Tuesday, April 25, 2006

See below for update from Luperon.
Randy's on deck scraping and sanding what's left of the varnish, so I'm lying low, trying not to distract him.

We're back in the land of radio music. All Spanish, all dance, all throbbing beat, all the time, perfect background for writing about the last passage and first few days in the Dominican Republic.

We had an amazing day crossing the banks from Provo to South Caicos. It's like the biggest swimming pool you can imagine. Hours and hours of surreal sailing across brilliant, flat, turquoise water, 10-15 feet deep with the occasional blob of coral to dodge. We were looking forward to getting to South Caicos, a small community at the southern tip of the Turks and Caicos. In his guide, Steve Pavilidis gives it a glowing report: "Bermuda-type architecture," friendly people, good store, good laundromat, phone right at the store on the dock, etc., etc. They have a beautiful harbour with clear, clear water, and the town looks like a typical island town from the water. It was Easter Sunday, and I was anxious to phone Anna and Tom, so we dinghied ashore, only to find the inner harbour thick and slimy. Car batteries discarded at the water's edge. Part of a turtle carcass at the edge of the boat ramp. We tied up, trying not to touch the water. Up the ramp, pile of garbage, over to the store, pile of garbage, saunter around the town, piles of garbage. Dead dog reeking in someone's yard. Spoke to a couple of people who were really very nice and very helpful, but "no, no phone," and "the laundromat's gone out of business." No resemblance to Bermuda in any way, shape or form. We did find the phone booth. It was loaded on the back of a flatbed truck, and looked like it had been crushed by a vehicle, then spray painted by the grade four class, then chucked on a truck to await further deterioration by the elements. If a book about outhouses of the Maritimes has an audience, maybe I should be doing a coffeetable book on phone booths of the Caribbean. It would be less whimsical, perhaps.

So I couldn't call home on Easter Sunday, and I was very upset.

Just to add to the feeling, there was a sailboat tied to the dock, dismasted, busted inflatable, scrapes, scratches, a real mess. We recognized it as belonging to a female single-hander that we'd seen several times in the last few weeks. We found out she'd been hit by a container ship -- she was under sail, only making a knot or two and couldn't manoevre (engine?), and the ship didn't respond to the radio - no one on watch. They admitted liability for the damage, and she was waiting in South Caicos for details to get sorted out. Bad scene. We've seen very little in the way of big ships - maybe a dozen in the last couple of weeks. Capt Randy may be the best person to have aboard when it comes to judging which way they're headed and how to stay out of their way. We've never even had to make radio contact.

Easter Sunday evening in the anchorage we sat on deck and listened to the loud and inspired singing from the church on shore. We hit the bunk early, natch, but after the sun set, the breeze from the shore brought a noxious stink that would knock a donkey off a sandpit. Garbage, probably dead dog too, whatever it was, I couldn't sleep for making icky faces, so I rummaged for a bar of sandwood soap that I remembered chucking in somewhere up the road, and tucked it under my pillow. My dreams were exotic, for a change.

Randy and Paul went ashore the next morning for fuel, and having sampled all the joys of South Caicos, we bailed for Great Sand Cay (remember, it's pronounced "KEY" - some cruisers get this far still saying CAY) and it was a fabulous paradise in comparison. In comparison to anything, really. Small island, a family of ospreys, a clean and perfect beach to swim and anchor off, a solidly littered beach on the windward side for beach combing, and only a slight roll. On the windward beach, among the wild variety of stuff washed onto the beach (including two baby seats) we found big turtle tracks. We had a brilliant day there, swimming and walking. Not another soul in sight. One of my favourite stops so far. Freshly caught bar jack for supper.

We sailed away at dusk, and watched another beautiful sunset and green flash while underway. A better night sail this time - we'd picked up Stugeron in T&C, a British anti-nausea med claimed to be superior to anything we can get at home,so the crew was in good shape, and stood watch no problem. Great stars, then a beautiful moon, then the earthy smell of the Dominican when we were still 30 miles out. Arrived at Luperon just after dawn, wandered our way into the harbour, only went aground once briefly since the water is the colour of coffee so for the first time in months the bottom is not visible (shoal marker not on the chart, fails to mark which way the shoal lies), and anchored with lots of helpful advice from the surrounding boats.

