Saturday, April 18, 2009
A BEACON OF HOPE AND LIGHT
After MAN-O-WAR island came ELBOW CAY and HOPE TOWN with its red and white lighthouse. The loyalists (the tea drinking English bunch) settled here in 1785 and while deeply loyal, saw nothing wrong with making a living off the wrecked vessels that ran aground on the fringing reefs. The building of the lighthouse became a very sore point and a major conflict of interest. Today's plundering is much more subtle. A can of Coke $2.00, a roll of paper towels $3.39, cheeseburger $ 12.00, you get the drift..... The view from the lighthouse is spectacular and worth every bit of extortion. The original kerosene lamp with its normal "tilley" lamp mantle, still operates as it always has. The lighthouse keeper pumps up enough kerosene into a holding tank for the nights flashes. Some things at least never change. There are two wooden water barrels at the top, built in to the structure, that still holds water from the roof run-off for the lighthouse keeper to have a drink. The barrels are original and at least 200 years old. One would hope the water in there is a little younger .............. The beaches are equally spectacular and these blue water shots are for Tommy White of Winddancer Sails in Jacksonville and Gerry Cooper in the hills of West Virginia, who just cannot get enough of them. We had been having difficulty getting good internet connection and the signal was somewhere between 1Mbps and 11Mbps. Went to check out the telephone cable that runs fairly low (golfcart height)along the "Queen's Highway". I heard a whole bunch of people talking over the top of each other, so perhaps that's the reason why the internet is a little slower here in Hope Town.
If you double-click on the harbour scene you should be able to locate ARITA, SVEA and TREEHOUSE somewhere at the back. This a great all-weather harbour and the moorings seem strong. Yachts come and go all the time and are all shapes and sizes. The Inter-Island ferry boats weave in and out of the yachts and their captains are so skilled that they load passengers and goods without touching the docks or even tying up. Guess you could do that if that's all you do for fifty years. Then there's the Queen trying to imitate a beacon of light and hope and succeeding....
After a great sail, TREEHOUSE and SVEA arrived at the cut to enter HOPETOUN Harbour. Glenn Miller, the very dedicated skipper of TREEHOUSE, a beacon of light himself, dedicated himself even further by drinking Ricardo's Coconut Rum only in a coconut. Now there truly is dedication. We all want to know how you drink Ricardo's Mango Rum in a mango, after all how do you get the seed out first before you pour the rum in, and we won't even think about Ricardo's Banana Rum?
Everywhere we have gone so far there seems to be a "QUEEN'S HIGHWAY" which has pleased the Queen no end. Here in HOPE TOWN we found another one. The arrow here may lead to some confusion since the highway runs both ways and is in no way intended to point to any significant location. The Queen specifically asked me to mention this in despatches.
ARITA is somewhere in the 'melee' and the bronze dolphin sculptures are in a little park tucked up in the dunes. The sculpture is one of many found in the islands all produced at a foundry in LITTLE HARBOUR, our destination for tomorrow. It is some sixteen miles to the south of HOPE TOWN, through a maze of shallows and reefs. It will be like playing "tag" with the tide. We have to make a run for it at just the right time and not get stuck. ......... Could be fun...........