Swing Set

Apr 23, 201302:23 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Allans-Pennsecola Cay

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We didn't leave Fox Town on Sunday like we had planned. In the morning, there were plenty of rain clouds in the area and more were heading in our direction. Monday was looking better as far as the forecast went, so we decided to stay put. Even though we were only going to travel eight miles to the east, there's no sense on leaving an anchorage when you have a good hook set if you don't have to. By mid-afternoon the sun stuck its head out briefly. We put on our rain gear for insurance (it won't rain if you put on the raincoat), gathered our week's worth of trash, put Holly in her Sunday best and motored the nearly one mile across to Da Valley in Fox Town.

The dock at Fox Town Shell, where the bar/restaurant Da Valley is located, sits on tall pilings that are not suited for getting on and off a dinghy. Most visitors are directed to tie up at a neighboring building with a deck right over the water. A wide wooden ladder provides the means to climb up and to tie up. If you aren't the first one there, you're out of luck.

I'd told Rosie we would bring the one bag of trash that we had, but we would leave it in the dinghy until we saw if there was an opportunity to dump it somewhere. The last thing I wanted to do was be accused of sitting out on anchor and avoiding the town, only to come in when we needed to dump garbage. That's not what it was, but it was how it would appear.

In the photo, you may be able to see Swing Set way out past the rocks and a catamaran anchored pretty far off in the distance, too. The sailboat tied to the dock had been towed in the day before. They'd lost power and were calling for two days for help, but didn't issue a distress call. I only heard a boat calling Spanish Cay. There was no evidence of anyone being in trouble. More about them later.

We walked in to Da Valley and were met by a half-dozen locals in a very spartan room housing a plain wooden bar and a pool table. A dining room was off to one end, and the deck was out front. A kitchen and bathrooms were toward the back. This would be the site of our Sunday afternoon activities, nearly seven hours of them.

We met Judy Russel, the owner, one of her daughters, and then we met Ronald, Judy's husband. We grabbed two seats at the bar and ordered two Kaliks, after finding out the price, which was $4 each, a steep price but seems to be the going rate. No one else at the bar was having anything, just hanging out. We found out the grocery store was closed on Sundays, a fact that didn't surprise me. We didn't really need anything, but we would've bought some eggs and  limes if they'd them. Certainly, they would have limes, but eggs would be a stretch. We might've even bought a case of Kaliks, but like I said, they weren't open.

We began to meet the locals as they came in. Everyone was very friendly towards us. I was soon told that to them, we were like royalty. I don't really like being treated like royalty, but when you consider the alternative, I guess it was OK.

I went out on the deck to make a call on Magic Jack. My dad didn't answer, so I called some friends in Florida because I was on the WiFi at Da Valley and the call was free. I did eventually get a call in to my father and we had a brief conversation. As I completed my calls, a fella approached me and introduced himself. I thought he said his name was Curtis, so I said, "Pleased to meet you, Curtis."

"No!...It's KIRKWOOD! K-I-R-K-W-O-O-D," he spelled out. Then, he proceeded to list all the services he was prepared to avail upon us. Anyting we need, brudda. Our freezer was full, so I didn't want any fish, or "summer crab," so after a brief description of all the services he himself provided as an "attendant" there at Da Valley, then came what I was expecting, a request for money.

As I have said before, I don't hand out money to anyone. And, if KIRKWOOD had asked for $1 or $5, I would've politely declined his request. But Kirkwood had asked for $6. I had to ask myself, why the number six? He said it was only to be "a loan" and that no one could see me give it to him or he would get in trouble. I was intrigued by the amount, and the clandestine nature of his request, so I said I'd loan him the money. How repayment was going to be facilitated was another mystifying concept.

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