Be a Friend, Make a Friend, Part 2

Ambler Isle
V and S
Tue 1 Mar 2011 12:54
S/V Baroda had lost their dinghy overnight.  Without a dinghy, we may as well go home.  It is our lifeline.  Much like living out in the country without a car.  No more shore visits, no more potlucks on the beach.  No shopping trips to town.  No sunsets with neighbors.  Nothing.  We were in the middle of our coffee ritual when the VHF  call came.  But a lost dinghy cannot wait.  Overnight it could have even drifted from the harbour and gone into the Sound.   It could be on the rocks.   So Valt jumped in our dinghy and took  Al out in search.  Our dinghy has a 40 hp Yamaha engine, and is sturdy enough to endure rougher water.   It could cover a lot of area quickly.  A couple others volunteer to search nearby waters.  Before Valt left, we heard another situation unfold.  Al and Arlene of S/V Blue Heaven had learned of a family medical emergency back home.  They needed to get to the settlement to a telephone.  There are few pay phones anymore, and the phone company offices are closed on Saturday.  On his way to Baroda, he dropped our Bahama cell phone off to Blue Heaven.  We are all so vulnerable out here. 
Chris Parker, the famous celebrity weather guru flew into Georgetown last night.  Lee and Charlie from Windstar 4 are his hosts.  Lee spent the whole week selling, giving away and finally tossing out much stowed stuff to make room.  He gave the morning weather report, much to the delight of his adoring fans.  We met him in 2003 before he became famous.  He came aboard and set up our first satellite weather programs in exchange for supper.  Now folks pay to attend his annual seminars.  Not to mention his person to person single side band subscriptions,  daily radio weather reports,  and his text reports.   Keeping us safe is a big business. 
An hour later, Valt returned towing the prodigal dinghy behind.  It had gone some 5-6 miles northwest and beached itself.  Waves filled the boat after banging the motor off.  Al would have his work cut out cleaning the sand and sea water out of the motor.   We took  our beach walk, then we decided to go across the harbour about 5 miles to the Palm Bay Resort.  They were hosting a musical sing along with resort guests and cruisers. They'd even provide bus shuttle every hour for the boaters.  We would just take our dinghy.  Because we could.  First we'd enjoy cracked conch dinner at nearby St. Frances Resort.  About that time a big black cloud appeared and even squeezed out a little rain.  Tonight was not a good night for a long dinghy ride.  Sailboats Nina, Shazza, and Gratitude were back from their trips to Conception Island and Long Island, so we stopped at each boat for a little chat.  Then we went on to St. Frances and joined Tom, Kathy, Rusty and Joy, Slow Dancing  for dinner. They had a home video made by cruisers who sailed from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas and invited us over to watch it.  It was extremely well done, almost professional in quality.  Besides being very informative, they threaded humor into the tale.   The reluctant captain, exuberant mate, the pirates, the  the news reporter, all played their parts to perfection.  (They had a designated dress- up Pirate Friday night complete with a little ditty they wrote themselves.  Occasionally the news reporter/ mate donned wig, false teeth, heavy British accent  and feather duster mike for her commentary. ) We oohed and ahhed and laughed the whole 85 minutes.  They gave us a spare copy.  As usual every evening, the wind kicked up as we returned to Amber Isle.  As usual, it was good to get home.