|Pat, Don, Jim, Dave|
We are anchored on the west end of New Providence. Nassau is located on the far east end of this island and has the only medical facilities in the Bahamas that can deal with a broken arm. New Providence is 21 miles long and we could anchor or get a marina on the east end, but for several reasons we chose West Bay anchorage and are glad we did.
Our flotilla here included Island Tyme, Amata Marie and Wrinkles. We were soon joined by Blue Moon, who we knew from Marathon. They had sailed to Andros, but it wasn't what they were after, so they joined us here. Sweet! Now we have eight people to play with.
Jim on Amata Marie wanted to find a local grocery store, so the boys and Pat headed out on the trek for food. Nancy, Gail and Brenda stayed back on the beach to "guard the dinghies." The hike took us along curved roads and over hills. Don spied an ice machine attached to a building on a side road. He smelled the possibility of a cold beer, so we followed him to investigate. Sure enough it turned out to be a well stocked mom and pop convenience store conveniently named "Mom and Pop Shop." That cold beer tasted mighty fine. Good thing we brought our coozies that we have learned to carry with us at all times! Pat and Dave started walking back to the beach, while Don, Jim and Mike forged onward. About two - three miles later a Shell station appeared with a Fresh Market behind it. Big, beautiful, well stocked and expensive. Think Whole Foods on a "add 30%" sale. Mike picked up a loaf of Rosemary Olive bread and a loaf of Walnut Raisin Bread. Jim's purchases were stuffed into the three backpacks and the return trip started. The hike was far longer than expected and Don gratefully applied some bandaids to his heels that Mike had in his wallet.
While the boys were walking, Pat and Dave had gotten a ride from a local, Fina. As they were riding, Pat noticed a Princes Margaret Hospital sticker on the window and started talking about Brenda's adventure. Fina's husband, it turns out, is a General Practioner at PMH. She insisted that her husband have a quick look at my hand to insure all is well. She lives just around the corner from the beach. What a sweetheart! Not only did she have her husband look at my hand, which he said was doing fine, she insisted that she take us into Nassau for our appointment on Wednesday. In addition, she again insisted that she take Don and Gail to the airport when it was time for them to fly home. What a stress reliever. We were trying to figure how to get across the island without having to pay the $40 each way taxi fare. Now we have Fina and know about the local bus as well.
The grocery store hikers also got a ride back the last couple of miles to the beach. A shuttle bus which takes cruise ship passengers to the west end for snorkeling or water sports stopped and picked the three boys up. The air conditioned bus felt pretty good to them by that time. Don gave the driver a nice tip which really made the guys' day. They heard him hooting and hollering, "Gonna buy me some rum!" as he drove away.
When everyone finally made it back to the beach, we were exhausted. We agreed it was nap time, but we would meet on Amata Marie at 5:30 for appetizers and sundowners (a toast to the sunset). We met again the next night on Island Tyme and what feasts we had. There was smoked salmon, salmon dip, artichoke dip, pork loin fingers with sweet horseradish sauce, Little Smokie links with dates, fresh fruit, mango chutney over cream cheese, olives, the two breads, crackers, cheese, apple crisp and a delious cream cheese mixed with cool whip and Key lime mix. As you can see, even though we are anchored out in the middle of a bay, we are eating well.
Each person brings their drink of choice to these gatherings and Dave on Blue Moon loves to offer Mike one of his PBR beers. Seriously, of all the wonderful beers to celebrate each of these memorable Bahamian days he drinks a PBR. There is only one other PBR fan in existence as far as we know and we won't name him (Bob) to save him the embarrassment. Oops, did I mention his name? Bob.