Regatta Get Outta Here

Monday April 1, 2013

The holiday weekend festivities continued today with the Long Island Easter Regatta. Stephanie, Brian, and myself were all off our boats in the late morning to make our way over to Fairhaven where Penny and John were hosting a pre-regatta get together while Matt stayed on Serendipity to get a little extra sleep. He had been up all night after this little scenario happened. Him and Brian had been out fishing, and while he went back to drop Brian off on Rode Trip I started the cleaning of the fish up on deck. I had my cutting board, fillet knife, and fish all ready to go. Having this be the first time we cleaned fish on Serendipity and knowing that Georgie would be a little curious we had locked her down below to keep her out of the way. Somehow she had jumped from I don’t even know where to out of our back hatch and onto the deck where I was busy gutting and filleting away. Around this time Matt had come back and quickly tied the dinghy off to the side so he could stick Georgie below before she ended up on the wrong end of my fillet knife. (She escaped twice more even when the hatch was closed for all but two or three inches. I swear that cat can get in and out of everywhere). Later that night after I had been exhausted from making my way to three different beaches that day I was going to bed while Matt went out to secure the dinghy on the davits. I was half asleep and in quite a daze when Matt yelled down to me “The dinghy is gone!!”.

If we were in any other country my mind might run to theft first, but we were in the safest and friendliest place you can be and the only people we had to blame for losing it were ourselves for not cleating it off properly. It was pitch black out now so there was no sense in going out to search for it, we just had to hope that the wind was moving in a direction that might wash it up on one of the little cays behind us instead of out into the Exuma Sound where it’s likely we’d never see it again. My mind raced with thoughts of where we would get a new dinghy, probably Georgetown or Nassau, what it would cost us, and what we’d be able to use in the meantime. Still exhausted from my day though it didn’t take me long to fall back asleep although Matt was up through the whole night wondering the same things that I was. I do remember having a very delightful dream where I had still been in the v-berth sleeping and Matt’s calls out to me “I can see it, it just washed up on the cay behind us”. But then I woke up to pitch black and realized it couldn’t be true since it was not yet light, and even if that were the case, he would not have been able to see it. My dreams must have been sending some powerful signals though, because once dawn did come I looked up to see Matt on the steps of the companionway with binoculars in hand saying “I think I see it washed up on the cay behind us”. He had me take a look as well and I could tell right away that it was ours. Thank God. After breakfast we had Brian come over in his dinghy to run us out there, and besides washing up on some jagged coral that did a good bit of scratching to the bottom, it was otherwise fine.

So Matt had slept off his worries, and since I had been able to do that the night before I joined a group of others to do some pre-regatta partying. About 10 of us were hauled out from Long Island Breeze to Fairhaven between a pickup truck and a minivan. Pulling up the steep driveway we were greeted by a stone wall with a beautiful wooden door, and a big sign that said ‘No Goats’. Apparently the goats that roam free on the island are always trying to get into their yard and eat up all the plants and vegetables. Taking a small tour of the yard we walked up to the house and admired the wraparound porch. It offered spectacular views of the bay below and all the little sailboats bobbing happily around in it.  Sitting around Fairhaven was a great chance to get to know a few more of the people we had met at the sunrise service the day before and also a lot of other cruisers in the bay that we had not yet met.  For a few hours we just lazed around and let the cool breeze wash over us as we traded stories and sipped on cold drinks.  When the food was gone and the drinks were getting low we piled ourselves back into the truck where we were carted back to Long Island Breeze and the regatta site.

We found some disappointing news when we got there that the regatta was actually no longer happening since so few boats were going to race that none of the locals wanted to go through the hassle of getting their boat in the bay.  It was a bit of a let down that we wouldn’t be seeing the sloops glide through the water anymore, but there was still friends and food and music to enjoy.  Buying myself a beer before Matt got there and could give me the evil eye for not saving our money after the extensive amount we had just spend in Florida and  Nassau, I relaxed at a picnic table next to the bay with Ashley and Stephanie squeezed next to me.  It was a pretty similar day to the fish fry, all of the same people in the same area doing the same thing.  At least this time we had our pre-made group of friends before we got there and tried to squeeze as many people into and onto one picnic table as possible.  A little rain passing through sent most people running for cover but now that we were in the tropics (we crossed the line on our way to Long Island), I relished a little cool down and didn’t even care that my painstakingly straight hair was now going curly again.

Listening to the beats thumping from the speakers the whole time we were sitting, I was getting a little excited to get out on the dance floor but knew I wouldn’t find a willing partner in Matt.  Stephanie and I made a pact that we’d go dance together a little later, but some errands sent her back to Rode Trip for a little bit and I thought I’d lose out.  Luckily Shiv who was sitting next to me was also keeping time to the music and and we just kind of looked at each other and were like, “Hey, let’s go dance!”.  So the two of us wandered up to the stage and wedged our way in between the locals already having a good time.  I tried to take a lead from Shiv except his feet were moving ten times faster than mine.  We twisted and turned and fast steps until the song ended five minutes later and my legs were ready to give out.  I had to wait one out before I was ready to go again and was almost relieved when an older Bahamian man cut in with me and we were able to move at a nice slow swaying pace.  When I was able to get my breath back Shiv cut in, and we spun and twirled once more until the song ended and I was drenched in sweat.  By this time all of our friends had come closer to watch the show and I staggered over to the table to pass out on the bench.  Next time I go to a rake & scrape I’ll have to be a little more selective about my dance partner so that my heart doesn’t give out on me.

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