Monday, March 21, 2016
Its crazy that we’ve already been in Rock Sound for 3 days. Time seems to be flying now and we’ve finally fell into a balance of living and cruising and exploring / having fun. After the late night rendezvous with new friends Calista, we were feeling great, albeit slightly tired. But what else is new?
The bad weather officially caught up to us last night. The rain came around 2AM and didn’t let up until early morning. We were both too tired to notice until Jake woke up to a puddle of water on the floor in the kitchen. Oops forgot to close the port light. Glad it wasn’t the one over my head!
No big deal. We were prepared for it and had nothing planned other than to link up with Calista for dinner. Otherwise, the entire day was ours and open.
I love having fresh food. Its probably the only time that I’m motivated to cook. Jake was pleased because I made his favorite breakfast, dubbed goofy toast. Some people call it eggs in a frame – or cowboy toast. Then I made myself some soup and a grilled cheese…for BREAKFAST! I know how strange I am. But seriously I love this ultra-soft and pillowy Bahamian bread so much. And I’m not a huge breakfast-food person, so I made myself a proper Jilly-breakfast.
We turned on the VHF radio to check the “news” around the anchorage. Its like a mix between entertainment and information. We listened to all the other “buddy boaters” discuss the weather and their plans of whether or not to move. After hearing these conversations, I’m surprised any of these individuals made it out here on their own – it seems that no one can make a decision by themselves. They seem to completely rely on their buddy-boat companions to do anything.
Some news was helpful. Our weather report was confirmed to clock around through the day into evening from west, north, east and land around the east southeast quadrant. This means that we will eventually have to move back to the other side of the bay if we want to stay comfortable. But for now, we’re good here. There is a beach nearby that we wanted to go stroll. Maybe we’ll find some cool shells or sea beans. The concept of beach combing is still new to us (thank you Beans!). But its fun.
Storms were in the forecast, but for now things were mellow. It was extremely calm and quiet out here today. Very peaceful. We dinghied the short ride to the beach where tons of mangroves sprout from the water. There is a lot of interesting terrain here too. A mixture of rocky limestone, little eddies and rivers running through the marshy areas. The beaches themselves are super pretty. And the best part…we get it all to ourselves.
There was lots of interesting things to explore. One really cool thing is that the sand was actually made up of teeny tiny shells. We grabbed a bunch to take with us (figured they could make good jewelry). Tons of little sea critters, birds and fishes, and of course Jake and I. It was the most fun we’ve had in ages!
It got me thinking how much our lives have changed since we came here. Never in a million years would I think that this activity of strolling on the beach searching for sea shells or little critters would be much entertainment. I mean sure, its nice to be in the beautiful setting, but to be so enamored with mother nature that you could spend hours in one place and be completely engrossed is something else. It reminded me of when I was a child and how this form of entertainment was EVERYTHING. No need for internet, TV, computers, video games…None of that nonsense. Just us in nature.
What a great way to pass the morning! After playing along the shores we realized that our storm clouds were growing larger and scarier by the minute and decided that it would probably be a good time to get back to the boat.
As we motored towards Bosco, I noticed something stick out of the water back towards the shore we just came from. I couldn’t be sure, but it looked like hands sticking out of the water. Maybe someone is swimming over here? But it didn’t make sense because I didn’t see a head or anything else. And as I stared at the spot, I noticed it again, but it wasn’t hands this time. It looked like a large circular watermelon-shaped thing.
We motored back over to check it out, but couldn’t see anything. The water was hard to see through so I used my camera to try to take a picture of whatever it was. I wasn’t even positive there was anything TO see, but maybe we’ll get lucky. Maybe its a swamp monster of the deep, or maybe its just a figment of my imagination?
When we got back to the boat, I flipped through the images on the camera and realized that I nabbed a picture of my mystery creature. Its definitely a turtle. A really BIG turtle too! Not sure of the type, maybe a hawksbill or a green. SUPER cool!
