The concept of 'time' in all it's variations has always interested me and the term 'Island Time' heard so often in describing the unique speed of life in most tropical settings is no exception.
Living on 'Island Time' takes some getting used to but once accepted it allows for a greater degree of contentment and acceptance that much in life is out of our control.
It wasn't until we had lived on 'Island Time' for a while that we came to realize just how hectic the pace of life was back home. Everything moved so fast, the traffic, the crazy printing industry that I spent so many years caught up in, even the food. Speed was always of the essence as I ran around like a hamster on one of those little wheels, never really getting anywhere no matter how fast I went.
A good example of 'Island Time' is filling a prescription here in Marsh Harbour, the most progressive city in Abaco. For something that would take a couple of days to fill back in Keswick takes 2-3 weeks here in Marsh Harbour. Even then, we were told, there is no guarantee of the timing. The pills come from Florida and the order is not even placed until the previous shipment arrives to make sure that all items ordered were received and do not have to be reordered. Of course there is no telling when that will be. We went back to check after 2 weeks and discovered that the order had only been placed 5 business days ago and should arrive within 5 more business days. Still no guarantee, though we were warned by the pharmacist who shared the horror story of December's order.
Our general plan is to leave Marsh Harbour once this prescription arrives and cruise south along the southern half of the island with a couple of stops along the way, continue south to Eleuthera Island and see some of it along the way to the Exumas.
The wind has only died down long enough once in the past week to venture out beyond the Sea of Abaco or even much beyond Marsh Harbour so we took advantage of the opportunity and did some fishing. The Captain asked the young guys at the Fish Rental place where we buy our ice where they suggested we fish and they told us to head out beyond Hope Town and troll in water between 200-600 ft deep. Off we went, with enough ice to preserve our fish, should we land one. It was our lucky day and the Captain reeled in a gorgeous black fin tuna. We were lucky to get it in we were told later because the sharks like to steal them as they are reeled in and leave you with just the head. We feasted that night on Seared Jerk Tuna, rice, corn, salad and pita chips and still have enough fish for two more meals.
So what have we done with ourselves the other 6 days this past week you ask? Believe it or not the days fly by, even when we don't do much. Quite often the Captain goes off on his own shopping and I stay back on the boat and do some writing. I managed to sell a couple more articles to Living Aboard Magazine, one for the March issue and the other I'm not sure which issue. Lately I've spent some time trying to teach myself to paint. I'm no Picasso but I find it enjoyable and very challenging. Since I began painting we both enjoy browsing through art stores and there is an art show this weekend at the Boat Harbour Marina that we hope to visit. There are several couples that we met coming down the Inland Waterway staying at Boat Harbour so perhaps we will do some socializing while we are there.
The Captain is becoming an expert at grocery shopping in the Bahamas. We have discovered that the basic food products can be found at a reasonable price but any kind of processed or convenience foods are ridiculously expensive so we are shopping and eating accordingly. John returned to the boat one day proud of his find - a big bag of turkey parts for 2 cents. No not $2 but 2 cents. I boiled it all, picked the small bits of meat from the bone, chilled the broth, skimmed the fat and made some 2 cent turkey stew and also a big pot of turkey soup. Between our turkey stew, our tuna, the conch salad in the fridge and our coconut bread we are enjoying a very Bahamian diet. Lobster Alfredo was on the menu last night, with fresh coconut bread to mop up the sauce, of course.
We decided to make use of our time here in Marsh Harbour while we wait patiently for my prescription to arrive by refinishing the teak cap rail out on the aft deck. When I say "we" I mean mostly "he" although I have assisted in the project.
After the only hardware store in town reopened after closing for almost a week to count inventory John bought some sanding belts for his belt sander and the only container of slow drying epoxy in the store. The boat is in a state is disarray with bits and parts all over the place. Everything gets covered in sawdust over and over and over and I will vacuum over and over and over, sort of like when you put up drywall, only on a boat! We need to run the generator in order to power the sander so we have the a/c running which actually feels good. Yesterday we were both so sticky we were miserable and when we heard on the weather report that the humidity was 100% we realized why. Even with a stiff wind blowing we were hot and sticky all day long.
Thursday morning I set off on my own in the dingy and attended a seminar at the Jib Room. It was a very serious subject we were studying - how to make and blow a conch horn. There were over 50 people in attendance so I figure now when the sun sets that there are somewhere between 25-50 new conch horns sounding at sunset here in Marsh Harbour. Anyone who had a dremel tool on board was asked to bring it to share with other boaters. John sent me off with ours, a hacksaw, some duct tape (you can never have too much duct tape) and an extension cord. I didn't need the saw or the cord but the dremel tool was well used and the tape was a big hit too. If your shell has a hole you can temporarily cover it with duct tape, which is then replaced by epoxy or equivalent after you have made your horn.
Once back at the boat, the Captain repaired the hole in my shell and once it was dry I painted it to try to match the shell. We have had our shell sitting in the sun for almost a year now and most of the outer skin had flaked off but I scraped away all the tiny bits so I could enter it in the 'Most Attractive' category in the Conch horn blowing contest which was held back at the Jib Room at Happy Hour from 5-7. It was also the boaters' pot luck get together so John cooked meatballs while I worked on my shell. I entered the female longest blow and loudest blow categories and despite my competitive nature and hours of practicing I did not win a prize. We enjoyed a few $2 bilge burners and marvellous munchies and had a great time anyway.