After getting a good night’s sleep, we decided to go ashore and have a look around. We heard there were at least a food store, bar, and restaurant on the island, so we hoped to have a nice lunch out. The wind was still howling, causing sizable waves in the bay and we had to dinghy upwind to get to the dinghy dock, of course. It was a very wet ride!
We tried heading towards shore first with the wind and waves at the side of the dinghy, which was less wet than head on, then we would follow the shoreline around. Good plan but it messed us up. First, we couldn’t get to the shoreline because there are shallow reefs all along the bay. The waves did decrease some though and we followed around until the water became too shallow to make further progress. We all had to get out of the dinghy and mom and I walked along side while Dave pulled it. Mom and I had shoes on and the bottom was silty, sucking our feet down and getting our shoes stuck. I only had flip flops on and nearly lost them, so I removed them and tossed them into the dinghy. Mom, however, had sandals that buckled on so she couldn’t easily remove them. Every step she had to pull them out and wiggle them free. A local saw our plight and pointed out a channel entrance to the dinghy dock. Because we had followed near the shore, we didn’t see it. This also meant that we couldn’t walk to the dock. It dropped off just before, so we had to hop back in at the last moment and motor across the last several feet. Oh well, we eventually made it and took heart in knowing that leaving would be much easier. Now, when I say dinghy dock, I am using the term loosely. It is nothing more than a sea wall with some steps leading to and from the water line. Someone did hammer in two posts on the top that we could tie our painter to, so it works even if it doesn’t appear friendly.
As we traveled from Atwood Harbour to Mayaguana, we passed a boat going the opposite route. We traded info on our destinations. He told us to follow the road to the intersection and turn left. Keep walking until we saw a yellow building. It sounded like these directions were to a bar and restaurant so that’s what we did. When we got there, the doors were locked, but someone pulled up and shouted from their car that they would get the person to open for us. Ten or fifteen minutes later, a lady walked over, greeted us, and opened the door. It appeared to be a bar, not so much a restaurant. So we asked if we could order food. She said, “Oh no, that’s my sister’s place. I only have drinks.” Starving, but knowing she made this special trip for us, we ordered a couple sodas and a beer. We asked her where the restaurant was and she told us that she would have her son, CJ, take us there in his pickup. She even called her sister to give her a heads up and took our orders. Our choices were hamburgers or chicken, both with fries. I asked if it was cracked chicken. She said, “It’s chicken.” Alrighty then. Two chickens and a burger, please. CJ and his adorable four-year-old son, Cardo, dropped us off in front of a yellow house or motel office or something. We looked at each other, shrugged, and went inside.
Inside, there was a long table that could seat eight people and a window, where it looked like we would place our order. The sister greeted us in the room, verified our orders, and offered us inside or outside seating. “Inside,” she said, “is going to get hotter when I start cooking.” It was already 80 degrees or so in there, so we opted for outside seating. She pointed to a gazebo across the yard, centered between the other houses around, where there was a square table and three miscellaneous chairs – pictured at the top of the page. There was also a long bench seat that ran the length of the gazebo on one side. This, it turns out, was hang out central, either that or spectator seating to watch the foreigners eat. But it was interesting and the people were very friendly. They exchanged gossip amongst each other in nearly unidentifiable English and shared stories with us. One guy, who made his living fishing and lobstering, even shared pictures with us of all his catches on his cell phone. Funny, Mayaguana seems so remote and bypassed by time, then someone flops out a smart phone and it brings you back into the era.