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May 13th, 2014:

Marsh Harbour, Hub of the Abacos

May 8, 2014                                  (PICTURES TO BE POSTED AT A LATER DATE)
Day one at Marsh Harbour

Gary wanted to ocean fish so after breakfast we motored White Swan once again out the Man-O-War Channel. After bouncing around for a short while because the wind and ocean swells were against us, we aborted that mission. Instead, we turned the boat around and went the other way for an awesome sail over to Marsh Harbour. Sailors know they can either fight Mother Nature (done when it’s absolutely necessary) or work with her. It is much more pleasurable to work with her.

If Marsh Harbour didn’t have propane refills, easy access to a fuel dock, a hardware store, and the best grocery store in the Abacos, we probably would avoid the settlement. Also, there are quite a few nice restaurants along the harbour’s shores, making it easy on boaters who want to take a break from galley duty. There are few sidewalks in the town, but one could walk to their heart’s content as long as they stayed mindful of the busy traffic driving on the left side of the road. Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way in Marsh Harbour.

During our first evening in Marsh Harbour, Gary and I enjoyed our happy hour drink while riding in the dinghy re-familiarizing ourselves with the amenities of the harbor; after which, we went back to Chez White Swan for dinner. In the galley I found part of a tomato, a few slices of peaches, and some onion among our provisions, so I thinly diced each ingredient and added a splash of lime juice to make a salsa. (When you are living on a boat you can’t just run to the supermarket, so one learns to improvise with what’s available.) The salsa complimented soy marinated, grilled Mahi Mahi. From the previous evening’s meal, I’d kept the water poured off the garlic, onion, parsley potatoes, as well as a small amount of peas, so I used those ingredients to make a flavorful couscous. (Not much goes to waste while we live aboard White Swan. Even rinse water for the dishes is recycled to use as dish water for the next go around.)

May 9, 2014
Day two at Marsh Harbour

Desiring to use the internet, more than actually wanting to eat breakfast at a restaurant, we went to Mangoes Restaurant. I wanted to get some of our blogs posted, so Gary dropped me off at the dock at Mangoes so I could get started on my task while he went to take two of our four propane tanks to the local hardware to be refilled. (If the tanks are dropped off by 9:00 AM, they are ready for pick-up at noon. If dropped off at noon, they are ready at 4:00.)

We very leisurely ate our breakfast and sipped our second and third cups of coffee while I got the posts made to our blog (sans pics).

After dropping me off at the boat to defrost the refrigerator before re-provisioning, Gary went to retrieve our filled propane tanks. With the temps climbing during the early afternoon hours, we decided to delay our long walk to the grocery store until after 3:00. (Boring stuff, but this too is part of the cruiser’s lifestyle.)

Half way to the store, a nice lady stopped and gave us a ride the rest of the way. It’s amazing what you can learn about someone during a five minute car ride. Kathy lives beside the gas station, a block from the signal light. Yes, Marsh Harbour has a signal light – the only one in the Abacos. She makes banana bread and sells it from her home. She has chairs on her porch and invited us to stop for a rest any time. She almost lost her left leg from gangrene. Several doctors recommended amputation. Fortunately for her, she found a doctor who treated the gangrene homeopathically by packing the wound with freshly emulsified green papayas every day for 200 days. We can say what we will, but Kathy still has her faith in God, and her leg.

At the supermarket, we purchased fresh fruits and vegetables, which are luxury items in the Bahamas. That is a rather redundant thing to say because in general everything purchased in the islands is a luxury since all of it has to be shipped in, except the fresh seafood.

We treated ourselves to dinner (and internet) at Mangoes Restaurant, since we worked most of the day. Tomorrow we will play again, planning to sail to our favorite inhabited island, Elbow Cay. We plan on hanging out there for awhile at the quaint village of Hope Town.