Thursday, March 13, 2014

All's well in Spanish Wells

All’s well in Spanish Wells

Our trip on Sunday from Lynyard Cay out across the big blue to Eleuthra was uneventful.  We raised the mainsail while still at anchor and then motorsailed out into the open water.  We had seas of 1-2 meters coming mostly from the stern.  A catamaran and a monohull headed out before us.  The strobe on the masthead of the cat made a good aim point for us until daylight.  Shortly after dawn we shut down the engine, deployed the genoa and went sailing!  It was a nice ride while it lasted.  By around noon, wind direction and velocity caused us to furl sails and motor.  By mid afternoon, we were at anchor in a little bay inside Royal Island where we stayed for the night.  We had, however, fallen off the edge of the world!  Reggie had not noticed that our charts installed in our primary gps ended just at Eleuthra.  We will now be doing paper charts like sailors did in the “olden days”.

We motored to Spanish Wells on Monday, as there was no wind. We managed to time it just right to pick up the only mooring ball available for a boat our size. We will be here until Saturday, if the weather prediction holds. As we came in the ‘river’, I found myself thinking, “This is certainly a quaint little fishing village.” One side of the ‘river’, a small passage between two islands, was lined with fishing boats, both large and small.

Monday afternoon we did a walk around. Spanish Wells in on an island that is about 2 miles long and 1 mile wide. We walked along the ‘river’ side for almost a mile, I’d guess, and then crossed over to the Atlantic side. The stretch along the river has a few restaurants and small shops, but is mostly industrial. There are boatyards and fish processing places. Further down is a marina. The residences are mostly on the interior. They come in a large variety of sizes, but all of them are very well maintained with lovely yards.  The most common transportation is golf cart, but there are a surprising number of cars also. The Atlantic side has additional shops and restaurants, a large food mart and bank. At the east end there is a gazebo where we sat down in the shade and watched the fish.

Two men were sitting there in their golf carts. One of them was chatty. He told us to eat at Buddha’s and to just pick any fruit we want, no need to ask. “We just want you to enjoy yourself and come back.” There is a museum here that we wanted to visit. At the shop beside the museum, we were told to call Jean to arrange a time.

On Tuesday, we stopped by Jean and Tom’s house to arrange a time to visit the museum. Montanans are friendly, but don’t quite measure up to here. They saw us coming, opened the door and said, “Come in.” before we even introduced ourselves. They also have the local book exchange in their home. We visited with them until more cruisers showed up with the same welcome. From there we went to see about renting our own golf cart. They rent for $10/hour or $40/day. We got out our calculator and decided to keep it all day. We got some instructions on how to operate it and took off. First stop was the shop by the museum, as Reggie had noticed they sold shoes and the sole on my Teva sandals had just let go. The three women there were full of laughs. As we hopped back in our cart, Reggie turned it on and honked the horn, which is a button beside the brake. Apparently, his feet are a little bigger than needed for golf cart driving. That was not the only time we honked. I don’t know if all golf carts are this simple, but there are not many options. Turn the key on or off, press the gas or break, shift to forward or reverse.  However, we could not get the parking brake off. One of the women from the shop came out, so we asked her. She laughed and said, “Just push dis,” indicating the gas “and it be just flop up.”

It was getting close to lunch time and there would probably be no place to eat on Charles Island. We didn’t see Buddha’s, so stopped at another cafe. Great food and too much of it. We had to take some with us. Our only complaint, was the other customers were so loud. Everyone shouts.

We headed for Charles Island, which is the agricultural island. We drove every street. It has similar houses, described in one of the guidebooks as sherbet colored. We saw bananas, oranges, grapefruit, papayas and of course coconut. We stopped at the only business we saw, named New 2 U.  Reggie bought a wrench to replace the one he had to modify. Outside was a breadfruit tree, which the owner of the shop told us about. We will have to try it again sometime.
 just regular views while driving around
 The breadfruit tree.  look closely.  none ripe yet.

This picture also deserves close scrutiny.  We are told the symbol of the pineapple means welcome, an appropriate symbol for the entryway to a home.  What do you suppose the two small cannons on either side mean?
As we crossed the bridge back to Spanish Wells, we stopped at a park for a leg stretch and to eat the rest of our lunch. We continued snaking our way around town. Stopped at a house (not one of the nicest, to say the least) for some homemade coconut ice cream. There was very little coconut flavor and tasted like maybe it had been made with condensed milk. We walked on the beach while eating ice cream. Sorry, but someone has to do it.

When we returned to the boat, Reggie resoled my Tevas. He used 5200. I’m waiting until I’m positive it is completely cured. I don’t want them to become a permanent part of my foot.

We dinghied back to town and had a delicious dinner at Buddha’s, again with leftovers.  Buddha’s also has a liquor store where we purchased a couple ice cold Bahamian Stout beers for washing down dinner and a bottle of Bahamian dark rum, $10, for future Sundowners.  The liquor store is in an area which could have been the back entryway to the home, small but well stocked.  The café consists of a gaily decorated old International school bus converted to a kitchen.  The word “International” was painted to stand out and made Reggie feel immediately at home.  We were sorry we forgot to bring the camera.  We’ll probably go back.

Seating is covered overhead outside in pea gravel which the owner now wishes covered the entire back yard.   The owner came over to visit for a spell, telling us about how he decided to start the café for “the kids”.  Family businesses are the norm here.  As we were leaving, we stopped to chat with two couples of cruisers from other boats, and gleaned a little more information about places we hope to see in a few days.

No comments:

Post a Comment