Thursday, March 6, 2014

South of the Whale

Our days south of The Whale

Our passage around was very easy, followed by a lovely sail to Tahiti Beach where we meet with Conchtown Lady. We dropped anchor, ate lunch and took a siesta. Just as it was time to head to the beach, Conchtown Lady decided she would rather take her nap and rolled over on her side.
She slept there until we were ready to return. She slowly yawned and stretched and got back up on her keel. While we were on the beach we saw some beautiful starfish and the largest hermit crab I’ve ever seen. Since Conchtown Lady was well rested we convened there for a delicious dinner.

The next morning we just puttered around and then decided to go to Marsh Harbor to fuel up and get some other items. The weather reports we managed to see sounded like Wednesday might be a good day to head south. On Monday we spent the whole day exploring and shopping. First stop was Buck a Book, where we came away with 20 books and movies. All proceeds go to re-establishing the wild horse herd.

At the tourist office we were directed to where the locals eat. We were a little surprised that the menu looked a lot like ours-burgers and salads. The sides are different, ie. Peas and rice, plantain, mac and cheese. The clientele was local, so we were happy. We ate grouper and plantain. Reggie also had mac and cheese and mixed veggies. A little farther along in our post lunch walk, we passed a Kentucky Fried Chicken, full of locals.

We stopped at a couple of bakeries and loaded up on bread and treats. We ate the peanut cluster and a coconut cluster.  The apple torte thingy was breakfast this morning. We still have cookies, bread pudding, another torte thingy and maybe some kind of cake. I can’t remember. Oh, and we did buy bread, too!

We talked with a fellow cruiser we met in Green Turtle Cay and he said that Wednesday would not be a good day to make the passage. He also said that he was planning on going south. He told us where people hang out waiting for the weather window. When we returned to the boat, we checked on the weather again to discover that now it looks like George was correct.

Tuesday morning we were finally able to connect with Chris Palmer and he told us that today would be good, but then we would have to wait until the weekend. We also asked on the Cruiser’s Net if anyone was planning on going south. “Chance” responded they were and had been in contact with some others also. Looks like we might have a caravan (or flotilla)! So we filled up with fuel and water and headed to Hope Town. As we approached we haled any and all of the owners of mooring balls and either received no answer or they were full. Options were to go outside and anchor, tie up at a marina or go somewhere else. We contacted Lighthouse Marina and they had a slip. We are tied up near the fuel dock. It is occasionally busy and smelly so we may have to move, but it isn’t bad.

Once we tied up we were rushing to get to the bank as we needed some cash. Lots of places do not take credit cards or charge a high rate if you use one. The bank in Hope Town is open weekly on Tues from 10-2.  What Luck? As we were climbing into our dingy, the folks from “Chance” came to greet us. They saw us come in. From them we learned we could have just picked up any mooring ball which is not being used.  Live and learn. We made it to the bank on time, but I grabbed my discover card instead of my driver’s license, so Reggie had to use his credit card for a cash advance. I don’t know how much that mistake cost us and I don’t want to know. We went to Cap’t Jacks for conch.  Cracked conch, coconut cracked conch and conch fritters were washed down with ice cold Kalik beer.  We both liked the coconut conch best.  Then we stopped at the funky Vernnon’s Grocery & Upper Crust Bakery for a fresh key lime pie. Reggie had a long chat with Vernon about the bakery business, as Reggie’s dad was a baker also. The Cap’t Jack conch and Vernon’s key lime pie were recommended by friend Matt and we were not able to do either last time.

Today the plan is to show everyone here how we race in Montana. Well maybe not, but we are going to try to work our way around a race course. (Note to Jeff-We have a lot more than our steel cookware on board!) Reggie is currently at the skippers meeting. This may be reminiscent of our first year racing on Knot Ready-no self tailing winches, and just the two of us. Maybe Reggie will pick up some crew. Wish we had Tom as Abel crew. The wind is supposed to be light, so we should be OK. We’ll let you know.

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