Saturday, June 21, 2008

I’ll be on that

My dad enjoying the sun at French Wells

We had a grand adventure today, attempting to row to French Wells, the southern tip of Crooked Island. We decided to abandon our engine project for the day, or at least take a break. Our ostensible purpose was to row past the two abandoned fishing boats in the anchorage and see if they had two bolts Dad could use in the manual crank he’s trying to rig. The current blew us right by them, though, about which I was happy. I’m sure we can find another method for the manual crank, and I have qualms about scoping out other people’s boats, even half-sunk ones, when my own’s been left so pristine.

I was more excited about the journey to French Wells, as was my mom. They say there’s an actual well here, with good, sweet water, although we couldn’t find it. I thought there’d be a trail or an abandoned building or something to help us, but I found nothing but mangroves and sand. It was a great vacation from our vacation nonetheless. I brought my sketchbook and drew conch and landscapes, with Secret bobbing on the horizon. Dad and Mom went for a long walk on the beach, and Dad made a shade home for himself in the middle of a mangrove tree.

He also cracked open the two coconuts which we’d been carrying around with us in the dinghy, and they were perfect--sweet, juicy, full of lukewarm milk, with tender baby flesh. It’s easy to see how I could live out here on coconuts and conch, with a fifty-pound bag of rice picked up every now and again. You could call me Alexandra Supertramp. Maybe if he had come to the Bahamas instead of Alaska he could’ve starred in his own movie.

Instead of rowing the dinghy back against the three-knot current, we dragged it back along the sand bar in the water at low tide, and then rowed it the short distance back across to the boat. Dad doesn’t trust my rowing ability and I don’t trust his, and our oars have definitely seen better days. Dinner was a delicious corned beef spaghetti, cooked by Mom, my resident chef, with fresh steamed crab on our salad, picked by Dad, who hadn’t realized how much work they were when he snagged one. Tomorrow I turn once again to diesel mechanics, but tonight I’ll settle for a low yellow moon rising over the rippling water.

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