For now our plans are to return to Georgetown until around July 1st (or thereabouts), and then explore the Jumentos Island chain in the Bahamas. Should a hurricane come through we can duck safely in to a nearby hurricane hole. The rest of the plan will come together later. And just like that our plan was set in to action. We left Acklins Island early the following morning. However, on our way back to Georgetown we made a detour to Rum Cay.
Upon leaving Acklins Island we sailed north fifty-two miles to the southern tip on Long Island anchoring just before the sun vanished: time for some dinner and rest for the next leg of the journey.
The following day we rocked and rolled 43 miles to Clarence Town. Clarence Town is just around the corner from Little Harbor. (Little Harbor is where we previously held up for two weeks with no hint of human life.) While there, we explored two churches - climbing the bell towers of one of them –
-amazing architecture and beauty.There was a small grocery store with the bare necessities, a marina, a couple of bar and grilles and a Laundromat. Have you ever been excited to do laundry in your life? Well, I am these days. I made good use of the washers and dryers. They were a little higher priced then we’ve seen in the past - $8 a load, but still I’m grateful.
When we arrived we saw that our sailor friend Randy was anchored. We immediately launched the dinghy and went over to say hi. Randy is doing well. We didn’t get to spend much time with him, but it was nice to see him again. He left Clarence Town a day or so before us. And now, we have made friends with another. I know I can’t tell you about all the interesting people we meet, but I’d like to tell you about Farro aboard S/V Margie. Farro, now sixty-five years old, is an Iranian who moved to the United Stated with his family when he was eighteen years old. His mother passed away four years ago and his father is still living at the grand age of ninety-six. Farro was an Engineer and even taught as a Professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado for a few years. He doesn’t expect to live more than five more years or so, due to heart problems; he’s simply living his dream on his sailboat. He’s such a sweet man. Jimi and I immediately hit it off with him. Jimi helped him with his head sail and port screens. They hitch hiked together to a larger town for more groceries. We’ve spent evenings on each other’s boats and a couple of days at the marina restaurant. After a few days we generally became inseparable planning our days and evenings events. I asked Jimi if we could adopt him…….tee hee. He’s trying to get to the Dominica Republic, but the winds have not been right, so he’s waiting them out. In the meantime, we suggested he come to Rum Cay with us and he gladly agreed. He followed us in his boat and we had more time to spend with this wonderful and interesting old man.
At first (for me at least) Rum Cay was a disappointment. We walked around the marina, but it is in disrepair. Bobby, the owner, is offering free dockage for the entire year of 2013. We thought we would take advantage of it, but after seeing the marina, we chose to remain anchored. It’s a tight squeeze and there are no additional amenities to make it worth our while; no water, electricity hook ups, fuel, etc and we were worried about the bugs. There is a nice fire pit, a kitchen and day room free for the using, but we were happy on the hook. Bobby uses a chain saw with a diamond tip chain and dermal tool to sculpt old coral pieces weighing in excess of four or five hundred pounds. The sculptures are truly amazing and Bobby is a real artist. Jimi had a chance to talk with Bobby for a bit and found he is a pretty neat and interesting fella.
So Farro, Jimi and I set out on foot around town. We went to BaTelCo to recharge Jimi’s data plan, investigated a nicely restored Episcopal Church and found the grocery store. At the grocery story we were approached by a young man who asked us if we were going to come to Kay’s Bar and Restaurant……”ya, sure” we all agreed. Around the corner, over the small bridge and in a bright purple colored wood structure with a sand floor we were greeted by a dozen gentlemen. Literally is was like walking in to “Cheers”. We have never felt so at home or welcome in a strange place as this. Oh…I forgot to mention that back at the grocery store we met a young couple from France, Eric and Sandrine aboard S/V Jingle, who have been sailing on their Catamaran for two years. They also joined us at the bar. The guys played some pool (with duct tape and sand on the pool table, it made for some interesting games),
we all chatted it up and talked of eating dinner there. Eric, Sandrine and Farro were game, but Jimi and I said “no, it’s too expensive”. Upon hearing that the French couple invited Farro and us to their boat for dinner to share in their freshly caught Mai Mai. Without hesitation we accepted. In the mean time, one of the men at the bar, Kevin, brought his wife who was just getting out of a City Council meeting, over to meet us. They invited us over for a late lunch the following day. Despite the state of the marina, my perception of Rum Cay quickly changed and I decided this was the place to be!
Jimi and I put together appetizers for our dinner on the catamaran and Ferro brought a bottle of wine. We were treated with a delicious Mai Mai and rice dish, chocolate cake for dessert and cocktails throughout. The company was just as delicious as the meal, as we chatted and chatted until Jimi realized it was 11:15 p.m. and we needn’t outstay our welcome. Eric and Sandrine are headed to Georgetown as well and we hope to see them there.
The next day we enjoyed a Bahamian style family dinner in the home of Frances and Kevin. I brought Hawaiian Sweet Bread Rolls and they served us grouper, crab rice and mixed vegetables. It was such an honor to be invited in to their home to meet their children and play with their puppies, Jack and Jill. It’s these memories that will be most cherished.
With plans to leave the following day and tears in my eyes we said our goodbyes to Farro. I tried to talk him in to coming our way, but he is going to stay in Rum Cay for a while until the winds treat him right. He promised to send me an email from time to time to let me know how he is doing.
And with all that said, we are preparing to leave this little slice of paradise in the morning. Our next slice will be Cape Santa Maria. We were there in May for my birthday. I think we are going to stay a day or so. The island has a Christopher Columbus monument that we would like to explore.
So I leave you now, my friends, with this highly requested recipe for Hawaiian Sweet Bread. Enjoy!
6 ½ to 7 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 cup of mashed potato flakes
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger (I left this out, because I didn’t have any)
2 tsp vanilla
2 pkg (4 1/2 tsp) of active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 cup pineapple juice (room temperature)
In large bowl combine 3 cups flour, mashed potato flakes, sugar, salt, ginger, vanilla, and yeast. In medium sauce pan heat milk, water, and margarine until very warm (120o to 130o). Add warm liquid, pineapple juice, and eggs to flour mixture. blend at low speed until moistened; beat 4 minutes at medium speed. By hand stir in 3 cups of flour to form a stiff dough. On floured surface knead in 1/2 to 1 cup of flour until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place (80° to 85°) until light and doubles in size . 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Punch dough down. Divide dough in to 3 parts; form in to round balls. Place in greased pans; flatten slightly. Cover, let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 1 hour. Heat oven to 375o. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from pans immediately. Cool on wire racks. Makes 3 loaves.
The recipe calls for 8 to 9 inch round cake pans, but I use a loaf pan and then I make dinner tolls by forming 9 2 to 3 inch balls and place them in a 9 inch square pan. I check the bread often rather than relying on the time. Sometimes the bread doesn’t seem to take as long to bake as the recipe calls. The Pillsbury Cookbook © 1995
Lorie & Jimi
Happy (belated) Father’s Day to all dads!