Swing Set

Jul 16, 201310:07 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Rum Cay

(page 2 of 2)

We were motoring past the marina again, trying to decide where to tied up our boat, when three Bahamians came down to the dock to direct us into a slip. Billy, as one of them was named, was directing us into a space on the dock where I had already decided we were going to tie up anyway, at least until someone complained. It appeared that things were going to work out.

With the wind blowing us away from the approach alongside the pier, Rosie tossed Billy a line and he helped pull us in. Another fella, Scoobie, took a stern line. They both proceeded to tie us tight to the closest piling, leaving no slack for the ebbing tide. Both Billy and Scoobie knew nothing about tying up a boat, but they, and their third cohort, Hartley, were obvious in their desire for a tip, but they didn't push the issue. Good thing.

I let them know we would come see them if we needed anything else, and then we set to work tying the boat up for real. I had a discussion with Rosie about relinquishing lines to dockhands; it's OK to toss a line if the situation requires it, but the responsibility of the line stays with Rosie, whether she is securing the line herself, or directing someone else to do it.

Once Swing Set was secure, I saw two crew members of the larger sport fishing boat out washing down the decks, so I went over to ask them some questions. They had been at the marina for a day and had gone into the town of Port Nelson, where they said there wasn't much. They had gone to a sand bar, which was open on a Sunday, by the way, but they said it wasn't much either. They also said they were chased by two feral dogs when they were in town and that it may not be a good idea to take Holly.

I returned to the boat and made my report to Rosie. We decided to get showers and walk the half mile to town, but leave Holly to guard the boat. Locked up, of course.

Our walk to the town of Port Nelson was hot and dusty along a gravel road. Trash and debris lined the roadside, and when we finally reached some buildings, we wondered if we had made a wrong turn. Nothing was open, and the one person we saw barely looked at us, let alone gave us the impression that he would have welcomed any questions.

We took a side road back toward the beach and passed a woman on her porch feeding some birds. We asked her about Kaye's Place and she said that we had passed it, "just over da bridge," but there was a party and the place was closed. We thanked her and decided to just go back to the boat and have dinner. We passed Kaye's Place and saw that it was just a house, actually appeared to be abandoned, but had a few rusty chairs under a big tree, all for your dining pleasure.

Hartley came by on his four wheeler on our walk back to the marina and asked us if we wanted a ride. I took a long look at the dusty road, another look at the rusty luggage rack on the back of his Honda, and declined his generous offer. He asked at least twice if we were sure we didn't want a ride. If I was sure then, one look at the numerous scars on Hartley's face told me that he might not be the best driver on Rum Cay. It appeared that his head may have had some close encounters with a palm tree or two.

Arriving back at the marina, we heard what I knew was dogs barking and running towards us, actually snarling, and galloping was more like it. Remembering the tale of the feral dogs chasing the crew members of the sport fishing boat, I reeled around and yelled "GIT!" As I was reaching for my knife, I yelled again, "Git on outa here," and those two dogs spun around and ran off from where they came from. Rosie said she almost had a heart attack.

As we stepped onto the dock and were rinsing the road dust off our feet, a young woman walked over and introduced herself as Gro, the owner of the two dogs. She apologized for their rude behavior, and I told her that apologies were not warranted, but she was lucky I didn't stab either one of her pets in our defense.

I calmed down some, and we learned that Gro was running the marina with her boyfriend, Bobby. She was from Norway, which was interesting in itself, but she went on to tell us about the feud between Bobby and the owner of the earth moving equipment who was trying to run them out of business. He was the "enemy."

We know there are two sides to every story, but you have to wonder about folks whose business plan is to not charge customers for dockage for a whole season, just to piss off the neighbors.

We also found out that Billy, Scoobie and Hartley don't work at the marina, or have anything to do with it actually, but I suspect they may have more business sense than either Bobby or Gro.

We retreated to the boat and saw the rest of the gang that live at the big house adjacent to the marina. Had this been 30 years ago, we would have sworn these folks were running a commune of some kind. It's what it looked like, anyway. We decided to leave first thing in the morning.

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