Previous month:
December 2010
Next month:
February 2011

January 2011

Food Storage on a Sailboat

We’ve lived aboard for nearly nine years, and food storage was an early priority. On the day we toured the boat, i let EW know that if he wanted to eat I was appropriating most of the port settee area for food storage. P1260039 Since that time, I’ve been refining my storage system and accumulating more space for food items. EW insists on eating every day.

I’d planned food storage, purchased shallow tubs to help keep items from spilling, cleaned and painted the compartment and thought we had it right. The long settee (couch and spare single bed) along the port side had quite accessible storage underneath. Galley items take up two thirds of the space, and I graciously allowed EW to use the other third for heavy tools. (See, I can be flexible.) In order to get to the space, we would  lift or bend the cushion, hold up the plywood cover with one hand, or have a helper hold it as we found and removed our items.  Or we removed all three cushions and the plywood to allow for hands-free access.

 

P1260041 It never occurred to me that there was a better way until we got the insurance survey back. That survey requires us to screw or fasten all lids and floorboards that could fly if LaLuna goes the wrong way up in a big storm. We don’t expect to be in that situation, but EW worked in Fort Lauderdale to comply with the insurance company. He knew screwing down that settee cover wasn’t going to work as I need to get into it at least once a day. The solution was to attach a hinge to the back of the board and slide bolts to the front to lock the board in place.

The photo at left shows the area – and gives you a preview of the the ultimate solution.

 

As he was planning the project, I had a brainstorm. (Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it causes heavy sighs and much eye-rolling.) This time it was a good thing – it meant more work for EW but he was cheerful about it.

I asked him to hinge the galley cover so that it would open over each storage compartment, not along the whole length of the settee. Then I asked him to hinge it 5 inches out from the back of the settee, to allow the seat cushion to stay up in back. It was brilliant, I tell you. Brilliant!

P1260042 Since we are at sea, with few power tools, EW used his very special Japanese hand saw and patiently cut the board into four sections:

  1. The section over his tools, which we needed to have open fully.
  2. One piece along “my” two-thirds, 5 inches wide.
  3. The two lids over the galley section.

At right, Tools and Galley One are open and all cushions are removed.

How I wish we’d thought of this 8 years ago! This complies with our safety requirements, preventing cans and tools from flying  around the boat in the event of a knock down. Since I don’t anticipate a knock-down, I am more thrilled with the ease of access I now have under the settee.

 

P1260047

 

The photo at left shows one easily opened cupboard with all cushions still on the settee. That works for quick access. When I am storing or digging for supplies, I can take the two back cushions off and the lids and settee seat stay up.

 

As EW says, “We eat tonight!”


We are Cruising!

Except for Thanksgiving week and our respite in the Berry Islands, we’ve been delivering and working on boat projects since October 18. Delivering is not cruising. Working on boat projects is part of cruising, but shouldn’t be all of cruising on most days.

It is so evident that we’ve been working in Nassau – looking for parts, working on the boat, looking for parts, working on the computer – that Andy, the rather shy security guard at the Green Parrot finally started conversing with us last week.

“You having any fun yet? You’re working too hard.”

On Sunday night we ate dinner at the Green Parrot, talked with cruisers and locals, and watched football.

On Monday, we visited the Ashram and took a two hour yoga class, and relaxed all afternoon.P1240014

 

P1250028

 

On Tuesday we went back to Nassau and played tourist. EW sought and found the cigar store at Grey Ledges – and purchased a cigar rolled on the premises.

We toured the local museum that is presenting an exhibit about slavery in the new world and celebrates the end of such slavery in 1888 when Brazil finally declared it illegal. A map showing when each area in the this hemisphere eliminated slavery indicates that the state of Vermont was the first to take that step, 1777. Good for them.

P1250033

We visited some of the shops (here EW is dancing with the store clerks who were singing along with a CD) and ate a light lunch out at the  Hard Rock Cafe (EW’s choice. He likes to look at the guitars.)

Upon our return to the boat, one of our neighbors scooted over in the dinghy and invited us to happy hour on their boat.

This is the first time we have been on someone else’s boat at anchor for food and drink since we left Maine.

Now we are cruisers.

Sandra and Paul, aboard S/V Quarterdeck and their other guests, Bob and Linda from S/V Lucky Bird are both heading back to Florida. Really. Sandra and Paul have cruised the world for over 20 years. They completed one circumnavigation and spent years in the Caribbean, Thailand, and Australia and the Pacific. Oh my goodness. We bow to them. They are returning home to aid elderly parents and expect to sell their boat.

