Since I started lugging a laptop with me on our winter cruises to the Bahamas I've been sending reports to the folks back home to try and give them some idea of our funny to them lifestyle. We spend six months cruising and six months at home in Toronto. I've got about a hundred of these little reports in my email files. This one is from 2006.
We're now anchored in Little Bay on the island of Great Guana in the Exumas. This bay is just around the corner from Black Point, a small Bahamian settlement. Cruisers love Black Point because it has a new laundromat and free reverse osmosis (RO) water. As I said in an earlier email we needed water badly, it having been 24 days since we filled up in Nassau. As we carry about 130 gallons we had only a few days supply left. I dropped Doreen off at the laundromat dinghy dock and then spent the next four hours lugging water. I had scrounged six jugs off friends which made for a few less trips but in the end you still have to lug about 1300 pounds of water.
It has been blowing over 20 knots, gusting to nearly 30 for five days straight now. Nearly everyone gets tired of the constant sound of the wind in the rigging. We're in a fairly secure anchorage so there's not much fear of dragging but the wind gets to most people. Night before last we had a beach party and last night another party on a 42 foot catamaran. There are two houses (one finished and one being built ) on this bay and the people came to our party. One of the houses looks like a sand castle, we've always called it the sand castle as we've watched it being built over the last few years. The other house was started last year and the owner thinks it'll be completed in another year but we have our doubts. (note: in May 2009 the house still was not completed) He told us the construction costs are about three times those in the States. He should know as he used to be a builder. He's living on his 57 foot sportsfish while his house is being built.
Back to the laundry. Most people think all you need here is a T shirt and bathing suit but actually it's a lot more complicated than that. At any one time you've got a least three sets of clothes going. The reason for this is SALT. Sailors spend all the time trying to keep salt out of their boats. Off course this is a pretty futile pastime as the damn boat is sitting in a big puddle of salt, ever time you sail it goes all over the outside of the boat but you have to try to keep it from your bedding and upholstery because if that gets salty it's always damp. So, you have one set of salty clothes, this is for beachwalks, playing around in the dinghy and any other activity that might get you salty. These clothes are not worn down below. You have one set of really clean clothes, this is for wearing after your evening shower and then you have a set of semi clean clothes for day wear on the boat. This set is usually the "really clean" set which is rotated to the semi clean pile after a few days. The salty set is kept in plastic bags, the other sets are piled neatly in our respective areas of the boat. Doreen keeps hers in the aft cabin, I leave mine on the chart table seat.
Doreen is quite famous among the cruisers. Everyone has heard the story of her getting hit by the ray last year, even the newbies. (note: Doreen got hit in the head by a spotted eagle ray while standing in the front of the dink. We were going at full speed when the ray jumped out of the water right in front of us) At every party someone will say "I heard that story" and then marvel that the story is really true and they're meeting the actual person. I guess it's really a small community of cruisers and other than the weather there's not much to talk about.
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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