Friday, May 16, 2014

Pink, Blue and Yellow Stores

Motivator’s next stop after The Marina at Emerald Bay was Staniel Cay (cay is pronounced key) for light provisioning.  Almost everything in the Bahamas is imported, so there are shipping costs and stiff import taxes added to all products.  We therefore try to bring everything we will need especially snack foods and toiletries which seem to be very pricey

From Emerald Bay to Staniel Cay we elected to travel on the “outside” because the wind was out of the west.  After two years in the Caribbean easterly trade winds, wind out of the west seemed strange.  Throughout the Bahamas shallow draft boats usually have the choice between traveling in the protected water of the banks, dodging skinny spots and coral heads, or cruising outside in the exposed deep water.

Pigs receiving restaurant scraps

The first night Motivator anchored on the east side of Big Majors Spot. The next morning the wind started clocking back around north to east.  We then moved to the west side of Big Majors Spot off “Swimming Pigs Beach.”  The first time we were here, we took our dinghy over to the beach, only to discover that the swimming feral pigs are rather large and somewhat aggressive.  Pollie says, “They have stinking breathe, big gnashing teeth and huge gaping maws!”

In the Caribbean where we were usually the only motor yacht in the anchorage. At Big Majors Spot we counted nine motor yachts.  The “stink boats” outnumbered the “rag hangers.”

The only provisions we really needed were salad supplies, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Of the three, lettuce is usually the hardest to find in the islands.  We elected to start with the “yellow store” which is best approached by dinghy.  At approximately 800 square feet (two car garage), it is the largest of the three stores.  On the way there, we passed Tida Wave, one of the winning Bahamian sloops at the Family Islands Regatta in George Town.  The “yellow store” was a strikeout on lettuce.

The other two stores have to be approached from land.  It is best to park the dinghy at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and walk the coast road to the “pink and blue” stores.  On the way there, we discovered that we had missed the local farmers market by only a couple of days.

Signage for the stores is somewhat lacking, but we knew the way from previous visits to Staniel Cay. 

The “blue store” comprises of about 600 square feet with one cooler and one chest type deep freeze.  We were pleased to find the “blue store” was under the next generation of management.  It was cleaner, better stocked, and prices were clearly marked.  It had lettuce!

With our lettuce in hand, we skipped the “Pink Pearl Super Market.”  Last time we visited the prices were not marked and at checkout the total was exorbitant.  Also, the pot smoking grandmother at the cash register tried to short change us.  We did notice that her house had been restored.  Last time, two years ago, she announced they were waiting for money from the “government” to repair hurricane damage. 

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