Berrys Extended

The moon is three-quarters full rising in the eastern sky. A few cirrus clouds periodically interrupt its pale light. Winds are dead calm; the usual gentle breeze is gone. Palm fronds are strangely motionless. The relentless march of winter northerlies that have kept boats in harbor throughout Florida and the Bahamas seems to have finally abated. In its place are calmer winds and seas – but also higher heat. This evening is breathless and the no-see-ums are out in force. A spray truck drives through the marina weekly fogging the place so mosquitoes aren’t a problem. The no-see-ums , however, must be immune to the toxic effects of the spray.

We remain in Great Harbour Cay Marina, staying longer than planned, as usual. I have something to deal with back in Florida and, after exploring many alternatives, we decided to stay another two weeks. It is inexpensive and easy to fly back to Fort Lauderdale from here. So we are compelled to put up with this little island a few more days.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here. We enjoyed the company of Tesla for two weeks until they returned to Old Port Cove and now we are catching up with friends on Kemo Sabe who arrived yesterday. We have spent much time simply enjoying this place; beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, great snorkeling. We ride our bikes or snorkel (or both) daily. We’ve been back to the DC3 wreck multiple times and each time we see new fish; barracuda, rays, blue tangs, large yellow angelfish, gray angelfish, pale blue parrot fish, yellow and black-striped sergeant majors, a nurse shark, etc. We revisited the nearby blue hole during good visibility conditions but saw very little; a school of large grouper flashed past and disappeared into the depths. It is a bit unsettling to swim over the chasm; who knows how deep it is or what lurks there?

We also spend time working on Tivoli; catching up on small maintenance items; like cleaning the 50 Amp shorepower cord with acetone, cleaning up some rust spots on stainless, swabbing the deck, polishing the topsides. We also enjoy exploring the waters surrounding GHC in our tender. Fully recovered from her near-sinking, she carries us far and wide at 15-20 knots. Today we took it south to a fishing boat shipwrecked off the western flanks of Great Harbour Cay. The wreck isn’t much to look at but we marvel at the clarity and color of the water enroute and enjoy the cool breeze.

We are finding we are still lacking a few items we should have brought, though nothing major. There is little to be found on this small island; even food is scarce until the weekly supply ship arrives. Then there is a mad rush to snap up the fresh vegetables and fruit before its gone again until the following week. On occasion, weather delays the vessel and the grocery store shelves are bare.

Boating life in general is much different here than what we are accustomed to in the States. Electricity at the marina is billed at the rate of $0.75/kilowatt hour. If one isn’t careful your electricity bill will exceed your slip fee! So, we don’t run the ACs unless necessary. If it gets stuffy on board we will run them a couple hours to cool the boat then shut them off; this generally works fine. Of course we could run our generator and make our own electricity but they make noise and nobody loves the smell of diesel fumes. Potable water is $0.50/gallon. While we have a watermaker aboard one generally doesn’t run them in marinas full of boats where the water may contain pollutants; so we tend to conserve water as well. Many of the big yachts with deep pockets behave the same; conservation of resources becomes the thing to do….a good thing. We use electricity and water in the States like they are in-exhaustable resources; they aren’t.

It’s “Pizza Night” at the marina; got to go…….

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