Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amazon Adventure# 13. You gotta have Hope (Hope Town, that is.)

A walk on the wild side at Hope Town.

We meet some fellow Canadians who invite us to visit Hope Town on another nearby island where we spend New Years anchored and tied tightly into a narrow, mangrove lined channel. We visit Man o War Cay and as in Hope Town see the impact of tourism when it is too massive for small communities to absorb: lots of houses for rent, curio shops and precious few original folks around and most of them serving the tourists. Ready money yes, but they are living in an imitation copy world of the original real thing and it must be soul destroying.
Afer a visit to Great Guana Cay, we decided to finally visit Treasure Cay - that fabled place we had been trying to get to for Christmas. Something of a disappointment (we are so glad we ended up at Green Turtle Cay), as Treasure Cay is a real estate development like ones we had seen in Florida. A mangrove swamp dredged into channels and raised building lots but only a marina and shops really established and the brick lined channels empty except for Amazon swinging on her anchor.
We headed back to Marsh Harbour to see if our money from home had arrived. The rain and wind and the expensive food start us thinking that we will sail south in search of balmy weather, fresh fruit and the perfect tropical island to settle down at for a long while.
Marsh Harbour ,Man of War Cay. Elbow Cay with Hope Town.

The Journal:

We went to Hopetown to see the people we met yesterday [Dr. Ray and Cathy Heidenbeker].
Found out by co-incidence that we had arrived in their bay and went to visit. When we came back to Amazon we heard " Look-it! What a way to treat the flag! They are Canadians!" We got on the boat proudly. Gwyn.

After spongies and breakfast in bed we had coffee and went to the open beach on the windy side of the island. Mom and dad went for a walk and Anne wrote a poem, Gwyn was drawing pictures and I was making a bracelet. It was getting cold and windy so mom went shopping for groceries while the rest of us went into a straw shop that was absolutely NEAT.
Got back to the boat when "Oh no!" came from somewhere on deck. The line for the dinghy had come loose and ‘Hippo’ was on the other side of the inlet. Dad got on his swimsuit and jumped in. COLD! No, really after a while he said it was warm. He scrambled into Hippo and came back. Then we had pancakes Yaaaa!
Meanwhile it was pouring and BLOWING! Even in the most sheltered place in the Bahamas ( So Cathy H. says.) Elaine.

Jan 1st.
Dad had a bath in Hippolyta this morning as it rained so much last night it was half full of fresh water. Then after two hours of homework and then lunch we went ashore. I`m beginning to think that swimming is better than Hippolyta. If you sit on the edges you get yellow dye all over you and if you sit on the bottom you get soaked ( and blue)! You can`t win! We walked a lot today trying to find the road to the big lighthouse and then back home. (I guess you could call this boat home) Hot dogs tonite. Yeah! Anne.

Jan. 2nd.
We paraded out of Hope Harbour with our washing flying in the breeze. We smashed, crashed into the westerly wind and over the shallows to the narrow entrance to Man o war Cay. We found it crowded and lacking in good shallow sheltered spots. We anchored off the town and ‘Hippoed’ to shore. A tricky thing, as she has a slow persistent leak and bulges close to the water beneath our bottoms. We walked up the sidewalk-sized streets like ‘yer basic tourists.’ (I still feel vaguely uncomfortable and useless doing this.)
A man in a store ( Mr. Albury) told us that most of the land has been sold to Americans although there are a few fishermen and boatbuilders left. With many houses to rent and every third one a gift shop, it is a pretty, but eviscerated community.
Later we paddled madly back to Amazon in the stiff breeze and sailed deeper into the long bay looking for some shelter. The only shelter was behind a headland beside some touristy houses but a woman violently waved us away. We shrug, (She does n`t own the sea.) and tuck close into shore for the night.

An hour`s motoring and we anchored off Great Guana Cay. We found it much less touristy than Man o War ( Of course, by being there, we are changing that just a little.) We met Milo Pindar and were pleased to find his exchange library. We talked to Milo and chose books. His accent`s very typical with dropped and added H`s and slight English accent. When he talks fast he loses us! He gave each of the girls a sharks tooth to make into a pendant.

After a walk on the windward side we headed off to Treasure Cay. That fabled place we did n`t get to for Christmas.
We are anchored past the marina in a very quiet still spot. Tomorrow we will see if we have to nerve (gall) to have showers and fill up out water containers or just a walk past the shops. Spaghetti tonight! Heather.

Today we woke up in the swamp thing and toodled over to the dock, or beach, past two wrecked boats. It was really pouring rain and we finally found the showers which really did n`t work. ( only Anne`s). Dad finished his and was waiting beside our door when the cleaning lady came around the corner. She jumped in surprise and said " I almost drop! I almost drop!"
We left for Marsh Harbour and it was really rough. Now we are back at the government wharf
and it`s miserable in the wind and rain. Gwyn.
We had to hold up the tent `cuz the wind was blowing 25 knots. Mom and dad had to take it down later in the wind and rain. It was the hardest time that they ever had `cuz of the wind.

.The money came today at last! Now we are free to move on! Oops, tomorrow we fill our propane bottle. We bought flippers, masks and snorkels. Mom`s baking bread. It`s amazing how she lasts! The party ashore is just loud enough to be able to hear much craved music. Anne.

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