For the first time in a long time, I am coming to you from the same place as my last update! Sounds boring I suppose, but when that place is Georgetown, Bahamas I assure you it is far from boring. The previous weeks have been filled with family and friends, my parents and Alan came down for New Years, Kari also was down for a couple weeks, and Kari was the last one to go on the 9th . It was awesome having everyone here, and I hope some more of you find your way down.
With all the family here we filled our days with lunches on hamburger beach and at the Chat and Chill, enjoying Kalik on the beach, taking the Hobie cat out for short sails, making fools out of ourselves on the volleyball court (although the Rawlings team whooped up on Hanz Solo and his cronies), and generally exploring the island. The cruisers around here form an amazingly eclectic group, consisting of retired doctors on million dollar yachts, old salties who have been living on their tiny boats for decades, you have the organizers, the moochers, the fishermen, the divers... it is a crazy mix of people. There are an amazing amount of Canadians in the harbor, I still haven't quite figured out why yet, but I do know that every one of them has a few screws loose upstairs, perhaps even more than most cruisers, which is saying a lot. It appears that the group which we came into the Bahamas with was a great group to get in with. Hanz is widely known as the crazy creepy old man in town, and is always doing crazy stuff just for a laugh, yesterday morning he came over the radio saying he had a small child's life jacket and invited any “young mothers” to come to his boat to claim it, he has a fishy conversation every morning on his “secret channel”with a fellow Canadian about going on “hikes” before volleyball, and saying hike with the kind of emphasis that lets you know that they intend to do nothing of the sort... we all know what goes on. And Whistling Winds, who also came in with us, are the organizers of all the cool stuff that goes on. Willis hosts the poker tournament every Monday and Thursday, Kathy just had a Trivia night that we kicked butt in last night, they have run the morning announcements every morning. They are like microcosmic celebrities out here, and I am in the entourage.
Christmas was spent with family, we had a lovely dinner in my Aunt and Uncle's condo, my mom brought something like 24 dozen cookies, there was a Christmas eve show on volleyball beach, the highlight of which was our own Geneva and Erin along with the kids from Rio Dulce doing boating-modified carols on stage. It was best in show for sure. Down here in the Bahamas they have a celebration called Junkanoo on the night of Christmas day, the festivities don't really get going until 3 am, so my dad, Alan and I got up at 4 and walked into town where we walked into the back of a parade group, bass drums pounding, 10 foot headdresses flowing, whistles blowing, trumpets blaring, everyone dancing, it was a pretty amazing spectacle. They have 7 groups which compete, each group parading down the mile of road that is the heart of Georgetown twice throughout the night. It was really cool to walk around and see everyone so into the music and in the mood of the night, it made me feel like such a tourist because I really didn't understand the intent, it didn't have meaning to me, at least not nearly to the extent that it did to the locals, it was certainly a sight to see though.
When Kari came in I took a taxi out to the airport and made friends with the taxi driver, Forrester Rolle, taxi 24, he bought me a beer at the bar while we waited for Kari. It was great to see her after being apart for so long, I wish I had a picture of the 2 foot wide grin on her face as she rounded the corner, I know I had one on too. Over the next few days we went on many adventures through town and on the islands, having a lunch in the park one day that consisted of chex mix, ice cream, and a bottle of rum, now that is livin it up Bahamian style. New Years was quite uneventful, we skipped the New Years Junkanoo due to a downpour, but we stayed up for a New Years toast and then hit the hay. A couple nights later there was a meteor shower, Kari and I saw 50 meteorites in 20 minutes, and in the star saturated skies over the ocean, it was an amazing sight to see.
We went snorkeling one day on the outer reefs of stocking island, it was a great day and I speared a nice sized lobster which we later whipped up into a scrumpdelicious lobster alfredo. That was good eatin. The most exciting part of the snorkeling experience, however, was when I glanced over to see a good 7 foot bull shark gliding past the reef. I wasn't too worried until I pointed it out to Kari, and right when I did it took a sharp turn right for us, it approached until it was probably about 20 feet away and then turned again to continue on its way. That was awesome. We also saw another smaller one the next time we went snorkelsploring, and I grabbed the tail of a huge stingray thinking it was a piece of metal poking out of the sand... oops... apparently I have better dodging skills than Steve Irwin.
A few days ago I sent Kari off, it was a pretty heart wrenching moment to send her though those gates, good thing Forrester was there to buy me a Kalik before we headed back. So now with nobody around but the ol' grandparents and Mark, I have time to do things such as sit around and type up blogs, write letters, go on shell finding expeditions, so if you haven't yet, send me your address so I can mail you random crap. Zack, you should brace yourself for what I sent you back with Kari... well... its a baby shark. Its dead. Note: I will not (necessarily) send you a baby shark if you give me your address.
GO STEELERRSSSSS WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! There is a bar down here where we can watch the games and it is awesome. Proud to be a Pittsburgher.
And I have successfully written another ridiculously long blog, again I apologize. And the pictures are coming, I swear. I have a few more underwaters I didnt get up before of Thunderball cave and whatnot, there are some more amazing photos waiting. So, until next time... make good decisions.