Alice and Bob flew home to Illinois this past hurricane season, leaving their boat on the hard in Antigua. While home, they helped plan their daughter’s wedding in March. They hope to take the boat to Maine later this year.

P1260034

We had a wonderful time. Laughed, told stories and learned a lot. On Wednesday, as I write this Bob and Sandra plan to join EW and me for a walk to the botanical gardens in Nassau. We’ll get provisions and get on-line while we are ashore.

 

Here are our neighbors’ boats: Quarter Deck, Crow’s Nest and Lucky Bird – with a cruise ship on the dock across the harbor.

 

 

On Thursday morning, La Luna will head for Rose Cay, east of Nassau and on Friday we will finally make our way through the coral heads in the yellow passage. (La Luna will touch nothing but water.) We are going cruising.

 

 

 

 

We have one adjustment to make to the backstay in order to get the SSB working properly. Once that happens, the next update will have no photos as it will be emailed through SailMail.  Those of you who have that address will be able to email us (no photos, no replies) and we will be able to respond to you the next day.

Now, we are cruisers.


Hey, Hey, Hey – It’s Yogi and Boo-Boo

Not really – But here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write:

On Tuesday morning, EW and I took a two hour yoga class.

Surprised?

For over two weeks, we’ve been anchored just off the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas. Though not a perfect anchorage (there is no perfect anchorage in Nassau) it’s the best anchorage and we’ve enjoyed P1240011 listening to chanting performances in the evening.  At the bar on Sunday, watching football, we talked with Amy and David from S/V Crow’s Nest. They had anchored near us specifically to visit the yoga center. Doesn’t everybody discuss yoga when watching football?)  Amy said that beginning yoga classes were available at 8 AM and 4 PM and that the cost was only $10.00 per person.

Now that we’re finally back in cruising mode with no major projects in the works,  EW and I decided to check it out.  I assumed the class for beginners for only ten dollars would be an hour long and hoped we could handle it. I have a yoga mat and the facility loaned one to EW, and told us to let the teacher know that this was our first class ever. We arranged our mats in the back  what we thought was the back of the class, but we were front and center when Arjuna, a senior Sivananda yoga teacher from Ottawa took his position. This center in the Bahamas is one of a number of International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta centers, and Arjuna has been teaching in these centers for over 20 years. He trained under the founder, Swami Vishnudevananda. Arjuna is a patient, kind man and an exceptional teacher.

P1250017 When we had talked with Dave and Amy the night before, EW had said, “But I can’t do the lotus position.” Amy laughed and said that it wasn’t at all required, particularly for a beginner’s class. Our instructor said it took him twenty years to be able to achieve the lotus position. That did not stop EW from immediately trying to stuff his feet into his hips. At least that is what it looked like. Arjuna reprimanded him mildly (with praise at EW’s willingness to work hard) and said that neither of us were to attempt lotus.

It was marvelous.

My apologies to Lynnelle and anyone else who tried to get me to do yoga. Oh my goodness. We both enjoyed it and certainly gained much out of the experience. This was a good workout, but not a work-out yoga class. They focus on inner peace, relaxation, and healing. It lasted two hours! This was the second of a beginners’ series that Arjuna was conducting this week. He very nicely caught us up on what had been presented on Monday and we gamely worked to relax and breath and stretch and achieve new positions. It was a wonderful workout.

P1250016

 

The photo at the right shows the deck on which we took our first yoga class. We faced the harbor to the left.

 

 

The facility offers lodging and vegetarian meals at a reasonable price – from $59.00 a day if you bring your own tent to $89.00 for a double room. There are two meals a day, and you can of course bring snacks but meat and eggs are not allowed in the facility. The center owns a section of Paradise Island that includes both shores, the southern shore on the bay where we are anchored, and the northern shore with a beautiful beach. P1250025

There are at least three yoga decks; the one to the left is the “Beach Deck”

As we were walking around the facility, EW said that this would be the type of “resort” he’d consider visiting.

 

The universe is curious and marvelous. At a discount store in Fort Lauderdale, EW had picked up a The Book of Yoga. It teaches the same principals as they do at the Sivananda Ashrams, and gives the same advice regarding the poses we are beginning to learn. I plan to encompass yoga on a regular basis, and take a class or two when one is available.

