January 22, 2012.
It's funny how quickly solitude can disappear. Yesterday morning we arrived and were the only boat here and by late afternoon there were 8 boats here along the western side of the cay. This is a huge cay with close to 3 miles of shoreline offering appropriate anchoring opportunities. Four of us are spread out fairly well in House Bay which is over a half mile long. When Sapphire arrived they settled themselves perfectly into the middle of the confines of tiny Spanish Well Bay.
When you're inside Spanish Well Bay there is an ironshore peninsula to your north and south, with a small sandy beach inside the bay where you can have your own private slice of paradise even with other boats sharing the cay. Unless a complete stranger shows up and decides that it looks as if you might be lonely and decides to wedge themselves into the small cove with you.
We were anchored immediately to the south of Spanish Well Bay. So we had front row seats to watch as a late arriving trimaran pulled into the tight confines of SWB. I'll admit that I laughed out loud as I watched above the ironshore as the new masthead settled in right in front of Sapphire as the new guy set his hook. Evidently Mike was able to convey the disappointment they were feeling with the interlopers anchoring directly in front of them in the miniscule cove because an hour later the new guy pulled his hook and moved a mile north.
It hasn't been all anchoring hijinks though. There’s been a lot of catching up with sailors we haven't seen for quite a while at the evening garbage burn/ cocktail hour. Be there or be talked about is all I can say about that. There's been some fishing and even a few welcome fresh water rinses as late afternoon showers have come through.
I know I always spend too much time writing about the hunting gathering that we partake in. (We ate number 84 tonight) One thing that I've been remiss in reporting is the gathering of coconuts. I for one was shocked to find out that coconut didn't actually come from Mounds bars. It grows on trees! Crazy, right? The best part is that when they're ripe they fall from the tree, so no climbing involved.
Of course getting em' open is a whole different story. Sure, I walk upright, I could take the machete and whack the coconut a few times to get rid of the husk but that would be too easy. I prefer the more natural, complete experience. We're hunter gathering, we don't need no stinking tools unless you count large heavy rocks as tools.
After successfully stalking and capturing the coconut you place it on a large stable rock. Then you find the largest rock that you're capable of wielding as a weapon. You kneel down and raise the rock as high over your head as you can and smash it down on the unsuspecting coconut. After the first solid crushing blow you'll note that the coconut didn't even flinch and now your wrists and elbows hurt. WTF? After a frenzy of anywhere from 6 to 26 maniacal blows with the B.F. rock the coconuts outer husk hopefully will develop some minor cracks. At this point you cast aside the rock and you attempt to squeeze your fingertips into the minute cracks and tear the little oblong bastard apart. After a moment of futility you consider going back to the rock until you realize that your arms already hurt too much to try the rock again.
At this point you ask yourself the question “Do I really even like coconut and why can't I feel my forearms?”. But in the Homo Sapien spirit you carry on pulling, wedging and ripping until you tear off one small section of husk. Its about at this time that you realize you've evolved to the point where opening a coconut is a chore. If you were still a Neanderthal, opening the coconut would be as easy as tearing open the packaging on a Mounds bar.
But unfortunately nature has removed from us the ability to bite through a coconut husk. But with a little pain and perseverance you will make progress as sections of the husk begin to peel away. As the last of the husk is torn away you will experience a type of euphoria that has been lost to us through thousands of years of evolution. You will proudly present the small round, freshly peeled coconut to your mate.
She will then take your good ball peen hammer and lightly whack it like a soft boiled egg splitting the inner coconut neatly in half.