January 12, 2013 by Last Star blog
We have been a table of four for so long again, it is hard to go back to a table for two. Reaching for four plates for lunch/dinner is a sure tug on the heart string and a heavy sigh–causer, fersure. It was a glorious month with some wonderful family memories, a whole lot of laughs, Zombies, and many amazing settings. Our last day together we had some strong winds and some failed attempts at fishing, but brought us back to beautiful Bakers Bay on Guana Cay before returning to Marsh Harbor to send the boys off on Friday. I have to say, we were a bit crushed with a wave of melancholy at their mass departure from our daily lives. We had gotten used to being a family again: enjoying conch fritters, Kalik beer, dinghy rides, kindling, laughing, snorkeling, and a lot of walking!
In order to occupy ourselves so we wouldn’t dwell on missing their sunshiney smiles, we dove into our chores. Friday Cole’s taxi driver, Vera, dropped us at the laundry mat on their way to the airport. Nothing says: “I love you, I will miss you” like the parking lot of the laundry mat with sweet Vera eyeballing us. I would love to say I didn’t cry, but I did. Hank went next door to the Save-a-lot for 3 cases of tonic and pub-mix to replenish the provisions we ate/drank with the boys. I do have to say, they were a little like a horde of locusts on the provisions! I stayed in the laundry mat with some 55 machines, but of course, only 5 were working and there was no hot water. We have yet to see one WITH hot water here. I got to know a lovely local gal whose daughter had been in a spelling bee that day, I even got to see pictures of her on stage in her uniform. Adorable. We were close friends after three hours. I was invited to share some Kalik with some guys also waiting on the 5 machines with their 4 glad bags of laundry. As always, the Bahamians are the nicest people! With the big haul from the save-a-lot and the my own 4 glad bags of laundry we called Vera for a ride, trip 3 from Vera in one day by the Castelains.
Friday night happy hour brought on more melancholy and Hank refused to stay on board without the boys, so we ventured to a local bar for 2 for 1 drinks and free food (well, if meatballs constitute food.) Well, if you can say anything about boaters is that we are cheap! So, great drink prices and free food: the bar was packed with cruisers. There was a local guy ‘singing’ what Hank dubbed as Reggae Musak. He strummed the same 4 chords at some break neck speed, regardless of the song. At one point during the night, Hank leans over and goes, ” OH, I know this one, it’s ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’…” no it wasn’t but the words were the same. We sat with some friends from a boat called Buckeye. Yes, they are from Ohio. Great couple. They knew the boys were leaving and didn’t know if we were going to be out celebrating their departure or drowning our sorrows. Why am I telling you all this, well, Ben & Katie were doing a good number on the Kaliks when we left. We had made plans to do a little yoga in the morning and then go snorkeling together in the afternoon. There are a couple of minor details in this process–you go everywhere in your dinghy and leave the ‘big boat’ either at the dock or anchored in the harbor. Also, every morning there is a cruisers net broadcasted at 8:15 on the VHF. You know, the weather, who’s having happy hour, etc etc. The VHF is basically just everyone’s phone here. The next morning we get up and Buckeye is on the sailor’s net with a BOLO (be on the lookout) for their dinghy, which has taken a walk about. We surmised they had returned to their big boat with one too many Kaliks and maybe the tie up wasn’t ship shape? So, they had been out for hours since dawn looking for the dinghy. Well, here is the funny part or just another example of how fabulous Bahamians behave. The singer from the happy hour gets on the VHF and says he saw the dinghy floating along a couple of villages away from here and SWAM out to get it in the middle of the night–in the dark! Has secured it, secured the purse and shoes that were in it, and will bring it to them when they get back to Marsh Harbor. Have I mentioned the Bahamians are the nicest people? Today I was buying conch from the conch guy who pulls up to the rocks at the turn in the road to sell conch, yes, he just throws his anchor and starts cleaning conch and throngs of people sit on the break wall and buy bags of conch from him. I met more very friendly people sitting on the wall. There was a man and his 3 year old daughter, a woman who is on a diet, and Jimmy who pulled over for a good dozen. We continued with provisioning at Maxwell’s to the tune of $400, a quick trip to the liquor store, (who knew those boys could eat and drink so much…well, okay I did) and of course, another ride from Vera, taxi 183.
So, we have cleaned the boat from top to bottom, mopped the floors, changed the oil, filled the cabinets with food and drink and have tried very hard not to notice we have gone back to a table for two. We push off tomorrow to head south to the Exumas. New destinations with no memories, yet. The Abacos were beautiful and filled with love. We miss the boys terribly but look forward to finding new places to show them in the future.