Swing Set

Apr 12, 201309:50 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Bimini Sands Marina

(page 2 of 2)

On Wednesday morning, I was waiting on the steps of the BaTelCo store in Alice Town when Ellodie and Joshua showed up. Ellodie didn't seem too pleased to see me. Over an hour later, it was decided "the system was down," because Joshua couldn't access his account either. Ellodie said  I could leave and she would call me.

Right before I left the store, I got a more pressing message on my phone. AT&T informed me I'd generated over $250 worth of calls in the last week. At what I thought was 25 cents a minute, this would mean I'd been on the phone for 10 hours. Not hardly. When we got back to the boat I asked Rosie to get to the bottom of things. Turns out the 3.99 "International plan" we'd been depending on was only for calls from the U.S. to other countries. Rosie hadn't read the fine print. We'd tallied up over $300 worth of calls. Long story short, AT&T agreed to drop those charges, but we had to sign up for another International plan that only gives us 100 minutes for $120. Don't call us, we'll call you.

What we'll do is buy an unlocked phone and put a BaTelCo SIM card in it and get a much cheaper rate here in the Bahamas. I'll be getting it somewhere other than Alice Town, however.

On Wednesday, we went back to Mackies Sand Bar for happy hour at 3 p.m. Of course, we were told happy hour didn't start until 5 p.m. Undaunted, I ordered a Bud Light for Rosie and a Kalik for me, because as I told the bartender, "Happy hour may not start for another two hours, but we're here now." She went and talked to the manager, and we were then told that if we stayed past 5 p.m., they'd ring up all our beers at the happy hour price of $1.50. That made us happy.

Some other boaters joined us at the bar, and we met some locals, too. We ordered a huge pizza to go, and it came out piping hot just as the bus showed up to take us back to the marina. Mackies is the best, and only, place worth going in South Bimini.

We were relaxing later in the cockpit of Swing Set when one of the security staff at the marina came by and talked to us for a while. He was working on his birthday, but was happy to have a job. He said he had a good wife, a good job he's had for 11 years and although he didn't have a nice boat like ours, he had a nice bicycle. When I reminded him he also lived in a nice place, he said with some gravity, "No one wants to live where they are at, man."

Let's see....

We also spent some time at the infinity pool. We gathered up a cooler, beach chair, transistor radio, dog bowl, dog, beach bag with towels, sunscreen and beer coozies. There were three women at the pool when we got there who had less junk with them, and one of them had a baby not even a few months old. We surveyed all the stuff we had, most of it for Holly, and realized just how sick we are. The fact that Holly was placed on the beach chair with the towel protecting her little scalp from the sun didn't help our case.

Some workers actually showed up this week up to finish some condos being built over by the infinity pool, so on Thursday we decided to spend time at the other pool by the entrance, even though the occasional passing cars and trucks kept a fine layer of dust on everything over there. It was better than listening to screw guns drilling into sheet metal all day.

Before we went up to the pool, one of the boaters here asked me to help him with a boat project. He just needed an extra set of hands, and I was glad to help. He also dropped a part down inside his boat that he couldn't reach and I was able to use our "grabber" to retrieve it. A grabber is a good thing to have on a boat.

I ran into Tim, the guy here who fixed our iPad issue, and he showed me an app for our phone, or iPad, called Magic Jack. If you have Internet service, you can make free calls online. I installed it, and it works great. I'll give it some more trial, and maybe we can remove our expensive AT&T calling plan.

We spent the whole afternoon at the pool and met some nice folks, some who just come to Bimini because they like the Bimini Sands and some who are just passing through, like us.

Our plan has changed because of the weather, but our plan is always dependent on the weather. Instead of heading east to the Berry Islands, we have decided to leave Saturday or Sunday for Grand Bahama Island to the north. I want the wind to die down and come from behind us when we head out. If we head to Port Lucaya, just east of Freeport, we can transit the Grand Lucayan Waterway into Dover Sound and then east through the Little Bahama Bank and over to the Abacos Islands. We can then go south through the Abacos, eventually getting to Stirrup Cay in the Berry Islands.

We're learning as we go. I'm writing this blog because the WiFi will work here at the dock late at night, in fact it's 4 a.m. now. So, I'm not using our data transfer, saving it for looking at the weather while we are under way, a more important use of our Internet.

I think we have our phone calling issue solved, but we'll reduce our calling even further, even though we don't call too many people. Keeping in touch is why I write the blog.

Which brings me to this final thing: I had a friend of a friend send an email the other day saying how much he enjoyed reading the blog and wanted to do this very thing some day. Then, he went on to ask what kind of boat we had and wanted me to tell him all about it. What does he think I've been doing for the last 14 months?

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