Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Boating friends

July 18, 2017
Manjack Cay

happily reunited after many months
 We arrived at Manjack Cay around lunchtime to meet up with "Peter Rabbit" on s/v Grace. We'd been dock neighbors in Jacksonville and he and the girls are great friends. We like him too. But the girls...they're in love. [Long story: every morning we had to leave for school five minutes early so we could stop by Peter Rabbit's boat. Matilda would race down the dock and yell, "Oh Peter Rabbit, hey Peter Rabbit." He'd come out, play tickle ninja with Freja and listen to Matilda while she yelled at him for everything he'd done wrong. Then he'd walk us up to the van or bike trailer, chasing the girls the whole way to get them moving faster. Every kid needs an adult friend who isn't afraid to play like a kid; and every parent needs an adult friend that will play with their kids. It's awesome.] Short story: Peter Rabbit has a "bag of fun" on his boat. That explains his relationship with the girls in a nutshell. Best item so far: sparkly gold nail polish.

So anyway, we arrive at Maniac and immediately start hanging out with Peter and his 81 year old Dad. Matilda was (surprisingly) shy, so she stayed home with me while Hans, Freja, and Peter went snorkeling. We met back at his boat for dinner - hog fish and mashed potatoes. The next day Hans and Peter went spearfishing in the morning; the girls and I pumped up our inflatable kayak (a present from other marina neighbors in Jax) and we paddled to the closest beach. It was our first try with the kayak and it was very successful. I sat in the seat and had one kid on the bow and the other on the stern. We paddled around and saw baby sea turtles. Also a big stingray and I found tons of milk conch. Back to the boat for lunch and a siesta.

Life at anchor. The girls created a fort out of sun blocking material,
while Hans looks at the chart to find a good fishing spot.
happy kids, Freja making a bracelet and Matilda writing a book.

Hans went fishing and came back a mere 20 minutes later with a dinghy that was taking on water through a crack in the floor. He took it ashore for an epoxy workshop. Peter came by around 4 to take us for a hike to the beach to look for "magic fairy wands." This is the kind of thing he does. This is why our kids love him so much.

It was a long hike for short legs and buggy, but the girls were real troopers. Freja stayed with Peter and Matilda stuck with me and pretended to be Catboy, one of her favorite characters. He has speed. It worked. She is usually a distracted, dawdling walker, but not with Catboy speed. (Thank goodness.) The bugs were intense, but I loved the twisty trail that wound through a private homestead, a gravel road, some mangroves, and finally the beach.

Manjack has a few private homes, notably the house and land closest to the anchorage owned by a couple that has created a self-sufficient homestead. Hydroponics, fruit trees, chickens, and a gorgeous house with  wrap around porch overlooking the harbor. The owners cut the trail to the beach. The beach. Three miles of wild, undeveloped, windswept beach backed by casuarina pines, sand dunes, and a few palm trees here and there. Crystal clear water and white sand.

We (expectedly) ran out of fresh water on the boat that evening so we knew we had to leave the next day for Green Turtle Cay, only a few miles away.

1 comment:

  1. The "Bag-O-Fun" is being restocked at the current time and is just looking for bored kids / cruisers to entertain.

    I have to get by Dollar store for more 'hair feathers', colorful hair extensions, nail polish, etc. Also, I plan to pick up a jewelry making kit at Walmart. It has earring studs, chain clasps, wire, etc. so we can make one of a kind hand made jewelry from the treasures we find on the beach.

    Tell the kids they can have any of my seashells they find. I keep my collection spread over the beaches of the Bahamas. Send me pictures of the best ones.