03 April 2009 | Warderick Wells-Exuma Park
Gail Sunny/86 SW 10
Well, last time we reported, we were on our way out of Nassau to the Exuma's (God's Paradise). On March 27, we ventured out with 5 boats to Porgee Rock at which point you turn southwest. The seas were rougher than forecast and the wind was piping up to 20 on the nose. We couldn't fly a sail. We all decided to return to Nassau and try later.
While in Nassau, we rode the buses to the straw market, marathon mall, and fish fry. Fish fry is an area of small restaurants together, nothing fancy, where the locals eat. We went into a place called Goldies. It was so plain, we almost left thinking there must be something a little more exciting, but we stayed anyway. I had the best tasting, most tender cracked conch that I had ever put in my mouth. Frank had red snapper. He got two whole fish, heads and all (merely a different culture). They were spicy and delicious. We went to the mall to find a book store. I was trying to find children's books based on Bahama stories. I found two. One is based on the local dog, called a "potcake." He is merely a pretty brown mutt that is very sweet. Small books, but the grandkids should enjoy them.
On Saturday, March 28, we went to a Sailing festival and regatta at Montegue's Point (fort) at the east end of the island. We had a good time. When we returned, we watch the Netherlands play Scotland in a world cup qualifying game.
On March 30, we left Nassau Harbor under mild conditions. Although the wind was close to the nose, we flew the main sail and had a really smooth ride. We arrived at Norman's Cay (pronounced "key). Frank and the guys went snorkeling. There was a downed plane that had become a fish haven and was really beautiful. There was "legal sized" conch in the area. Frank got two, cleaned it and gave it to another boat. I didn't bring any corn meal to make conch fritters (similar to hush puppies) and I didn't know how to cook conch otherwise.
On Wednesday, April 1, the Netherlands played another world cup qualifying game on television. I had this on my calendar for 9 months, long before we left for the Bahamas. Our Directv receiver finally gave out. We knew it had started corroding from the salt air and purchased a replacement should we need it. We were, however, on an island that had no phones, nor internet, no means to contact Directv to change receivers and activate the new one. We chose to dinghy 6 miles to the nearest phone. It took us 1 hour to get there, no problem, just patience. When we got to Highbourne Cay, we bought a card, tried to call Directv and learned that you just can't call 800 numbers from the Bahamas. After trying for 45 minutes, we called Jimmy (our son) and gave him the information and had him call Directv. We called him back in 15 minutes and Directv said it's all set. We dinghied back to the boat into the wind. It was rough and took twice as long. We wouldn't know until we got to the boat if it worked or not. Well, it didn't, so we missed our soccer game. I love Directv and the customer service folks are so nice, but seldom do they get it right the first time and I have to call again. In this case, I had no means to call again.
Thursday morning (Happy Birthday, precious Faith) we sailed from Norman's Cay to Warderick Wells, the most beautiful place that I've seen in all the Bahamas. They have no phone, but they do have internet (for a price). I was able to send an email to Jimmy and have him call Directv again and, by George, on the second call they activated it again and it worked. When we turned it on for the first time, a replay of the Netherlands game was on at that time. We were able to watch it. It was new to us because we had no idea the results of the live game. Sometimes things just work out. Thanks to you, Jimmy!! Never leave home with 800 numbers if you need to call from the Bahamas.
Thursday, we rocked and rolled all night because we were exposed to the wind and waves. Nothing uncomfortable, I merely couldn't sleep with that much action. Frank slept like a baby.
The next day,we went to the coral reefs near the park headquarters. They were breathtaking as usual, but the wind and waves were up and it was difficult to savor them. Maybe on our way back, we will be able to stay in calmer conditions. We plan to leave tomorrow morning for the Staniel Cay/Big Major area (Google them). We need to "hunker down" for a "blow" coming through Monday-Tuesday. Not a problem in the right place. We should be early enough to get the prime spots. So, until next time, we love you all.