Tuesday, February 28, 2023

May 11-17, 2022 in and around Spanish Wells, Eleuthera

5-11 We finally had what we thought was a nice day to play on the water.  We took our snorkel gear and headed to the north side of Royal Island, our favorite spot in this area.  Once we got to the north side of the island, the water was more rough and the tide was too low to get to where we wanted to snorkel.  We headed over to Meeks Patch, about 2 miles by dinghy.  We rode around the island, but didn’t see an area that we wanted to snorkel.  On the south west side, we saw the beach where they take tourists to see swimming pigs.  That’s new since we were here 3 years ago.  Being from farming country, we think it’s crazy that people pay money for that.

our goal was the small island in the center of the photo

beach with pigs, and a small beach bar just for their patrons

a small beach where we stopped for a break

We ended up back on Russel Island at the Sandbar restaurant for a late lunch, one of our favorites in the area.  It’s always fun to pull up on a beach in your dinghy and eat outside.  Clarisa was our waitress.  Dave was able to give her a hard time, which she loves.  Dave had a burger and fries, I had nachos (the large order by mistake, should have asked how large) and we each had a margarita.  I had thrown in $100 cash just in case.  So I figured I could have a second margarita.  When I pulled out our money, I had only brought $80 and the bill came to $83 before the tip.  The margaritas were $13 each.  So I stayed and sipped on my margarita while Dave took the dinghy back to the boat for more cash.  He brought extra incase I decided to order another margarita. I don’t think I would have been able to get back to the boat and on the boat safely with another one in me.  Common sense has finally caught up with me.  We made it back safe and sound in a little rain.  It had rained harder earlier while we were at the restaurant.  We had to take down our laundry to put out again tomorrow.  Fun day, but not what we set out to do when we left the boat.  My back was feeling better, but that was a long day to sit in the dinghy. 

the beach at the Sandbar restaurant

Mary and Dave in front of the Sandbar restaurant

5-12 We had to hang our laundry that we attempted to dry yesterday before it rained.  Dave cleaned the deck and isinglass after the laundry was dry. (We hang our laundry on the life lines.)
I spent the day making some summer plans with friends and cleaned the heads.  Good day for cleaning.
5-13 Dave spent some time working on our AIS, automated identification system.  We can see other boats, but it’s not working with the Marine Traffic app.  Back when we left Brunswick we knew there was an issue.  When we conversed with another boater on the ICW that we knew, I asked if they could see us on the AIS.  Yes, they could, that’s how they knew it was us.  But we have friends back in Rapid City that like to follow us on Marine Traffic that can’t find us.  Dave spent some time trouble shooting the AIS connections.  He had a helpful conversation with the Raymarine technicians via e-mails.  

5-14 Town Day-We tied up at Pinder’s dock again.  We didn’t need fuel or groceries today, so we felt a little guilty bringing in our garbage.  Dave always chats with people, so they remember us and don’t seem to mind.  We had lunch at the Vault Snack Bar.  You order at a window and sit at picnic tables under a covered area.  Always good food.  We walked to the Ponderosa Shell shop.  Dave’s brother Dean wants a conch shell that you can blow, a tradition at sunset on the water.  When we find a conch, we make a hole in the side to release the conch and remove it.  A shell for a horn can’t have the hole in the side.  The end is cut off and smoothed for the mouth piece of the horn.  We have never tried to make one by filling in the hole with some kind of material.  I remembered Delroy having them for sale at his shop and decided to head there.  He only had 2 for sale.  His grandfather used to make them, but he has passed away.  He blew both of them for us, and we picked the one that was easier to blow and had the better sound.  I had bought a novel from him about the Bahamas, Turquoise Seas.  He hadn’t read it, and had asked me to let him know what I thought, which I had done via e-mail. I decided to bring it back to him, since we don’t keep books on the boat.  I told him he could sell it as used if he wanted to.  He decided to read it himself to better inform his customers.  BUT he gave us the conch shell for free in exchange for the book.  I didn’t expect anything for the book, but that was a real nice offer.  We have brought him lots of customers over the years, so I guess it was also a thank you for our business.  
We noticed he had a sign for fresh eggs, so we bought 2 dozen from him for $5/dz ($6 in the stores these days).  He only had one on hand but within five minutes, his mom drove up with a dozen more.  Now that’s service in a small town.  
The conch shell horn sounded good at sunset.  We may have to get one ourselves someday.  Maybe we’ll figure out how to make one in the future.  

5-15 Only accomplishment today was Dave’s new recipe for baguettes.

5-16 Dave worked on the AIS again today
That evening, we had a call from Pete using Facebook messenger.  We have him drive our car occasionally to keep the tires round and the battery charged.  After work tonight, the battery was dead.  He went back into work and asked in the managers break room if anyone could jump his car.  They all had hybrid cars and said they can’t jump start another car.  Go figure.  He had a friend in the meat department from Wyoming that was able to help him out.  After checking the battery, it was determined that it needed a new battery.  He let Pete take his car to Walmart, the next shopping complex about a block away.  We had left cash in the car for Pete in case something like this came up.  So he was able to get a new battery and install it with the tools we had left in the car.  Good Job!  As a side note, a couple weeks later a friend from the marina was at Publix and her car died.  She went inside and asked at customer service about getting a jump, they sent her to Pete!  She had never met Pete, but they figured out the connection of being our son.  

5-17 Town day!  We decided to rent a golf cart for an hour for $11 to be able to go to the larger grocery store on the island, and other errands.  We parked at Pinder’s, a central location.  I went right to get the cart, and Dave went to the left to buy paint for the hull of our boat at R&B boatyard.  We bought 5 gallons, and with a discount for buying red, it still cost $2000.  We were on their cancellation list to have the boat painted, but that didn’t work out.  The company stopped making this paint, so we decided to buy it and paint it ourselves back in the states at a boatyard in the fall.  
I picked up Dave so we could use the cart to get the paint to the dinghy.  We had no worries about leaving it in the dinghy while we ran errands.  He dropped me off at Food Fair.  We are planning to start working our way back to the US, so wanted to provision with a larger selection than what Pinder’s provides.  Dave filled our jerry cans with fuel and then picked me up.  I dropped him off with the fuel and groceries at the dinghy and returned the cart in exactly one hour.  Dave brought the dinghy closer to me to pick me up at a closer dock.  We can’t leave our dinghy there, but a quick in and out is ok.  We had a plan and made it happen.

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