Friday, May 22, 2009


In the last posting we said that the Abaco islands definitely needed the rain......... Well, thats enough now. More than enough. The weather forecast calls for another five days of winds E-SE 15-20 knots gusting higher in T-storms with rain and squalls. You only need to look out of any of the portholes or windows that "they got it right". Everything is wet, not from leaks or incoming rain, but it is impossible to keep the moisture out that is driven by the powerful winds. You can't see the droplets, but you can swim in it as you get about the cabin. 100% humidity and a temperature of 85 degrees fahrenheit and climbing, not that we are alone in this. On every yacht anchored in the area at Marsh Harbor, there are heads peeking out, all feeling the same thing, and trying to formulate an escape plan. .............
Time to slip on a rain jacket, dinghy to town, buy some lettuce, some tom-toms and a cuquee and a packet of pork chops and do some "RAININ' ENTERTAININ".

Anchored close to us is the yacht "VIRGINIA B", a valiant 40, with Jim, Sandy and Roberta on board all ready to see the islands and stuck in the 'muck' just like us. We have swapped stories and adventures, videos and tools, and now we'll share dinner. Normally the BBQ is clamped to one of the stanchions (the upright poles that carry the life-lines), but with the rain we clamp it to one of the support posts in the cockpit, and under cover and it works beautifully. Awesome chops.
Meantime the girls share stories of their own. Sandy had baked a beautiful loaf of cheese-filled bread, hot out of the oven and delivered by dinghy.

Our conch shells on the after-deck and the sea-biscuit have been thoroughly washed in the rain, as has everything else. In walking through town, we found the remnants of an old house now partially occupied by a rain tree. After this week's rain it should have taken up full residency and grown at least to four feet in diameter.
The front hatch on "ARITA" now has a tent over it, with six inch (150mm) clearance at the deck. Air can flow through the boat, but the rain is kept out.(Well most of it anyway).

The grey skies and rain continue. The crew of "MOANA" also came by, for a visit bringing beautiful hand-crafted presents for the Queen. Their guests, David & Joanne were given the celebratory first drink of 'Ricardo's Mango rum' in a conch shell, sipping it from the fluted foot (spout). This has become our new custom with first visitors. If they come back we know they liked it. If they swallow it too quickly and fall over dead, we are fully set up for a quick buriel at sea. We certainly don't want to lose our reputation over this.

And tonight Claudia and Lino Basilico are joining us for dinner. They are from the Italian yacht " U.D.F.( no, that is not the name of their yacht. The real name is "L'Uomo del Faro III", which is longer than a sleepless night, if you are going to spell that over the VHF radio, like Lima, Uniform, Oscar, Mike.......It means 'Third man in the lighthouse'. Now who would have guessed that one.Maybe they have run out of good boat names in Italy) They were on board ARITA once before, while we dealt with copying navigational charts. Ours to them for the US East Coast, and theirs to ours for the Bays and anchorages of Cuba.

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