Our Dogs are Barkin'!
19 December 2009 | Nassau, Bahamas
We made up for not walking a whole lot while we were in the Barry Islands yesterday. We left the marina at about noon and returned to the boat around 6:00 in the evening. Ralph and Karen from "Five Islands" joined us for the walk to Potter's Cay and downtown.
We stopped for a light lunch at Potter's Cay where Ken, Chris and I shared an order of cracked conch. After that, we continued walking to the touristy area that surrounds the cruise ship docks. My target destination was the Straw Market where I was looking to see what Clarence had to offer for Bahamian music and possibly a DVD or two that we were interested in. He didn't have the Bahamian version of Christmas songs that I was looking for, but he promised to see if he could find them.
We escaped from the extreme commercialism and "aggressive" sales pitches aimed for the cruise ship passengers and headed up to Fort Fincastle. A mere 300 years or so old, its' cannons had never been fired for battle. We could tell it was close to Christmas by the number of people that were around. Last year, we saw far fewer tourists there. We had to laugh at someone else's expense as we observed a man going through the most interesting contortions to take simple pictures. Chris tried to take his picture in one of the "poses", but couldn't - he was laughing so hard his camera was shaking. The man was oblivious.
We walked back to Potter's Cay for dinner. Finally, I could get my "Grilled Grouper", except they only had Snapper. It didn't matter, it was still a wonderful meal - a perfect blend of some plantain, peppers, onion, tomato, snapper and seasoning... perfect! Everyone else had the "Fish Snack" - a whole snapper with fries. All washed down with a Kalik, of course!
We managed to drag our weary butts back to the marina, but we all had to admit to sore, tired feet. Woof! At least I did not have to make dinner this time. The crew of Silverheels III stopped into the grocery store for a few things for breakfast fixings - fresh milk was going to be a treat after powdered milk (actually, it is not so bad).
Last night the wind started picking up, and by this morning it was blowing close to 30 knots, with some gusts over 40 knots. We were quite happy to be on the dock, well secured and not in danger of getting dragged down on by other boats.
This morning Ken and I tore the boat apart to find the back up water pump. I also pulled out the Christmas decorations while I was digging out the contents of that locker - we will need them soon enough!
There is a truism with boat maintenance that if you have the correct tools, it can turn a miserable job into just a job. With our wheel puller and the Makita impact driver it made the job go very smoothly. Without these tools, it could have been a disaster. The Makita driver was part of a set we bought with a drill and a full set of accessories last July - one of the best investments we ever made!
Hiding in Nassau for a Blow...
18 December 2009 | Nassau, Bahamas
We left Great Harbour Cay to head to Hoffman's Cay in the Barry Islands. It is one of the nicest places to anchor in the Barry's, and our friends on "Five Islands" spoke highly of the lobsters there.... hmmmm.
We made it into the anchorage and dug in the hook with real adventure, just me catching a small fish en route. We were sharing the area with two American boats and three French-Canadian boats. We chilled on the boat the rest if that day, but the next day we went ashore to let Chris experience the deserted cay sensation. It was pretty there, and there was a nice beach to enjoy as well. Swimming by the boat didn't excite us as a four foot barracuda was hanging around... I'll get over my trepidation one of these days!
We looked briefly for conch and lobsters, but another barracuda scared me back into the dinghy. I guess they don't want to share, and I need to get braver with these things! Okay, no fresh fish for dinner...
The next morning the weather forecast encouraged us to haul anchor and head down to the south end of the Barry chain. Frazer Hog Cay was okay, and we put two anchors in tandem on the chain to anticipate some nasty, squally weather. We ended up staying there on night, as we realised with Thursday's forecast that if we didn't get to Nassau when we could, we may not be able to get Chris to Nassau for his Tuesday flight, unless we wanted to take a chance of sailing in really nasty crap. So, we hauled both anchors and fled to Nassau.
We met up with Ralph and Karen on "Five Islands", joined them for a drink, and chatted about our plans. they are heading south this year, and I am jealous... Oh well, the Bahamas are nice! A quick run to the grocery store for hamburger fixin's, dinner, then Ken and I crashed early. Chris got to fend for himself.
Today we are walking downtown to the "touristy" area to go to the Straw Market to meet up with Clarence, the man who we got Bahamian music from last year. We may as well see what he has now. Maybe he has the Bahamian "12 Days of Christmas" or the local version of "Rudy" - as opposed to "Rudolph". Then to Potter's Cay for a late lunch, early dinner, then home to the boat. Tomorrow we need to replace the water pump on the diesel as it is leaking water at a pretty good rate. Maybe we can find some form of gasket or seal material here in town rather than change the whole pump.
Anyway, that is the whirlwind 7 day update. I need to buy Starbucks coffee to use the internet, and the buzz is going to keep me going until midnight now!