28 February 2017 | Palm Cay Marina
So what do we do while waiting? For the first time this lifestyle feels like retirement instead of vacation. We are in the same place for weeks, same scenery, same weather, some of the same people. To pass the time we are working on the boat list...that never ending project, to-do list in the back of the journal. It contains from the simple clean, wax and polish the boat items, to nit picky repair items like leaky faucets and missing screws in the swim ladder, to larger and therefore more costly items like replacing the bow navigation lights (mostly costly because of the taxes and fees to get it here from West Marine), and replacing a dodger zipper at the sailmakers.
Luckily the marina has a courtesy car that we can use for two hours at a time for getting those items needed for the projects. Our marina is about 20 minutes from downtown Nassau and ten minutes from the nearest grocery. The hardware store and the propane fill station are on the other side of the island. So yesterday was another heart stopping drive on the wrong side of the road, but now compounded with roundabouts! Apparently they were invented here as there is one every 800 meters on the main roads east to west. The US "crop circles" are bad enough, imagine having to drive through them clockwise here! And did I mention speed limits? The infrequent signs list the speed in MPH, but all the car gages are in kilometers, so you have to do math while dodging other cars. There are traffic lights at some intersections, the green light apparently signals "blow your horn" as that is what happens immediately upon a light change. On the plus side, drivers are very courteous to cars attempting to turn off or enter a roadway, you just have to anticipate the car in front of you stopping for no apparent reason. Driving the boat is so much easier!
We don't do much touristy stuff here. Much of the attractions are geared to the cruise ship crowd. We don't need a snorkel adventure or a day cruise to see the swimming pigs. Because of the reported high crime rate in the downtown area we don't stay there after dusk. With our limited transportation we barely have enough time to shop let alone sightsee. We did take a cab to watch the local regatta. It was right next to the Nassau Yacht Club, where we stopped for a drink at their beautiful clubhouse bar. The staff was very cordial, we met the club manager and office manager and were made to feel very welcome based on our YC membership in Milwaukee.
The regatta was fun, with mostly locals in attendance. The boats race off the beach where men sat at tables playing dominoes while waiting for things to get going. The atmosphere is relaxed. When we asked when the races started we were told "when enough people get here to watch". There were local food and drink stands which offered Bahamian specials, like my Sky Juice cocktail (coconut milk and rum), and my favorite baked mac n cheese.
As usual, we meet other cruisers at the cafe, the showers or the laundry room. And as usual, once we get playing the who do you know game, we find a connection. This time we found that Bill Walker (not related to Sarah) worked as an engineer at the shipyard in Menominee and knew Nuke Thompson.
We are getting restless to get underway again. We will go to the customs office on Thursday to request an extension to our 90 day cruising permit. Hopefully we will get good news this week on our engine repair and can figure out where we will sail the next couple of months.