Well, we didn’t leave Treasure Cay as scheduled. That’s kind of how things go here. We have heard a number of boaters say that their schedule is set in Jello. Pretty much! We liked Treasure Cay a lot and decided to stay until Saturday. And even then it was hard to leave! So maybe we’ll go back. Who knows. Jello!
During our extra days there we met up with some other loopers on Bee Haven. Rod and Susie are wonderful. They are welcoming and friendly. We were out in the dinghy and swung by to say hello. They invited us on. Joy and Jeff from Tidings of Joy were also there visiting. We managed to figure out that we have a very similar schedule to Jeff and Joy (as much as we can plan, see above) so will hopefully travel south with them. Rod and Susie showed us around their boat. We LOVE their boat and were excited to take a tour. Then Rod cracked open a coconut for the girls. Another new experience! He used a pry bar to remove the outer layer and then let them hold the coconut inside. Then he drilled holes in the coconut and had the girls pour the coconut water into a glass. We all gave it a taste….even Madelyn who won’t try anything! She didn’t like it (nor do I) but she tried it! Then he cut the coconut open and chipped out chunks for them to try eating. Molly liked it. Madelyn tried it AGAIN! Wonders never cease. He let the girls keep the coconut. Fun new experience for them.
Rod and Susie also have a pedal kayak that the girls were so excited to try. Rod had mentioned a couple of times that we should take it out. Another reason to stick around!
Thursday night we went to Pizza Night at the marina. Great pizza. Ben bought more fresh stone crab the next morning on the dock – colossal claws, the BEST we’ve had – for less than the pizza. Yep, that’s crazy. We devoured the crab and had so much that we made yummy crab salads Sunday for dinner.
Friday morning we went and got cinnamon rolls again. Couldn’t stay away! Friday after school we went and got the pedal kayak. Ben and Molly took a turn first and then Maddy and I took a turn. It was some good exercise and fun to pedal around. We saw a couple of turtles. We returned the kayak and took the dinghy back out to explore some more. The tide was out and the girls could hop right out of the dinghy into the sand.
They were thrilled to run around and play in the water. They gave snorkeling another try too.
It was a perfect Friday afternoon and looked like a postcard. And we came back to fresh stone crab again for dinner!
Saturday we planned to leave around 2:30 or 3 pm so that we would be entering Marsh Harbour on a rising tide. The tide moves about 40 minutes each day and has been on a tough schedule for travel recently…7 AM/7 PM, 7:40 AM/7:40 PM, etc. Anyway, that gave us the morning to play before we left. The girls grabbed their scooters and I put on my running shoes and the three of us headed out. We saw some of the beautiful waterfront neighborhoods in Treasure Cay and burned off some energy. Then we threw our suits on and went to the beach. I warned them they only had an hour. It took forever to get Madelyn out the door and then once there was impossible to get her to leave! That sand is just so amazing.
I don’t blame her. Molly swam. Maddy played in the sand. I listened to a good live band and sat on the beach reading my book. We headed back to the boat a little before 3 and headed out of Treasure Cay. It was my favorite stop in the Bahamas so far.
We pulled into Marsh Harbour around 5 pm. Got docked and showered and went to walk up to the restaurant we heard was good and it was closed. It being a bigger town there are a number of places to choose from and we found one close by. We had hoped to be able to see the Junkanoo festival here. But turns out the parade we were hoping to see started quite late Saturday night and would have involved a cab or long walk with the girls. Didn’t seem like the smartest choice. Molly was upset to miss it. It would have been a neat cultural experience.
We came to Marsh Harbour for a lot of provisioning before we head further south. Sunday morning we walked to the big grocery store here. I’ve mentioned previously what a nightmare shopping with the girls is. Well this time we were all so happy to see an actual grocery store that it was all good! We loaded up on cantaloupe, strawberries, apples, bananas, mangoes, limes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, romaine, carrots, and lots more. All that fruit has been hard to come by! Monday Ben headed to the hardware store and marine store. Both of which he had lists for. Back to the hardware store today. He has changed the oil on the engines and the generator, worked on one of the air conditioners and installed something so that the generator can draw fuel from either tank (you’ll have to ask him specifics – I stick to palm trees and beaches and school).
We are in a big harbor here that has a few marinas all next to each other. But there is no beach close by and the pool is pretty chilly. There is a great snorkeling reef around the other side of the bay we are in but we haven’t taken the dinghy down. So, instead, when we’ve been on the boat we’ve gone on a puzzle kick! The girls did a 300 piece and a 400 piece and now we’re working together on a 1500 piece.
Yesterday after school we walked to a local fish store and stocked up on some fish and then stopped in a few cute boutiques. I’m sure there is more to discover and see here but we were largely here for a boat maintenance and shopping stopover. Our friends on Ocean Dancer pulled in Sunday and Dealer’s Choice today so we’ve been able to visit with them as well. Brian from Dealer’s Choice has given all of us a lot of local knowledge on routes south to the Exumas and has patiently sat with us looking over charts and showing us where to go. He’s been coming here for years and we thank him so much for all his help!
Today there was a very tiny farmer’s market in the courtyard at the marina here. A jams/jellies/pickles table, a fresh greens table and a sweets table. Yum all around. We got some dill hamburger chips from the pickled table. Grabbed more cucumbers and tomatoes and loaded up on sweets. Madelyn got a donut and the rest of us chocolate chip scones and grabbed a slice of cheese and guava Danish. It was incredible.
Tomorrow we are heading to Man O War Cay for two nights. It’s a small sleepy little island that is known for its sail shop and boat building. We can go to the sail shop and watch the women in the back sewing canvas bags and other items. And there are a couple of boat builders that we hope to be able to watch as well. Susie from Bee Haven told us about a lady that lives on her boat at the marina who teaches at the local school. She is currently teaching ecology. We’re hoping to meet her as we’ve been learning lots about the ocean ecology and animals. It would be really cool if we could stop in the local school. Stay tuned! Then Friday we will go to Hopetown we think for 5 nights…jello. Our friends from Trawler Life, Michael and Cathy, are there. We haven’t seen them since Chattanooga and are so excited to meet up with them again. You may recall that months ago Michael taught the girls how to fish! There is also a local there named Gary the Explorer (YouTube him!) that Cathy told us about. We have been watching his videos and have learned a lot about the ecosystems down here. We can’t wait to meet him. Michael and Cathy told him about the girls today. After Hopetown we plan to head south to Little Harbor and then on to Spanish Wells and the Exumas. We think….
And just to keep it real, yesterday both girls had separate meltdowns during school. The usual. Math for Molly and Writing for Maddy. Fun times. But again…get through that nonsense and then get off the boat in paradise. We’ll take it.