Water Taxi Service

Ambler Isle
V and S
Sun 20 Feb 2011 12:33
Feb. 20, 2011
The moonless night was black.  The water was like black ink and lumpy. Dressed in rain coats and long pants, we were returning to the anchorage. We aimed for the multitude of mast lights.  It was another windy night, so few dinghies were out.  In fact, that was why we were out.  Our neighbor, Bob, aboard Shazza was meeting guests at the airport after a late flight.  His dinghy could make the trip, barely, but he would arrive wet.  We agreed to take him ashore.  We were amazed to pass boats with no lights. Anchor lights are required in all anchorages in the Bahamas.   In the dark, they were invisible til we got right next to them.  An unlit dinghy passed.  They,too, were hazards to us as we headed home. We went past friends' boat, but no one was outside on such a night.   Approaching Amber Isle, we were welcomed by solar lights, fore and aft, our 3 mile anchor light, and a warm yellow light in the salon.  I fetched warm socks, hot mugs of tea and then changed to dry clothes.  But we did not want to get too cozy: we'd promised to go back and pick them up if the sometimes unreliable Elivis, driver of the water taxi, failed to show.  At night he was by appointment only.  We'd heard of people trying to find lodging in town late at night after being stranded at the dock.  And Georgetown is not a Motel 6 kind of town.   We finally relaxed when we heard them pass by.  This night reminded me why we cannot help everyone who has this problem.  There are 325 boats in the harbour today, and  guests come in daily.  We could be asked to make this trip every night. 
More boats arrive here daily.  They predict the 2006 record of 425 may be broken by the time the Georgetown Cruiser's Regatta starts March 1.