Thursday, April 7, 2011

Exumas Part 3

What was supposed to be 2 days at Emerald Bay Marina turned into three. Wow, this place was great with all its amenities. I spent the better part of one day taking advantage of the free front loading washers and got all the blankets and comforter washed and packed in plastic as we won’t need them anymore this season. We took advantage of the showers as this is the first time to have a real shower since the day we first arrived and stayed in Green Turtle at the marina. I can say mine were 15 minutes minimum with what seemed like endless hot water. When we had arrived here we met up with s/v Evensong that had been here several days waiting on some crew to come in so they could make tracks to Puerto Rico in order to store the boat for the season and head back home. Dirk & Dan spent their last day of lobstering together and ended up with one apiece. Only 2 more days were left in the season and Dirk was hoping for a bigger ending but he wasn’t complaining. We spent as much time with Ruth & Dan as we could before they took off and on the 30th they broke free of the dock and said farewell. With tears in our eyes we wished them fair winds and at least a fist full of water under their keels. As they motored out of the marina we knew we were going to miss them as they had become good friends. After they left, Dirk decided that he wanted to get in one more hunt, after all tomorrow concluded the season and he just felt like there were more out there to be had. Since Dan was gone it was up to me to go with him. I never like him to go on his own as you never know what else he might encounter. We ended up heading a bit down the coast and he found a shallow reef which yielded the biggest slipper lobster he has gotten and a decent spiny lobster. After that all he saw were small ones which would be safe until next year. We then headed back to the spot that Dan and Dirk had hit the day before and I don’t think Dirk was in the water 5 minutes before he popped up with his second biggest of the season. I told him that would be a great one to end the season on but he asked for 5 more minutes. After bagging another within a couple minutes he finally climbed back in the dinghy feeling good that now his season could end. So once we got back to the boat he tallied up the final count and concluded that the final score was 36. Not too shabby if I say so myself. Lucky for us we have the Engel freezer and we have our limit of ten frozen for later consumption. The biggie had a 10 in tail and the small one was right at 6 with the slipper and other lobster falling in between
Here is Dirk getting his photo op with the last catch of the season

On the 31st we decided it was time to head to George Town so we filled up our water tanks which by this time were getting fairly low and gave the boat a quick wash down as it had been some time since we had any rain. Dirk topped off the diesel at $5.40 a gallon and gas at $5.60. Good thing we are a sailboat as I would hate to see the damage some of these power boats do to their accounts to fill up. We pulled out of the slip and headed for points south and ended up anchoring at Monument Beach. The George Town area is supposed to be alive with many daily activities and we wanted to check it out and see what it was all about. Tuesdays and Thursdays are Texas Holdem poker nights so once we set the anchor our first order of business was to see what time this started and where. We got cleaned up and headed over looking forward to be playing once again. We belonged to a poker league back in Alabama and it had been some time since we actually had played in a tournament. It’s a $5.00 buy-in with pay outs to the top 5 players. We had 54 players and it took some time to get my bearings back but soon enough I was feeling comfortable. There were the usual donkeys (people who will bet on anything) and some good players out there. Dirk and I managed to both make it through the first round to color up and after the break it seemed they were dropping like flies. Soon we were down to 10 players and headed to the final table. Yea, I had made the final table but shucks Dirk was out. The pressure was on and after sitting down I realized I was the short stack with the target on my head. I had no choice but to pick a hand and go with it. I ended up with top pair but with a small kicker which gave another player the pot. Oh well, such is life, but it was a nice evening of entertainment and for 5 bucks I’m not complaining. The next day we decided to re-anchor in front of Volley Ball Beach so we wouldn’t have as far to go in the dinghy. View from the boat looking at Volley Ball Beach and Chat & Chill Bar We heard that regulation volley ball started at 1 and fun volley ball was at 2:30. Dirk was hoping to get in on the regulation game and went a little early to see what it would take. One of the guys set out and gave Dirk a chance to play which made him a very happy camper. He fit in well and ended up playing all the regulation games. Once the “fun” volley ball started they wanted me to play but with my carpal tunnel in my wrist I dared not as I knew it would take one hit to cause me a world of hurt. Every day since, Dirk has been heading in to play with the guys and since he is an active type of person he is loving it. There is a bit of a community here with people that come here early in the season and stay in the same spot till it’s time to head back for hurricane season. Every day you see the same people which makes for getting to know people easier. On Sunday they have a pig roast which seemed to bring lots of folks out along with the beautiful weather. The water temp is now close to 80 which makes me a happy camper. We had lost track of Chris & Irina on m/v Auriga once they decided to head north a bit before heading south again so Dirk called them on the phone to make sure all was well. As it turned out they were about 3 miles from George Town and would be meeting up with us at the beach later that day so we could do a little catching up. From left to right is Irina, Dirk, myself, Ruth & Dan from Evensong onboard Auriga one evening

