We’re still in the bustling metropolis that is Green Turtle Cay. As a point of reference, it’s got 5 times the population of Staniel Cay in the Exumas (450 residents vs. 90), and it shows. Each cay has 3 grocery stores, but the ones on Green Turtle are actually open during posted hours, and the shelves don’t look like the day before a blizzard in Maryland. There is a liquor store here (that has Gosling’s, thank goodness), and many restaurants. The marinas here don’t kick you off the docks when there is to be a west wind – which will become very important to us next week.
(We are currently on a mooring in Black Sound, but we can only get in and out of Black Sound at high tide, which does not coincide with an early morning departure next Wednesday – which we have to do in order to time our journey back to Florida during the next available weather window. So we are planning to move to a marina in White Sound Tuesday night. White Sound has a dredged channel which allows to move regardless of the tide.)
By the time we leave Green Turtle Cay, we will have spent a total of more than a week here between our southbound stay and the current one. And it’s truly a delightful and convenient – yet laid-back – place to hang for a while. Although it has many amenities that appeal to us, Green Turtle nevertheless retains a timeless charm.
Be sure to look both ways, lest you get run over by a turtle (left). As for all those helmets, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who has noticed that plastic helmets seem to be a popular item of flotsam on the ocean beaches.
One manifestation of that is the playful colors of the cottages and bungalows all over the island.
Of course, that is not just a Green Turtle thing. Governor’s Harbour (Eleuthera) has its fair share of pretty pastel houses.
And Hopetown on Elbow Cay (Abacos) might be the champion.
In Hopetown, even the interior of the lighthouse is a cotton candy pink.
Just had to slip in a beauty shot of Calypso while I’m at it….
However, I daresay Hopetown has gotten a bit too crowded for me, while Green Turtle retains a slow pace (it’s a little harder to reach, as well, which may have something to do with it).
While we wait for some potent weather to pass through, the weather has been tantalizingly fair. So we have taken advantage of it to do some exploring by dinghy. After my intense study of the charts, I identified a beach on the west side of Green Turtle as a likely spot for my relentless hunt for sand dollars.
I don’t imagine anyone will give me a grant to study what makes a beach good for shelling or treasure hunting. It’s too bad, really, because I’d be very good at doing it professionally.
While I may have miscalculated as far as sand dollars go, it turned out to be a rich hunting ground for other treasures of the beach.
Yesterday’s shell, sand dollar and sea biscuit take. As with cottages, I’m especially taken with the littlest ones, like those itty bitty sea biscuits.
We’ve also done some running (Rick), paddling (me) and hiking, finding our way to a pretty ocean beach this morning.
The water is much chillier now than it was in December, when we were here last. But it’s still eye candy.
For entertainment, we’ve had dinner with Berwick and Alexis of the trawler Moondance – the food at the Green Turtle Club has risen to a level where it would pass muster in a good-sized US city (I had a tuna sashimi and watermelon appetizer that knocked my socks off). And this afternoon, Rick and I went to the Leeward Yacht Club for lunch and a performance by Brown Tip.
Brown Tip exemplifies a sort of island entrepreneur we’ve seen much of in the Bahamas, as he fills many roles. We first met him because he was our diver, installing doo-dads under the boat for us. He also served as our lobster purveyor. And today, he wore his hat as a rake-and-scrape musician.
Brown Tip, playing his saw and singing at the Leeward Yacht Club.
This afternoon had the Bahamian vibe I will miss greatly once we leave. A lazy Sunday afternoon, on the water, under a blue sky with a refreshing breeze. Comings and goings, Abaconians and visitors (both boat people and land-based), black and white, mingling easily. A little girl dancing to the music and splashing around in the pool. Local music as a background to local food, vying with the deranged crowing of those damn roosters.
After nearly 4 months in the Bahamas, I have hardly had my fill.