Our stay in Farmers Cay was mostly utility: resting up, catching up on blogging, etc. On our last day everything seemed to happen. Dave and the “boys” from Pura Vida and Lost Puppy hired some locals to take them out lobstering to teach them how to use the Hawaiian sling. I placed a grocery order with the mail boat, since the local shops carried only scant groceries. Then we finished out with a group dinner of the guys’ fresh catch. It was a fantastic day, but I was getting worried that the mail boat wouldn’t show up until the next day, delaying our trip to Georgetown.
In the “Waterways Guide” to the Bahamas, I read about placing your grocery order through the mail boat. I was nervous and unsure how to go about it, but Terry at Ocean Cabin (where we were moored) assisted me. He gave me the email address to place the order. I asked if there was a catalog or website to choose items from and he laughed and said that it was not that sophisticated. I was simply to email my grocery list and they would see what they have. Interesting.
On Monday I emailed my order, mentioning Ocean Cabin and requesting a confirmation as Terry advised, and waited. He phoned the service and verified that they received my order and that they were looking to see if they could fill it. Monday evening I radioed Ocean Cabin to see if they had received confirmation, but they still hadn’t heard anything else. Tuesday morning I checked in and still nothing, nor Tuesday evening. Oh boy.
Our weather window for Georgetown was Thursday morning, so I kept asking when the mail boat was due and everyone agreed it SHOULD come on Wednesday. There are no guarantees, though. In the meantime, there was a boat that had broke free of its anchor and ended up on the rocks. It had been holed and was taking on water. Many of the men in this small town was recruited on Wednesday to assist the salvage vessel suggested by the US Coast Guard. This meant a change of plans for the boys’ lobstering trip, but someone else was recommended to take them.
While the guys were gone, Cherie, Mom, and I went to the Farmers Cay Yacht Club for lunch and Internet. I finalized and scheduled a few more blogs while waiting to hear that the mail boat was in. I never heard. We returned to the boat to hear and laugh at the guys’ stories… and still no mail boat. I checked in and no one had heard anything. So I may or may not have an order on the boat that we may or may not be delayed for. Ugh!
We potlucked the side dishes to go with the lobster and, shortly after I finished cooking, I saw a huge boat coming inside the pass from Exuma Sound. I jumped for glee and called out that the mail boat was coming in.
Ian and Jennifer, a Canadian couple on Lost Puppy, just showed up on their dinghy and Michael and Cherie from Pura Vida were due soon. The mail boat anchored not far off from our boat, so we watched as the ferry boat and several personal dinghies went out to meet it. It was cool watching the crane lift, maneuver, and lower the cargo from ship to small ferry. As soon as the cargo was all loaded onto the ferry (or divvied out to the people on their dinghies), the ferry untied from the mail boat and the mail boat raised its anchor. No time was wasted! I told them not to wait for us and Mom and I jumped in the dinghy to follow the ferry boat to the dock.
Chaos ensued at the dock. After tying up to another dock, I took out my camera to take pictures of the process. They had no time for that nonsense! I snapped off a quick three photos then I was forced into the foray.
I reported to the freight lady, who found my boxes, which were labeled Terry Bain. I found out he was vouching for my order. If we had taken off, he would have been stuck with my bill and groceries.
About 2/3 of the items were shipped: some fresh vegetables, butter, chicken, 2 cases of Kalik (Bahamian beer)… you know, the important stuff. I paid cash, a local carried my items to the other dock and handed them down to me, mom got into the dinghy and we rode back to the boat. It was a successful shopping trip by Bahamian standards and a pretty crazy experience for me. I love getting into the local way of life!
I also love coming back to a fun and delicious dinner with friends!