Almost time to head back to Florida

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Mon 27 Apr 2015 17:41
In Marsh Harbour
Back in Marsh Harbour (again!) to sit out some bad weather. The good news is that we found a few TV channels to delve through as we bobbed up and down to 15-20 knots of westerly wind. Apart from some extremely poor quality religious channels put out from the Bahamas most of it is imported from Florida. Still, as they say ‘any port in a storm’ and we did enjoy one of the Toy Story films on the first night. Last night was grim viewing with an installment of ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ with lots of crucifixions – well, it was Sunday after all.
Prior to this we did spend a couple of nice days out in the Lubbers Quarters area. Where, at last, we were able to get ashore and dine at ‘Cracker P’s’ bar and restaurant situated on Lubbers Quarters island itself. As the weather was on the change we decided to take lunch rather than dinner there and moored the boat just offshore. That was the easy part. Things became tricky when launching the dinghy as the day boats whizzing into the dock at ‘Cracker P’s’ put up so much wash. We had to time the launch carefully to avoid risk of injury from the wire strops holding the dinghy onto the davits. It was the same story recovering the dinghy after lunch as by now the day boat occupants were ‘juiced up’ from their lunch time soirees.
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‘Cracker P’s’ dock..........                                                                                                                                ....with views towards Tahiti Beach with the boat parked just offshore
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Downing a  pre-lunch thirst-quenching Bahamian Sands of the ‘Cracker’ himself ........               ..........and ‘Skip’ doing a good job of propping the window up with his head
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Restaurant doggy wearing a collar stating ‘do not feed me’.........but he tried hard !!!                                     all sorts of interesting stuff adorns the place
Lunch itself was typical Bahamian fare and the setting was a nice change from the usual places we visit. We could also keep an eye on the boat as the wind was forecast to change at some point later that day. The history, or perhaps that should be folklore, behind the restaurant’s name is interesting. It dates back to a man named Paul John Simmons, alias Cracker Pinder, born in 1879 who landed there in 1915 having fled from the USA where he had shot and killed the local Sheriff in Lexington, Georgia during an argument about the family duck terrorizing the local neighborhood. No we are not making this up. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American war - they still have his bayonet. His wardrobe was very limited and he was said to be the first naked person many locals had seen. He fished, grew his own vegetables and poled into nearby Hope Town once a month for other supplies.  People would bring him meat in exchange for vegetables. Cracker lived reclusively on the small island in the Sea of Abaco until 1954 when the cooking fire that burned since his arrival went out. The restaurant still uses the fruit from the trees he planted in their BBQ sauces. In case you are wondering, we certainly were, what a ‘Cracker’ is - well,  as the wonderful internet informs us, it is apparently a derogatory term for poor rural white folk from the southern States.
Given that we are only about six weeks from jetting home to the UK we have decided to head back to Florida as soon as this spell of nasty weather has passed through. There’s quite a bit to do in putting the boat to bed for five months and the ‘hard-top’ needs finishing! The jobs list grows daily as we think of things that we put off doing before leaving on this trip. None of them are safety issues but it would be nice to tie up a few loose ends before we set off again in the Autumn.
And finally, news of our on-board Gecko ‘Art’ who has been with us for quite a few weeks now. We didn’t mention it earlier as these little critters come and go. The last one, ‘Buddy’ Gecko, came to an unfortunate end, crushed to death in a coil of rope (for the non-nautical reader) in the cockpit. It was regrettable but sailing boats are a dangerous home for our little lizardy chums.  Maybe this one will stay out of the way during its daytime slumbers.
                                                                                       Our resident lizzard, ‘Art’ Gecko, now about 3 inches long..............