Today’s forecast includes rain and perhaps thunder (and its undesirable antecedent). We are finally in VHF range of Marsh Harbour and were able to listen to the Cruisers’ Net. Their weather forecast, provided by BarometerBob.org (the founder RIP) includes the precip and cloud information the digital NAVTEX broadcasts from the Miami Hurricane Center generally leave out.
The Net also functions much as Radar O’Rielly in M.A.S.H. — keeping cruisers up to date on passage conditions, local events, missing dinghies, other lost and found (a carved Mallard-headed sentimental boat hook was announced lost by owner and announced found by another boat within three minutes), wants and needs, and public service announcements. It is useful, entertaining, and an example of the nautical inclination to help one another.
VHF radio is different here. It is much more of a telephony system than the US (or the international rules) allow. Twice now, we have heard “break” calls on 16 directing interested listeners to another channel to hear about marina hosted St Patrick’s Parties, island rock concerts and diving. While folks seem to be respectful of 16’s public safety usage, the other channels are chatterdoms (and some have been expropriated for business and government usage). So far, it seems to help rather than hinder. But then we are gradually working our way down into the concentration of boats and population; we may not feel that way after a while.
Except for the roar of the wind and the rumble of the diesel, this trip has been characterized by its quiet. We know that’s going to change starting tomorrow. We’ve made reservations at the Green Turtle Club. It’s a marina well known for its pricing policy. Simply put, your restaurant and bar bills are subtracted until your dockage bill (slip only) is free. Or even more simply, you eat free as long as you keep the total tab under the total slip fee. Of course, TV cable is $5 a day, [just found out it’s non-functional] water is $0.20 a gallon, but here, electricity is included in the slip fee [nooo, it’s now $12 a day].
The restaurant has a good reputation and the marina has been recommended by three cruisers so far (one pair stayed the winter there). And on Wednesday nights the “Gully Roosters” play so we have to hang around long enough to hear them. Which means we’ll have a chance to get some exercise.
It all seems like a good deal/idea. Tomorrow, we will move down to anchor off Green Turtle Cay to await the upper third of high tide so we can enter White Sound and change the rhythm of our drummer for a while.
The predicted rain filed to materialize, but as we watched for indications, we noticed all the cumulus clouds racing across the Sea of Abaco clearly had turquoise tinted bottoms. The camera couldn’t pull out what the eye saw. Trust us, it was there.