Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cat to Little San Salvador to Rock Sound

A long day from Conception to Cat Island, accompanied by Eagle’s Wings. After listening to the weather, we all decided we did not have much time to linger here with west winds coming. Bill and Martha hiked up to Father Jerome’s Hermitage, and we went off in search of some place to dump our garbage and get a little exercise. Many of the Bahamian villages have brightly colored shacks on the waterfront that may house a take-away opportunity (food to go). On Fridays, usually a fish-fry is sponsored with proceeds benefitting the community’s entry into The Family Regatta in Georgetown, the Bahamian equivalent of Mardi Gras with sailboats racing in serious competition. At Cat, we found a good mingling spot with Kaliks and conch salad, cruisers and locals alike.

The next day was perfect sailing to Little San Salvador which, unfortunately, was bargained away to a cruise ship line as one of their day stops for fun and frolicking in an artificial but impeccable Bahamian village, complete with pirate ship, seadoos, and fancy tiki huts to seek shade. As it was Sunday, usually a cruise turnover day, we hoped no boat would be in the harbor, and we lucked out. But at sunrise the next morning, the Nieuw Amsterdam approached, and all five anchored sailboats quickly got underway.

Our next port of call was Rock Sound in Eleuthera, a wonderful harbor for protection from any direction. We were disappointed to find the town run down. The cruising guides all rant and rave about Dingles Motors, where you pick up your fuel in jerry cans, and in the past, we have been great supporters. However, there is no gazebo or happy hour put together by them, and never has been since 2008 when we started coming here. The service seems cranky. But you can buy a pint of ice cream for $12. No kidding.

We tried lunch at Pascal’s (which we knew as the Four Corners Restaurant) with Martha and Bill and had good food with New York prices. The following day we had a better bargain at Sammy’s, although Bill thought he was told the lobster was $20 but was billed $32, an unpleasant misunderstanding.

I found some decent wine at the liquor store, but the market shelves were not as abundantly stocked as at our last visit. But for $10 we did get a slight half gallon of coconut ice cream. Remember ice milk? Same thing.

We and ten or so other boats came here for the 35 knots of west wind, which has been revised down to 25, 30 in squalls. We are considering a move over to Warderick Wells or Normans tomorrow for a much-needed change in scenery and beaches to walk, which you won’t find here.

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