Jun 30, 201309:05 AM
Swing Set: Cruising Full Time
Junkanoo In Georgetown
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After the rain Friday night, the winds died down and the harbor was table top smooth on Saturday morning. After a scrumptious breakfast of bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, washed down with three cups of coffee, we grabbed Holly and went for an extended dinghy ride. Zipping along in early morning over the clear water was exhilarating. We found a local boatyard if we ever need a haul out, and we also scoped out a couple of hurricane holes. This whole area is full of little nooks and crannies to tuck into if we had to.
Our last stop was to be a quick one at the Exuma Market, to get water and walk next door to get a couple cases of Kalik, which they had in cans, a rare commodity, and for only $40 per case.
As we were filling up our jerry jugs, a fella motored in with his dinghy and asked me where the Customs Office was. As I was giving him directions, his Yamaha outboard quit and he couldn't get it started. Kim, as we soon learned, had just arrived from the BVI on his 40-foot Nordhavn trawler and had to check in with the authorities. He rowed the short distance to the dinghy dock and tied up. I left Rosie and Holly to watch the boat while I walked over to the liquor store, and I made a mental note to make sure Kim got his motor started before we left to return to Swing Set.
Kim and I both returned about the same time, and I was amazed at how quick he was able to check in. He said he couldn't check in at the Customs Office; he had to travel to the airport to do it. That's kind of a pain, but it was Saturday. To make matters worse, the Yamaha wouldn't start. Kim yanked on the pull starter (without cussing, a major marvel as far as I'm concerned) without success. I'd offered to tow him back to his boat where he had some resources to address the motor, or at least take his bigger boat into the yacht club while he went to the airport.
We towed Kim back out to Kidd's Cove and met his traveling companions, Brian and Ky. While there, I suggested that the motor may have been flooded, and by opening the throttle all the way, but not pumping it, the motor may start. Brian did the honors, and sure enough the motor started. But it didn't stay running for long. There were options, but Kim had a policeman waiting to take him to the airport, and Customs wanted all three men present to check in, so I suggested towing him back to Lake Victoria to leave the dinghy at Minn's, a boat repair and rental facility there.
So, back we went to Lake Victoria. I told them to call us on the VHF if they needed anything later, and they invited us to cocktails on their boat at 5 p.m. We made no promises, but Kim wanted to repay us for the towing job, and I admitted a desire to check out his boat, having always been a fan of trawlers like the Nordhavn 40. We did give a "maybe." No repayment was needed. It's that karma thing.
The winds shifted around on us on Saturday afternoon and started blowing in from the south, which put us on the windward side of the harbor. Swells were rolling in to the point of being uncomfortable, so I decided to move over to a spot just out from Peace and Plenty of the South side of Elizabeth Harbour. We found a calm anchorage, and no sooner did we get settled in than we got a call on the radio from Kim.
They were able to get the Yamaha fixed up in short order at Minn's while they were at the airport. Kim said the motor just needed to have the carburetor cleaned out. He asked what our plans were, and I told him about the Junkanoo that was going on for the whole weekend. He suggested cocktails on his boat Tropical Explorer at 5, and then we could all take our dinghies over to the Junkanoo after. Sounded like a plan.
We had a good time during an hour or so on Tropical Explorer. Ky (not sure of the spelling, sounds like "tie") is a very fit 95 years old, and an accomplished sailor. Outside of the Navy Seal, Jim, these fellas were the most interesting guys we've met so far on our travels.
We finally went over to the Junkanoo, where the residents of Georgetown were beginning their Independence Day celebration. The Bahamas are having their 40th anniversary of independence from England. Kim and his travel companions were on a schedule and had plans for an early morning departure, so they left Rosie and I to fend for ourselves when they returned to Kim's boat. We stayed to watch the festivities.
There was a small paraded of sorts, which was comprised of the smallest little kids pounding on drums made from 30 gallon oil barrels that were nearly bigger than them, and they were accompanied by some others keeping the beat with homemade cowbells. I have to admit that it was pretty entertaining. We stayed long enough for the bands to start, after several rousing speeches about the future of the Bahamas. There was beer and food, and the later it got, the more people showed up. The police were in full force, but no one checked bags or belongings, and there was no "gate" anyone had to enter to attend the event.
We left at a reasonable hour, but the music kept on into the night. We could hear it from the boat anchored just a short distance away. The Bahamians party LATE.
We had quite a lightening show last night, but no rain came. The sky was overcast this morning, and the winds shifted again. Before breakfast, we pulled up anchor and moved back over to our spot just off of Hamburger Beach. I could see Tropical Explorer making way out of the harbor, so I called Kim on the VHF and we told each other goodbye and wished them all a safe trip back to Fort Lauderdale, where Kim lives.
We're not sure of our plans for the week. I've plotted a course to Long Island, and I'd like to at least run down the 80 or so miles of the west coast of that island just east of here, but we have some more things to do here in Georgetown, we think, and there's some questionable weather coming in on Wednesday and Thursday. We might stay here in the comfort of Elizabeth Harbour for a few more days.
We need to call A&B Marina in Key West on Monday, to see about getting a slip there this fall after our Bahamas adventure. We intend on staying in Key West for a month or two, but it all hinges on getting a slip in Key West Bight. It's a popular time of the year in Key West at the end of October and the beginning of November, but commuting in from a marina or anchorage on Stock Island is not something we want to do, or intend to do.
Like everything else, we shall see.