New Friends, New Customs
02 February 2011 | Great Harbour Cay Marina, Berry Islands
We hadn't done much at all today. We rode our bikes to the little town again only to find out that the mail boat comes tomorrow so the store had no produce left. Just before we left I heard the marina owner on the radio with a boat coming in. We saw the boat coming in as we headed out; it was another sailboat. When we got back from our unproductive grocery trip we met the couple, Jim and Judy Weaver, from Dream Weaver.
They had been staying further down the Berry Islands where they had stayed 14 years ago. They were helping out the man who lives there, the son of the woman who ran the restaurant there when they were there before. They needed provisions and he told them to come in here to shop on Wednesday, when the mail boat comes. It pays to have local knowledge.
We decided to go out to dinner. The restaurant right at the marina seemed pricey, so Jim and Judy asked and were told about another restaurant in town. The folks at the marina said it was about a 15-minute walk. Now Bud and I had biked to town twice, and it seemed further than that, but we were game. So off we started, after we had a round of cocktails and visited each other's boats.
A word about their boat - Jim had built it 25 years ago from plans. It was beautiful! The photo is of a newly painted Dream Weaver at dock near us. Jim re-painter her this summer up in Ohio. The fiberglass, the woodwork, the fittings all looked professional. Jim had even made all 21 of their sails (they didn't bring all 21 with them this time).
It was starting to get dark as we started off. The roads here are very narrow. We were walking on the wrong side of the road because there was no shoulder at all on the side facing traffic. In any case, traffic is very casual and one truckload of folks stopped to see where we were headed. They were headed in a different direction but kind of laughed at the 15-minute estimate. We'd been walking over 15 minutes already and hadn't made it to the first turn. We were almost half way when a nice Bahamian in a pick-up stopped and let us all climb in the back of his pick-up. He took us right up to the restaurant!
We walked in the restaurant and there were maybe 5 people at the bar. We asked about a chicken dinner (the recommended entrée) to be greeted with consternation by the waitress. "But you have no reservations!" It seems they don't prepare the food if they don't have a reservation. After our apologies and some negotiation with the owner it was decided that she could make a fried snapper dinner for us. No menus, no prices. We sat down and had some great homemade bread and drinks and before too long at all got our salads followed by the fish with rice and beans. It was excellent! Bud and I are going back Wednesday to buy a loaf of the wheat bread; she didn't have anymore left then, but would bake a loaf for us for Wednesday,
After dinner we were faced with that long walk home in the dark. However, on the way out Jim and Judy ran into Chester, the guy they'd been helping on Little Harbour Cay. Chester had just fixed a conch dinner (carrying on his mother's business) for the crowd we met earlier in the truck. That whole crowd had come to the restaurant we were in for drinks, as had Chester. Chester had come up in his skiff, but hearing of our impending walk, he called his sister who came over and drove us all back to the marina. Such nice people!