V and S
Sun 6 Feb 2011 12:01
Things have changed for the cruisers in the Bahamas. In 2000, there was no internet connection. Using Pocket Mail we wrote emails, went to a pay phone and dialed up a special number to transmit our letters. Most pay phones did not work. When they did, it was $1.49 per minute to call the USA. So we did not use it much. In subsequent years a few internet cafes appeared. For a steep fee one could use their computer to get online. So we did not use our computer much. Mostly we beach combed, snorkeled, fished, relaxed, caught up on a few good books. Then in 2006, we entered Elizabeth Harbour in Georgetown, Exuma. Noting many boats in the harbour closest to the settlement, we assumed there much be some event going on. But, no. There was nothing happening in the settlement. The boats were anchored here to better suck up the new wi-fi service. Now, we consider the Bahamas to be our very own paradise. But even in paradise some places are better than others. And the anchorage by the settlement is not one of those better places. The water in not as nice. There is constant traffic, and therefore wake. It is a small anchorage and the boats are too close together. There is no beach. No sunset vista. The only thing to recommend it is the wi-fi. The new generation of cruisers don't play much anymore. If they cannot crowd into that bad anchorage, they brave the wind and waves in pitifully inadequate dinghies to take their laptops ashore. Soaking wet, usually standing up in their boats to stay a bit drier, they tromp ashore in search of the magical elixir called the INTERNET. Yes, we enjoy staying in touch with emails, and must collect a weather report every few days. But we refuse to be tied to this machine. We have reefs to dive. Shells to collect. Fish and lobster to spear. We take our sunset dinghy cruise and visit with our neighbors. We blow our conch horns. We go into the settlement to see old friends there. We work on the boat. Otherwise, we might just as well stay home.