Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 17, 2015 St Patrick's Day in the Bahamas

Happy St Patrick’s Day!  Our son has been busy this past weekend through today.  He plays in an Irish Band, The River Liffey Boys. 

I woke up in time to see the sunrise this morning.  Then Dave got up to go to shore to check into customs.  Only one person is allowed to go to shore with all the passports and forms.  He left thinking they opened at 8:00.  They officially opened at 9:00, but were there by 8:40.  He had to ask a couple people where the office was.  A woman would have looked at a map before leaving :)
sunrise at Green Turtle Cay

He was back to the boat by 9:00 with a pastry similar to a Danish, but in pie shape.  He said everything went smooth.  There is a $300 fee for boats over 40 ft.  They didn’t ask about our stores or liquor or anything.  He remembered to ask for the extra fishing endorsement that allows you to use cast nets and slings to catch fish.  You can’t use spear guns or catch fish while diving. 
custom's office and post office
 Dave connected us to a different Wifi and I was able to post my  blog.  Then we went to shore to check out the island and have lunch.  We visited with a lady that rents golf carts for $35/ day (same as renting a car in Florida).  She told us of her favorite restaurant and that there was a first time St Patrick’s Day parade today at 4:00.  We had lunch at the Wrecking Tree.  Dave had a grilled fish sandwich and I had conch salad.  It was like a ceviche and very good.  We watched the ferry arrive and leave from a dock near the restaurant.  We even checked out their schedule for future reference.  We stopped at a couple stores just to check things out.  All groceries were at least twice as much as in the USA.  But you could get all the basics you would need. 
lobster salad
main street

On our way back to our boat, we stopped at several boats anchored in the bay to tell them about the parade.  Everyone was welcome to be in the parade.  We visited with a couple from Germany for about an hour.  They will be in the Abacos for awhile, so we hope to run into them again.  They leave their boat in Green Cove Springs, Fl when they go back to Germany.  Sound familiar?  That is where we have our mail sent to and forwarded to us.  Small world. 

As we headed into town, we stopped at a boat that was just anchoring to tell them about the parade.  It was a young couple with 2 kids and a dog.  They were trying to anchor and get in to customs before 5:00.

We were back at the Plymouth Rock bar and cafe in time to adjust our mood for a parade.  We had a couple Guinness beers and they were handing out free shots of Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey.  We have been to Bushmill in northern Ireland and so we couldn’t pass it up.
getting the right attitude to be in a parade
parade headquarters, New Plymouth Rock bar and Grille

The parade consisted of a lead golf cart, then about 30 drunks, I mean people, from the bar and about 10 more  golf carts.  There were a few bicycles and dogs mixed in there.  We left one bar, went about 3 blocks to the end of town and turned back to another bar about one block from the original bar.  Everyone hung out there for a couple hours.  We made friends with the people with kids near the pool table.  I am always curious how people younger than us are making this work.  The family that was anchoring was there.  They didn’t make it to customs before 5:00, but the whole family was at the parade.  I understood that you weren’t supposed to leave your boat until you checked in with customs.  But I guess they aren’t too strict at this remote island compared to the cities.
following the lead golf cart

We ended up playing a little pool ourselves.  But as people started thinning out, we decided to head back to the boat.  We considered eating on the island but thought about ALL that food we had brought along.  Plus it is nice to get back to the boat in daylight. 

I actually made a German meal instead of an Irish meal.  But we did have potatoes, if that counts.  We also had bratwurst and sauerkraut. 

Fun first day.  We’ll just see what happens tomorrow. 

end of a great first day

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