Saturday, January 18, 2020

A Reluctant Goodbye

These past few days have been a period of observation and reflection.

Two days ago we (reluctantly) left Green Turtle Cay and motored our way through the notorious Whale Cay cut to Marsh Harbor.

This is the first time I actually didn't want to leave an anchorage! I could've stayed another month or two.

It is hard to say goodbye but we needed to push on because Kam Wong will be flying in to meet us in Eleuthera in a few weeks.

It was the perfect weather window to go through the narrow channel, and we buddy boated with four other boats: SV Wild Child, SV Little Tern, SV Busy Bee and SV Too Short.

That evening we all shared drinks and nibbles on SV Too Short.

I have said it many times before and I'll say it again: the best part about cruising is the people you meet.

It is even more so here in the Abacos. Not every cruiser wants to come here and not every cruiser CAN come here. But those who are here are special and the connection and camaraderie is even more immediate.

I'm reminded of how Matt and I met in remote Urumqi. Not many expats choose to go there willingly since it is quite an unusual place but those who do go are very special. I mean, I went with no expectations and left with a husband!! 


Marsh Harbor. How do I describe what I see here without posting pictures? I want to snap pictures but I end up not doing so because it seems wrong. It seems too intrusive.

These shattered homes and upturned cars were people's lives. The clothing and personal items that is scattered all over once belonged to someone who was just living their normal life.

Sitting here in the cockpit in Marsh Harbour, I look around and all I see are destroyed houses and buildings, boats on land in precarious positions, floating pieces of wood (docks and pilings) in the water, trees that have been stripped of their leaves or missing limbs completely.

It is quiet and eerie. All I hear is the howling wind. I can't see any movement on land, no people, no vehicles.

When we walked to Maxwell's (grocery store) the other day, we saw such immense devastation. The remnants of the destruction was everywhere you looked. Like, everywhere.

Everything ached. It's like the soul of Marsh Harbor was sucked dry.

The kids didn't seem to blink an eye to what they saw. With repeated reminders to not walk on the shattered glass and nails littered all over the road, they were too busy eating their snacks and chatting with one another to see (or realize?) that this was not normal.

Maxwell's was like a little oasis of 'normality'. The second you walk in, the air conditioning hits you like a ton of bricks. It's only then that you realize how accustomed to the hot climate you have grown.

After 18 days of living off our provisions, we were down to our last apple and cheese slice.

We have started drinking our UHT long-life milk (tasty!) and eating our canned vegetables.

However we still have a couple of vacuum-sealed meat packs left, along with one tub of tofu.

It was nice to pick up a few fresh produce products and to be honest, it wasn't as expensive as I expected.

We're waiting out this system here before moving on. It's been about 25 knots of wind with gusts to 35 knots. Grateful our anchor is holding up.

Today is our second day stuck on board. We are a bit restless but I know this too shall pass.

We have Bob Marley playing and he sings "Everything's gonna be alright."

Meanwhile, the kids are keeping busy with their tubs of Lego, snap circuits, collection of books, and good WiFi!

Over the last few months I have seen the kids grow up in front of my eyes. I didn't think having so much day to day interaction with them would actually make me see the drastic changes, but in fact I see it all the time.

Yesterday, while having an impromptu dance party onboard, I caught the 9 year old rolling his eyes as his parents perfected their dabbing and floss moves. Multiple eye rolls. Yikes.

But then he did snuggle up close to me while we were watching a movie, so I know there is still a little boy inside.

The 7 year old has become sassy, more stubborn and indignant. But she has also become an avid reader and competent dinghy driver.

A few days ago she lost yet another tooth! That's 3 teeth lost on the boat! Luckily the tooth fairy remembered and delivered 1 Bahamian Dollar just before sunrise.

Happy weekend to all! We have long forgotten, or cared, which day of the week is but since it is Saturday, I think a second coffee is warranted!

Anchor chain and bridle.

Sometimes you just gotta weigh anchor by hand to make sure you can still do it!

Huge debris (metal roof we think, likely from Hurricane Dorian)
which our anchor had snagged. We marked it on the
charts for other cruisers to beware of.

SV Busy Bee crossing Whale Cay Cut.

Passing 'one whistle' to this tanker at Whale Cay Cut.

Cruisers make hungry customers!

Cooking up a fresh batch of conch fritters.

This mom and daughter duo cooked up a storm for us.

Yummy conch fritters with local hot sauce!

Decent cereal aisle, very important for us!

Excellent meat selection.

Even found my favourite jam!

English Breakfast Tea at Maxwell's!

Aila and Mar amazed at all the THINGS!

The Goodness Tour also came to Marsh Harbor to paint a community mural.
What a beautiful brilliant sight amongst the destruction.

Tai and new friend from SV Busy Bee doing snap circuits. 

Aila and Marleigh paddling the dinghy.

Keeping the tooth fairy on her toes with all these missing teeth.

Waiting out some windy weather means movie time!

Three pairs of feet and one pair of shark feet.

This is what a Lego tower building session looks like.

Hanging out after the beach cleanup with cruising friends 
Jess from SV Wild Child and Diane from Boatel 1.

Happy and wet Tai, Marleigh and Aila.

Cruisers potluck at Pineapple's. What a spread!
Cruisers rule: bring your own plates and utensils.

Boat kids amusing themselves on the beach with one paddle and endless imagination!

Tonight's sunset was really this stunning.

No comments: