26/05/2010 - Best Day Ever III ?

Due to the expensive taxis the day before, today we decided to hire a car and at 8.30 I was on the dock to meet Maurice to was going to rent me his car for 35$ for the day,.. we had agreed that he’d meet me on the dock at 9, but we bumped into his brother who is a taxi driver and drove me up to Maurice’s place at the top of the hill,.. he was a nice enough guy, but had a serious issue with some trainees who he had dropped off at shoal bay the day before and apparently said they’d call him to get picked up and never did,.. so he’d waited the entire afternoon for their call… I think there had been a communication issue, but to smooth the ground and play general ambassador for the ship I gave him a few dollars for the ride.

Maurice was very efficient and as it turns out, it wasn’t just some guy who was going to let me borrow his car for the day, (as we had initially thought it might be,. I mean 35$ for a day!!) I had to buy my Anguillan driving licence and drove off in a decent if slightly dusty saloon.. I drove back to the dock and picked up Shawn, Niko, Brad and Dan and on pulling out we decided it had been a good idea that I drove as none of them were that comfortable with driving on the left!

After a good breakfast we headed out to investigate the east of the island and as driver I decided I was just going to take any interesting looking right turns to find deserted beaches, quiet bars etc,… and we did just that!!!  Any road that was tarmac was deemed way too mainstream and the newly named “bro-mobile” did pretty well in surviving some pretty heavy duty terrain,.. maybe I was still too accustomed to the 4x4 we had in Ghana,.. we had to think “light” thoughts (fluffy clouds, marshmallows etc) from time to time as we bounced from pothole to pothole in an effort not to rip the sump out!  We discovered what can only be described as a coral graveyard in one place with some pretty impressive looking villas overlooking it,.. one day my friends, one day, I’ll be able to afford one of those!!!

We then drove down a particularly hairy trail that really didn’t look like it had had any traffic for some considerable time and discovered “Nat’s place”, the bar was ok, but the beach it was on was heaven on earth, really crystal clear water, a nice reef with abundant marine life, sand that was so white it could have been fresh powder snow, it was a surprise on stepping onto it that it wasn’t cold!

Once again I bonded with my fishy friends and found a beautiful conch, still alive so we left it, but not without a couple of pictures!  While I was busy hunting, Shawn was on a mission to find coconuts and triumphantly returned to us with one in his hands, thanks to Niko’s rather scary sheath knife that is more machete than knife I chopped away at it and Shawn attempted to reduce his hangover by drinking the electrolyte rich milk.. a little more chopping meant we were all able to enjoy the coconut and decided that we should find somewhere that does some food and on looking at my watch, the 20 minutes I was sure we had spent there had magically become 2 hours!!

We wanted to find some street food, but failed miserably, so when we passed a sign to “Gwen’s reggae grill” down a pretty rough road we spun the “bromobile” round and headed down,.. wow,. Another impressive beach with even more impressive food,.. Gwen was lovely and the afternoon was complete when I returned from urchin slaughtering (the only thing I hate more than urchins are mosquitoes!) having seen a rather indignant looking spiny puffer fish to find Shawn with an inane grin, a glint in his eye and a large pile of coconuts behind him!   I think he may have coconut issues!

We developed a number of units of measurement for elements of the trip; not only was the size of a fish to be measured in “Bob’s”, the weight was to be measured in units of “Chibleys”, the level of sunburn would be given a score of 1 to 10 on the Tammy scale and level of drunkenness would be measured in Shawn’s!  I also found an answer to a question that had been plaguing me since Ghana,.. “Why do coconut palms always lean towards the sea?”, as it turns out, they need to drop their coconuts on the water so they can be carried away,.. easy really!

A quick snooze on the beach followed before heading back to the dock to find the others.

The Picton Castle crew had agreed to make a sail for a sloop in Panama and so everyone was expected on the beach at 4pm to help, unfortunately, the material hadn’t turned up and so plans for the evening were made instead,.. apparently “Banky Banks” was the place to go this evening, but there was some confusion as to whether it was open or not,.. we made the most of a crewmembers room to have a shower and prepared for a burger at the Pumphouse when it suddenly began to rain and all the lights went out,.. I began to have flashbacks to Ghana,… but it appeared the restaurant had a generator so we headed out anyway. 

A newly made friend of George’s turned up to take us to Banky Banks, which I have to say was quite a venue,.. it would really have been something in the height of the season, however May is not the height of the season and so we were pretty much the only ones there, there was going to be live music though,.. so we consoled ourselves with very generous rum and cokes!

As promised the live music turned up and just as we were beginning to get into it the barman informed Yoh that if we wanted to stay for the music it would cost us 15$ each,.. we obviously told him where to go and left swiftly, just in time to catch the last skiff back to the boat

Another stifling evening meant I was once again more comfortable on the aloha deck where I discovered a very giggly Jo explaining her days’ activities to an equally giggly Jimmy,…  but even the giggling couldn’t keep me awake and I was out for the count!


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