Get to the Point
04 February 2009
Another short trip today, from Staniel Cay (and Pig Beach) to Black Point. This is a bustling community, reportedly the second largest community in the Exumas, next to Georgetown. It is situated in a large bight and very scenic and welcoming. Judy counts 42 boats in this expansive harbour; it could hold many more. I would estimate that at least half were Canadian cruisers. WE anchor in front of a large beach \.
We go to town right away to make reservations at a local restaurant called Lorraines. WE actually met Lorraine's daughter in Nassau and she talked fondly about her home in Black Point. We meet Lorraine who is obviously quite an entrepreneur, with a fine restaurant, internet café and cabins. Having booked our dinner, we wander through this community. It is quite typical; a couple of very small stores, two restaurants, the ubiquitous Batelco (Bahamas Telephone Company) outlet, a police station (no more than 15 feet by 15 feet, we doubt there's much crime here), a couple of churches, a clinic, very small and modest homes, and, of course, the many half constructed but abandoned homes.
We wander on to this place called, "Garden of Eden". What a delightful but zany place. It's proprietor Willie Rolle (Lorraine's Uncle) built this place. It is a hodge podge of driftwood and plants. He takes you through this place and gets you to imagine what these various pieces of driftwood look like. There are things like lions, men with one leg, spiders, eagles, women giving birth and on and on. At first you can't see the semblance but if you really let your mind flow, you can start to see these images; much like lying on you back and seeing images in clouds. The property is hard dead coral, much like the rocky terrain of Newfoundland (but much warmer). In his back yard, he has planted an amazing variety of trees, vegetables and fruit, coaxing their growth in pitiful patches of compost. He gives us a grand tour of these plants.
WE give him a tip and really enjoy this experience. I think that this is so far removed from the Disney type of glitzy attractions, a mere hundred and fifty miles away.
Our dinner at Lorraine's is good. We have grilled Mahi Mahi with conch soup, peas and rice (the Bahamian equivalent to our potatoes) and other goodies. Well cooked and inexpensive.
Back to Sea Sharp and to bed, tired and well fed. But, you know it, just after midnight the wind starts to howl. It blows twenty five knots so I'm up several times to ensure we don't drag. We are secure and the wind drops off early in the morning and all's well.
Doesn't sound like a big deal but, in a cruiser's life, when the usual achievement is one chore a day, today's laundry day. Judy and Cathy go ashore to a very clean and modern Laundramat to catch up on our dirties. Meanwhile Darius and I conspire on where to go next. There are some complex weather conditions coming and we have some serious decisions to make as to which way to head.
Without making it sound like drudgery, here's a brief synopsis of our quandary. We're half way down the Exumas, on the bank (west) side. To get to Georgetown (our most southerly destination on this cruise and where we'll probably spend a month), we have to cross through one of many "cuts". Then we'll have a slog down the Exuma Sound side (ocean like conditions) to Georgetown. Winds have been persistent and farily strong from the east meaning that the cuts will be difficult. The apt description for the wind against tide in a cut is a "rage". So, we've got to wait until the winds lighten and turn more southerly. BUT, the expectation is that when they do there's a strong northerly cold front coming right behing it. I know, too much information, but suffice it to say that we have to process all this and make sure that we have a good, tucked in place for Friday and Saturday, when this front comes in.
We confer and discuss with seasoned veterans and decided to do nothing for now.....Stay in Black Point for another day and see if we should forge on to Georgetown or scat back to Staniel where there is better protection from the impending wind.
We take wonderful advantage of the afternoon by taking our dinghy to a small but completely secluded white sand beach. For a while it's just Judy and I and Chopin (he hides in small coral caves 'cause it's too warm for him). After a while Cathy and Darius join us. We have a delightful afternoon talking, reading, snorkelling and, as they say in the Caribbean, limein'.
Tonight is much calmer and we sleep well.