We had a good breakfast to brace ourselves for the checking-in process, and while it was protracted, complicated, and sort of expensive, you really get to meet a lot of folks in the process. They come in waves to the boat: the Navy commandancia and companions (and their dinghy driver, Raphael); Handy Andy, self-appointed welcome wagon and businessman with fabulous broad shoulders; then you go ashore to check in with the immigration fella, the fella that gives you your tourist card, the Port Authority official; then later in the day, you are visited aboard by the Health official who looks in your fridge, and the Agriculture official who asks if you have pets aboard. Keep shaking hands and dispensing cold drinks and fees, about $70 by our count, and soon you are feeling welcome, if broke. When you go ashore, you already have better than a nodding acquaintance with a whole bunch of locals. Raphael has been delivering water and fuel to the boat in the last couple of days, including propane. We tot up the pesos,($1=31 pesos) and figure that an extra few pesos still mean it's a great deal - we don't have to haul the jerry cans, or taxi cross town to chase propane fill-ups.

We got in on Wednesday, and Friday was increasingly cloudy, and by Friday evening, it started to rain. We were pumped! Fresh water rinse for the boat! Get rid of all the salt spray! Well. It rained quite hard for quite a while, and then we remembered that the boat leaks like an old barn. We only had five or six leaks, most of them new, a few old faithfuls, not surprising, considering that the boat has been baking in the hot sun for a few months. Anyway, it rained remarkably hard all night. The dinghy was full in the morning.
Luperon is lively and noisy. Car or truck stereo speakers are just as likely to be on the outside of the vehicle, and as big as a small refrigerator. The little kids, and there's lots of them, are great. Boys play with baseball gloves made out of a bit of cardboard. The kids say "Hola" or try our their English and giggle like crazy when you speak back to them. Steve's Place is a good spot to get everything done and have a cold Presidente beer at the same time. His wife Annie does your laundry for 10 pesos a pound, internet dial-up access is 2 pesos a minute, and the bbq-chicken is pretty good. Their baby daughter gets lots of attention from the customers, and she was fascinated with Randy's beard. Steve set us up with a taxi driver who took the four of us into Santiago, about an hour away, for $50 dollars for the whole day (compare with the $170 fare another cruiser paid in the Turks and Caicos for the 10 mile trip to town and back. We were so lucky that our nice lady stopped and picked us up and drove us around).

You don't want to be renting a car and driving yourself around here, or maybe you do. Depends on your attitude. We sat squashed in the back seat of a 1990 Toyota and marvelled at the cohones of every driver on the road: pass on either shoulder, pass on a hill, pass, always, on a double line, pass when the black diesel smoke from the enormous truck ahead of you obscures your vision. Veer around donkeys, slow for dogs in the middle of the road, slow to wave to your friends and relatives, accelerate for everything else. Turn up the stereo so as to deafen your backseat passengers, and pass some more. Honk, turn up the radio, honk again, wave, honk, honk, honk. In Santiago, a truck waiting to move into traffic held his middle finger up, like a sort of signal to no one in particular, just indicating that he would like to enter this lane as soon as someone would slow down and let him proceed. No one ever seemed upset in traffic, just honk, honk again, move on, and repeat. It was most entertaining.

The shops downtown were a lot like towns in Mexico and Spain. A lot going on, people everywhere. Narrow sidewalks loaded with people and stuff. You can buy anything on the street - fruit, drinking coconuts, watches, shoes, clothes - and the rest in the little stores. Mr. Van Sant's guide suggested that ladies always wore skirts to do their shopping, so I hauled out a modest skirt for the trip, and it was the ONLY skirt anyone saw all day. The women here are curvy and they show it off. Even looking at the store mannequins made me feel completely under-assed. A big round behind is the standard, and it's covered with tight everything, and lots of flesh bulging out of the bits where the tiny top doesn't make it to the lycra hipsters. Mr. Van Sant should get out more, obviously.

We went into a shoe store with lots of piles of flip flops, sandals, all sorts of fairly lurid stuff. I tried on a pair of beaded slides, and the salesman told Randy in Spanish that we'd be insane not to buy these! they're Italian! Imported! From Italy!! Then the salesman bundled my old black dusty sandals into the shoe box and dashed to the counter and rang in the sale. So now I have a rather nice pair of beaded slippers for 600 pesos - about $20. We had to admire the guy's technique, particularly when we got back to the boat and noted the picture of the Taj Mahal on the shoe box.

