28 April 2021
“Need any crew?” That's my begging voice any time I'm around boats racing. I must look desperate as I almost always get a ride.
Our trip through the Bahamas is filled with nostalgia. This was the first tropical place we cruised Uproar when we left the US in 2015.
We were fortunate enough to be at Little Farmer's Cay, Exumas for the 5F regatta: First Friday in February Farmer's Festival. They had scheduled two long races for C Class Bahamian Sloops. I wheedled a ride on Potcake and had a great time. I'm going to embed a link to the blog I wrote about this local racing experience.
I remembered the boat owner said he was from Barraterre, a town about 20 miles south. Lisa and I anchored behind Rat Cay and Barraterre was visible on Great Exuma, about 3 miles away. I said to Lisa, “Let's go to town and see if we can find Potcake.”
After tying our dinghy at the government dock, we approached three guys having a chat. I explained I was looking for the C Class Sloop, Potcake. They smiled, one of them was wearing a Potcake #7 shirt. I recognized him, Darrin, the owner. Not sure he recognized me but he sure remembered the “white guy” who sailed with him. We had a nice chat and I asked him where the boat was. They told me it was a long walk, past the fire station and next to the blue building. No problem, Lisa and I set off.
A car stopped along the way and the driver, a young Bahamian guy, asked us if we wanted a ride somewhere. We said, “Just a walk, looking for Potcake,” He said, “Oh, the slow boat.” and laughed. He was right, we were the slowest boat in the fleet.
We came upon a yard full of Bahamian sloops. The family there said Potcake was down the road a little further. They were pleased that we were interested in the sloops.
Sure enough, we found the blue house and there was Potcake. We were warned that she needed work and they were fixing to replace the deck. There is no sugar coating it, Potcake looked a mess. The deck was stripped off and the hull full of Casarina needles. She looked like a sick puppy. Perez came out of the house after we had a chat with his mother. “Hey, I remember you!” Perez was also in the crew. We talked about the boat. “I'm going to have her back together in a month, stop back and we will go for a sail.”
We saw Darrin in town on our way back to the dinghy. I told him about Perez's enthusiasm for fixing up Potcake in a month. Darrin laughed, “He has been saying that for months.”
They have not had much racing this past year but had a three boats out last weekend. Don't know if Potcake will ever get back on the racing circuit but there is definitely enthusiasm for Sloop racing in the Bahamas.
Oh, in case you didn't read the initial blog, Potcake means Bahamian dog. And Potcake #7 lived up to her name.