Dirk & Chris onboard Auriga

They will be here for a while along with us so we have some time yet together. We are looking at being in this area till the end of the month perhaps taking a trip here and there to other islands close by. Until then we will continue to relax and enjoy the George Town area. As a follow up on the Panasonic camera that got water inside. We called the company as the camera was still under warranty. We had done some research on the camera and realized many people had the same problems as us as the seals apparently fail and allow for water intrusion. Panasonic has since done away with that model and now have a newer model. We explained to Panasonic that our camera was under warranty but we had no way of shipping it back till we could get back stateside. Could they please make note of our conversation as the camera warranty was up in May and we wouldn’t return until June. We even asked if we could pay full price for the newer model as it fit a little more into what we wanted and once they received our camera back if at that time they could reimburse us for the difference. They were no help saying we had to get the camera back by the warranty date and that I would be receiving a refurbished camera as a replacement, even though they knew them to be faulty. Dirk asked if he could speak to someone in charge as the customer service person had no authority to make any decisions. They told him they would speak to a higher up and get back to us ASAP with an answer. Once we didn’t receive any email reply we decided enough was enough. We found someone to return the camera back to them and they could send the replacement to my sister’s home. They would however not be selling us a new camera now or in the future as we have decided Olympus would be the way to go. It just amazes us that especially these days companies still are so unwilling to work with you. We weren’t asking for anything for free and actually were willing to pay them more money but the reply we got when we finally did get a reply was there wasn’t anything they could do. Well there was something we could do, not buy Panasonic. Lucky for us we were in an area that we had internet and were able to do much online. There was a guy we met in Norman’s that we had dinner with one evening that was heading back to the states in order to take care of some business. He offered to bring the camera back with him in about a week if we had it shipped to his home. That’s yet another reason this lifestyle is great, you can meet someone for the first time and in an hour trust them enough to accept cameras for you and know you will see them again. Many many thanks goes out to Peter on M/Y Journey for accepting the camera and other assorted items we requested my sister send him. If there is anything we can do for you let us know. Also our friends on Auriga had visitors with them and John agreed to take the defective camera with him back to the states and get it sent in before our warranty is up. We owe him many many thanks also as he refused to take any money for his troubles. I’m sure we will see you again and hope to repay you one day. As for my sister Kathy, I don’t think I thank her enough for everything she does for Dirk & I. She handles so many things for us, all with her hectic life she has. Thank You…… So now I am once again with camera. It’s taking a little time to get use to it but I think I will like it. We ended up getting the Olympus Stylus Tough-8010. Has 14 mega pixels, HD movie taking, and can be taken 33 feet under water. Hoping to be showing some nice underwater shots soon. So until next time we will be hanging around here in George Town until the end of the month at which time Dirk’s mom is suppose to fly in for a visit. It’s nice to just relax and do day to day as it happens and with so many activities going on it can actually get hectic. So let me get to it…..

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