Squeegee kids in Santiago could teach the Halifax crew a thing or two. From about 10 or 20 feet away, they fling flat floppy sponges onto your windshield, then you're stuck with a smeary mess unless they clean it off. Our driver foiled them everytime: they'd get ready to let fly, and he'd just put on his wipers. We had a great day.

Weather window is looking very good, so we're planning to leave here tonight, Tuesday, and make a few long hops down the coast of the DR, and then across the Mona Passage - two nights and a day, or vice-versa if the wind is very light - to Puerto Rico. Or as Paul said yesterday in a senior moment, Porco Rito.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

see below for a month's worth of news!
Sorry to have been out of touch for so long. This posting covers a fair bit of ground, so get a cup of tea or a glass of something appropriate before you get started. If I can, I'll post pictures too.

George Town (goodbye George Town!) to Cape Santa Maria on Long Island was a relatively short motor sail, and we anchored just after lunch on Monday, April 3. Very pretty place, marred only by the slow steady roll in the swell coming round the corner, and the pong of the dead pilot whale on the beach. Otherwise, deserted but for ND and Vixen, so it was safe for RS to take off his hat. Randy had been wearing a cap full-time since our last day in George Town, when he unwisely paid for a haircut in a salon with NO MIRROR. He returned sporting a left part and a comb-over. We laughed and laughed, and by the time we reached Long Island, he agreed to let me even it up.

The other exciting thing that happened before we left GT was the bank running out of money. No US funds to be had anywhere, which was very bad timing for us, because we need US $$ once we clear out of the Bahamas. We searched pockets and wallets and have enough for the essentials. And of course, we're basically anchored at deserted islands until we cross over to the Turks and Caicos, so there's little opportunity to spend the Bahamas dollars or find a bank.

Cape Santa Maria to Clarencetown on Tuesday -- a long day which didn't start particularly well. I was below and heard Randy hauling the anchor up, and I thought, hey, that's my job, so hastened up the ladder to fulfill my duties and promptly got smacked in the side of the head with the main boom. He'd also raised the main while I was brushing my teeth. Saw stars, but no worse, and now I have a novel green bruise on my right cheekbone. It was a long motorsail - 43 miles - and we had two sightings of what might have been huge man-o-war jellyfish, or mylar balloons with ribbons. Either choice is entirely believable.The anchorage in Clarencetown was calm and peaceful, and we met Josee and Bill from Ottawa on Caper who dropped by to say hi and stayed for a drink. Meeting people is just that easy.

We topped up with fuel and water at the marina in Clarencetown, and motorsailed (light winds, very close to being on the nose, again) to Landrail Point on Crooked Island where I saw my first green flash at sunset. Spectacular. Had a brief chat with David from the beautiful yacht Aratinga (some pile of varnish, you) while his wife swam a mile along the beach.

Crooked Island to Atwood Harbour on Acklins Island the next day. Sparkly (motor) sail, with the occasional tropicbird soaring overhead. We've been trolling a line every day with no luck, even though Paul and Denise have been picking up enough fish that they throw a few back if they don't look big enough. I suspect Paul trolls at least three lines. This day, I asked the captain what kind of lure I should put on. With his superior knowledge and experience, he suggested "anything that we haven't tried before." So on goes a lurid orange and yellow squid, and we sang "Yellow Bird" as we payed out the line, just for good luck. And about an hour or so later, I hauled in a 2 1/2 foot dolphin fish (mahi mahi). This one fought a lot harder than the last one, and it's a good thing that I've acquired some new muscles, cause he was flipping around too much for Randy to snag him with the gaff, so I FLANG him into the cockpit where Randy dispatched him with alcohol to the gills. Denise and Paul came over for fish dinner, and it was excellent. Two more meals waiting in the freezer.
We hung out at Acklins for several days waiting for the winds to come round, and had some great beach walks. Paul did some spearfishing on the reef next to their boat, and I could hear him saying "Scat! Git!" He'd speared a small snapper and lost part of it to a four-foot barracuda, who then followed him back to the boat. Two days later, the barracuda is still lurking under the boat everytime Paul dips his foot in the water. We've had a benign-looking nurse shark visiting in the evenings. I don't swim off the boat, but when there's a couple of miles of beach, who cares?

