January 2007

Fruits and Vegetables

Hello all,

We “drove” to town yesterday for supplies. This means that we jumped into the dinghy and motored approx a mile ( 2 km ) to the village. The announcement had gone out on the weather net that the mailboat had “reached” or arrived at the dock and thus there would be fresh supplies in the stores.

There are three grocery stores on Staniel Cay – the Pink Store, the Blue Store and Isles General Store. We tend to visit Isles General first and get most of our list there. Visits to the other stores may complete our shopping list or maybe not. These stores are not what you encounter in Canada. They are very small, closer to the size of a small variety store. They have a few shelves, frigs and freezers plus overflow placed on the floor. All of the meat is kept frozen. Cheeses, eggs, milk and some vegetables are kept in the frig.

The customers help to unload the supplies from the truck and carry them into the store. It makes them available faster.

Sometimes there is fresh bread and sometimes not. Yesterday was a not. So, one of my jobs soon will be to bake us some bread. I made English Muffins the other morning while Murray was helping another cruiser with a project on their boat.

So, back to the shopping. I got most of the things on my list – 1 dozen eggs, 3 tomatoes, 1 green pepper ( all that seemed somewhat fresh ), a bunch of bananas, a head of cabbage, 3 grapefruit and 2 potatoes. The total cost was $18.50 US. I think the price of fruits and vegetables are fairly reasonable. It is just snack stuff or prepared items that are very expensive. The bread that I couldn’t get would have cost $5 a loaf. A box of crackers is $6. And I don’t even look at the price of cookies or muffins. Those I make myself, if we want them.

Luckily, we carry all the snack stuff that we think we will need for the winter months. Can you imagine? Trying to figure out how many boxes of crackers, nacho chips, salsa, nuts, etc that you may want to eat or use for entertaining? Basically, we carry as much as we can. When we are out, that is it.

Tonight, there will be a beach party. Now, what to take……?

Hopefully, all is well up there and the next time you go grocery shopping, look around and appreciate the choices that you have.

Hugs from, Murray & Heather

Staniel Cay

Hello everyone,

We safely arrived at our favourite spot in the islands on Jan 6th. Now we are anchored here, off of the Pig Beach, with about 40 boats anchored nearby and the wind howling in the rigging. The pigs are new ones but they still learn to swim out to the dinghys which bring table scraps in for them to eat. The wind has been 20+ knots for the last three days and is scheduled to continue for another three days. Oh well, we have lots of power from the wind generator.

On Jan 2nd, we hauled anchor and motorsailed to Nassau, where we stayed only one night. Arriving mid-afternoon, we ran around and did the errands necessary to depart in the morning. Another case of rum and some veggies and we were good to go. In the morning, we were able to sail all of the way to Norman’s Cay, in choppy seas on the shallow banks. Fishing lines were deployed on all of these trips, with nothing to show for it. At Norman’s, we anchored off of the west side and had a comfortable night. But, the next couple of days, Heather suffered from a stomach flu bug of some sort and managed to pass it on to Murray, as well. We did travel for short hops in the afternoons but basically laid low and took it easy.

Between stomach flu and chest colds, this winter so far has been the worst in a while for sickness. Murray is still coughing at times from his bronchitis.

Now we are doing the cocktail party rounds, beach parties and even a pig roast scheduled. Snorkel trips take place whenever the weather allows. Oh, the water temperature is 78 degrees F or about 25C! Not too hard to take. When we need a change, we head to the village for fresh supplies or a burger at the Yacht Club. Or to use the wireless there as well.

And this is the year of the green flash! We have seen 5 already! Using the binoculars makes them even more visible than ever. But even with the naked eye, there have been some beautiful, very GREEN, flashes. A friend told us of the Christmas star and we have even seen that. It was in the southeast sky, about 30 degrees above the horizon and very bright ( with us at position 24 degrees Latitude ). With the naked eye, it appears to twinkle a lot. With binos, it gives off red and green flashes but does not move as a plane would. According to the friend, it spins so very quickly that it emits these colour flashes. It was beautiful to see.

Otherwise, there is not much excitement here. A quiet life aboard, reading books and watching movies until the wind dies down somewhat. Hopefully, life is treating you well up north and you are able to keep warm and healthy.

Hugs to all, Murray & Heather

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