Lat: 23 20.2N Lon: 75 07.5W
As you can see folks .... the watches are somewhere in the boat and we really don't care what day it is anymore.
The past couple of days with the car rental brought us an experience that we will never forget. The people on this island, some being very poor, will go well beyond anything to help out cruisers. They make do with what they have and use innovative ways to get things done. All are very hard workers. People like Mr. Basil, who owns the local gas station and has a small tap out back to get you some RO (Reverse Osmosis) drinking water (30 cents per gallon), to Julie, who works in the small laundromat in Deadman's Cay and will do the laundry, babysit it all day, and fold it up in our laundry bag for a small donation of $10. We dropped it off at 1030 and went touring until after 5 pm.
The accent and tone of voice of the people is priceless and reflects their happy attitudes. When they speak, it sounds like they're singing. Even the birds sing instead of chirping.
I engaged in conversation with a gentleman and was given 3 small bananas, a tomato, a green pepper, a sour orange (that's what they call them) and an old Lat's & Att's magazine that he had received from an older gent in exchange for some fresh produce. I would have worked all day for that.
We really have learned that you are still happy with very little, and that we worry about so much insignificant stuff that really doesn't matter.
Well, on with our day.......
Yesterday we covered the south part of the island, so today, after dropping off the laundry to Julie in the morning it was off to explore the north end. Mr. T, who rented us the car, strongly told me that I wasn't to go up to the Columbus Monument because the road was in poor shape.
Just north of Thompson's Bay we came upon St. Joseph's Anglican Church with its small cemetery in front. It overlooked the bay where we were first anchored.
From the look of things, they lay the box on the hard coral ground and build a cement crypt over top. Most of the engraving is done along the side with a stick while the cement is still wet.
Further on northward past Doctor's Creek, Simms and Scrub Hill is Deals Beach. This is a beautiful crescent beach with a beach bar on it. The local food was outstanding.
They also provided "in water" service to cool you off on a hot day.
I'm sorry ..... did I say a "hot day"? Well, here's the best rendition of a snowman that I could come up with down here.
As we proceeded north we came upon the small community of Stella Maris on the eastern coast. All the roads are in place for a huge development but when the money ran out in the 1990's everything came to a halt.
The view of the very rugged east coast was great.
Continuing on at the north end of the island is the Marina and Resort at Cape Santa Maria. As you may have noticed, all the places here were named by Christopher Columbus after his boats, or members of the crew.
This high end resort sits on a white crescent sand beach. Jan wouldn't go for a walk with me because, as usual, I parked in a NO PARKING zone and she didn't want us to lose the car. I can't understand her concern ..... Me? .... Not following the rules???
Our second day of the car rental had come to an end and we had some forty miles to drive back to Salt Pond, before dark.
Oh yeah, the car rental .... Mr. T. is a one car operation. We rented an old Toyota Corolla from him for three days. The rental agreement said that I had to pay for any damages as there is no insurance. He wrote down my drivers license on this photocopy and asked me to sign it. He then gave it back to me to retain in case the police stopped me. He never did write down my name, or even ask it for that matter. I told you they were trusting people.
Mr. T. lived across the runway at ath small air strip in Deadman's Cay. So named because in the early days, when you died, that's where they "laid you to rest". On either side of the runway was a large stop sign. I was warned to stop before crossing as I may get run over by a passing plane. I saw this because I had to drive hime home after renting the car. I think he rented me his own personal car.
Our third car rental day was taken up restocking the boat with food and water. Since the mail boat arrived a couple days before the shelves were full of fresh produce, canned goods and fruit ..... and the prices were very good.
After buying what we needed at Hillside Food Supply (you guessed it .... located on a hill), It was time to visit with Mr. Basil to purchase some water as we were down to our last 25 gallons or so.
His facility isn't all that modern, but it sure is satisfactory .... and the water tasted verey good. I purchased 35 gallons from him .... the hard way.
After seven days in Long Island, it was time to bid adieu as a major cold front with forecast 30-35 knot winds is expected on Monday and last fro a week. It's time to leave this dear island and head back into the tranquil seas to sail back to George Town. Our original intent was to travel east to San Salvador and Conception Islands but with 10-15 foot seas on the nose, they will have to wait until next time.
Our last night was spent at the Long Island Breeze Resort and dingy dock for a wonderful dinner that was augmented by a reception hosted by the Minister of Tourism for all the returning winter residents to the island......(cruisers weren't invited so we had to stay up on the balcony). During dinner we watched our first "JUNKANOO RUSH" whereby a primitive looking band with drums, whistles, "kalik" cow bells and colourful shredded paper costumes put on a lengthy performance. I encourage you to google "JUNKANOO" to find out what it's all about. We visited the Junkanoo Museum in Nassau a few years ago and it was very interesting.
Well, off we head out in the morning for a beautiful broad reach in 20 knots of wind making 7.5 knots under jib alone, back to Hog Cay and up to George Town where we now are anchored below the monument on Stocking Island to hide from this storm ...... and boy is it ever blowing over here.
Have yourself a safe week .......we will .....then we're heading back up towards Highbourne Cay to rendezvous with Scott Hamilton, then pick up Kelly and Ryan at Staniel Cay on March 21st.