The beach at Atwood Harbour wraps around the little bay, and there's probably room for 50 boats, so there's no sense of crowding with four boats. The beaches look pristine, especially by moonlight, but as usual, are loaded with interesting items. Plastic, that's a given: buckets, floats, water bottles, polyprop line, a fleet enema bottle (really), shampoo bottles. Lots of glass too, mainly liquor bottles, intact; and a surprising number of lightbulbs and fluorescent tubes, also intact. Shoes everywhere. I also spotted an amazing nine-foot long mahogany plank, but after much pondering (what will we do with it? where will we keep it?), we left it where it was. This fascination with scouring the beach for interesting detritus is becoming a bit of an obsession. Is it because there's no shopping in our lives? Is it because it's free? Is it because we're becoming bag ladies?

I've got to curb the shell collecting. I've got a lot of shells, but they're mostly really small, except for the conch. There's conch shells everywhere, and they're only unique and beautiful to our northern sensibilities. To the locals, they're lunch, and then they're garbage and they're chucked in piles in the water or on the beach.

Atwood to West Plana Cay - we bailed out of Atwood and had a short motor sail in the morning - lots of wind, lots of big black clouds, and queasy crew after an incredibly rolly night after the wind came round more to the north. The only good thing about West Plana Cay was that got us closer to the Turks and Caicos, cause otherwise, it was even rollier than Attwood Harbour. Competing swells just about wore us out, and as soon as we heard Chris Parker at 7 saying that there was a clear spot in all the squalls and crap from West Plana to Mayaguana, we were out of there. Arrived Mayaguana early afternoon, asleep by 7:30 pm. The next day we dropped the dinghy and "went to town" to clear out of the Bahamas. The town administration office is where everything happens: most-wanted posters, immigration, forms for anything and everything, but bring your own pen. Right next door is the Batelco office (phone). Four phone booths outside, but three had regular phones sitting on shelves, and one had a payphone, which didn't work. So I went into the office with my Batelco "HELLO" card, and the nice young man said that probably wouldn't work here (although we are still in the Bahamas, and nothing else will work), since they were having some "work" done. He figured out a way that I could make my two short calls, but of course, nobody I wanted to talk to was home (except Laura, and I always wake her up. Sorry Laura).

We walked a little further into town to find the grocery store, which was closed, but there was a young fella on the road yelling at another fella in a truck a few houses away. Second fella was the person who would open the grocery store, and first fella wanted him to hurry up. "Pick a speed," he hollers. So the store finally got opened, but only after he dashed through the rain to take down the laundry from the line next door and take it in the house, and then we spent $17 dollars on nine green bananas, two yellow apples, and one box of Little Debbie Pecan Wheels.

We headed out of Mayaguana around noon, threading our way back through the five miles of coral heads to get past the reefs and make the turn to get to South East Point -- a good starting spot for a night run to Turks and Caicos -- but the wind was, you guessed it, bing-bang on the nose. We were sitting between two big squalls that sort of hung around all afternoon, so we turned around and headed back to the old fuel dock just outside of Abraham's Bay. "Aratinga" was coming out just behind us and heard us on the radio and suggested it would be a good spot to park, so we all ended up there. Caught a bar jack on the way over. There was a couple of local guys fishing from a small boat -- one in the water diving for conch, and the other cleaning conch and alternately singing and dancing, and waving his arms and cursing the other guy for not letting him dive. They came by the boat later (which was full of conch and fish and a very big turtle, which made us feel bad) and we traded two conch for two cans of Kalik, but what they really wanted was Coke.

David from Aratinga stopped by and invited us over for a drink (we got off the boat!! yay!!) and we went and had a lovely couple of hours talking non-stop about boats and enjoying a respite from the rolly water. Aratinga is a 60' Alden and beautiful inside and out. They actually take care of their varnish. Penny swims a mile a day, with a snorkel and mask, so she has good knowledge of what's underwater. They had two slipper lobsters that they'd fished out from a coral head an hour earlier. Neither of us had ever seen or even heard of slipper lobsters, but yes, they look like a cross between your dad's leather bedroom slipper and a lobster. Penny said that the fishermen had stopped by their boat earlier as well, and they wanted $300 dollars to let the turtle go. Entrepreneurs.

