Monday, April 20, 2009

Taking our time in the Exhumas

(This blog was written a few days ago.)

We are still anchored off of Norman’s Cay. This is a great spot but we have had to move the boats twice because of weather. We moved the first time because the seas were tossing us around like a carnival ride. We didn’t get much sleep that night and were just a bit cranky. The next place we moved to, about ¼ mile away was much calmer because it was closer to shore and protected from the seas. There are 5 of us, boats that is! We had a pot luck dinner on the beach that afternoon which was lots of fun.

We can get weather at 7:30 and 8:00 every morning on the VHF radio and the next morning we learned that a nasty storm was coming our way so we all pulled anchor and scooted into a cut that offered us better protection. Needless to say, lots of other boaters also heard the weather and the anchorage was quite crowded.

The first day we were at Norman’s, we all dingied ashore and walked to the local (the only!) restaurant called McDuffs. There we could get on the internet, 4 PC’s at a time, and we were able to post our last blog but not send any email because we all lost connection to the internet. This picture is of the restroom…really an outhouse with a large umbrella over it. You are supposed to change the sign around when it is in use. Below, the host, or McDuff, we aren't quite sure.

Getting email – YEA! Connected to the world

On Wednesday, 4/16, Tide Hiker, September Song, Lifes2Short and Gypsies in the Palace decided to head south to the Exumas Land and Sea Park. Rick and I decided that we wanted a few days to just chill…like we had planned for our Exumas’ trip! So, we said good bye to our friends for a bit and have been enjoying our lazy days.

Norman’s Cay has an interesting history. It was once under the unfriendly control of drug lord Carlos Lehder in the mid-80's. In fact, near our anchorage are the remains of a DC-3 that didn’t make it to the small landing strip, probably full of drugs. You can still see pieces of the fuselage and the wings. It is in about 3 feet of water! The island is private and they are rebuilding.

There is a tradition in the Bahamas amongst boaters that in the evening at sunset you give thanks for another beautiful day by trumpeting using a conch shell as a horn. It is cool to hear the boats participate in that. Unfortunately, one needs to have a conch shell to do so. Yesterday, Rick and I got in the dingy to find the perfect conch shell. There are plenty of conch shells around but they all have holes in them (which render them unusable for trumpeting). The reason for this is that folks eat a lot of conch down here. There is conch chowder, conch fritters, conch salad, conch steaks…you get the idea and the conch divers put holes in the shells to get the meat out. At any rate, we found a couple of beauties and now we will try to figure out how to make them sound like an instrument, no small feat I’m sure.

Just a funny…we think that we have a barracuda that is in love with our dingy. He is about 4 feet long and has hung around the dingy, which we are towing off the back of the boat, for several days now. We look out and see him every evening, not moving much just hanging close to the dingy. It makes us laugh!!
Yesterday morning we woke up to a weather report that said that we were going to have 20-30 knot winds for the next several days, BOO. We decided to weigh anchor and head for the Park where we could get some protection from the winds. It is beautiful!. The Park has a ‘social’ every Saturday night with the boaters in the anchorage, which is a nice thing, so we will be going over in our dingy with a bottle of wine and Rick Higgens’ famous ‘Fresh Guacamole Dip’!!

More about the park in the next blog...which will be posted in a few minutes. Since we don't have access to the internet very often, we need to get it all in!!