Life has slowed down considerably today, now that the 5Fs festival is finished. You’d never even know how much hubbub was here the last two days. Bob and I went ashore for a walk around the island today, and all has gone back to the slow, sleepy pace of a small settlement on a remote cay.
One of the things I expected during our travels was access to local tropical fruits. I expected to be eating mangoes and avocados everyday, as I had read about in the book An Embarrassment of Mangoes (which is about the Caribbean, not the Bahamas). It turns out that the Bahamas chain is rather desert-like and there is no organized agriculture. We have seen a few small gardens around people’s houses, but it is a hard existence for food crops. We’ve seen a lone corn plant growing out of a crack in the limestone rock back at Black Point.
Here on Farmer’s Cay we have seen the first actual lawns around people’s houses, and small ornamental gardens that look well tended. We have not seen any vegetable plots. At all the island markets we’ve seen vegetables and fruit that have had a long journey to their destination and are much the worse for wear… badly bruised fruits, tomatoes that look like they will never turn red, and most things looking rather dehydrated from travel. The crates have stamps with US locations on them. So I have not yet even had a mango or an avocado…
We have also seen quite a bit of cotton plants on this island, which is maybe the origin of its name Farmer’s Cay. Maybe this is on of those locations where colonists tried to start cotton farming. I was tempted to take a few bolls, but I restrained myself. I’ve already got some lovely cotton, already handpainted, that I can spin…
We saw a bit of song bird life today….the same little yellow breasted bird we saw in Warderick Wells, that we now know is called a ‘yellow quit.’ And we saw a humming bird! Imagine that!
Off the rocky shore near the center of town we watched a man removing conchs from their shells and then skinning them on a rock. He had his sharpening stone with him on the rock and continually sharpened his knife in order to continue cleaning the conchs, which involves cutting off the thick skin and removing the claw. He worked quickly, like a pro, which undoubtedly he is.
Just a bit further out in this same small harbor we saw three sea turtles surfacing repeatedly, and a giant ray. Such common sights for the folks who live here, and such an exotic treat for Bob and me!
We saw the little island school at the highest point on the island. It is a ‘school for all ages.’ I like that!
So far we have only seen Baptist churches on these islands, and I wonder if we will ever see any other denominations. People here take Sunday very seriously, and all businesses (except restaurants) are closed. Therefore I did not get to meet the owner of Brenda’s Kitchen.
This evening is the Super Bowl back home, and here in the Bahamas they know about it! The yacht club where we are moored is hoping to lure all the visiting Americans ashore for happy hour starting at 4pm and dinner during the game. I only saw a small old fashioned tv (meaning not flat screen) that looked about 10″ square in the billiards room off the bar. Surely, they don’t plan to use that??
I also heard Lorraine all the way from Black Point on the VHF this morning announcing her Super Bowl party with non stop happy hour throughout the game and a pig roast buffet. Now that’s one sharp business woman! I know our friends on Sea Schell and Kalunamoo will all be attending!