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Published: March 27th 2017
It is amazing how busy we seem to be and how quickly time has passed, considering we have no set schedule, no office hours, no deadlines, no appointments. Somehow, we still find ourselves in George Town, a little surprised at how long we have ended up spending here. It does not seem like so many weeks have gone by, and yet it has been almost 3 months!!
While I enjoy adventuring, seeing new places and experiencing changes, there is something comforting about being in one place long enough to get to know a community and the little “tidbits” that you only learn with time. Like one of the only places to buy fish (surprisingly, you can’t just buy fish at the market here), is at the hair salon across from the liquor store, from a psychedelically painted freezer tucked away in a corner. Or that Julian’s Jerk Chicken shack, which serves some of the best chicken, ribs and Bahamian mac and cheese around, is only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And that one of the best places to snorkel is a hole going under Stocking Island in hurricane hole 3 near Kavalli House. The more time we have spent
Alicia and Alexis
While snorkeling in Red Shanks, we found so many starfish!
here, the more little gems we discover!
Our mornings in George Town starts with the “net”; a local community “radio show” hosted by, and for, boaters in the harbour. At 8am, we all tune into channel 72 on our VHF radio and listen as people share information or ask questions about local businesses, community events, buy, sell & trade, general boat problems, and just about anything else a boater may need to know. Then throughout the rest of the day, we keep the radio on channel 68, where people can hail each other or make general announcements.
One of the things that consistently impresses me is how helpful the boating community is; people are always stepping up to help each other, lending their expertise, spare parts, tools, and their time. It is especially noticeable when we have a “big blow” come in, which has been often here this year (apparently, while high winds are common here, they have been unusually frequent and long lasting this year). Every other week, a weather front seems to move in, bringing 30 and 40 knot winds, sometimes for days on end. During these gusty days, the radio buzzes with alerts of dragging
anchors or roaming dinghies, and offers by others to run out and help reset anchors or catch runaways.
Fortunately, the winds haven’t slowed us down too much. In the past couple weeks, we have really stepped up the “physical activity” aspect of our trip. Apparently, we are still aging day by day (here I thought I had nipped that in the bud!), and it seems to be catching up to us. Long days spent on the boat equals two out of shape bodies (laps around the deck don’t really cut it)!
Earlier last week, Lukus was helping a fellow boater, Grant, with an alternator issue and he mentioned that they were going to play regulation volleyball on the beach the next day. Grant invited Lukus out, but warned that the players can be competitive. You have to be tough, because if they don’t think you are good enough, they will tell you. Even though it has been years since he played, Lukus decided to give it a go anyway. As if typical of the man, he pushed himself with his all and was quickly accepted by the other players (he excels in so many areas…it would be damaging
to my ego if I had one!!). Since that morning, he has played every other day or so for a couple hours. They play by strict rules and usually only have 2 or 3 people per side, so by the end he is exhausted but feeling good.
Not wanting to be left out (but absolutely
not good enough to play with the hard-core players), I have joined in the “fun” volleyball games in the afternoons. These are much more my speed; 9 players on a side, lots of laughs, and no one getting upset if you miss the ball; which is good, because I seem to still miss it more than I hit it (although I can now actually hit it on purpose…sometimes. Ha ha). But it is a good little workout and a great way to keep meeting new people!
After discovering how good it feels to get moving again, we haven’t stopped there. We have been paddleboarding and kayaking more regularly and for longer stints. It is a nice way to explore the area from a different vantage point while wearing out our muscles (I am one big ache right now!).
We have also been
Bush Medicine Talk
Listening to a local give a presentation on the beach about local bush medicine and history
spending a lot of time with John and Deb on the Alexis, and their family. Their son, Johnny, his wife, Alicia, and kids, Alexis (15) and Koen (7), have been visiting for the last two weeks. Johnny runs the marina where we started this adventure; the infamous “boat painting” site!! We were excited to hear they were coming, and decided to stick around another week or so to say hello.
To our delight, we have been essentially “adopted” as part of the family; John and Deb are gracious and generous hosts, and their “children” are easy going and fun. We have had a ball engaging with the kids in all sorts of activities. In between the volleyball and paddling, we have been playing Frisbee, snorkeling, hiking, and fishing; it has been a high energy week - I forgot how busy kids can be!
This past Thursday, we offered to take Johnny, Alicia, Alexis and Koen out fishing on Abigail. Koen is a keen fisherman; I have never seen a young boy who is so extremely patient. I have watched him sit on the back of his grandparent’s boat for hours, without catching a thing. And yet he continues to fish. One catch throughout a whole day of fishing is enough to spur him on to throw a line again the next day.
As we headed out of the harbour to do some trolling, Koen could not stop chattering about the fish we were going to catch. The boy is particularly obsessed with mahi mahi and he let us all know that his biggest dream was to catch one. While mahi are in the area, we have never caught one ourselves. To avoid disappointment, I tried to prepare him that we may not catch anything. But wouldn’t you know it, halfway through our fishing expedition, we caught a mahi mahi! I have never seen or heard a kid so excited over a fish; I wouldn’t have been surprised if he fell overboard for all his hopping, shaking and screaming! Despite the rougher waters of and that the only other fish we caught snapped our line and escaped, that boy’s reaction made the whole day worth it!
That evening, we enjoyed another fabulous dinner on the Alexis (John and Deb seem to end up feeding us quite often!) and had some fun folding origami, coloring and chattering. We can’t thank them enough for their continued hospitality and warm acceptance. This was possibly our last get together before the “children” leave on Monday since we moved over to Red Shanks on for another weather front.
Yesterday, before moving the blow hit, Lukus went for one last game of volleyball while I had him drop me off in town to do laundry (amazing how something as simple as laundry can fill a large part of the day!). As I waited for him to come back to town to pick me up, a young man came down to the dock with his little Chihuahua. Always a sucker for little dogs, I quickly struck up a conversation and bent down to pet the pup. The owner, whose name I later found out was Kevin, was joking about how spoiled she is down here as she hates winters up in Canada. I asked where he was from; Port Stanley was his answer (only a couple hours west of our home port). He then asked where we were from, and when I told him Port Dover, his first reaction was “have you seen that little gray and white trawler from Dover that is here? I love that boat, have admired it whenever I have seen it around home. I was so excited to see it down here!!” Imagine his excitement when he found out that “little gray boat” was ours! Amazing how thousands of miles from home, we still experience such connections!
And so, we have been sitting on the boat again for the past two days, as the blow came in yesterday. But even with no where to go, it seems we can be busy. Our morning so far today has been filled with a leaking water pump and an overflowing toilet (luckily all clean water). On a boat, you don’t have much option to leave repairs; we have no other source of water or washroom facilities! So, when something breaks, it is priority to get it fixed! Fortunately, both were fairly easy to repair temporarily, and when the weather clears up, we will head into town to get parts to fix it up right.
Our plans are to head out next week, once the weather has calmed down (famous last words!! Ha ha). With April fast approaching, we have decided we do actually have to begin heading north. While there is some hesitation in leaving this beautiful, tropical paradise; we are also excited at the prospect of exploring new places once again. This will be another chapter in a year full of adventure and discovery!
We are also hoping to meet up with some of the friends we made along our river voyages late last year. We have kept in touch with Nancy, James, Lucas, and Marcos, on Living Life and Andrew and Jack on Tranquility II, and we are all eagerly anticipating the time we can all be together again!
And now, after a long delay between this and my previous post, I discover I cannot post this now anyway! We have lost cellular data connection – possibly from the high winds. So, you will all have to wait another day for our highly anticipated, eagerly awaited update (ha ha).
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