February 17, 2012.
Alright, I’ll admit it, I've been a negligent blogger. Its not like we haven't been doing anything; its just that I've been a bit lazy.
We hid from our first serious front of the season. We tucked in down between Hog Cay and Ragged Island and even though the wind blew stink for 24 hours we had a comfortable time of it. We read a lot and even got into the water and killed a few lobsters in the lee of the cay.
Our good friend Maxine runs the local (tiny) grocery store. Maxine hosts an annual Valentines Day party for everyone here at Hog Cay. Eleven months ago Maxine's adult daughter had a stroke. So Maxine has spent the better part of the last year in Nassau taking care of her daughter and her family. The woman spent 6 months in a coma and and after awaking, spoke her first word at the beginning of February.
Even with all this going on Maxine still made the effort to once again hold the Valentines Day party. She arrived on the mailboat from Nassau a few days before the holiday to an outpouring of love from her friends. She once again coordinated a hell of a party.
The cruisers at Hog Cay rebuilt both fire pits to keep the food warm.
The event was attended by the crews of 30 cruising boats. Add in the 50 locals from Ragged Island and it was a heck of a party. AND...we even had dignitaries. The island administrator, the head of schools and the head of the police for all of the Bahamas including the Exumas and south were all in attendance. Yes, they sat in the shade.
Part of the event is the cruisers charity auction with the proceeds going to the local “all age” school. The school attendance is at an all time high of 17 students. Last year the kids were all taken to Disney, this year they're going to Cuba. I hear the log flumes in Cuba are spectacular. Anyway, everyone donated something to be auctioned off. Once again, Steve from Fine Lion proved to be a hell of an auctioneer. So it pretty much boils down to the cruisers buying each others crap for charity. The locals buy some of the things as well. Items ran the gambit from wetsuits to DVDs. The final tally was over $1100 to help the kids get to Cuba. I'm not sure how Fidel’s going to stack up against Mickey Mouse but I'm sure they'll have a great time.
Maxine was heading back to Nassau to resume her daughters care a few days after the party. But some of the generosity of the cruisers went with her. Everyone was asked to contribute anything they could in an effort to ease the financial burden of Maxine’s daughters care. The money was raised quietly and a card with over $1400 was slipped to our friend Maxine. Its really great to be part of this community.
The day after the party we decided it was time to get outta Dodge for a while. We sailed off the hook and spent a few nights at Raccoon Cay. We wormed ourselves way into Spanish Well Bay for some solitude.