This is our third day “on the hard” – meaning that the boat is out of the water, having its bottom painted against sea algae, etc.
We arrived at Stella Maris for this job three days ago, greeted by a hoard of no-see-ums – worse this year, we’re told, because of the hurricane that hit Long Island in the Fall. They’re eating us alive!
We did a load of laundry near-by, and then watched for two hours as the workmen tried to haul our boat out of the water with a railway system. Interesting at first, and then downright boring. So we decided to take off in the car we had rented for two days while the work was being done. Our idea was to explore Long Island by car, stay in a hotel for both nights, and return on Friday to have the boat “splashed” back into the water so we could take off.
Ah, the best laid plans, etc …. First, we discovered that the rental car, which we had locked with all of our things for two days in it, could not be opened again – the key wasn’t functioning properly. After two more hours of fiddling around by the rental company, their fellow managed to push the back of the trunk out from inside, and was able to unlock the door that way. As we took off in the car, he said “remember not to lock the door … and drive on the left-hand side”. Right.
We spent what was left of that day and the next day poking around the Island – mostly very poor and empty, with lots of devastation from the hurricane. But there are beautiful beaches, and a wonderful conch bar (Max’s) that we ate at twice for lunch. We stayed the first night in what turned out to be one of the least expensive hotels on the Island, at $170.00 US per night! Pretty – right on the ocean – but definitely beyond our budget. So back to the boat for last night and tonight – up a ladder – as it still needed another day of painting and drying before we can take off tomorrow morning.
We spent most of today at a beautiful Beach at the Cape Santa Maria Resort – named after one of Columbus’ three ships – but unfortunately it was cloudy all day L. I managed to do three small paintings, though – so that was nice (the one below was requested by a lovely Irish woman we met on the beach - she wants to give it to a friend as a "thank-you" gift).
This stay has not been our best experience here so far – the sail to Cuba next week is beginning to look better and better!