As Amy says, “It’s not just your boat engine you have to keep lubricated. You have to work on your own internal engine, too.”

Hey, hey, hey.


The People of Nassau and the Food of La Luna

EW and I are both outgoing (no surprise to most of you) and one of the things I look forward to is meeting local people wherever we travel. We have agreed that in most cases we will greet those we meet on the street, offer a smile and a greeting and see who we meet.

I love listening to the voices of the Bahamas. Black or white, all natives speak with a lilt and a charming accent. Sometimes it takes a few seconds (or minutes) to understand the intent of their message, but we love talking with them. Almost every person we’ve met has been warm, pleasant, and welcoming. Many have been very helpful.

We’ve found that “Good morning” “Good afternoon” is usually followed quickly by “How are you?” So we do the same thing and listen to the answers. Many folk have been pleasantly surprised at our overtures and have stopped to chat. The security guard at the Green Parrot took a little warmer to warm up to us. Now he teases us about doing too much work in paradise.

I agree with him and am hopeful that after a few tasks this morning, EW will agree to play a bit this afternoon. We can work on the boat on Sunday when most things are closed, and leave Nassau on Monday for the Exumas.

 

In two weeks, we’ve done a lot of walking to marine stores, computer stores, electronics stores – well, you get the idea. We’ve only been approached by one pan-handler, though we have talked with a few folks who clearly have issues. The first time I did laundry in Nassau, Tony engaged with me at the laundry matt while our clothes were drying. I suspect the use of the facilities were free to him and I know he had gone to the Salvation Army HQ nearby and returned with lunch wrapped in foil. Tony told me he was a prophet. “You believe dat?” he asked. I assured him that I believed him.

“What chu reading?” I was reading Sailing in a Spoonful of Water by Joe Coomer.

“A book about sailing,” I said.

“I knew dat!”

A photo of Joe Coomer’s wooden boat under sail adorned the cover of my book. I do believe he knew that.

 

This morning i made a second trip to the laundry mat and as I toted the bag through the Green Parrot, I stopped to talk with the chefs. When we ate there last week I had conch fritters and “peas ‘n rice”. Peas ‘n rice is a Bahamian dish made with rice and pigeon or black eyed peas. I could have eaten the Green Parrot version for a week. Last night I made mine from a recipe found in Embarrassment of Mangoes. It was OK, but not as good as what the Green Parrot serves. Two chefs eagerly discussed what I had done and offered advice on what I had to do the next time. Can’t wait to try it. Wonder how often I can feed EW Peas ‘n Rice?

A few days ago, we stopped by Potter’s Way, a u-shaped road that  goes to and from  the cargo terminal. Along the road are local food kiosks and under the bridge you’ll find market stands. I went in search of peppers, mangoes, and papayas and was not disappointed. The stand we chose was owned by a lovely lady who was quiet at first and warmed up to us.

“How hot are those peppers,” I asked, pointed to a mound of tiny green and orange and yellow globes.

“Mmmm. Dey hot peppas,” she said, clearly not sure how hot was hot in our kitchen.

“We like hot food,” I said, “but we are from the north.”

She laughed and I purchased a couple of handfuls.

That night I made a macaroni and cheese dish that is in a Mexican vegetarian cookbook I’ve found very useful. I diced up three of the peppers and realized after I scratched my nose (I know, I know) and my face burned that hot here was not hot in Maine. So I pulled out a sliver of each of the colors and handed them to EW on a spoon.

“Try each of these, honey and tell me which one is the hottest and which is the mildest.” He did.

There is no mildest. I got EW another beer and removed 2/3 of the diced peppers from the recipe. It was still a hot meal – but we both loved it.

 

Last Sunday, we took a day to sight see and thought at first we had chosen the wrong day. Most stores and all museums are closed on Sundays here. Since there was a cruise ship in port, many of the shops near the terminal were open. As we were walking past a courtyard, EW spotted something, turned abruptly and said, “Come on! We gotta check this out!”  The courtyard brought us to the street one block over, as we passed through there was a small bar and a number of uniformed men enjoying a beer. They wore white dress uniforms and pith helmets and that is the sight that caught EW’s attention.

