It was a wild night with heavy rain and gusty wind. The rain continued as we ate breakfast and afterwards Si tried a few ideas for water collection as the water maker has been misbehaving lately. Eventually the rain cleared and we set off for a walk. Every view was postcard material with palms, blue water and green shallows. I tried again to photo birds in flight and diving to feed. I photographed Simon hacking through a coconut with his Leatherman (he broke it!), wild tortoises out for a stroll, lizards, more birds and as we turned to the windward side of the island which had obviously been used as landfill in the past, I tried to capture the huge wild waves in azure, exploding onto the rocks and bursting into white foam with green whirlpools. The next bay was wide brilliant white sand with huge breakers rolling onto a solitary swimmer. It was stunning. The only people we saw were builders knocking off at lunchtime and the occasional golf cart on the roads. (Golf carts are used instead of hire cars on the island.) The early afternoon sun was suddenly very hot and humid as we climbed our way along the track through the vegetation, made worse when we eventually picked up the road again which was unfortunately dark, heat absorbing tarmac.
Back in the bay after a cooling dip, things were getting busy with lots of boats arriving for the festival. While Si grabbed an afternoon ziz I wrote in the cockpit, listening to musician’s sound checks and watching one boat after another arrive, each one bigger than the previous one. When Si woke he didn’t know whether to ogle at the numerous topless ladies lounging on foredecks or grab the laptop and do a search for the superyachts. He did both, announcing that for just US$350,000-500,000 we too could charter the super yacht that had just dropped its anchor!
There was now just time to shower and dress for party time and very soon we were calling for Liberty in the dinghy. They weren’t quite ready and considering the big swell that had built, were toying with the idea of landing their dinghy on the beach rather than the dock. We went on ahead saying we would return if conditions were too rough. Luckily things weren’t too bad and as we waited on the dock for Graham, Suin and Ben to arrive, very well dressed folk were being deposited and collected by their staff for transfer to the superyachts. Still we waited. After some time we decided to go on into the bar and wait over drinks. Gin glasses empty we still waited and by now were worrying they had flipped their dinghy landing it on the beach. Si went to check all was ok. At the bar I sat expectantly, turning each time a new group of people arrived now extremely worried about the welfare of our friends. I was also starting to get some strange looks as I’d been perched on my stool with an empty glass and no money for quite some time. With much relief all was well and friendly faces emerged out of the darkness. Their outboard had refused to start.
Our table was right opposite the stage and next to the dance floor so we had a perfect view of the numerous musicians who volunteer for this charity festival each year. It is a mystery to me how individuals can play so well together without practicing, but the music was great with several well known blues musicians participating. Basil’s ‘famous’ BBQ buffet however was rather disappointing for the price with the hog roast devoured before we were served and no side dishes with a ‘wow factor’. The food was of little importance tonight though and we really enjoyed our evening, people watching playing a major part of it. What an assortment of characters were gathered tonight; the elderly lady permitted to bring her dog to the restaurant and dance floor accompanied by a group two generations younger than she; the beautiful young lady in long flowing gown draped around a fat old guy twice her age; the cool dudes with ‘glazed’ expressions propped up in corners; the group of salty sailors; the gorgeous youngsters in beautiful clothes, dancing and laughing so heartedly it made you smile to watch them; the oh so brilliant black guy whose rhythm and moves were sensational, and of course us! The evening was over all too soon; apart from Ben’s point of view that is, as he was now asleep, head on arms over the table: He’d lasted very well for a ten year old. We all piled into the dinghy and it was a very bumpy ride back to the boats on choppy water.