunch with Jim who had come ashore to fetch a pail of water....and some gas. The lunch was slow because our waitress was setting up for the Valentines Party that night and we were not her first priority.
We had a Valentine's Day Lunch... I had a conch burger for $12, Kathy had a shrimp salad for $10 and Jim a BLT for $8 (Beth stayed on the boat due to the rough situation of getting to shore-distance and bouncin). The food was good and proportions were fine. Conch is the Bahamas version of tofu. It doesn't really have much taste of it's own but does a nice job of absorbing others. A conch salad is a finely chopped conch mixed with onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and scotch bonnets. It is all soaked in lime juice to soften both the conch and the hot peppers.
You can also buy "cracked conch" which is what is in a conch burger. In this case the conch is pounded, or run through a meat processor of some sort and then soaked in lime just as a tenderizer. It is then lightly breaded and deep fried. It is good ... but again tastes more like the lime than the conch.
After our lunch we unlashed our dinghies and headed for the grocery store down the beach about a half of mile. We came ashore, and tossed the anchor on the beach before wandering up to the the first floor of what looked like another pastel painted house. The store consisted of a room about 12 feet by 24 with hardware on one side and food on the other ... there were shelves, a cooler and a chest freezer on the food side of the establishment. We bought butter, frozen pork chops, limes, frozen hamburger, romaine, cucumber, ginger beer ( to make Dark and Stormies), some juices, potatoes, and carrots. So although small they did have some essentials ... NO chips, crackers, or junk food in sight except for some candy bars in the freezer that we figured we didn't need.