The tooth, the whole tooth........
In position 26:32.25N, 076:57.67W
Well, the good news is that a root canal treatment wasn’t necessary for the ‘Admiral’s tooth. In fact it would have been impossible as the tooth had split down the middle and there was nothing the Dentist could do to save it. ‘Skip’ suggested that he had some epoxy glue left over from the ‘hard-top’ but the ‘Admiral’ stuck with the professional advice. So it was in with the Novocaine and out with the jolly old gnasher. All over in about 15 minutes. The rest of the afternoon the ‘Admiral’ was reduced to biting down on some gauze to encourage clotting. It was like having Mrs Sean Connery around as the s’s in her words became ‘shhhessss’. She also looked like a ventriloquist missing her dummy when making any conversation which had ‘Skip’ collapsing with laughter. However this was all thankfully short lived and we are pleased to report that all is healing well with no real mouth pain and not too much financial pain either. $100 for an extraction v $800 for the canal work. That’s a few meals out in this part of the world. (Err – haven’t you forgotten about the reconstruction work?? – Ed)
So we left Marsh Harbour the following morning and in our bid to find locations hitherto unvisited headed to Water Cay some eight miles along the Abaco coast to the west. Ironically, we passed Cistern Cay on the way just as a strong shower passed overhead. Then arriving at Water Cay we started to wonder if the two names related to a well known part of the coast where it always rains this time of the year. We had barely been anchored at Water Cay, just long enough for the local population of horse flies to whizz out and bite the ‘Admiral’ working the windlass on the foredeck, when the rain arrived making the whole area look pretty miserable. We could have stayed at Marsh Harbour and not had a drop of water on deck but there you go. At least the flies stopped bothering us in the rain. By that time we had deployed the swats and were inflicting casualties.
Well, almost a complete rainbow over Water Cay. Not the most inspiring place in the Abaco but remote if you don’t mind the horse flies
The forecast for the next few days was pretty ‘iffy’ as a Trof (weather jargon) was settling down towards the Abaco from the north. If in doubt always think of a weather Trof like a pig trough. There will be nothing nice related to it unless you are a pig. So the daily forecast now contained a mixture of sunshine and showers with thunderstorms possible including squalls up to forty or fifty knots. So we decided to opt for discretion and motor sailed over to Hope Town on Elbow Cay where there is all round shelter, mooring balls for $20 per night and a greater choice of masts for the lightening to choose from. As often happens, not much happened, at least on the first night, just some local showers and no thunder. Yesterday we had more showers, a slight squall and a rumble of thunder and every boat in the crowded harbour turned in unison 180 degrees as the weak front died out overhead. But the Trof remains firmly in place and the changeable weather is forecast to last another two weeks. (You guessed it – not what you’d normally see at this time of year but later in May/June!) The main problem for us is that the breeze is now out of a southerly quadrant and there are fewer places in the Abaco to escape that wind direction. It’s easterly breezes we want please!
All change! Some not so fast as others as we all swing with the onset of the squall – (for the less boaty - long keeled boats move at a different rate – hence the strange juxtaposition)
So with the changeable weather the harbour is almost full here and moorings are supposed to be on a ‘first come’ basis, although if friends are on their way it’s customary to stick a plastic milk bottle onto the mooring floats with ‘reserved’ written somewhere visible. Well, one Italian charter catamaran arrived and took one such mooring, ignoring the ‘reserved’ milk bottle and sat back to enjoy the view for a few hours. Then at 1700 with everybody breaking out the cocktails, the Italians included, a privately owned catamaran appeared and informed the Italians – you could actually hear them telling them right across the harbour - that they were on the mooring reserved for themselves. The immediate boating community duly pricked up their ears and adopted Meerkat tendencies to see what would happen. Would the Italians protest, possession being..... etc., or agree to move with good grace and find another mooring of which there were fewer and fewer given the time of day. They moved. Or at least they tried to move as they had tied themselves onto the mooring with such thoroughness, a polite adjective to use under the circumstances, that they had extreme trouble extricating themselves. It seemed the only vaguely competent crew member was on the helm which was perched up a staircase ten feet above deck and twenty feet away from the bow. One lady on the bow was dressed in the most chic clothes imaginable making any sort of deck work that involved muddy mooring lines unattractive for her. It was left to her fellow crew members to carry out the dirty work whilst she sat on the bow seat pointing a boat hook looking like Queen Boadicea. After some minutes and with the mooring claimants hovering intimidatingly nearby they finally dropped the lines and were free.
In their hurry to leave, and this is where fate plays a cruel hand, they had forgotten that they had previously lowered the dinghy into the water aft with both lines still tied to the davits. The helmsman hit both throttles and drove the large catamaran forward with the mooring lines and floats passing between the hulls. You could almost hear the collective groans at the possibility of entangling the mooring lines on one or other of the catamaran’s propellers. Instead the mooring line encountered the dinghy or the outboard motor drive leg to be precise. This caused the dinghy to be completely flipped over immersing the engine in best Hope Town brine. Nobody on the Italian boat knew any of this was happening and proceeded to drag the inverted dinghy sideways around the busy harbour in search of another mooring. Murmurs of ‘lost deposit’ being uttered from nearby boats. Some kind soul must have informed them or they noticed and stopped to right the dinghy. After a circuit of the harbour and one more aborted mooring pick-up, despite the best directions of ‘Boadicea’, they wound up in the far corner of the small harbour. The bad luck just didn’t want to leave them. Their outboard was now useless due to it’s soaking. Like most of the visiting charterers they wanted to eat ashore in the local restaurant. This was all the way over the other side of the harbour and down came the rain. They all got very, very wet as their fated skipper now had to row his four friends in the tiny boat looking like something from ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’. But they did seem to see the funny side of things. Holidays in Paradise aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. And we’ve all made ghastly errors ourselves on the vertical learning curve that is cruising.
Row, row, row the boat gently down the stream...........No, we’re not poking fun, honest!........ The three ladies are in the back.
When it isn’t raining it is still stunningly beautiful and a delight to explore the islands