04/07/2012, South Caicos
Arrived safely in South Caicos which is the capitol of the T&C. This a true fishing community. On shore they were cleaning conch and lobster. Had barrels of conch and lobster being processed.
My sailing friend dingied over for a nice cold beer and asked where to go. Three fishermen pointed to a bar across the street, so off we go. As soon as we had our beers ordered a native lady comes up to me and grabs me and started dancing with me. It was suspossed to be dancing but I would call it vertical lap dancing, most embarassing! I soon became the laughing stock of everyone there. I think this wasn't the first gringo.
Had to repent and go to a local church Sunday. A Methodist service and gosh it was beautiful. The youth gave the entire service and let me tell you the dance team was outstanding. Six girls about 8 to 14 in costumes gave their expressive dances with flags and banners. Justmarvelous! It was so good that I went back for the evening service and it was even better. Let me tell you the natives dress to kill on Sundays
That night a local large fishing boat drug anchor right by me so I had to up anchor and move. It drifted off into the sunset.
Tom and I did a walk-about and toured an old deserted mansion ( see Photo gallery)
04/06/2012, South Side Marina
Yesterday was a very sad day for me in that Ixnay died. He had been feeling poorly last few days and Thur took him to a vet. Turned out his kidneys had shut down probably from some type of poison like antifreeze. The doc said he probably wouldn't make and he didn't. Was nothing they could do. I'm really going to miss my companion and friend.
Moved the boat to South Side Marina to fuel up and top off with water. Bob the owner is such a gentleman. Took me to the vet, town and shopping. He gives a morning weather net daily and sponsers a barbeque on thursday nights.
Will be leaving to go back to anchorage and get ready to cross the banks tomorrow for South Caicos
04/01/2012, Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales (Provo)
Arrived at anchorage after a long overnighter. Of course wind on the nose. Guide book said to go over hill to customs. Yea, right? After a trecherous walk up the 'hill' had to walk down the ridge line a good ways just to find the trail down. Would have been much faster just to walk around the hill. Customs is inside a very busy port with two different security check points. $50 in and another $50 to clear out plus $15 for something.
Tried walking into town but Ixnay was getting hot and tired. People kept driving by and honking, I'm thinking they sure are friendly. Town would have been a 5 or 6 mile walk. Found out later the honking was by "Jitneys" which is a ragged out auto driven by Haitians. Kind of like a taxi but only $3 to $5 where the taxi is $25. I understand that if they wreck they just open the door and run. Oh well, sailor's budget rules.
A semi truck driver picked me up one day and took me all the way to an IGA then he insisted on waiting while I shopped and took me all the way back to the boat landing. Wow! talk about going the extra mile. He absolutely would not take any money either.
Went to town another day and watched 'Mirror Mirror'. It was a great flick with Julia Roberts, also watched 'Clash of the Titans'.
Went up that hill again and took some pics of rocks signed by stranded sailors of long ago.
Met Tom a sailor in the same bay and helped him hang a radar dome and then he went up my mast trying to fix some lighting problems.
This place is very different from the Bahamas. Sailors are just ancillary to the true tourist who usually fly in.
03/27/2012, Southeastern most Bahamian Island
Left Rum Cay for Mayaguana at 12noon to arrive by 6pm next day. Was susposed to be a reach at 10 to 15k but ended up very close-hauled. My boat does not sail at 30 degrees off the wind so had to motor sail all but last 2 hrs of trip. Wind was also 17 t0 23k with 6ft swells. Makes for a tiring passage when you set your alarm for every 20min to watch for traffic.
Arrived safely and first night was totally becalmed at anchor. What a blessing that was. Took a bath off the stern and as soon as I got out and looked back there was a 5' shark right there below the ladder. It was probably a nurse shark but I've seen too many Jaws flicks. Maybe cleaning that big Baro right there that we caught coming in didn't help matters.
Staged off SE Point for the next leg to Caicos Islands so we could leave at 12midnight. Got there early so went walking the beach. This was extremely remote. Found six manoverboard poles and two EPIRBs. Kind of sobering
Mayaguana is very remote and a good 10min walk to get to town. But again the people are so friendly h aere. Town consisted of Batelco, one rest/grocery and one bar.
Went to local Baptist Church service today, about 20 people including kids. Got to remember only 60 souls on island and 2 churches. Pastor was a lady who screqmed so much I thought surely her message would be brief due to sore throat or heart attack. No such luck, well I could make out about every fourth word due to their unique slang.
The women and children were all decked out in their best. The vast majority of the women including the pastor were exceedingly fat. I guess they don't preach on the sin of gluttany.
The island is rampant with poverty; but, as one young man told me he could always eat fish or conch and it beat going to Nassau where you could get murdered real easily because of the high crime rate.
Walking back to the dock two of the ladies stopped asd asked if I would like a ride. I said no thanks and they offered to take me to eat lunch with them at their house. Again I declined. They were so big that they completely filled the front bench seat and had to let the windows down for their arms. Anyway I was afraid to eat whatever it was they were offering. I guess I'm going to have to repent, after all they were very friendly.
Back to a very rolly anchorage. Local marina warned me that if I drug the anchor would end up on a reef so I reset in a better location. Stuck here until a weather window opens. Tried rigging a bridle and that helped some but still rough.
Bought a book "Rum Cay, My Home" written by a 80 year old lady and it helps understand the situation there. They used to have 800 people on the island because it was the second largest salt producer in the world. The US imposed protective tariffs on salt and the island died immediately. Then later an investor built a dive club there and for 10 years everyone did well. Then it folded and the island again went down. Now it has a marina but it too is struggling.
Planning a 25 to 29 hr passage to Mayaguana Island when the weather breaks
03/16/2012, SE Bahamas
That was a nice leisurely 5 hr sail. You just cant believe how stunningly beautiful the water colors are here. I have pictures but don't thin k they can do justice. No cell here in fact no residents.
Dingied up a creek that was just beautiful. Went about two miles up but got concerned about being stranded on a falling tide. Saw turtles, Baracuda, Bone Fish, giant rays and mangrove swamps.
My only neighbor gave me a fillet of dolphin. That night made a conch Seviche: diced conch, tomatoes, celery, garlic, peppers, tobasco, worchester, lime juice and olive oil. Marinated for an hour and served on saltines. Yum yum