Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Limin' in Norman's Cay

The other day was a little too rough for us to clean the rest of the bottom of the boat or change the zincs under the boat, so we made the best of it - we set out in the dinghy to go exploring!! Drat, I hate when that happens - we had to play!! So Colleen, Doug and I set off into some very choppy water which meant we got soaked - but heh mon, we're in the islands where the water is warm as bath water so who cares. When we were in Newport or even when we were in western Florida where the water was freezing, we cared when we got wet - now though we just laugh and say we'll dry soon enough - bring it on!!

We headed out to explore the "Corona commercial" lone palm tree island that we had passed on the way in to Norman's Cut - no picture can do this island justice!! It is too picturesque and just all around perfect - fringed with white sand and volcanic rock with a single palm tree giving off just enough shade in the center of the island and surrounded by water so clear and multi-hued you wanted to just fall in and float!!! We beached the dinghy and "explored" (which took about 15 minutes - it's just not that big!) and then reclined for awhile on the sand to soak up some of those wonderfully warm rays. Had the current not wanted to repeatedly take our dinghy onto the rocks, I'm sure we would have stayed for quite some time - Colleen was quickly on the sand checking her eyelids for holes after a late evening out partying with Life's2Short and some hippy throwbacks on a big sportfishing boat (we enjoyed the Pink Floyd and Doors music throughout dinner on Gypsies but by about 3:00 am it was getting a little old)!!

Living on a boat I'm starting to understand Jimmy Buffett's line that "he now gets up the time he used to go to bed" - we are pretty solar driven! Asleep shortly after dark (OK not right after...) and up with the sun!!! Anyways from our lone palm island we dinghied over to check out the airplane wreck. It is pretty wild - despite crashing sometime in the '70s what is underwater is almost completely intact, wings and all!

It is only the cockpit that is above water that has rusted out. It has also now become a reef for coral, fans and fish which we were able to see with our looky bucket or Bahamian TV which comes in handy for more than just checking our anchor!! Some laughing gulls were perched on top of the plane watching us as intently as we were eyeballing them - they seemed to be having fun! Remnants of a drug culture that infused Norman's when the drug lord Carlos Lehder ruled the island.

To get rid of some of the salt we'd picked up on the dinghy ride (just kidding but at least if we went swimming, we'd be salty all over), we headed in for the afternoon to the beach and met up with September Song. We played with Cassie and Godiva, watching them chase the tennis ball and hunt for fish. They are too funny! Late that afternoon we all headed in to MacDuff's Beach Bar which has internet access (for four people and believe me when four people are on, its pretty slow, but none of us have had any access at all since Nassau so we'll make do!!!)

Doug spent time posting blogs and then lost his connection before he had time to check email. Of course you can't just sit in a bar and not have a cold Kalik (or at least I can't) so we all took turns blogging and checking up on emails while the rest of the crew waited their turn out on the great deck!! MacDuff's is what you think of when you think island bar...lots of rough wood, wicker, salty characters lining the bar and an outside bathroom (now I'm not just talking outside, I'm talking a 3 sided open air little gazebo with an umbrella for a roof and a vacant/in use sign hanging from the tree on the little path leading down to it!!!

We stayed for an early dinner of cheeseburgers, fish sandwiches, fritters, fish bites and cold Kaliks - what a feast!!

Sometimes the food down here just tastes better than anything in the States - or maybe the atmosphere just makes it seem that way.

Yesterday the seas and winds were kicking up so we weighed anchor and headed around a little point of land to try and get some more protection - days like that are not great for Colleen so any protection we can get is welcome. There wasn't too much to be had but, when life gives you lemons.....we plan a party (on the beach - solid land!) At 4:00 we all headed in to the one little strip of sandy beach we could find and had a great pot luck early supper complete with conch salad, assorted apps, South Carolina BBQ, Chicken stroganoff, Caribbean cole slaw and a coconut raspberry pie that we shared family style (grab a fork and pass the pie plate) - have I mentioned that we eat really well!!!! Everything was so good!!

Back to the boats for a rocky evening with 15-20 knot winds out of the S/SW (a direction we weren't protected from - of course!!!) Gotta love Mother Nature - but she wasn't done with us yet!! Today we all woke to whipping winds and waves so once again we weighed anchor in search of a more protected place. We moved about 3.5 miles in rocking seas but tucked in behind our Corona commercial island and got out of the worst of it (at least for now) - there looks to be a thunderstorm headed our way from Andros so we'll see....what are we to do??? Head in to MacDuff's of course!!! As we speak several of us are enjoying Bloody Mary's and cold Kaliks while we wait for the restaurant to "officially" open so we can get on the internet. There are worse ways to pass the time!!!!

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