Duncan Town

Wednesday April 17, 2013

  4.17.13

A week and a half after leaving Long Island, we finally made it to an island with civilization. Not counting our new French friends we encountered on Flamingo and Double Breasted Cays, but an actual town where people live and there are markets and restaurants, and can I even hope, a bar? Having gotten used to the calm anchorages at Double Breasted, we picked the only spot in the area that we thought would give them to us near Duncan Town. Ragged Island, on which the town is located, didn’t have anything for us but Hog Cay just north of it did. We were back to our old tricks of no engine use, and with four tacks just through the bay alone we tucked ourselves into a spot just before we got in shallow enough to run aground. Since we gave ourselves a chance to sleep in and didn’t leave early in the morning, even though we only had ten miles to travel, we got to Hog Cay late enough in the afternoon that we didn’t want to go rushing into town and decided to save it for the next day. That left us the rest of the afternoon for….projects.

Mine was, ugh I hate to even think about it, sewing. Matt’s was to go about trying to fix all the leaks that we’ve been getting on the boat lately. They never happen when it rains, only when we’re bashing into waves and only on the side that’s underwater. We’ve (he) determined that it’s the plugs on the toerail where the screws are, so now he has to drill them all out and re-bed the screws with more butile tape. Since the project I was forced into causes lots of frustration I decided to pull out a can of Lo Carb Monster I’d been saving since St. Augustine to help ease the pain. (Ever want to become my best friend? Buy me a can (or a case) of that stuff) Back in Long Island I had gotten the piece of fabric connecting our bimini and dodger done enough that it could zip on to each part, but then I was left with extra fabric flapping on the sides. It did it’s job giving full shade to the cockpit, but it looked terrible. So I spent the rest of my afternoon, pinning and unpinning fabric, marking it, and then taking it all down again just trying to get it so that it wasn’t too tight and wasn’t too lose. Have I mentioned that I despise sewing?

Those are the nights I actually pray for the sun to go down quickly so my work will be done for the day. I was rewarded though with an extremely calm anchorage on a nice balmy night for a chance to sit in the cockpit with a glass of wine in my hand and earbuds in my ear while getting some work done on the computer. In the morning we packed a cooler with lunch, and since we’re still really low on supplies and were hoping this place would help us stock up a little, today’s lunch was ham with shredded cheese wrapped into a flour tortilla. The crazy meals you come up with when you’re left with nothing else.. The ride into Duncan Town was going to be a little over a mile by dinghy, racing from one island to the other and then finding a channel that would bring us the rest of the way in. Brian led the way alone in his dinghy so he could get on plane, and then the rest of us went in our dinghy with the 9.9 hp, hoping to get on plane to. After mistaking the channel entrance and bottoming out in a very shallow (dry at low tide) bay, we found the government dinghy dock and walked up a hill to the main road in town. The streets looked mostly deserted even though it was late morning, and the only sound we could hear was a lost goat calf, looking for it’s mother.

Walking one block up we found the local grocery store, but also found that it was closed up. That was fine though since we didn’t want to be hauling groceries around with us all day and we decided to force ourselves to get to the other side of the island while it was still early so we could see the Eagle’s Nest. We’d all read about it as a restaurant that was built some years back, but there was something a little odd about it. The owner had taken a crashed plane and built it into the top of the restaurant. It was a long walk, but we set off under the hot sun on the freshly paved asphalt roads. Half way along our walk we were picked up by a few locals asking where we were going and if we needed a ride. That is what I love about this place, people are so friendly and willing to go out of their way to help you out. The four of us piled our way into the back of the air conditioned Yaris and where whisked off to the Eagle’s Nest where we got out to look around. Sure enough there was a plane situated right on top of a building. It would have been fun to grab a burger and a beer there, but the restaurant had closed down a few years earlier. We instead decided to wander around the grounds, and while doing so, found the owner and builder, Percy. He was a very interesting man and we spent close to an hour talking to him about his long list of accomplishments in life. Starting from almost nothing, he’s spent his whole life working day and night and is now a big player in the real estate game, owning property in Nassau, an island in the Exumas, and one in the Raggeds. He mentioned that he’s working to get the Eagle’s Nest back open in the next few years, turning the area into a mini-resort, and we all told him we’d definitely be back to check it out once it was up and running.

Taking the long walk back into town we did find the owner of the grocery store once again and stopped in to do a little stocking up. I didn’t know what to expect from a town with 100 residents, but it looked like this was not going to be a big provisioning place for us. In the end we only left with a dozen eggs, a few apples, and a can of mixed veggies. I hope the fishing is still good until we can get back to a real grocery store, since that with rice is about all we can live on right now. (Ok, maybe if I wanted to get really creative I could riffle through our cans and fix something else) The next big thing on our list for the day was to find internet service. Besides just the little bit I had been intermittently getting on the phone, I had no way to get posts up and couldn’t even get into my email account. We were all psyched when we heard there was a nice little gazebo with service from the government building next door. I was all ready to go with a bunch of posts I had been working on at night, only to find that we couldn’t get service there. We asked someone else who told us to go to the school house, so we trekked over there and had the same issue. ‘Try the police station’, they said, so we did. No internet there, and we found out that due to a bad storm a few weeks ago, all internet services were down. As much as I love my internet and staying in contact with people, I was actually very zen about it. ‘Oh well, guess everyone will have to wait just a little longer before they hear from me’.

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walking in Duncan Town

 

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3 thoughts on “Duncan Town

  1. I have several questions. Hopefully this question doesn’t bring up bad memories but you haven’t mentioned your cat. Maybe I missed that blog entry. You still have her/him around? Also what do you do for water? Do you have a water maker? Are flying insects a problem? Are there a lot of them? What do you do for self steering? Are you all going to circumnavigate?

  2. Jerry, whew, lots of questions! 🙂 We do still have our cat and she is doing great. I think I stopped mentioning her because I thought people didn’t care about hearing about her. I have started to have a few questions raised in comments though, maybe I should start including her in posts more. We do have a water maker, an HRO that puts out 9 gallons an hour. We have a 30 gallon and a 40 gallon tank, and we usually run the water maker every 10-14 days to fill them up.
    Flying insects can or won’t be an issue depending on where you are and if you anchor or are at a marina. In the Erie Canal, they were horrible!! Then it became cold and they all died off, we really haven’t had to deal with them since. If you’re near wooded areas they’ll be worse than dry sandy areas. Anchor out and they usually won’t go that far, but we’re finding them here in the Caymans, the winds keep sending them out to us.
    For self steering we have a Raymarine linear drives, the SX10, and we use it 90% of the time while we’re sailing. Our original plan was to circumnavigate, but we only had 4-5 years to do it. After rushing down the Exumas we realized that if we did want to circumnavigate we’d be spending a good portion of our time traveling and not much time exploring the places we’d be visiting. So now we’ve x’d that plan. We’ll spend this hurricane season in the Caribbean, and then next summer head to the Med. Maybe we’ll try and squeeze the Indian Ocean in? Our plans are changing every day. 🙂

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