On the next street we saw more and more men and women in various styles of dress uniform, and talked with lady who told us it was the yearly “Church Parade” day. At first I thought she meant that all the churches got together for some sort of ecumenical event, but this is actually a day when the police and justice system march to and from a church service. When we arrived, the service was being conducted in the state Anglican church, but the majority of the marching participants were waiting to begin a five mile parade throughout the city. Some were eating ice cream, the gentlemen who first caught EW’s eye were having a beer. Others were just chatting and posing for photos.

When the parade started, we watched with a small family, and the dad was delighted to tell us what each division was and to point out the chief of police, the prosecutors (in robes and wigs), and the father and son drum majors.  Few other visitors witnessed the parade. It’s the kind of moment we hope to share all over the world. P1090028 

 

 

  This motorcycle cop was a delightful woman . Moms and daughters who watched the parade were delighted to see her in front. There are a lot of strong, accomplished  women in the Bahamas.

 

 

 

P1090033

 

 

Before the parade, I chatted with one of the trumpet players in the band. He said most of the band are auxiliary policemen. He teaches music at an area high school. The tuba players waited here having taken “parade rest” seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1090034

The drum majors are father and son. The leopard cloaks denote their regiment. A couple on a cruse from Alberta talked with us and posed with this group as the gentleman had served in the same regiment in Canada. I’m not sure how army regiments get translated to local police departments, but there you have it.

 

 

 

Post script:  As usual, when I published this on TypePad I checked off some categories for later searches. It occurred to me that each time I enter something in the "Galley Tips and Recipe" category, it also falls under "Humor". Take that as a warning. 


Playing in the Berry Islands

As most of you know, we left Maine on October 18, 2010 and spent the next 2 plus months delivering La Luna to the Bahamas. We had fun along the way and we did some sight-seeing, but weather windows, and deadlines were always on our minds.

On Christmas Day we motored in nearly flat calm to Bimini and a week later we landed (with a bang) in the Berry Islands. Once we got over the trauma of the grounding and the fear that we would not escape the anchorage (I was beginning to plan a floating B & B) we had some wonderful days living the cruising lifestyle.

Cruising is very different from delivering.

Our anchorage was quite protected with islands to the east and northeast and northwest and very shallow areas to the west and south. We were anchored in 9 to 15 feet of water, well dug into sand, and felt safe leaving La Luna and going exploring.

EW took this photo from the top of the mast. Now that’s the kind of water we have been waiting for! P1030114 

One day we took an extended dingy ride to Flo’s Conch Shack, where we met the owner, Chester Darville. Chester and his family have lived on Little Harbor Cay for generations and his father had dreamed of a boat-up restaurant. Chester had actually obtained a license in the early 90’s but had not moved forward – until Hurricane Andrew destroyed most of the family homes on the island. As the back of the menu says,

“The experience of Andrew built a fire under him, and he decided that this was going to be the first day of the rest of his life, a new life, without procrastination. He would clean up the wreckage of the village, and build his "DREAM”, a bar and restaurant high up on a hill overlooking one of the prettiest and most picturesque harbours in the Bahamas.”

 Flo's Conch Bar We didn’t get to sample the excellent Bahamian food at Flo’s, as one needs to call Chester on the radio and give him three hours notice. After all, you don’t just drive over or walk in to Flo’s as there is no community on the island. But we had a couple of beers, and added a dollar to the ceiling PHOTO3 and met Chester. Flo’s is primarily a conch shack – and they serve a lot of conch. These are mounds of conch shells. Both EW and I found them ominous. P1020089

 

 

 

 

We’d navigated our way to the island using our newest technique – a photocopy of the appropriate page in the chart book. That way we aren’t exposing the expensive chart books to a dinghy ride but do have a method of navigating the rocks and channels. On the way over a very wide sandbar at low tide prevented us from taking the direct route, but Chester said we could probably go back that way, if we pulled the motor up and rowed some. EW decided to try it and we had a magical two hours getting back to La Luna via a slow boat.

