Children, Chicken and Chances

The original school house now anchors a modestly larger complex. And the view of the Sea of Abaco and its reefs would have kept us from learning anything.

Yesterday, when we rented the golf cart, Molly, who runs the business among other roles, told us of the Amy Roberts* All Ages School Fair to be held Saturday.

This morning having tired of the rattle of golf carts (and the cost) we fired up our outboard (in which we now place some moderately improved confidence) and dinghied the just less than a mile and a half to the New Plymouth small boat dock — between the ferry dock and a reef that dries at low tide.

It proved to be a wet ride thanks to a couple ferries and fishing boats, but that’s life on the water when your “car”  is just over nine feet long and has nine inches of freeboard when loaded.

We arrived on a perfect tide for stepping from the dinghy to the slipppppery steps. We walked off leaving a dinghy full of stuff that would be missing on return if we had done the same thing stateside. No other dinghy there had secured anything any better than we, and I wasn’t going to insult the town.

We stopped by the Blue Bee to get directions to the school — Miss Violet, who greeted us like family said, “up the road to the steps and follow the noise.” We arrived early enough the noise hadn’t evolved beyond giggles and country music. After buying lunch coupons and raffle tickets we enjoyed watching the kids and parents having fun. We heard no bad language the entire time we were there from anyone of any age. [I can say I have listened to as much Taylor Swift as I ever want to listen to, it’s like listening to a recording of someone’s transactional analysis therapy session.]

We bought tickets for, guess what? Conch Fritters. When we got hungry, Janet went for them and was told “cook’s not here, 30 minutes, yet.” OK.

Thirty minutes later she was told, “Oh, not here, in the kitchen.” OK. The kitchen was empty, and the stove was cold. Person A thought Person B had brought the oil. Person B thought…

So, I suggested she trade the fritter ducat for something else. She came back with fried chicken (perfectly done) peas and rice (best yet), mac & cheese (interesting–a lot like Barbados), and slaw for two for $12 dollars. We ate watching face painting and ring toss and general jollity till the showers came, and we quickly finished the triple chocolate cake as the rain intensified.

Walking back to the dinghy, we decided to check with Sid. The not 1330, not 1530 but 1730 yesterday resupply ferry had rendered replacements for all but scallions. So, happily, with romaine and limes in hand, we found the tide only a foot lower and easily embarked for the trip north.

When we reached the marina area it was clear a cold front is coming. The White Sound anchorage was as full as we have seen — actually crowded, and the marina was now half full (last night there were four traveling boats). With the predictions, it is little wonder. We may have to double up fenders when the wind gets some north in it. We may find the Whale passage is “ragin'” for  a few days, and we are further delayed.

And so what?

*Amy Roberts taught here 56 years. A plaque just off the walk celebrates her.

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