We recently read a post from a couple of cruisers in Florida who were talking about how their life on board was just their life and often forgot that it was, in fact, different from life on land. I’m beginning to relate to that statement. This is just our life for awhile, so it becomes difficult sometimes to write an update. Yes, things happen every day, as it does in everyone’s life, but would anyone really want to hear all about it? We do maintenance chores and cleaning. We go for walks and talk to people.
OK, so what we see on our walks may be different and we don’t have close friends here. We make transient friends and talk to strangers. So, I will try to see the last few days with new eyes.
The hardware store/service station where we were trying to rent a car in Alice Town had sacks of peanutty looking things in the back, so I asked the lovely lady what they were.
“Tamarind.” “I don’t know what that is.” We followed her back to the sacks and she dug out a few and peeled one, removing the pod shell, and handed me a ‘seed’. “Eat it?” I asked. “Yes, it is sort of sour, but good. Don’t eat the seed.” What the hey? I popped it into my mouth. “Yumm.” She smiled and said, “The sauce is better.” “What is that?” She disappeared and came back with a cup and spoon. She opening the refrigerator and scooped out some sauce into the cup for us. Totally yummy! (The tamarind seed has a thin fuzzy outside which is the part we tasted and which creates the sauce. It appears to take a lot of seeds to make the sauce.) As we weren’t headed back to the boat for awhile, we told her we could buy some when we returned the car. Since no car materialized in her town, no sauce.
One evening, while sharing Sundowners on Miss Grace, The “Liberty Clipper” came into Hatchet Bay. Pretty impressive.
(Tamarind and Liberty Clipper are internet searches for you to do when you have the time from your busy day.) We saw her several times as we wended our way south.
A rental car never became available in Alice Town. We tried again in Governor’s harbor. We stopped at a service station just to ask directions and the mechanic there took time to call everyone he knew who might have a car to rent. He called about 3 or 4 and then said, “I have one more idea.” And called them. Then again, “I have one more idea.” That happened maybe 10 times, until he finally got a hit. That man said he would deliver the car to us in about 10 minutes. We signed the paper on the hood of the car. The car was a Chevy Lumina of indeterminate age with 212,750 miles on it. Most of them showed prominently. It was a mere $75 per day. We booked one day.
Two things that differ living on our boat from on land, the importance of weather and conservation. Every morning, if we have any internet or single sideband radio reception, we check the weather. Once we have the report, we look at the charts and decide where we want to be next. It looks like a good day to head to Governor’s Harbor. We had an awesome sail, but had some trouble getting the anchor to ‘hook’. Fortunately, very light winds were expected for a few days, so we felt we would be OK. As for conservation, I don’t wish to gross anyone out, but water is a premium for us. Laundry is done about once a month. We wear the same clothes for a week. Showers happen once a week. Some how, here, that seems just about right.
As I mentioned earlier, we scored a car. First stop, Levi Nature Preserve. A lovely lady gave us much information about the plants, bugs, birds and snakes we might see as we walked through the preserve. As we strolled through the 17 miles (actually, we found out later it was just around 2 miles, but who’s counting) of dense forest, we saw no snakes and few timid birds and hungry turtles.
The lady at the welcome station was delightful. She talked a lot about ‘bush medicine’ her grandmother forced her to take and taught her how to use. She offered us samples of two “medicinal” herbal teas were very tasty. I don’t think they offer the gross ones.
We headed back north. Driving in the Bahama’s is also a little different. Our car, as is most we have seen, was a left hand drive, but you drive on the left here. The roads are narrow and I had several occasions where I thought we were going to side swipe the oncoming car.
After our walking tour of the Levi Preserve, I was hungry! We stopped at the first local looking spot. Kel-D’s café and bar, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer, rum, etc. There were several men at the bar and most of them where occupied with their cell phones. One man had his ear phones on and was singing along to Randy Travis “Digging Up Bones”. He emptied his flask and demanded an audience. A friend finally pulled out is ear phones and he left. The rest of them, watched videos on their phones. I guess some things are the same worldwide. Lunch was very good.
Next stop was a roadside produce stand where we read about buying locally grown produce and fresh baked goods. We picked out some mangos (not local) some onions and a couple dillies. We had heard about dillies at the Preserve, so we had to try them. The woman there was very interested in us and at one point she asked, “What is extraordinary about you?” That stumped us! “Social? I feel connected to you. That doesn’t always happen.” We gave her our blog address and she was pleased. “I’ll read all about you tonight.” She had bread and guava duff in the works, but not ready yet. We told her we would stop by on our way back for some guava duff, whatever that is.
Next stop was back at the tamarind sauce place. Of course we had to buy some!
We drove up to the Glass Window, a natural bridge which was destroyed and then replaced with a man made one. Not too impressive this day because the sea and weather were calm. Sometimes they close the bridge because waves crash over it and wash vehicles over the side. One storm moved the bridge 7 feet.
We headed back to Governor’s Harbor. Hitchhiking is common here, so we picked up two different women. (And you wonder why Reggie is lovin’ this.)The guava duff was not ready. Dang, don’t know what it is, but we wanted it.
This morning Reggie returned the car and stopped at the bakery for two loaves of wheat bread, a cinnamon roll for me, and two sweet rolls, one with cheese filling and one with coconut filling. Both the sweet rolls were still hot form the oven. Evidently that makes the cheese filled sweet rolls evaporate because I never saw it. He also stopped at the ATM for a little more cash and at the BATELCO office for more minutes on our local phone, used primarily to check in with Mom. Then we hauled anchor to head for Rock Sound.
The wind was more than predicted so we had a great sail. We had to motor some as our batteries need more charge than the wind generator was going to be able to do. We live ‘off the grid’. Battery power runs almost everything. The only way to charge the batteries is motor or wind.
We think we will head to the Exumas tomorrow. Tonight we are anchored a short distance offshore in Rock sound, enjoying another tasty dinner
concocted in the small galley of our little floating home while again being serenaded by Caribbean music blasting across the water from a local watering hole next door to Papa Site liquor store. How many of you have been treated to the Caribbean version of “Stagger Lee” ?!