David ferried us back to our boat at around 8, and we hit the bunk and lay there looking at the ceiling for a couple of hours, then got underway at about midnight, headed for Turks and Caicos. Beautiful full moon, nice breeze, seasick crew. Randy drove all night, except for a few short breaks, and other than both GPS units crapping out, it was a great sail. Big swell by the time we got into T&C, but that flattened out once we got on the banks. And contrary to Mr. Van Sant's instructions, it really isn't a good scene trying to navigate over to Sapodilla Bay with the morning sun smack in your eyes. We tried tacking back and forth, to get a clear view of the water, but basically, we were following Vixen (working GPS on board) and crossing our fingers. I was standing on the bowsprit for an hour and a half, but I'm not sure I was providing any useful information back to the helm. Mostly I just shaded my eyes and tried to hang on and not go to sleep. We made it, and the capts headed ashore to clear in, and I figured I'd hit the bunk. Just as I was about to turn off the VHF, I heard a sailboat trying to make contact with someone who would do something about the dead body that he had just discovered floating off Turtle Rock (which we'd passed earlier). Nobody could raise the police on the radio, and finally, the sailboat left after hearing that someone was going to transmit the coordinates to the police and somebody would respond. A bit spooky. I wonder what would have happened if it had been a white person in the water.

We slept for about two hours in the afternoon, had a great meal of fresh bar jack and scalloped potatoes (comfort food is good when you've been seasick and haven't slept well four nights out of the last six) and hit the bunk again at 7:30. Today, we're off to sample the pleasures of buying stuff in stores. Vegetables. Chips. Rum. The plan from here is to sail down to South Caicos across the banks, then to Big Sand Cay south of Grand Turk to wait for a window to cross to the Dominican Republic. If the forecast holds true(that would be a first) we could be in the DR by Wed/Thurs.

PS. I'd had hopes that I could post this in T&C, but no go. We got a ride into town with one Susan Clark, who said she was headed for the internet cafe, the bookstore and the grocery store and did we want a ride? I think that was more intuition and kindness than coincidence, and we were most grateful. It was about seven or eight miles one way. I was able to read about half my email in the half-hour I paid $10 for (slow, slow connection), and was not able to connect to blogger at all. So frustrating. As of today, April 19, we're safe in Luperon after a lovely, uneventful night crossing, and I'll try to update again before we leave here. I'm hoping we'll get to check our email several times while we're here, so send news. This place is gorgeous.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Back in George Town to stock up and move on. (Tom, go back to MSN, because this will just be about food and other boring stuff.)

April Fool's Day. Someone called in to Chris Parker's weather broadcast this morning and said there was a white whale in George Town Harbour, and old people, small children and dogs should stay on their boats. Dinghy traffic was to be curtailed.

We're starting to get antsy about moving along. I'm sure that lots of the folks that come and spend months here have sorted out the best way to deal with the chop in the harbour, the need to change locations when the wind clocks around, and the limited joys of George Town itself. We've found that it's a nice place to visit, but we're ready to move on.

Red Shanks was a lovely anchorage, but the trip to town by dinghy was bloody brutal. Wet? We started wearing our foul weather pants after about the second trip, and were accosted by a guy at the dinghy dock who said, "geez guys, what is this, Maine?" Well, he can go on and stand up in his rigid bottom dinghy, but I'm wearing my foulies, cause I'm sick of having a soaking wet arse (and everything else -- my watch strap is pretty much toast). There's a nasty short chop that starts right at the bridge into the dinghy dock. Picture punching through about five minutes of this nasty, nasty line up of standing waves, and then about ten minutes of kidney-shaking waves, then about a half-hour of a variety of smacking waves sloshing over the front of the dinghy, which of course, will not plane with 30 gallons of water, four or five bags of groceries, four bottles of wine and the crew aboard. Purgatory. Then the captain's hat flies off, and we go back to get it. Last time, I was so stiff that when I stood up to grab the taffrail, I plopped back down again in the dinghy.

Applications of rum are always required after such a trip.

After the last trip, Randy's knee bit the dust (the left one this time, for those of you who are keeping track), and we're back to rum, rest, ice, compression, elevation for several days. Other than that, things are just about as idyllic as you could possibly imagine. We've sat around on deck and watched a pair of oyster catchers fly around. Bizarre looking birds.

