Georgetown After Regatta

Ambler Isle
V and S
Mon 4 Apr 2011 00:37
After the annual Cruiser's Regatta comes to an end, Georgetown settles back into being a Bahamian town.  Many have already left the harbour.  Others leave daily.  I am surprised that folks leave just as the water is getting warm, the days getting long.  The VHF radio is not as hectic as it was weeks ago.  We spend idle days cruising around in the dinghy and lounging on the beach.  Our good friends Jim and Janie form Pirate are here, along with two other motor yachts.  We have shared dinners, beach days, even made a "girls' day out" complete with pedicures.  It is getting warmer suddenly, 75 when we waken.  Mid 80s by day.  The water is finally 78 degrees.  We entered Lake Victoria under the tiny bridge at low tide, raising the motor as we went.  A visit to the local Exuma Market found a "weekend sale" in progress.  Strawberries were $3.99 per quart.  Almost the price in the US. We scooped up peppers $6 a pound, romaine $5.99, tomatoes $2.50 lb, apples .90 each, oranges 2 for $1, and ICE CREAM $10 for a half gallon.   We ran into Paul and Melanie, friends who own the house on Elizabeth Island, Top of the World.  We promised to get together soon.  We stopped and chatted with other boaters we knew.  As we walked down the free dinghy dock provided by the market, a "rasta" man, wearing his uncut hair in a pouchy hat, greeted me.  I said hello.  He began to follow me down the dock, chatting about life in the Bahamas, just ordinary pleasantries.  When we got to our dinghy, he noted that we must be on a big yacht.  "No," I said, "Not a big boat."  (Our dinghy is rather striking among the smaller inflatables  favored by most cruisers.)  He persisted, "You are the crew?"  "No, " just ordinary boaters."  "How many aboard?"  This last question bothered us.  Why would he care how many were on our boat?  And what was he doing on the dock used only by cruisers?  Valt suspected he was up to no good,or at least leading up to a request for money and quickly ended the conversation.  We have never met panhandlers here in the Bahamas.  Everyone who wants to work has plenty of jobs available.  It was a strange encounter, and I hoped it was not a sign of a change in the Bahamas.  Or was it just a curious man making conversation?  Back under the tiny bridge we saw Donald, the Bahamian baker, who waved as we went by. 
We stopped along our ride to pick up some DVDs of various regatta events to copy.  Then we dropped off a CD to copy recipes another lady was offering.  We noticed Jim and Janie sitting on lounge chairs at our nearby beach, and decided to join them.  There is always an exchange of movies, music, books.  Everyone is eager for entertainment.  Jim and Janie were going to town tonight to listen to a Bahamian band play at Two Turtles.  We declined, after a day in the wind and sun we were ready to have a quiet supper and evening at home.  The sky and water were a gorgeous red orange as the sun settled beneath the horizon.