Veggie day eventually arrived. Not on the day we planned it, nor in the way we imagined it however.
We did TRY to sail down there like the valiant pirates we imagined ourselves! But Mother Nature decided to put these wayward scallywags in check. We did lift anchor and head toward the mouth of the bay with Alleycat leading the way. However, wind and waves were unexpectedly wild and threw them around. Like a pendulum in a rush, their mast rocked forward and back as the crew and boat fought all the elements.
Quick VHF radio call and an unanimous decision. Without leaving our safe harbour, we made a 180 degree turn back to calm and safety. We admitted defeat. But we hadn’t forgotten those veggies! We resolved to rent a car instead. Only no cars were available that day and the next day was Sunday, and guess what? The legendary veggie place was CLOSED ON SUNDAYS.
We rented the car Sunday. Only by then, the rough weather outside our bay had made it’s way in. The boats rocked incessantly, things rolled around, morale was tense. Waves crashed ashore making the dinghy landing a bit difficult and involved salty limbs and perhaps a swear word or two.
Luckily the renting went much more smoothly. Called a number I found online, met Kitra in a parking lot, she took $70 cash, had a look at our driver’s licenses and sent us on our way! Off to explore the rest of Eleuthera - we could visit veggie heaven Monday morning before returning our car.
Found an open beach side café and marveled at the beauty and power of nature. We watched the wild waves slam their front tables as we waited for the one waitress to make her way over. It took a while. A loooong while. There was no urgency in her movements. Her pants were working overtime trying to accommodate a frame that had outgrown them a while ago. They seemed to groan under the pressure. We groaned as well… ‘Pleeeeease can we have a menu? A beer maybe even?’
She served the one other table of needy tourists and saw us. And her smile flipped a switch on our irritability. Now we were mesmerized by her two toned red eyes. We forgot what we wanted. It was like alien zombie movie stuff. But she was nice enough and finally brought us some cool beers and left us with menus. We decided her eyes were some funky coloured contact lenses, left over from a Halloween surplus? We weren’t in danger of a zombie apocalypse. But we did discover they were out of the majority of foods on the menu. Burgers and fries and wings it is then!!! In the end, she only forgot one of the four food orders. Eventually, with full bellies, we thanked our red eyed server and headed onward.
To the Queen’s Baths. A rough roadside sign, a forest walk, a climb over some jagged rocks, revealed a place of breathtaking beauty. Huge pools of turquoise water, protected from the crashing waves of the ocean, inviting the curious to wade and watch as the tide slowly came in and made the spectacle more beautiful and more dangerous. We took full advantage.
And there were beautiful windward beaches to walk, with countless old wrecks to contrive elaborate stories of adventure and demise... it was a full day!
Back in our bay, the boats still rolled around and we dreaded returning. We parked the car and braved the evening aboard. Bruised hips notwithstanding, we made it through til 10 pm without a hitch. And then we happened to pause our TV show, check the weather Apps and saw the green and red monster heading our way fast. We called Alleycat, the boys decided to hoist up the dinghies just in case. And then it all just came rushing at us. The boats swung around, wind whipping up, storm clouds, thunder, lightning, rain pelting. We went from lying around on the couch, to soaked, adrenaline pumping, engines running, alert and ready for the onslaught within less than 10 minutes. The boat had changed direction and swung us into the shallows, with the concrete city was too close for comfort behind us. The boat pounded and lifted with each wave and then we realised we were in REALLY shallow water. The boat would soon be slamming the ground in these waves. We’d have to reanchor in the huge winds, huge waves, sheets of rain, pitch darkness.
Blinking and spitting at the rain, stomach in knots, shivering, I watched John trying to keep his balance at the front of the bucking boat. We managed. We resigned ourselves to our cold wet state and got to the task at hand. And we got out of immediate danger. By 1 am we were sipping chamomile tea, my feet in my Walmart slippers, trying to lull ourselves into calmness so we could attempt sleep.
And we woke on Monday morning, Shiloh creaking and rocking and begging for reprieve from the side slam of waves. But it wasn’t to be. And we had to get back to shore. The veggies awaited!!!
An hour later, we’d managed the wet and rough dinghy landing and had driven down to Palmetto Point, eyes peeled for the road side sign we’d seen online. And then it came into view. ‘There it is!!!!’ I poked at the air and tried to stay calm.
It was beyond anticlimactic. A shady yard with big empty wooden tables barely managed a welcome. No one in sight. The promise of a hot coffee immediately deflated. The coffee machines were all dusty and cold. There were a few jars of jams and hot sauces. The fridges held some unlabeled containers. And then there were the veggies. Old, wrinkly peppers, green, red and yellow, told us this was not the day. Nothing new here. We’ve been here a while. We’ve seen our peak and now we are on our last days.
To it’s credit, the market had some fresh homegrown lettuce and herbs. We bought them up in utter desperation. We HAD TO find something to buy. I found a lady crouched between boxes of wine to ask about the containers. She was busy. How could she know the importance of this day, this very moment for us?! “Bring them to me and I’ll tell you what they are”. REALLY? *crushed*... Eventually she came over and identified hummus. Which I bought.
Now surely there must be pies, pitas, soups, lasagnas, the world famous bread?! All those mouthwatering photos we’d seen on their Facebook page?
“Bread is tomorrow”. But as we all know, tomorrow never comes.
That was our last chance. It was their last chance.
We survived one more night in the rolling, vomitous conditions and we finally sailed out. The hummus is watery and bland. But at least I’ve got a green salad!!!