Thursday, March 01, 2007

Staniel Cay


When people told us that there wouldn’t be much between Nassau and Georgetown they weren’t kidding and we are ok with that. Staniel Cay looks to be one of the more happening places in the Exumas and there’s the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and Bar and there’s the air strip and then there’s...well...that’s about it. We walked by the school at lunch time and saw the 8 students come out of the one room school house so it is a bit of a community. There are two other eateries - Club Thunderball and Happy People Marina (really!) but they are open for dinner only or maybe only on weekends. Hard to tell.

Not crowded though and GREAT snorking in the very same cavern where James Bond came swimming out at the end of Thunderball. You can snork into the cavern at low tide (plenty of air above you) and it is just beautiful. It is lit through holes in the ceiling with bright shafts of light coming down to illuminate the coral and the fish. Oh yeah the fish...there’s about a kabillion of them and when you jump off your dingy to go snork they race out to greet you and to see if you have any food for them. I took a zip lock with peas in it and they were all over me like tropical fish on a snorker! A little intimidating actually, especially with the BIG ones (6”). I just emptied the bag and swam on.
We’ll go back to the cave tomorrow maybe. I have an old underwater camera and I may try to take some film pictures then. Remember film?
Looks like we may stay another couple of days while I work on the book (nearly sort of done!) and then head back north to hit some places we missed on the way down. We want to stop at Hawksbill Cay, Highborne Cay and Cambridge Cay. If we have good weather I think we can guarantee Leah and Jason a great vacation. . . and anyone else who’d like to come visit. We should be in the Georgetown area for the next month or so.

Shopping in Staniel Cay

Well I was on a mission to find some cheese. I know it’s not like me to run out of cheese but we did. Scott sat himself down at the side-bar at the yacht club with his computer and research plan and I headed out to do some shopping. Actually grocery shopping is the only shopping I enjoy because the result is food - favorite food if you’re lucky. So I took the map that the Staniel Cay Yacht Club gives you and my trusty Marathon Cruisers Net canvas bag and walked the few streets of the island. There is suppose to be a store called the Pink Pearl just around the corner and to the left of the Happy People’s Restaurant. But there’s no road here just a driveway. Hmmmm. Well, might as well try it.

I walk up the gravel driveway and sure enough there’s another sign pointing the way to the store. It’s a pink building next to the other pink building (someone’s house) but this pink building has a sign above the door which says: Grocery. Found it! I walked into a dark room with rows of can goods and a few fresh vegetables. Nobody tending the store but I do hear voices coming from the pink house. I look around the rows (maybe 3) of food and decide to try the other store in town--- the Blue Wing Grocery which is #2 on the map. Pink Pearl is #1. I see an actual road off the gravel driveway and head west a few steps where I see a sign saying: Grocery store at top of hill. Indeed the sign, the house at the bottom of the hill, the building at the top of the hill and the motor-scooter along the path are all blue. Again - found it! This time there are people around. An elderly gentleman enters the store as I do and welcomes me by saying - fresh pineapple today.

I look around and see can goods, one dozen of eggs, the pineapple, tomatoes, onions, potatoes. I ask, ‘Do you have any cheese?’ In the refrigerator I’m told. I look in the fridge and only see american cheese slices. Ummmm. Bummer. Another shopper in the store says that there is cheese in this refrigerator - a short box that I thought might be a freezer. Oh ---- hit the jack pot. Cheddar cheese and only $4.25 for (it looks like) a pound and a half. Bingo! Okay what else do I want to buy here? Bread, limes, onions, a tomato, and the dozen eggs.

I tell the gentleman that I’m ready. He’s already packing some of the produce into a plastic bag. He says, ‘You use the machine.’ There’s an adding machine on the counter. ‘It’s ready to go,’ he says. ‘You push the numbers and I’ll tell you how much.’ Okay. I start with the cheese which is the only item marked. He then proceeds to call out numbers connected to food items: loaf of bread - $4, 2 onions - $1.25, 2 limes - $1.50, etc. I punch in the numbers as he calls them out. Total: $15.30. I give him the $50 dollar bill I brought with and he looks into his drawer. ‘Oh, I need to get change.’ I only see ‘change’ as in coins in the drawer. He walks out for a few minutes and returns with several bills in his hand. Okay, we’re ready to make change. I receive 70 cents (one quarter is a Bahamian coin with a sailboat on it), 3 american dollars and 1 bahamian dollar, an american 20 dollar bill. ‘That’s 40 right?’ he asks. Yes. Then he gives me 2 five dollar bahamian bills. We’re square.

Thanks, I say. You’re welcome, he says. Okay, now what do we have next? he asks. The other woman in the store has her purchases ready. I explain that she needs to do the adding on the machine. She gives me a look as if really?ˆ and I clear the balance and say, ‘You’re ready to go. Have fun.’

I decide to look for the post office on my way back to the yacht club where Scott is waiting. I’m sure I continued on the correct road but only found Nataja’s Beauty Salon which is suppose to be next door. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be brave enough to walk up someone’s else's’ driveway to find the post office.

Tomorrow is another day.


Anonymous said...

sue, I love your grocery store narrative...I could see you typing in the numbers for you hunk of cheese, etc. So good.
Lisa R. (use to be T.)

floridaglades said...

I was curious about the currency exchange rate. It looks like you got a fair deal at the grocery store.

Sunday, March 4, 2007
1 Bahamian Dollar = 1.01250 US Dollar
1 US Dollar (USD) = 0.98765 Bahamian Dollar (BSD)