Randy has read his way through "Das Boot" and we've managed to get the SSB antenna attached to the lofty places, but not the sub-basement places. That's next. Randy hauled me up the mizzen -- I'm lighter and though less handy, will take instruction -- and we managed to get the antenna attached. It's never easy though. I sprayed the connections with Boeshield to prevent corrosion, but hey, the stuff melted the self-amalgamating tape that was the next bit of the application, so I swung around for a while, waiting for it to dry, and when it didn't, I decided to wipe some of it off -- with what? -- so had to work my way out of my tshirt so I could get it over my head to wipe the wire dry. The installation seems to be okay. We won't know until after RS spends a day in the cockpit locker, cursing, and hooking up the other end. Stay tuned.

Lots of cruisers work a lot harder than we do, and their boats are ticky-boo. We read a lot. I made chocolate chip cookies this week. Apparently you can use them as currency with other cruisers. I'm hoping Paul will come over and clean off the streamers of green that we're trailing from the water line.

We went to the airport on Monday with Paul and Denise to pick up their daughter Prentiss. Randy had ordered some charts from Bluewater, and so we headed to the Customs Office to pick them up while we waited for Prentiss's plane. The office is locked, so you have to go over to Arrivals to hunt up someone. A lovely young lady saunters across the dusty road to the Customs Office, unlocks the place, sits behind the desk at the door, and you hunt for your parcel. Two parcels for R. Sherman were found filed between "F" and "G". In every office in at the airport (and at Immigration in town) there's a whacking great new TV, which the employees watch all the time while they are in the room. While we were hunting for our charts at Customs, I was able to explain to Paul how "Let's Make a Deal" works. He had some real trouble with the Showcase Showdown logistics, but by the time we'd filled out the forms and Randy had gone next door to get a photocopy of our cruising permit to file (again) with Customs, Paul was down with the whole concept.

The trip to the airport was enlivened by Gregory, our cab driver. In the Bahamas, your cab driver takes you out, and hangs around until your peeps arrive and you're ready to head back to town. The plane was delayed, so we all had lunch together. Nice guy, snappy dresser, great car.

We motored back to Kidd Cove on Friday - as close as you can get to town - to stock up. Did what we could, but by about mid-afternoon, we were thunking on the bottom and we hauled anchor and headed across the harbour for deeper water. The folks from another CDN boat, Polar Bear, were chasing us out in their dinghy, and grabbed onto our rail and caught a much dryer ride across the harbour than they might have had. And they got a cookie. We'll head back again Saturday, stock up and vacate again. Phew.

Food. Always an issue. Paul says that he was told to carry a spoon in his pocket when going to town in case there was ice cream to be had. The entire chip/tortilla chips/pretzel/cheezie/etc section at the market could be stacked on a small couch and consumed by six teenagers during one bad movie. We crave potato chips and tortilla chips. One day, everything that they had to offer was "made with REAL Cheddar Cheese!!!" I've been eating salted soy nuts that I stocked up on in Florida. I really like them, but Randy calls them dust nuts. If you're going to do this sort of trip, make sure you have the snack issues covered.

We're still looking at some of the canned goods we bought, and saying, hmm. Canned peas have not improved since I was a child. The pictures on the label are green and perky. The peas are grey and salty. Spinach in a bag will last until you're sick of it, then it will go slimy, and you can bin it. Rice is good. Eggs is good. All the fruit juice you mix with rum is full of vitamin C. Grapefruit for breakfast makes sense when you can sit in the cockpit and scoop it up in the bright sunshine. They don't have tonic here, or viable mushrooms, or much in the way of tropical fruit. We did get tomatoes today, and green bananas, and one perfect avocado (1.95).

What else. There's been a bit of a tempest about flag etiquette for the cruising boats. Pedro, of Pedro's Conch Shack (on Volleyball Beach), took issue with one of the boats who was flying a US flag higher than the Bahamian courtesy flag, and there was an unpleasant confrontation. A cruisers' representative tried to sort it out with him, but some boaters were angry about him being angry about the perceived slight. The discussion on the VHF has been interesting. Not altogether flattering in terms of the behaviour of the visitors. A quick review of Bahamian history might be a good idea. We're guests here now, and at other times, the colonial influence was terrifically damaging, murderous, so we should be doing backflips to indicate goodwill at this point.

Another gorgeous day in the Exumas: winds have dropped to about 15 knots, east north east, a few puffy clouds, and temps will be mid-70s to low 80s, as usual. It hasn't rained for more than 30 seconds all month. Next stop, Long Island, probably Monday.

Lots of pictures below. Send email.

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