When it became too shallow for the motor, EW pulled it up and found that the incoming tide provided just enough current in the right direction, allowing us to float to our anchorage. We relaxed, took in the sun, and began to notice the abundant fish life – starfish, silver hole-digging fish, rays, and even a small shark.  I was channeling Marlin Perkins from my youth and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom; and I was intrigued with how the mangroves were encroaching on the ocean, sending shoots up 20 to 50 yards from shore. It was a wonderful afternoon.  P1020100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1020103

 

On two other days, alone and with the crews from S/V Choctaw Brave and S/V Bacon, we visited Hoffman’s Island and saw the spectacular Blue Hole. Reportedly over 60 feet deep, we imagine that the locals and adventuresome travelers dive from the rocks for a swim. None of us could figure out one would escape from the Blue Hole without getting cut up by coral or going through seriously slimy marine life. (Slimy equals gooky and I don’t do gooky.) Blue Hole on Hoffman's Island, Bahamas

 

P1020071

This Blue Hole is a short climb up from Hoffman’s Beach. Beautiful.

P1050008

With the crews from the other boats, we relaxed on the beach, snorkeled and hunted for conch. Here's Linda with the only conch we didn't have to throw back. Since we only found one of legal size, so had a potluck on shore with excellent leftovers and a rice and beans and hot sausage dish. It was a wonderful day.

Cruising.

I can get into this.

 

NOTE: Regular readers will note that photos were not available for two recent posts. That has been fixed, so check cruise on back to recent posts and see the photos. 


A Peek at What Another Cruiser is Up To

One of my tasks (really, it's a legitimate To-Do item) at the library is to check up on other bloggers' posts. I've been following Wayne and his wonder dog Ruby for a year or so. Wayne is a solo sailor, consultant, and thinker. It's clear from this post that he's a worker. One of his most recent posts detailed a recent major project aboard his boat. Oh my. Wayne's recent project makes me feel much better about EW's current one. 


The Cruising Life -- Sometimes Separation is the Only Option

Today, I'm in one of the 13 branches of the Nasaau Public Library. I'm here for 5 or 6 hours of peace, high speed Internet, and -- frankly -- for a tiny separation from EW.

On Monday, we walked for miles and miles because a vital piece of equipment blew a fuse. Since this is a fuse that has never blown in eight years, of course it was not in our spare parts. Turns out it also wasn't available in Nassau. Anywhere. We searched from 9 until 4, and finally were given the card of a gentleman who ordered it for us. We heard from him this morning that the fuses (EW ordered extras of that one as well as others for the system) have arrived. Roland will meet up with EW for the exchange of fuses and money and EW will go back to the boat to install the fuse and get back to his SSB/Pactor/GPS installation.

This is painstaking work involving soldering tiny wires to tiny parts on a boat at anchor in a busy harbor. Oh yeah, he's having a good time. He says his thumbs are too big. Actually, the soldering of wires to a female DC9 pin connector didn't go well at all. Fortunately Radio Shack has an option for crimping wires. We walked over yesterday to purchase two of those puppies (one for back-up) and EW successfully completed that stage of the project by dinner on Tuesday.

I have such respect for his willingness to dive in to these tasks that aren't his strongest skill sets. I haven't found any repair or system on the boat that he can't trouble-shoot. Most he can fix completely. Unless you have unlimited income and are willing to spend a lot of time in marinas having work done, someone on board a boat must be able to do the work. On La Luna that someone is EW and I'm thankful.

But these kind of projects are so incredibly disruptive. At 47 feet, La Luna is on the larger end of cruising boats for two people. When one of us is working on a major project, you'd swear below that she was a 30 foot boat. For 5 days now, the main salon has been cluttered with tools and packaging and parts waiting to be put in their place. I can't easily get to my stores of olive oil or coffee filters and must move things in order to sit. We have to watch our step as tool boxes are piled on the sole of the boat (that's floor to you landlubbers), leaving very small spaces to place our feet. My patience lasts for about 3 days of this, then I get testy. I'm not pleading a case for being crabby; I am making a case for leaving the boat today. There is little I can do to help EW and little I can get done on board while he's working. On the other hand, there is much on-line work that needs doing, so I have both laptops here and I'm going to get those things done. 

It's quiet here in the library.

There are no parts poking my back.

No one is saying "Where is the (fill in the blank)?" or "The green wire goes to 3."

I am at peace and I'm productive. 

When EW arrives to walk me home we'll both be more relaxed and ready for a nice dinner. (Darn it! I forgot to thaw out the chicken!) Well it'll be a nice dinner of some sort. And we'll be relaxed. 

