Black Point. Where we came for a day, and ended up spending a week! It was a fantastic town with really friendly people who appear to really like the cruising community that sits in their bay.
This may seem very strange to most people, but what brought us into Black Point was a nice laundry facility. It has been weeks since we last did laundry in an actual machine. We have done the usual tricks to make our clothes last longer: we turned our underwear inside out and inside out again (and again, and again); we have done laundry by hand in a bucket; we have worn the same clothes for multiple days and occasional jumped in the water to escape the smell. And we ARE in the water most every day, so we don’t reek too badly. But still! And rumor had it that there were a lot of actual machines at Black Point, that it was a nice facility and it was Bahamas cheap ($3.50 per wash or dry). So it was made a ‘must stop.’
Black Point itself is a settlement on Great Guana Cay. The town is along one vertex of an isolates triangle of land that was lifted up and away and in its place is the Black point harbor. The harbor provides protection from North to SE winds, so perfect for the weather we have. The town has, along with the laundry, three restaurants, a couple of grocery stores, bakers (for bread), a school, free water and a trash drop off point (which we need almost as badly as laundry). It is also the government center for the lower Exumas from Highbourne to Buck Cay.
Our arrival is non-dramatic. The trip over is once again, great. Easy sailing day for the short trip and we arrive in the late morning. The anchorage is not crowded and we get fairly close to the town dock which shortens the two/three time daily trip for Lucky and I. We head into shore, drop off our trash, check out the laundry and find out that one of the local restaurants/bars has cruisers happy hour from 4-6pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Well. It is Thursday; seem like it is fate–we should stop by. We do, meet other cruisers and as an added bonus, meet a couple of kids (and parents) from Maine. We arrange for a gathering on Friday.
Friday dawns and we knock out school and after lunch head to an ocean side beach on the northern side of the island. There are four boat crews (including ours) there with eight actual children ranging in age from 7-12. So a day playing on the ocean side, seaweed covered beach, then all of us troop back the road to Lorraine’s Cafe for some snacks.
And it is at this point that we start to get a feel for this island. We were sitting at the table at Lorraine’s and we finished our round of drinks and headed inside for the next set. As we walked into the restaurant, Lorraine told us to go ahead and help ourselves and then settle up with her later. So back behind the bar we went, fishing out OJs, beer, wine from the coolers and heading back to our tables. No one there watching us, no one really caring. Lorraine assumed that we were honest, trustworthy people. We were–we settled up on the way out.
And while we were there, I asked where we could buy some fresh baked bread. I was told in the house behind the cafe. I couldn’t grasp that concept, so Susan (from one of the Maine boats) walked me around the back of the restaurant to a house, and there was Peermon (who, she told me, also goes by “Lorraine’s Mom”), sitting outside. I asked if she had any bread and she said she had some in the oven–if I could come back in an hour, it would be ready. No problem! So in an hour I walked back to the house and there were two nice ladies sitting outside. I asked about the bread and they told me to walk on into the house. So I did. Into a strangers house. I called out and Peermon came out of the back, wrapped up my bread, and sent me on my way. We are definitely not in Kansas anymore.
Saturday was a work day; laundry took the morning and boat projects the afternoon. Jan found a nice lady making baskets and bought up her inventory!
And on Sunday, we lost our friends from Maine, but S/V Schole was still in town for a day or two, so AJ got some more time with their three kids while Jan scoured the beaches for shells. The rest of the week was pretty much the same. AJ had school in the morning, then we would explore the island, work on projects, find kids if they were around.
The Rum Punch Experiment
Rum is ubiquitous in the Bahamas. It is produced here, much cheaper than beer, wine or any other type of alcohol. And, if you care for rum, is pretty darn good. And Rum punch is found on just about any menu. The ingredients are pretty straightforward: OJ, pineapple juice, maybe some lime juice mixed with rum and served over ice. Some places use two or three types of rum, some use one, but rum is the backbone. The two restaurants that we visited (frequently) on the island both had Rum punch and we sampled both. Lorraine’s was described as ‘famous,’ but was the weaker of the two. Scorpios had 2 for 1 rum punch at happy hour and theirs was made with three types of rum in the glass topped with the best wishes from an orange and a pineapple. On Tuesday we met the crew of Mahi and Darwin at DeShauns for happy hour and the three gentlemen did an in depth analysis of the rum punch. The results of the analysis have been (thankfully) lost to history and at least one of us has sworn off the evil drinks. Through February. Maybe.
Losing track of days and losing (slightly) our minds:
There are indicators that we have unmoored ourselves from the ‘real world.’
AJ wondered “Why is it that you know what the weather is for the next three to four days, but you don’t know what we are having for dinner tonight.”
Which is true–we have no earthly idea what we are having for any meal, but we are very in tune with what Mother Nature is throwing our way. Priorities.
And the other one is that we have lost track of the days of the week. Not only lost track, but (at least for me) have lost the ability to keep the day of the week cemented in my mind so that I can remember it. Because it just doesn’t matter anymore whether it is Monday, Wednesday or Saturday.
Start: Big Major Cay, Anchorage, 0900
End: Black point settlement anchorage, 1130
Total Distance: 11.3 nm
Average Speed: 4.4 kts