Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19th - Black Point Settlement

We've decided to stay here in this beautiful little village to await Kelly & Ryan's arrival on Wednesday.
Yesterday, the entire cruising fleet here held a fundraiser cookout to help one of the elder women get a flight to the USA for treatment of her cancer. The locals provided a fantastic lunch including ribs, chicken, fish, peas & rice, macaroni pie and much more. For a measly $10 you got a huge lunch. This outdoor cookout was held in the yard of Coreen, whose daughter also runs a local restaurant. In all, it was a huge success and enough money was raised to get the flight paid for.
The fundraiser continued on into the evenight as Lorraine's café hosted a St. Patrick's Day party.
As the people say here .... "If we don't help out each other, nobody else will help us".
I felt really bad on Friday afternoon when I took three Jerrycans in to the street tap (the only one) to get some fresh water for the tanks. As I filled the last one, the tap ran dry. That was all the water there was, as the desalinization plant had shut down for the weekend. Later, in the local bar we noticed a bucket of sea water sitting beside the toilet for flushing as the entire population was now without potable water.
We think in Canada we have it tough, but when you see things like this we really have nothing to complain about.
It humbles you to see these wonderful people struggling to make a living while at the same time you have to admire them for their friendliness and how they are so proud of everything they do. From the young school children in their bright green uniforms to the older folks just walking down the street, everyone says HELLO and wishes you a good day.
I make it a point to drop in to visit with the older folks just for a chat to break up their day, as they do their work around the yard. I meet many friendly faces now when I walk down the road. Even some of the kids recognize me and run out to say "Hi".
At the water's edge this afternoon, a young black boy was playing with an old rusted piece of metal. He was very shy and afraid of this old white haired person who approached him. After introducing myself and shaking his hand, he told me he was 5 years old, went to school .... and liked it .... He told me his name (but I'm ashamed to say that I forgot it). We talked, he smiled, then went for a walk along the rock-covered beach looking for some other old "toy" to play with. The beach is to the right of the photo.

This morning the tap was running again but it had a stagnant smell to the water. Nothing a little bleach won't take care of.
I visited with Doris & Sam again this afternoon as they were weaving their palm fronds into rolls to ship to the Nassau Straw Market. They get about $20 per 50 foot roll that they weave and it takes them better part of a day to make one roll.

I've become friends with Sam who's in his mid 70's, has 9 children and 30 grandchildren. We talk daily when I'm around here. He's a very nice and wise man. Jan always wonders why a small errand takes so long ...... it's because I was talking to Sam for a while.

To get the succulent part of the frond to weave they must first take a bunch and cut the edges off them with a sharp knife .... then they cut off the end where the stem is. The part that is cut off is used for burning "when the mosquitos come out" as Sam says, as they don't like the smell of the smoke. Coreen uses these to cook with when she makes her fabulous coconut bread.

This morning I got a thrill when a large leopard ray swam up beside our boat. On came the snorkeling gear and in I went. The ray was spectacular and allowed me to swim with it in it's arena for about 30 minutes before it decided to venture off to another area.

There are thirty-one boats in this small harbour today and as you can see, most of us try to anchor near Lorraine's Café so we can get a wifi connection on the boat.

Tonight, the wind has come up to its usual 15-18 knots and continues to blow. We were treated to another beautiful sunset again tonight and saw the green flash for the third time this trip.
As the sun melts ito the sea one more time, we bid a humble "thank you" for another wonderful day.

The conch shell trumpets come alive once more in appreciation to Neptune.

We, who are only visitors here, sit back with a glass of wine ..... relax .... and say "goodnight" to Mr. Sun.

Have a wonderful evening everyone.

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