Thompson Bay, Long Island

Ambler Isle
V and S
Wed 16 Mar 2011 11:19
 Thompson Bay, Long Island is a very nice settlement.  It has car rental, several grocery stores, hardware stores, and more.  The houses are neat and well kept, a riot of flowers abloom.  The locals are very friendly and helpful. The cruising community comes here to escape the hustle bustle of Georgetown, bringing some of that hustle bustle with them.   The Long Island Breeze Resort offers free dinghy dock, wi-fi, coin laundry, showers, pool to the boaters.  Today there are about 30 boats in the harbour.  Many are boats we met along the way.  After visiting the farmer's market, we walked the road 1 mile to the ocean beach.  Tide was high and the surf beat the rocks.  We walked about a mile down the beach and found one hamburger bean.  It seemed the beach was pretty picked over.  Walking the one mile back, we decided to treat ourselves to a Kalik at the restaurant.  We think that might be a good walk to do everyday.  Exercise is always lacking on a boat. 
Several were gathering there to make a trip to Cuba.  Mur Dina is one of them.  They invited us over for a bon voyage drink last evening.  Right after accepting the invitation, Pretty Penny invited us for dinner.  Putting them off a day, we awoke to an invitation from Southern Estate for a dinner party. They are here ahead of the Georgetown-Long Island sailboat race.  With the race will come some 50 boats.  Might be time to go elsewhere. 
The flotilla for Cuba left this morning.  They will go south to Duncantown, Jumentoes.  Cuba is only 57 miles SW of that point.  They hope to be in Cuba in three days.  Of course, it is illegal for US citizens to go to Cuba, the boats going are all Canadian vessels.  We aboard Amber Isle are not interested in going to Cuba.  While many Americans envision a pristine island in the sun, the truth is that Canadians, Europeans, and South Americans have gone to  Cuba all along.  Armed guards patrol the coastline.  Boaters must check in at each town, often paying to enter the harbours.  It is forbidden to leave a boat at anchor with no one aboard; they fear Cubans will board and take the boat to freedom.  Anchoring is discourage, they really want everyone in the marinas. The marinas are gated and locked.  Some take bus rides into the villages.  Roads are bad, even nonexistent in some places.  There are no street signs.  They have no dairy products, and strangely, no bread is available.  I imagine the poverty is unbearable.