shopping in the Bahamas. You eat what they have.

It’s Monday morning here in Great Harbor Cay and there is a lot less wind than yesterday.  A front came through early yesterday morning and with it came sustained 25-30kts of wind out of the west and northwest.  While Pandora is tied up to a dock in a protected harbor, we are on the most exposed slip and with a 1/4 mile fetch behind us, the wind kept us straining at the dock all day long.  The wind was humming in the rigging, no make that full throated singing, all day long and I worried that we might chafe through one or more of our lines.   I see from the weather report that a repeat performance is in the cards for Tuesday so we had better enjoy today’s lighter winds.
Yesterday’s front was a particularly strong one and added some extra “excitement” to yet another challenging weather season here in the Bahamas.  Our friends Maureen and Bill, who are in the Caribbean say that this as additional evidence that we should just give up on the Bahamas and take Pandora further south to the Caribbean were the winds are much more consistent and fronts are not as threatening.  I guess we will just have to see what the future brings.

Our thoughts have begun to turn toward when we will be leaving Great Harbor Cay Marina to head south to the Exumas, the central Bahamas.  Brenda and I have been invited to visit Over Yonder Cay again, the private island that we visited two years ago and we want to be sure that we leave plenty of time to fit that in on our way south.

I expect that we will leave here next weekend or so after our two week stay is up here at the Great Harbor Cay Marina and head to Nassau to re-provision and then jump down to Over Yonder Cay.   With all the fronts that have been coming through, it would be nice to time our arrival when another front is forecast to take advantage of the perfect protection that OYC’s private harbor provides.  Our friends, Ethan and Jamie, who work on the island, have a new baby boy so it will be very nice to see their growing family.  Of course, Diesel their dog is a draw too.

One big part of coming to the Bahamas is preparing for the much more limited provisioning options available, especially in the out islands.   Everything that comes here arrives by “mail boat” that stops once a week.  In the case of Great Harbor Cay, that’s on Wednesdays, weather permitting.

Living in the U.S., we have become accustomed to near instant availability of most any consumer item one could wish for so a visit to the market in the Bahamas can be a sobering experience.  No Amazon Prime in these parts.

This is the local market, liquor store and bar all wrapped up into one.  Not exactly a Walmart Superstore.The selection of produce.  Let’s just say it’s somewhat limited.  This is the entire produce section in the market with the exception of a few items kept in the fridge, such as lettuce.  I think that they had four heads of romaine, actually. How about the refrigerated section?  Lot’s of eggs, butter and oddly, Snapple.
Interestingly, as a past British Colony, some of the most reasonably priced items are biscuits from the U.K. and most places carry a pretty good selection.  Don’t plan on buying cereal as it’s about $10 per box.  PopTarts?  Try $8 a box.  There is a 40% duty on imported goods and a new 15% VAT on top of the cost of shipping the items in.  There’s no income tax though.  I wonder how many accountants there are in the Bahamas.  Not many, I expect. Wednesday night is pizza night at the marina and this is what a $30 calzone looks like.   However, $30 or not, it fed us for three meals.  After finishing off the calzone on the third day, Brenda and I needed a walk., several actually.  Along the way we crossed a bridge.  The water is beautiful where it runs under the road.  This is the view toward the mangroves.  Because of the rushing water it’s scoured out quite deep near the bridge.You can’t tell from here but on the other side of the bridge the current really rips.Today we plan to head to the beach and lunch at the beachside cafe.  Like most every other place here, the menu is pretty limited.  However, they do make a mean hamburger. And, the view of the ocean there is terrific.

And that’s my report.

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