On our previous visit to the island, we found the food store closed. We checked when we arrived and when we left. We didn’t see anyone around, so decided to come another day to try. This time when we went ashore, Francois and Vanessa from Why Knot IV accompanied us. We warned them to go straight across and watch for the markers into the dinghy dock channel, so we didn’t worry when they zoomed across the bay full speed ahead. We drive the dinghy more conservatively, especially knowing how shallow the bay is, and arrived ten or so minutes later. As we walked toward the village, a police car stopped by us. The lady officer asked us if we were from one of the vessels in the bay. We said from two of them, she asked which ones. We told her. Then she tells us to enjoy our stay. I asked her if she knew if the food store was open. She said it should be (we had heard that the previous time from others too), but she would find the guy and make sure.
When we arrived at the store, the gentleman met us outside and invited us in. He apologized for not being there but said he also worked in the kitchen of his restaurant and ran the bar. Busy guy. (Wait! His bar was a restaurant, too? In retrospect, we should have gone there!) I wish I had taken a picture of the inside of his store. It was so typical of a Bahamian village store having one small room with one divider separating it with shelves down the walls and the divider. Half the shelves were empty, but the remaining was a miscellaneous mishmash of items. There were some great apples, questionable other produce, eggs, cake mixes, tea biscuits (which taste like unfrosted animal crackers), dish detergent and other cleaning supplies, some fishing supplies, a few auto supplies… a tiny bit of almost everything but basically nothing at the same time. We chose a few snack items and a cake mix. Vanessa took some eggs and apples. We asked if he had any fishing lures. He said somewhere; maybe his son had them – come back tomorrow and he will check. Vanessa asked if there was someplace to get fresh bread. He said he could make some – come back tomorrow.
Next we went to a restaurant and bar just down the street. It looked like a popular spot with lots of local outside working on a pig roast and several more inside sidled up to the bar. I looked around and thought, this is just a bar. Maybe the restaurant is next door? We ordered drinks and asked about food, but the bartender said, “There is no restaurant here. You have to go down the street.” But this one, unlike the other bars and restaurant, actually had a sign outside claiming it was a bar and restaurant. Hmmm. Ok, at least this time we knew where the one and only “restaurant” is. We also knew, she didn’t sell drinks at the restaurant. So I asked if we could order beers to go and she happily obliged. Toting our own drinks, we trekked over to the “restaurant” and found it locked. A lady from one of the multiple identical buildings that made it appear to be a motel passed by and I asked her if the lady who cooked would be around for dinner. The lady disappeared and returned talking on the cell phone. “She can come,” the lady said, “but she only has hamburgers today.” I asked if she still had fries, too. She did. So we ordered five burgers and fries, thanked the lady for her help, and went to wait in the outdoor seating.
Our cook showed up about fifteen minutes later and verified we were all fine with only burgers. About an hour later, the no-see-ums and mosquitoes were out in full force and it was starting to get dark, so we moved to the inside seating. It was hot and stuffy, but at least we were not getting bitten. The room became darker and darker until we could hardly see each other, so we poked our head through the order window (?) and asked if there was a light. Nope, but she could open the kitchen door. I’ll just say we had some very dim ambient lighting for dinner, which came shortly after. The burgers were good, the fries even better, and planning ahead with the beers definitely helped. Now we just had to find our way through the dark back to the dinghy docks and to our boats, which we failed to think ahead and leave lighted. Ah, yes, it was the full experience!
The next day Dave had to rush back to pick up the bread and possibly lures, because he and Francois spent too much time trying to find lobsters. At least he knew to look for the guy in the bar if the store was locked again.