Saturday, June 09, 2007

Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: ENE 10-18 knots, gusting to 20 in thunderstorms

I’m sitting at my clean dining-room table, having just tidied up and done the dishes. Beside me, in its giant yellow sailbag, is our perfectly repaired genoa--what a great feeling. Even though we ended up spending the night over at Pegasus, eating breakfast there, and hanging out until three o’clock this afternoon, having a reliable second foresail to switch to, not to mention a good light-weather sail, is accomplishment enough. We had only intended to stay for lunch, too, so we had left our boat completely open. Wouldn’t you know it, last night was the only night in the last month that it decided to pour rain, not to mention blowing 25 knots.

I woke up in the middle of the night, hearing the wind howling and the rain pounding, and praying to God that we hadn’t left our front hatch open. Of course we had. Luckily the vee-berth isn’t too wet, nor do any of our electronics situated by the navigation station at the companionway seem to be damaged. Phew.

Karl’s ashore with Pegasus and a second boat’s crew, Jay and Jennifer from Gypsy Rose. Gypsy Rose just sailed in after doing almost 200 miles in two days from Andros Island, in horrible weather. Their boat is a 1970 Cal 34, a boat built by the same company as ours, Jensen Marine, a year before ours. They rafted up to Pegasus this morning for fresh-cooked bacon and eggs and coffee, a great welcome after an all-night beat to windward against three knots of current in a rainstorm. I didn’t envy them at all. That’s why we pick our weather.

They’re a crazy couple, though, about our ages. Jennifer is a large part Native American, and they fund their travels making jewelry and doing leather work. Pegasus kept telling us how well we’d get along with them. “You’re all hippies!” they said. Not that Karl and I are really anywhere near hippie status. Real hippies scoff at us. After all, we eat meat and wear synthetic fabrics. I always felt intimidated of the real hippies, from when I used to go to Bob Dylan concerts. I somehow couldn’t bring myself to sew my own tie-dyed dresses, nor could I find real love in my heart for the Grateful Dead. Non-hippies think we look like hippies, but real hippies know better.

Nevertheless, we will get on famously with Gypsy Rose. They’re just as crazy as we are, never having sailed, and setting off with a little beat-up fiberglass production boat. Their last adventure was bringing a seventeen-foot Boston Whaler across the Gulf Stream to sell at a 100-percent profit to a Bahamian fisherman in Andros. That’s supposed to give them the funds they need to accompany Pegasus to Australia. Karl’s always coming up with crazy schemes like that (his latest is to fill up a shipping container with ten-year-old Ford Explorers and bring them here where they go for $20,000 a pop). Maybe I should start listening to him.

So we’re getting caught up in the social whirl of Georgetown. We now have three boats’ hospitality we need to repay. Today’s allegedly Junkanoo Days in June, a local festival at the fish fry, with junkanoo music, rake-n-scrape, and crack conch galore. We might be convinced to attend. We were warned, after all, about the cruising festivities in Georgetown. Come for a week, stay for the summer, seems to be the motto.

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