Georgetown Nat'l Family Island Regatta: Town Day

Ambler Isle
V and S
Fri 29 Apr 2011 12:26
We pulled away from Amber Isle in the dinghy and headed to town when we spotted the huge black clouds racing our way.  A quick u-turn brought us back to the boat to close windows and hatches, and grab rain slickers and umbrella.  Loaded with a week's trash, we tied off at the dock nearest the dumpster.  I ran/walked towards the big bin when a Bahamian man said to me, "Hey lady, if that's trash, I'll take it, you go on:  it's gonna raaaaaaaaaaaaaain."  I handed him the bags and hurried back to the dinghy.  It was raining before I got there.  Donning rain gear, we continued on thru the tiny bridge tunnel to Lake Victoria and tied off again, on the Exuma Market dinghy dock.  The first day of the preliminary races, the dock was overfull.  We looked for the produce guy, and bought his homegrown tomatoes.  They may be better even than our Grainger County tomatoes back home.  He was out of papaya.  Across the road was another produce vender.  He had several very large papaya, but was nowhere to be seen.  Oh, well, remember this is the Bahamas, Mon.  No one would steal his vegetables.  The rain began again, harder this time and we sought shelter at the little local food bar, Bikini Bottoms, ordering a chicken sandwich to share.  Several other cruisers had the same idea and we enjoyed lively conversations.  When the rain stopped, we went to the Regatta shacks area.  The speakers were so loud that the beat reverberated on our breast bones as we went by.  I stuck my fingers in my ears to protect my hearing.  Everyone was in a good mood, some dancing in the street, others in the spectator area cheering for their team.  The conch salad man was chopping and dicing.  A line formed by his booth.  The beer booths were full already.  As we came to the jerk chicken shack, the rains pelted us again.  We went inside, again paying for our shelter by ordering food.  This time be bought jerk chicken, pork and grouper fingers.  More than enough for dinner that day.  The cooks were Bahamian ladies, dressed in traditional garb, long skirts, head wraps.  Each shackholder paid a hefty fee for the privilege of setting up their shack and serving food and drink for the week.  By the time we left, the streets were running with rainwater and muddying the road.  Driving back to the Amber Isle we found ourselves in the middle of the last race of the day.  We scurried about taking photos and watching the small boats tack into the wind.  One skiff sent a crew member up the mast to make a quick sail repair.  Back on board, we watched wave after wave of rain beat on the boat, again giving a free boat wash.  It also cooled the temperature down to mid 70.  It would be a good night for sleeping.