Yesterday morning dawned beautiful yet again:
Not every sunrise or set here is stupendous, but most of them are some degree of eye catching. There's so much sky here, it's a big canvas. And the artist knows His stuff.
The day started out with a disappointment. I got an email from Donovan at the Caicos Marina saying our boat would be ready, finally! They have had it for almost a month. Donovan told me the work was done, and he just needed the keys to sea-trial it. Of course we boogied on down to the marina with the keys hoping to bail "Cay Lime" out of the hospital. It wasn't ready for sea trials. Not even close. Donovan had some bad information from his employees, I guess.
We need our boat. We have been borrowing La Gringa's father's boat for essential trips, but basically just between Provo and Pine Cay. No exploring, no shallow water stuff. And Big John is coming in today for a couple weeks visit to his house on Pine Cay, and he rightfully wants his boat back. So yesterday, we loaded his boat up with some provisions and appliances he needs and ran them out to Pine Cay. The trip over was uneventful, as was the trip back, until we tied up at the marina.
Dwayne was standing at our slip when we got back, and the first thing he asked was whether we were "sneaking around taking photos again". Ah oh...( I thought) what's this about? Well, it turned out that someone showed the staff at Sherlock's new marina this blog. (I won't point any fingers, but I strongly suspect the person who spread the word has a nickname that rhymes with 'Fish') After a few minutes,we discovered that nobody was upset about being in the blog. In fact, after we went into Dwayne's new Marina Manager/Harbormaster office to pay our slip fees, we found Duran had scarfed one of my photos for his screen saver. So now some of the subjects of my posts are reading the posts. It's a strange feeling. Before my writing was pretty much anonymous and remote, with all the readers up in North America. But now the friends I mention are seeing what I say. I suppose I need to be more careful about what I write.
I know I have mentioned Dwayne here before, we just never had a recent photo of him to post. He is one of the first people we met after we arrived to live here in '05. La Gringa and I were hanging around Gilley's at Leeward, watching boats and people and trying to figure out how we were going to get a ride out to Pine Cay to pick up a small Boston Whaler. After a few rum punches, La Gringa started asking complete strangers if they knew anyone going to Pine Cay. Well, she ran into Joe (Hammerhead) Stubbs, who asked her if we were looking for a fishing charter. In the course of the conversation we discovered that Hammer knew La Gringa's parents, and had a hand in recommending they buy a Boston Whaler for their first boat. He told us he was hauling a bunch of people to North Caicos, and if we chipped in for gas he would divert and drop us off at Pine Cay. We went for that.
It was an exciting little trip for us, our first real interaction with local boating people here. We were in a small boat I wasn't driving, with a bunch of local people we didn't know. I am sure we were a bit of a curiosity to them, too. Two strange white people with a hyperactive little dog. That was the dog's first ever boat trip, by the way. Would have been an inconvenient time to discover he got sea-sick. Thankfully, he doesn't. He loves boats. Most white expats here would have waited for a Club boat, or just fly a charter from the airport. Not us. We decided if we were going to live here, we were going to get involved with the local culture and people. In for a penny, in for a pound.
The first thing Hammer did was head outside the reef. He was delivering a set of truck keys to someone out fishing. Then we followed a pod of dolphin around for a little while, before he dropped us off on Pine Cay. Dwayne was one of the people on the boat,taking some pool supplies to North Caicos. We have been friends ever since. And this was well before we ever met Preacher, or saw the hilarious video of Preacher and Dwayne chasing a wild cow all over Salt Cay.
We took a look at the new Marina office yesterday, and actually caught a rare moment when Ed ("Catch the Wave" charters) was smiling. He's usually too busy to smile, keeping his business running and riding herd on Trish, Christian, Joel, and Andrea. Here's Duran, Ed, and Dwayne in front of the new office:
Don't you figure Duran is about to learn about the wisdom of "Messing with Sasquatch"? He should be carefull: this is one of the rare occasions when Ed isn't limping around on crutches from his latest Evel Kneivel impersonation.
Actually the CTW staff are some of the hardest working people in Leeward. Those boats get scrubbed down after every charter. The fishing and diving equipment get washed down with fresh water, every time. Everything on the boats is kept in top condition. We have been watching them do this for over two years now, and watching their customers bring fish back with them. We have absolutely no problem recommending Catch the Wave when people ask us about a good charter company here in the islands. I figure CTW at least owes us a couple t-shirts by now, don't you?
So, although the day started on a low note with our own boat not being ready, we were able to justify a boat trip anyway. Just being on the ocean changes everything. The water was so perfect yesterday that we didn't even think to stop and take some photos of it. We were enjoying the ride and the day. And shooting the breeze with friends at the marina is one of our most favorite ways to spend the afternoon.