Saturday, April 18, 2009


Despite the unruly weather we motored to MAN-O-WAR Cay and came through the narrow cut to the inner harbour for fuel and water. The first re-fueling since West Palm Beach. The photo shows SVEA and TREEHOUSE at the fuel dock. Double click and you'll see the details. They look none the worse for wear. (Kind of works out at a gallon a day, pretty economical you would think, right.... because we haven't moved very far, mostly due to the weather) Man-o-war is even more quaint than the earlier islands, with narrow golf-cart streets and small painted cottages. It is also the centre for traditional boat-building, allbeit nowadays it isall in fibreglass and resin. Our first stop was a little craft factory making hand bags, hats and things. Three senior ladies with sewing machines outracing each other. Endless hand bags, so much so, that there is real meaning to the phrase "up to the roof". We wanted a canvas bucket. "Aieee... we don't do dat..'r about the sixth person to ask us dat dis week"...... More buckets, less bags would be a move forward,... methinks.

Despite the fact that these islands have almost no soil to speak of and rainfall is spartan, the plants though stunted seem to do amazingly well. Take this briliant bouganvillea as an example. Just double click on it to see the incredible flowers. Its a scarlet explosion. A real crimson tide. Same as Corina's smile at the fuel dock in Man-o-War. I'm guessing its the blue water and not the six-month's pregnancy. She is turning into a champion sailor as we see her coming into an anchorage with her foot on the tiller and arms waving, while Joel is on the foredeck ready with the anchor.

Now below you see the fruits of the "BETELNUT PALM". This is the much-prized betelnut chewed in much of Melanesia, which definitely has some 'mind-altering' properties. When chewed with lime it slowly reduces your teeth to no teeth and your red-stained mouth..... well..... Wait until we get to Papua New Guinea and we'll show you some of the real toothless McCoys.

A cactus with both red and yellow flowers on it at the same time. Way to go. Why not go for Blue and yellow to match the flag, .... " Now dat would really be somethin". Then again we went to visit Hugh Wecell who invited us to see his house. Saw the gate, saw the house, never did see Hugh. That gate certainly is a work of art, his wife's I believe. Quite an artist.

The blue water really is captivating and while everywhere it is exceptionally shallow at least you can see the bottom. In crossing into the harbour with the dinghy we noticed this rather thick cable lying on the bottom with a patch on it. Then saw the signs on the embankment that said " DO NOT ANCHOR ". Turns out to be the power supply cable to one side of the island. Makes you wonder what happened to the guy in a speedboat at low tide that cut the cable. He was "aglow" and the island in darkness................."I'd be a-guessin.."

You definitely have to double click on the pink and white bouganvillea. You'd swear it was all plastic but it's not. Mother Nature's perfection, which is not quite the same for this poor PAWPAW (papaya) tree. All of three feet tall and looking like a midget with fruit on. Somewhere on the island is at least one male tree, for it takes both trees before the female will bear fruit. The pollen sure does get around when the wind keeps blowing at 20 knots. We were anchored in the lee of the island and well protected for the night. This is golf-cart Heaven. When a major storm takes out the power, no-one can recharge their golf-carts. Imagine, no power, no wheels, no TV, nowhere to go, although there are a bunch of churches on the island to prevent that sort of thing from happening.

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