Thankful on Thanksgiving

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Central America Caribbean » Bahamas
November 26th 2009
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 26.544, -76.9629

The night started with hard rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning … followed by a strange stillness. At 2am, the bilge pump came on again, so Paul and I had to get out of bed, lift up the mattress, open the platform, and switch off the pump. The rain had stopped, so it is difficult to imagine how the bilge could fill with water. When we rose in the morning, to a perfectly clear day, we found that the dinghy contained about five inches of standing water – with the painter floating free. Even pulling the plug, it took minutes for it to drain.

Because of our location, we missed most of the cruiser's net … but I did manage to hear the "Man o' War Cay Golf Cart Traffic Report" which ran, “Looks like a pretty clear morning. It's a two minute drive from the north end of the island to the center of town. We have a bit of slowing near the hardware store, because Bob has double-parked his golf cart again. Other than that, drive carefully, slow down in the school zone, and watch for radar. Now, back to the Net.” Best traffic report ever.

We were off our anchor by 9am for the long run down the Sea of Abaco to Hope Town. For most of the trip, we were dead into the wind … but, as we neared Elbow Cay, the wind shifted to off our beam, so we unfurled the jib. We tried to get reservations for a mooring, but all were taken. The Hope Town Marina did offer us dockside for the same price (no hook-ups, of course), so we took that. With the fresh breeze, we should not mind being along the dock.

We lunched, then took the dinghy to the main public dock to meet the golf cart procurer that the Marina had (kindly) contacted for us. We rented two golf carts and drove out towards Tahiti Beach, stopping at the Abaco Inn to make reservations for Thanksgiving Dinner. The Inn is making huge changes – adding a marina and relandscaping … but its best feature won't be altered, as it commands both a view of the Atlantic as well as of the Sea of Abaco. We sat on the terrace, enjoying a soda and watching the change in weather. It was warm, and, despite the very clear skies we had when we departed Wild Cat, storm clouds now gathered on the horizon. The near horizon, I might add.

Elbow Cay is fun for wandering – with low vegetation and large houses, we spent much of our time in the golf cart estate-watching. It's definitely the upscale cay of the Abacos, especially the estate near Dorros Cove, at the end of the island, with the private coconut grove. Both Paul and I felt the estate had been refurbished since our last visit, but maybe that's just our memory playing tricks on us.

It was sunny and windy at Tahiti Beach. The four younger people waded out to the sandbar that stretches out into the Sea of Abaco. On the sand bar, I tried a couple of cartwheels (it is shallow enough for that) … then we were hit by a squall. We walked/swam back … and the rain continued. The cool water felt good, and we used it to wash the salt water off our skin. After the squall passed, the sky was clear again, except for a few puffy white clouds.

We returned, via a few different roads – there aren't many on Elbow Cay – to the marina, leaving our carts
in the public parking lot at the edge of town. Back on Wild Cat, we rested and nibbled. Towards evening, Paul, Pas and I walked to the lighthouse (new clouds had developed, so the lighting was no good for photographs but lovely for walking), passing through the boatyard, which was fun. Pas became fascinated by the amount of engine power many of the fishing boats carried – some with two 250 hp motors. Do the fish really pull back that hard?

As we got ready to leave for dinner, Mum and Pas discovered that their interior locker had several inches of standing water in it. Since this locker has no connection to the outside, it's hard to imagine where the water could have come from. Of course, now all of their pants and jackets were wet, so I lent some clothing to Mum. Warm clothing, as the cold front was predicted to arrive this evening.

We returned to the main dock and drove our carts back to the Abaco Inn for a delicious, filling, and quite reasonable Thanksgiving dinner. We all had a lot to be thankful for – having my Mum for another year; being together in such a lovely place
on the holiday; enjoying the weather and company. And, of course, we enjoyed zipping around the island in the half-moon light and soft winds – I could get used to this.

Additional photos below
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3rd July 2010

take it off!
6th April 2011


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