What the heck do we do all day in paradise? Today, we started at 8 a.m. with boat chores — taking Motu Iti to the Lighthouse Marina to fill up her water tank.
We carry about 70 gallons of water, which we re-fill about 2 weeks or so, depending on when we have a good weather day. Our water usage of 2 – 2 1/2 gallons/person/day does not include water for a washing machine, flush toilet (we have a compost toilet) or shower – we use a sun shower and fill it with water from a jerry can.
The Writer’s Circle met at 10 a.m. Nancy read about her challenges as a woman law student in the early 1970’s and Goldwin read Desperate Voyage – an account of his conversation with the owner of the BOLO boat that crashed onto the north beach of Elbow Cay. The owner’s shocking story is set forth below.
A quick trip to the grocery store, and then we took the dinghy back to the boat. Part way across the harbor, we encountered several turtles. Just their heads above water, occasionally, when they came up for air.
We sat in the dinghy on an empty mooring, enjoying a beautifully sunny day with a light breeze, watching turtles.
Next up was Cat’s Paw marina, to help launch two Abaco dinghies.
These gorgeous, traditional, locally built dinghies have been used for fishing, conching, sponging and general inter-island transportation (including courting). Many have been lovingly restored. All require regular TLC.
Next up — the Hope Town Inn and Marina for a performance by The Bilge Rats, an impromtu group of musicians-on-boats – plus Elvis, the lighthouse keeper.
They were amazing. And included friends Guy from Miss Ellie and Steve from October (sitting, with guitars). Lots of fun singing along, lunching with friends, and even swimming in the marina’s pool. On our way back to the dinghy we stopped at the marina’s fish-cleaning station to watch a nurse shark chase down thrown away fish bits.
Finally, back to the boat. HOT-HOT showers from our sun showers, home-made pizza, and a sunset.
A full day.
Here is Goldwin’s Desperate Voyage:
I race on Rage. When I am not busy at the mast, I use my weight to keep her at the optimum angle of heel. The crew moves in towards the center or out, sometimes on prie boards, to keep the rail just above the surface. She is fastest then. We use our weight to balance the force of the wind on our sails.
I had a crew mate, Scott, who moved in and out with me on the lee deck. We talked. He told me why he sailed out of Puerto Rico, bound for St. Augustine on an ill-equipped boat after Hurricane Maria. He had a masonry house; his neighbors’ were wooden. During Hurricane Maria, he watched large heavy objects fly by. After the storm the neighbors’ houses were gone. As were the trees and undergrowth. Scott’s house looked like it had been machine-gunned. There was no power, water, food or police protection. Scott said it was anarchy, scary. While he was working on his boat, his house was looted by his neighbors. He had lived among them for seven years.
He moved onto his boat and prepared as best he could. After Hurricane Maria, his boat needed repair and supplies. One night three men in a small boat silently drifted down next to Scott’s boat. One man boarded and came down the companionway with a gun, not knowing Scott had two dogs with him “They were gentle animals,” he said, “until that night – and they attacked.” The fleeing thief fired one shot at Scott and missed. The slug went through a thick bulkhead and lodged in toilet plumbing. The three men escaped in the dark. Scott weighed anchor soon after.
Two weeks later, he was driven over the Elbow Cay reef by another storm. The boat became a total loss, as subsequent wind and waves broke it into pieces which spread along the beach. The people of Elbow Cay cleaned up the wreckage as they have for hundreds of years. There was little theft. Scott said the people of the Bahamas have been “very, very hospitable, kind and helpful.”