Sunfish Races

Ambler Isle
V and S
Mon 13 Apr 2009 17:26
April 12, 2009
Easter is a huge holiday in the Bahamas. After closing on Thursday, most
businesses did not reopen til Tuesday celebrating Good Friday, Easter
Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. The grocer did open on Saturday,
and the gas station for 4 hours on Monday. Otherwise, we were left to our
own entertainments. Across the bay at "Fish Fry", they had sunfish
sailboats. "Fish Fry" is a grouping of maybe 10 different restaurant
shacks serving Bahamian cuisine. Someone suggested going to sail the little
sunfish boats. And of course, when two or more sailors gather, there is
sure to be a race. It was festive atmosphere, and we watched the boats race
the buoy marked course. Valt was invited to race, but declined. When I was
asked to be a second on one of the tiny boats, I agreed, stating I would
only go for the ride since the little boat had to motor. Starting for the
beach, I asked if I might get wet? If so I'd go in my swim suit. No, we
would not get wet unless we tipped. But walking out in the water to the
starting line, I hitched my shorts up as high as I could. They'd failed to
notice my short legs and soon I was wet to my waist. And would stay wet til
we got home several hours to change. Climbing aboard, captain Toby began to
explain that I'd be in charge of the main sail. He'd tell me to let it in
our out, and when we tacked, I'd let it out, lift the sailboard, and move to
the other side. Got it! Sounds like I was not along just for the ride after
all. Toby's wife, Donna, was racing a different sailboat, and we were soon
in a fierce competition with her. At one point, she sailed right over us,
clanging our sail with hers, the boom flying madly. I ducked. We came in
first, with Donna jokingly threatening to file a protest. What fun.
Two Bahamian men raced the next set. They were naturals, and came in first
and a close second. Some of the men raced nearly every race, addicted to
the thrill.
Easter Sunday morning a shore brunch was planned. The evening was Karaoke
Night at St. Francis Resort. Although tempting, we opted out. Sleeping in,
enjoying a tranquil day, taking our evening dinghy ride, all seemed the
perfect way to spend our day.