Eight o-clock comes way too early for me these days, but we were up and at 'em when Sally and Martin (and Ellie--sweet dog, whom I'd forgotten to mention who is Sally's canine companion) tied on their dinghy up to Nalani and came on board. I made oatmeal for everyone and by the time I had started eating mine, we were anchoring near the blue hole. Oh well; I can eat later.
We all clambered into one dinghy and made for the blue hole, which we DID find this time. A sobering memorial greeted us there, though, as three divers drowned there in 1994; the message following their names is a warning: "Let this be a forewarning to any who would endeavor to explore these tunnels below." (catch in throat)
|Searching for the Blue Hole|
|A beautifully desolate area abundant with life|
We said our goodbyes and I felt a real sadness in the parting, one because Elliott was so enamored of the two of them and because it is always so inspiring to meet young men and women who are adventurous and willing to put aside a relatively safe, ordinary life on land for the sea's hardships as well as glories. I wish them both fair winds and godspeed and joy in anything they undertake in the future.
We got underway and because we had no wind, we motored for a few hours. Gary kept hoping for the wind to fill in. Well, as night fell, of course, he got his wish and then some. I had the early watch from 8-11pm, with Gary coming on next until 2am, and then Elliott would have 3-5am.
The moon was almost full to bursting and she was a bring light following us along the water. We had some traffic, but most passed in front or back of us or ran parallel. Some just disappeared over the curve of the horizon.
|Elliott's shot of Nalani screaming along!|
Because we'd laid on such speed and high winds, we arrived a little too early to enter the harbor, so the genoa was furled so that we'd get down to a speed more to MY liking. After daybreak, we went to fuel up at the spot designated by the charts. Well, charts can be wrong.
We sidled up to the fuel dock, had the help of someone on shore, and found out that, no, there was no gas there, even though there were pumps there. The woman explained that the pumps just hadn't been removed yet. Oy! So, we threw off the lines again and headed for the Yacht Club where there WAS gas. Of course, there was a big fishing boat docked there and in no obvious hurry to leave. After another boat cut in front of us to get their fuel, we sailed by and asked the operator whether we could dock on the other side to get gas. So that's what we did. Then the fishing boat left; guess the guys had finished their bloody marys.
The sign there said they had a deli and drinks; I was excited to get something other than water on the boat. But, again, it was explained that the sign was from a former business and that things were being changed out and updated. Okay. At least we were able to get fuel this time.
We sailed out with a little crew skirmish (there's almost always one at docks, for some reason), but we made it and sailed over to the other inlet which would lead to the Ocean Reef Resort in Lucaya. This had been recommended to us by Tony, late of the Great Harbour Cay marina. He said mostly Canadians knew about this place. It was inexpensive, to start. We came in and had to sidle close by a catamaran which really was too big to be in the dock it was in; not width, but length, sticking way too far out.
But we got in and tied our lines around shaky pilings and a shaky finger pier. The guy next door on a motor boat helped us tie off. His name is Tom and he's been living here for at least 10 years. Nice guy and a very social boat; there's always some kind of gathering going on there.
The pool, which is a little chilly, is just steps away, but is a nice place to take a book to read until you fall asleep under a big umbrella. A few more steps away is Miss Esther's Restaurant where very good burgers can be found; I don't eat them, but she made me a turkey club (without bacon or ham), so really a tall turkey sandwich. A very social environment, but not crazy.
Crazy you will find on the other side of the marina where the larger pool is with attached hot tub. We walked over there the day we arrived to find 10 people crammed into the hot tub with a couple of people kicking feet and splashing each other, seemingly mad. Obviously not a place for relaxation.
There is a calendar of events, such as bocce, dance lessons, bingo, walks to town, beach runs, etc. It is a cute place, not a hugely luxurious resort, kind of like the Presidential Wilderness Resort that we belong to that is in Chancellorsville. A little rustic, but we like it and are comfortable enough.
I was able to do laundry for the first time since we left Marathon; I know, I should be grossly embarrassed, because most of the clothing could stand by itself in the corner, but a little bleach went a long way. Some things need further attention, but they can wait until we get back home.
There's a little computer/book sharing lounge here that Elliott and I go to sometimes. They also have a fussball table; I've been giving Elliott a run for his money. I am extremely competitive, so I usually don't like such games as it gets my heart rate up and my ability to lose graciously goes way down.
OCD that I am, as soon as I walked into the room, I knew I didn't like the way it was laid out. First was the fussball table on your left, then a loveseat and chair jammed together on the same short wall. So, the second time we visited, I had Elliott help me move things around a bit. The couch went around the corner to the shelving that held the book exchange selection. I angled the chair on that short wall and the lone matching table was placed next to it and laid with a nice selection of magazines.
A large round table was moved a few inches to make walking by it a little more amenable and we were done. Then we played more fussball. So far, I'm winning. The 70s were good for something, eh?
|On the Bahamian bus; Gary screeched every time |
we came around a bend on the "wrong" side of the road
We're out of cash again, so we need to get to a bank as soon as we can. We are so spoiled by our banking system in the U.S.; here is it catch as catch can and can be frustrating if you've not made good plans.
Last night was Monday Madness, a resort hosted happy hour/dance lessons/dancing in general time. We were late and missed chicken wings and Bahamian mac and cheese, but we scarfed a few of the free Bahama Mamas, a drink I remember from our time in Bimini. We may be here long enough to see the next one on the coming Monday; we'll see. We met a very fun couple from South Carolina and we laughed and laughed for hours.
|Here's the tree that makes |
fools out of the best of us!
There's a coconut palm around the corner with a hand-written sign on one of the nuts that says, "Free Beer Tomorrow." I thought I'd go check whether there really was going to be beer, but then I realized that it will always be TOMORROW, and TOMORROW will never come. Zoinks!
Quirky place, but its growing on me, though folks drink and drink and drink and get quite loud at night. A surprise after all of the quiet we'd encountered on most of our island hopping. Seems the bigger drinkers are the condo and hotel guests, so I guess that's what is different.
Today (Tuesday) has been very quiet as the rain that started last night lasted through a good portion of the day in varying strengths. We expect no clearing until at least Thursday. That crazy low pressure system is keeping us in port until we get a go-ahead from our hired gun meteorologist that it is safe to enter the Gulf Stream to head home.
Everyone's watching the system for fear that it will be an early hurricane; our season usually doesn't start until June, so we're just as anxious to see what happens. I'm just hoping for an extremely boring sail home, so I've got my knitting, crossword puzzles, books, and snack food at the ready!