It’s Saturday morning and Brenda and I are chilling out at Over Yonder Cay. It’s pretty windy so we are pinned to the dock and couldn’t leave even if we wanted to, which we don’t.
The wind is blowing about 20 from the east but it should ease up in a day or so. For now, it’s shore time for us. Tonight we will cook out at the pavilion near the beach, a beautiful spot with a great kitchen and it’s NOT BEING USED so we can hang out there all by ourselves. Brenda tells me that dinner will be flank steak, smashed twice baked potatoes and grilled veggies. Yum.
Last night we were visited aboard Pandora for dinner by Ethan, Jamie and their new baby Levi as well as Jamie’s mother Sherry . Levi was so good. So was everyone else but you know how babies can be when grownups keep them out too late. Brenda doing her thing practicing at being a grandmother when Levi finally decided to cry a little. I expect that he saved his full wail for when his parents finally decided to go to bed. Better them than me. Been there, done that. Such a good baby. Love the camo pants. Ethan gave me a tour of the island today. I was particularly interested in the new RO system that they just installed last week. It’s just huge. This is the flow meter showing that it is producing 48 gallons per minute. Amazing. That means that the capacity of the system is 70,000 gallons per 24 hours. No need to ration water here. No kidding. The system aboard Pandora only generates 6 gallons per hour. Actually, that’s more my speed and a lot more pocketbook friendly.
And, all of the power for the island comes from solar and wind. There are three huge turbines and about 1.5 acres of solar panels. While most of the power comes from solar, I personally just love the turbines. They make a gentle (well, gentle for something two hundred feet tall) whooshing sound. They have backup generators but they only get used a few times per year. But hey, when you need em, you need em. The island also consumes a great deal of manpower with about 30 people working on most any day. Each morning at about 06:30 someone from the island takes a skiff over to the local settlements, Black Point and Staniel Cay to pick up about 20 day workers. And, as an added bonus, if you work here you are fed breakfast and lunch, compliments of OYC. Such a deal.
I took a run to drop off some folks last night. What a ride. And I thought that 9kts on Pandora was fast. Can you say white knuckle?When we stopped at the dock everyone scrambled off in an instant. In spite of the bumpy ride and 40kts boat speed, everyone (but me) just casually sat on the gunnels, checking their e-mail and looking at Facebook. Dressed in only shorts and a t-shirt, I immediately realized that I had made a mistake when everyone else showed up in hoodies and wind breakers. It was pretty brisk with the 40+ kt apparent winds as we blasted along. I have noticed that when Bahamians get behind the wheel of a powerboat, the only speed that they know is “full out”. In this case, all 500 horses screaming.I guess it’s like just about like any other commute. However, for the “big kids” this is the preferred mode of transportation. I can’t say that I blame them. What a ride. And, there are two of them available at all times. It’s sort of like Enterprise Car rental for the .01%. “We pick you up.” And, they do, and in style. I understand that the plane was painted yellow by the previous owner because he flew all over South America and he wanted to have a plane that would show up as much as possible if he ended up ditching in the jungle. Good thinking. It looks just awesome. My dad would have “gone bonkers” (as he used to say) over this one.
And the pilot Scott, carefully washes down every inch of the plane (with part of that 70,000 gallons of RO water) after each flight and wipes it down with a special anti-corrosion liquid. So, what kind of anchor does a sea plane carry? Fortress aluminum, what else? You probably didn’t even know it carried an anchor anyway.
The views from the plane must look like this but from WAY higher up. I took this shot from one of the highest points on the island. Not a terribly crowded anchorage.
One of the local “residents” was quite curious as I passed by. Pandora looks just wonderful on the dock all by herself in this morning’s light. Well, by herself if you don’t count the yellow plane. What a combo. Perhaps I’ll close with an Over Yonder Cay sunset, hopefully not the last we will enjoy before we head south next week. Lots to do and explore today so I’ll sign off for now. If you feel like heading “Over Yonder”, this is the place to go.