At the boat, Jake really wanted me to give him a haircut. I guess I can’t blame him, he’s definitely getting shabby. Now if only we can get that mangy beard under control. 😉
Rain came early in the afternoon and stayed with us for a few hours. Winds picked up a lot too. But we were absolutely comfortable down below. Temperatures were perfect and conditions were ripe for lots of napping and reading. It appears that we have to get our sleep during the day, since night time seems to keep throwing us curveballs.
I fixed a quinoa salad with sesame ginger dressing and LOTS of fresh veggies including tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, apples, garbanzo beans for our meal with Calista tonight. We dinghied over around 5PM (thankfully the rain stopped) with our food in tow. Calista’s boat is a Bayfield 36 and SUPER cool on the inside. It was fun to hang out on someone else’s boat for a change of pace.
Annick made the most delicious lentil stew and homemade baked bread. It paired perfectly with our salad. And the night flew by in a whirl of great food, conversation, and lots of cuddles from sweet little Dukie.
The weather was definitely picking up again. We could feel it on the boat and figured that now was a good time to head back (it was after 10PM). The wind has obviously shifted because waves were bucking us a ton. The dinghy ride back to Bosco was a challenge. Definitely scary in the dark with big waves and rain. Calista said they’d keep their ear on their radio if we have any issues, but we were all good. Happy to get back on the big boat. Even though the waves were up, we were pretty comfortable inside.
At least for now.
Tuesday, March 22
This was the harmony of music we enjoyed all night. For the most part it played consistently but sometimes there would be a loud thud or bang or whack that would make both Jake and I hop up to check on things. The halyard on the whisker pole was thrumming against the mast all night and the dinghy chain kept bumping the swim platform. Not to mention the boat itself bucking like mad.
Still, we’ve had worse nights aboard. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for the noise. It was an extremely loud night and that made it hard to fall asleep for very long. So we were both up way too early the next day to an extremely uncomfortable situation.
Apparently our wind finished clocking around because it was only 630AM and we are the ONLY boat out here. Calista made a break for it during the night to the other side of the bay (we learned later). So we were the only suckers left. And like I said before, it wasn’t our worst night or even our worst anchorage. But it wasn’t very good either and now that we’re up we were ready to move.
The most bizarre feeling came when I sat in the cockpit to drink coffee this morning, and felt the boat jump up and down as if we were at sea. We didn’t linger too long, ate a quick breakfast of yogurt and granola and then Jake was getting his gear on to pull the anchor. I assumed with conditions as they were that getting the anchor up would be a royal pain, but somehow we worked in perfect sync and it came up with no issue at all. And we were back on the other side of the bay before 8AM.
Ahhh that’s better.
Too bad we’re completely exhausted again. We also have a few items on our errand-list that we need to check off. Jake went to town solo to get propane and hit up the ATM. We also still needed diesel and water, top off the data on our BTC cards and hopefully do laundry…oh and pick up a few more fresh items at the store.
Normal life stuff that would be all too easy on land, but will probably take the better part of two days to accomplish on the boat. Especially since both of us were so tired from the sleepless night.
Somehow we managed to accomplish half of our errand list today. I managed the goings on of the boat for the most part. A very uneventful and relatively mellow day for us.
Wednesday, March 23
Its nice to feel refreshed in the morning (for a change). And a bonus…the sun is out! YAY. I am happy to share that we enjoyed my most all-time favorite meal I’ve ever had on the boat: Leftover chicken taco filling (from lunch yesterday) mixed with eggs, fresh avocado and tomato, wrapped in fresh corn tortillas with salsa and hot sauce. It was FLAVOR-COUNTRY-HEAVEN.
And that made for a really great start to a pretty great day. We still had chores but also figured we could mix in a little fun too. Jake made his first run to top off fuel. Check. Next we loaded up with all of our dirty clothes, detergent and some extra garbage bags (so the clothes don’t get soaked on the dinghy ride back). I also packed my computer and other electronics for the BTC store.