 


US Coast Guard – Why We Love Them

We have two nephews who are making their careers in the Coast Guard and we’re very proud of them. One was stationed for a time in Maine and I think was always concerned that he’d be called out to help us. He never was as we never had to call the Coast Guard for help (knock teak – and there was a moment when I wanted to alert them … but that’s another story).  He’s currently in California, recently promoted, and will be stationed in Cape Cod for the next four years. The other has taken command of a ship and taken that ship to his new post in Hawaii. As sailors, we have warm regard for the Coast Guard anyway and it is a privilege to know these two men. 

In Nassau, we recently heard a great story about a US Coast Guard  patrol stationed near Key Biscayne, though unfortunately I don’t know the name of their vessel.

When we arrived in No Name Harbor, we anchored near a unique trimaran sailing under the Swiss flag. We didn’t get a chance to talk with the two men aboard but did notice they were repairing the main halyard. Last week we saw the same boat in Nassau and chatted with Rudolph.

The boat had been built in Florida and the guys have been getting work done and shaking her down. (Their idea of a shake down cruise is to sail to the Bahamas. My idea is to sail from Portland to Biddeford.) We mentioned seeing their boat at No Name and he asked, “Did you see us come in under escort?”

“Why no, what’s the story?”

They had left the Florida Keys, hoping to go to the Bahamas in a weather window that was not conducive to the trip. During this brief day at sea, they had a problem with the main halyard and couldn’t lower the sail, and  while trying to fix that, the owner fell off the cabin top onto one of the fiberglass pontoons injuring his knee. They thought it might be broken.

So his friend got him installed below with ice on his elevated knee, then turned back to Florida with a flapping main sail. A Coast Guard patrol hailed them.  I imagine it can be a bit nerve-wracking to be hailed and boarded by a foreign coast guard vessel. We were boarded in Portland years ago for a routine safety check and it is sort of like being pulled over by  6 or 8 cops, all wearing guns. Nice cops, but still…

So the one able bodied sea man who speaks halting English described their situation to the Coast Guard boat and the crew promptly provided first aid to the injured captain and an escort to No Name Harbor – a very safe anchorage. I guess the sight of this trimaran coming into tiny and crowded No Name under Coast Guard escort created quite a stir. Once the boat was secure on the anchor, the Coast Guard notified the local hospital and the owner was transferred by ambulance.

His knee was not broken, and he was able to return to the boat. A week or so later, knee bandaged and sail fixed, they once again left for the Bahamas. As they were heading off shore, they were hailed by the same patrol boat. The crew wanted to know how the captain’s knee was doing, wished them good luck and a Happy New Year.

The Swiss sailors were impressed and grateful.


Cars in Nassau

During our first two nights in the rolling, bouncing anchorage, the dominant sounds we heard were wind in the rigging, slapping waves, and various items aboard rattling and tumbling. Over it all we heard the automobile horns. There are a lot of cars in Nassau. If you walk in the city, as we have, you’ll find that the drivers communicate largely with car horns. We haven’t learned the horn language, but it is clear that a toot can mean many things ..

Go Ahead, I’ll wait.  

Stop!

Hello, friend.

Thank you.

Look-out!

Good bye.

Backing up.

Passing.

Get out of my way!

We found it interesting that most of these toots are short – and to us meaningless. Seems to work for them.

They drive on the left here – some in cars made for that and others in cars imported from the U.S. You never know where the driver will be and that is disconcerting. Of course we have to make sure that we check left first last and constantly when we cross the street. EW forgot on Monday, as I was yelling, “Honey, STOP!” the lovely lady driving successfully avoided him.

She stopped. He jumped back to the side of the road and we apologized. She smiled and offered us a ride. She probably wanted to protect the other drivers from our backwards ways, but it was a very nice gesture.

On another day, we had been given directions to Shirley Street, but first went to a shopping plaza we knew. The exit from the back of the plaza was “To Shirley Street” so we asked a security guard whether that would be a good way to walk to Shirley instead of going back down the hill to Mackie Street.

“You could go dat way,” he said with a smile. “But I don’t recommend it. You might get scratched up.”  We didn’t understand what he meant by that but took his advice.

Later on, as we walked the other end of Shirley Street in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic with no sidewalks, we carefully brushed past trees, power poles, parked cars, and cement walls. EW says, “I think this is what he meant by ‘scratched up’.” 

During that walk we would pass a car that would later pass us as a police officer directed traffic around construction. At one point a gentleman with whom we had alternated the lead, looked up and greeted us.  Then he offered us a ride.

Nice drivers here. There are a lot of them, but they’re nice.