I don't think that most people consider hurricane season to be a 'quiet time'. And hurricanes are indeed very noisy things while they're happening. It's difficult to sleep through one, for example. And we've tried. But the storms don't happen continuously and there are long stretches of calm weather between their exciting little visits. Most of the cruising crowd have been hunkered down wherever they planned to spend storm season. Daily life takes on a different pace here in Hurricane Alley for the next few months. For many of the small marinas throughout the Caribbean this is a type of temporary quiet time. Boat hulls are being repainted. Docks are being rebuilt. And we all keep a weather eye to the east.
Quiet Time sounds so much mellower than Storm or Hurricane Season, doesn't it? Maybe we could coin a new phrase, and call it Caribbean Quiet Time, or CQT. That could make a nifty t-shirt. CQT pronounced "Sea Cutie". I'm confident that somewhere in the world, and probably in the Gulf of Mexico, there's a sportfishing boat with that name already on the transom. I have the same faith that every conceivable combination of English using the word "Reel" in a logical sequence has also been painted or glued on fiberglass somewhere.
We've been spending a lot of quality time at South Side Marina this season. That's pretty logical since we keep our boat there. And it's especially logical since Bob opened his Bar. Come to think of it, we'd probably be spending a lot of time there even if we didn't keep a boat at the marina. We've got a bar three miles from the house on the same dead end dirt road that we live on. How fortuitous is that? We were walking around recently, taking photos and looking for a blog post subject that did not include sailboat DIY stuff, when we noticed that Bob had a new roof installed. I guess this must have happened while we were focused on the boat. Further investigations revealed that there have been, in fact, numerous improvements and changes since our South Side Marina post over a year ago. We've decided to do another post about our local hangout.
Bob's marked the entrance to the parking lot with a new sign and it's fairly easy to spot. It's the only surfboard in the entire neighborhood sunk upright in a white concrete dinghy by the side of the road. I think Bob should paint those rocks blue, right under the concrete dinghy. With some white wave froth trim.
It also has a sign on it that says "Bob's Bar" and states that the hours are from 5 until 9. We'd agree that the bar doesn't open until 5, normally. But that 9:00 closing time is completely arbitrary. It all depends upon who's at the party, Bob's mood and who's asking.
You can see that there are new lights delineating the parking area. And there are wooden railings between the lights in addition to the new stone and paving work that Dooley is suspiciously examining for his own purposes in the above photo. I'm sure you know that dogs have their own species specific cultural christening rituals, which are apparently independent of human opinions and convention. I think Dooley accepts a level of responsibility in maintaining the integrity of his cultural heritage. We don't have fire hydrants here, and well, a new post is a new post. He's going to have to learn to pace himself, and ration his water.
Speaking of water, Bob's been working on ideas for collecting some of the fresh water that runs off of this parking lot during rain storms. And we do get rain this time of year. Tropical Storm Cristobal recently dumped 17 inches of rain on Providenciales in 36 hours. Bob's already calculated how many thousands of gallons of rain water will be running down his new driveways. He's designed in some of the plumbing for collecting it already. The dark slash across the concrete is a steel grate over a PVC gutter.
The next step is to decide the best place for a large cistern to store all of that water instead of letting it all just run back into the sea. That's the tidal salt water of Juba Salina in the background of this photo, and of course once all that lovely fresh rain water reaches the ocean, the game's over and it's pretty much useless for irrigation. Unless one is growing seaweed, I suppose. I don't think Bob's interested in seaweed. In fact I don't know why he wants to collect and store hundreds of thousands of gallons of rainwater. Knowing Bob, he has a reason. I'll ask him.
We found ourselves traipsing all around snapping photos in the mid day sun, and I think it was about at this point that we realized that it was a perfect day to put up a kite for some aerial photos. The kite was already on the boat here at the marina. And it's hard to beat weather like this. Mostly clear skies, light winds, and very quiet these days at South Side Marina. CQT.
It didn't take long to grab the kite and Go Pro camera. Another benefit of this kite aerial photography simplicity is quick mobilization. I had one battery to worry about in the camera, but the kite, string, and wind are still independent of AA or LiPO cells. I've been looking for an excuse to go fly a kite again, and Bob's new roof sounded good enough. Yes, you know things are pretty slow when a new roof is sufficient justification for a photo safari. CQT.
We started in the parking lot, and obviously the osprey eye view photos do a much better job of describing the improvements than I was doing verbally. I guess that's one of the reasons we like these low level aerial photos. We managed to get the sign, driveway, drain, lights and railings all in one. I'll mutilate a well known phrase and say something about a picture being worth a thousand keystrokes, backspaces, reformats and corrections.
Can you spot Dooley the Delinquent in this photo? No, he's not driving.
It's easy to see that the marina itself is sparsely populated as compared to mid-winter's busy time. There are normally four to six masts sticking up in the air here, instead of the single little short one on Twisted Sheets and the two on Bob's boat Valhalla. The dive boat operators are still working, with the summer bringing some of the best diving of the year. That's why they're not in these photos. They were out diving at this particular time on this particular afternoon on this not particularly particular little island. This is a pretty good shot of South Side Marina from the western edge, too. I think we managed to get the whole kit and kaboodle on that one.
Here's just one of many views we got of Bob's New Roof. I thought I should post at least one photo of it, since it served as our excuse for flying the kite in the first place. It's a nice roof, too. He went from asphalt shingles to a standing ridge aluminum design. He says the house was immediately several degrees cooler inside.
These images were taken with a GoPro Hero + Black Edition. It's supposed to have better resolution than the previous versions. I notice that I can make out the individual Bocce balls at the near end of the court. That's pretty good. We're still waiting on delivery of our Pocket Drone, by the way. Soon, we hope.
We strolled around the marina for a while tied to the kite and letting the camera snap a few hundred photos. We decided to see if we could get a better photo of the entrance to the marina and canal system. That point of land I circled in this next photo was our destination. It was a nice day for a little hike. Just La Gringa, Dooley, me and an armful of kite, string and camera.
And on that note, I think I will end this post and get it published. I know it's been a long time since our last one and I'm trying something new. I'm using Blogsy to write on an iPad tablet instead of a PC. I lost two computers this year and I'm looking for alternatives. I love the portability of the iPad, and the availability of waterproof housings for it. As we start spending more and more time on the boat this coming winter I think the ability to grab a few photos and jot off a blog update will be nice. Yeah, I know. How many times have I said that already? But I have hopes for that approach now. I just have to make the changeover from PC to iPad. Then, hopefully, this blog will morph into something a little more fluid.
I'll end this one with a sunset photo, and a promise to get busy on the second half of this post any minute now. The next part will have pretty water photos in it. And I'll get right on it. Well, any day now. I promise.