It was a big haul. The hardest part was trying to walk down the street with all of this stuff in hand and navigate. Some locals came by and pretty much steered us right to the laundromat. I was very pleased as the inside was well kept and pretty large. It was half convenient store and half washers and dryers. Plus it was very reasonably priced.
The store clerk was more like a concierge. She prepped our washers and told us we could just pay her after we were done, instead of having to find enough coins. So that was easy.
With our lighter load, we meandered the neighborhood a little bit. We passed by several people hanging out in the streets. All of them were super nice and looked to be enjoying their lunch break in the sun. I was enamored with all the little houses, ruins and gardens and tons of cute little animals roaming about.
Eventually we stumbled upon the BTC store, to top up on data AND upload a video (to this lovely blog). Poor Jake had to ferry back and forth between the two places to maximize our time. I don’t know how we managed to get all this stuff back to the boat, but we did!
The third trip to shore would take us back to the Wild Orchid restaurant dock, more conveniently located near the grocery store. We got a few odds and ends to top us off.
We decided to stop at a little deli / gift shop down the road for lunch. The bagel, egg and ham sammies were SO GOOD. And really filling. We also tried a local drink called Switcha. Its mighty refreshing, most notably similar to lemonade, only made from some kind of local fruit.
As we sat outside, we enjoyed chatting with a few of the other cruisers…as this is a cruiser hot-spot. We talked to one woman who told us all about her and her husbands’ excursions to the Caribbean and BVI’s and South America. She was very nice, but also kind of braggy and opinionated. She went on and on about all they’ve seen and done. She stressed how you have to be VERY CAREFUL in areas like this. She stressed that the neighborhoods were very seedy as were the people loitering about. Thats why her and her husband decided to hold of on doing their laundry until they reach the next marina.
Now call me crazy, but we just finished with our laundry and had nothing but great experience. The people were super nice and the neighborhood was just like any other out here in Bahamas. Simple and kind and helpful. Nothing more or less. Obviously this woman, with all of her worldly travels is missing out on something huge. To rule out people and places because of their cover seems pretty narrow-minded as a traveler.
She left us soon thereafter. It got us talking about how sad to have traveled all over but closed off from the genuine experiences. What a shame to assume that everyone is bad because of how they look. I reflected upon myself at that moment and realized how my thinking has changed quite a bit since we began this journey.
We enjoyed the remainder of our day, walking through gift shops and on the streets. Lots of fun things to take pictures of, especially the ADORABLE little chicklets that were trying to cross the street. Jake had to help one little baby who was left behind….so stinking cute.
After we checked off the final errand, we were SPENT. Back onboard Bosco we thought we’d enjoy a leisurely end to our day. Someone randomly stopped by a few hours later, passing on a message from the woman who works the laundromat. Apparently the guy with the red beard left his detergent. And this cruiser was going from boat to boat.
Shoot I knew we forgot something!
That is pretty darn cool of the cruiser to track us down AND the lady in the laundromat to hold it for us. So many acts of kindness happen daily here that it blows my mind. After a quick debate, Jake caved and went back for it. Its a lot of effort, but its the only detergent we’ve got. So he just went for it. That would make it trip #4.
Later on, we enjoyed a movie night. Calista gave us a bunch of movies they didn’t want. Our feature film: Up In The Air (with George Clooney). We’ve seen this movie before, but its been ages. The theme fit our current situation perfectly. Its about a guy who makes a career out of firing people. His spiel convinced people that this was an opportunity to go live their dreams rather than stay in a [crappy] desk job.
Talk about the theme of our life right now! We have experienced a huge shift in our world. But here we are, living it. This dream made real. We’re actually doing it!
That thought made me smile.
P.S. I’m working on a sweet video of our time in Rock Sound, to be released soon. Stay tuned.