Sunday, August 6, 2017

Last images from the Bahamas

On Long Island
Georgetown, Exumas 

Warderick Wells, Exumas
Signs people leave with their boat names atop a hill, I guess just to say they were there. We left ours--goodbye, Callisto!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

At rest

Make no mistake, having cats on board is something of a hassle. Now that our dinghy is gone, I float a bucket of sand, i.e., cat litter, in a lifesaver ring back from the beach, panicking slightly as it takes on water and threatens to capsize, since the bucket also contains stuff like our camera, sunglasses, maybe random things like plastic trash I collected on the beach and am now beginning a multi-stage process of (hopefully) disposing of properly. Honestly, the cats don't get on that well. Ivy, the newcomer, has taken to ambushing Daisy by bombing unexpectedly through portholes, earning her the nickname of the turd from space. (Phrasing by Adam.) I wake to dawn hisses. They insist on eating different meals. But all told it may be worth it to have pets on board, despite the mess, occasional conflict, and underway worry they bring--they are soft and furry but also, gentle reminders to avoid getting too anal, as it were, to embrace life's disorder and the constant of cruising, which is who the frack knows what you'll be doing next, a great gift I have taken with me out into the rest of life. These two cats came into our lives opportunistic, bearing out the idea that long ago in Egypt, they self domesticated. Clearly, this life suits them, and anyway, they make me laugh. 

North of Great Inagua, South of Acklins Island

There may have been some rough sea in between. Actually, I'm quite sure there was. The days are definitely blurring together now, and the sea states, perhaps oddly. The days are different colors of blue. Sailing up Acklins, near the huge shallow bight (is that the word?) which unifies that curving  stretch of islands, the undersides of the clouds above were what you might call haint blue. At the northern edge of the shallows a green-blue rainbow edged into violet before dropping off into the shimmery cobalt of the deepest water.

(The fruit boat never came.)

Clarence Town, Long Island


Monday, July 3, 2017

We're still in Great Inagua, Waiting for the Fruit Boat (Great Inagua Blues). Next: on to Hogsty Reef, where a Spanish galleon wrecked long ago, spilling treasure. 

Sunday at the beach

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Great Inagua

Less than a hundred miles from Haiti, some hundred from Guantánamo Bay, this huge island is mostly nature, home to flamingos and horseflies, not sure what else--it feels peacefully inhuman, despite the Coast Guard plane that lands as we're approaching, the cutter that briefly stops offshore, maybe patrolling that passage between two islands the US has long messed with. Giant mounds of salt in Man of War Bay await a crane, to be loaded for Morton--sure, I've probably bought this stuff before in antiseptic packaging, never even imagining where it might have come from. Now I know. Salt pans out in the Far Bahamas, an island with long, long empty beaches that may never have seen a single footprint except, I'm guessing, that of casual birds, and wooden fishing sloops tied up in the government basin. 

Leaving Fish Cays after rain

Theme of this trip so far: Desert isles. 

Small crew hijinks in the forward bunk

Two cats on board this trip, thanks to Tallulah's rescue of a feral kitten in our jungular back yard in Río Piedras. 

Beach, Little Inagua

 The sand here is tiny shimmery balls. The beach goes on for miles. No one lives here or, as far as I can tell, ever has.

Sharks in Little Inagua

They circled the boat the morning we left, interested in the old cheese we threw overboard, hard, to make a good splash. Tallulah had gone in to check them out a couple of times when they came to investigate the sound of Adam scraping the hull. Since our dinghy got lost one night underway, we've been swimming to shore, and I was circumspect, not to say terrified. But when I looked up at Adam to report that the large thing swimming under us as we climbed down the swim ladder one morning was "only a barracuda," I figured I'd made some progress, even if I'll never match the savoir faire of my kid.