The morning was beautiful and sunny with a pleasant breeze to keep the early morning gnats away. Beth and I walked down to the little shell beach to get another bag of shells to make her a necklace. The other one I made for Ben broke. The thread is not strong enough. We need fishing line.
I tried to make coffeecake. I set the oven to 375° and put it in. After 10 minutes (it normally takes 30 minutes) we smelled something burning. It was the coffeecake. ArgHHH! The oven was close to 500°, not even close to the appropriate temperature. The part I had put in the muffin pans was a loss, but Scott rescued the one in the glass 9x9 pan by putting it back to bake the middle on a low temperature. It was still good but it was kind of frustrating. Many things seem to not quite work right on the island. They are very costly to replace here and I guess repairmen are hard to come by.
The kids were counting their gnat bites this morning. Ben had 32 on one leg, and tons more on the rest of his body. They are all totally covered. Some screens in the dinning room have large gaps in them at the top. We have closed the windows with the gaps but even the windows don't close all the way. Maybe tonight we will socialize in the middle living room and close the door to that section of the house. [Ed: two days after the trip we are still itching because of the bites. Late into the trip, Stanton Cooper dropped off a Mosquito Magnet (www.mosquitomagnet.com) to cut down the gnat population but is was too late for us.]
I wanted to go to Goodfellow Farms and see what kind of jellies and marmalades they had. Scott and I went by ourselves looking for the farm. We ended up going down the wrong road. It was quite an adventure and Scott did a great job of getting us back, which was not an easy feat. I can see why people say to rent a 4-wheel drive when you come to Eleuthera. It would make such adventures more enjoyable. When we got to the farm we wandered around until we found one of the owners. Then went through their organic garden picking out what we wanted. We got mixed lettuce, carrots, parsley and green onions. I wanted tomatoes but they weren't ready yet. Neither were the cucumbers. We also came at a time when none of the fruits were bearing. She said it would be in June that the pineapples ripen. We got a large quantity of marmalades and syrups. I hope they taste as good as they look.
Then we went to the bakery. We didn't know it existed at first but if you turn right down the street just after Pammy's, you will see a large blue building on your right, The Blue Room, a bar and restaurant. On the other side of the street is a little building that is the bakery. The bread in the main stores is awful. The wheat bread was moldy and the white very like Wonder Bread. But the fresh bread from the bakery is good. We wanted to get meat patties. They said they didn't have any meat patties in the morning. There would be some in the afternoon. I love meat patties so I wanted to try the ones here. We bought a couple of loaves of bread then went to Burrows. Unfortunately the tomatoes were very green. I only found one small one that was red and not totally rotten. We also got a few other things we needed.
Then it was off to the New Sunset Inn. Somewhere we had heard that the owner will sell fresh fish if you ask. They said we had to go to Pammy's to buy fish. We went there and they said we could buy fish at 3pm. So we will be back. We are finally learning where to get everything we need.
We made a lunch of hash browns and eggs. We also had a loaf of bread and tried the Hot Pepper Jelly and the Eleuthera Marmalade. The Pepper Jelly had been cooked too long so it couldn't be spread. Joel microwaved it to heat it up. Then he drizzled it on the bread. Thumbs down. The texture was too sticky since it had been over jelled, and it was too spicy hot and didn't have much flavor. The Eleuthera Marmalade was better. Jelled correctly, but the best description we could come up with is "interesting". None of us liked it very much. I really hope the Mango Vinaigrette is good since we want to cook some grouper in it tonight.
Our afternoon adventure was to go to Double Bay Beach. We thought it would be fairly easy, but most of the accesses to the beach are private homes. Some of the homes are very beautiful, many are rentable. I recognized a lot of the names that I had seen on the internet when looking for a place to rent. Double Bay Beach is long, probably just over five miles. We went down through North Palmetto Point. We turned out at the first available spot at the Unique Village and Atlantic Suites sign. The Unique Village (we think it had no sign on it) was lovely right on the beach, and the beach here was beautiful. But there seemed to be no public access here so we went back to the road and continued on. And on. And on. We found one place to get down to the beach but we were afraid we couldn't get back up. There was about 6 feet or so of sand cliff. So again we went on. The road had gotten much worse. Then we got to a very smelly place with no houses along the beach. Who would want to build near such a vile smell? This is where we found access. Except for the smell it was gorgeous and perfect for the kids. There was a circle of coral surrounding this part of the beach so it broke all the waves. There was one channel out to snorkel through.
Scott and C-- tried snorkeling out. C-- came back fairly quickly because she said the undertow was too strong and too much work to struggle against. Scott went out for a bit longer and said there wasn't much there. He came back with a couple of shells he had collected from the sand on the bottom.
Scott and C-- decided to take a long walk down the beach. We kept Amos for them. While they were gone we all went in for a snorkel, though Amos didn't go out for long. We stayed inside our ring of coral. There were a few small fish and Ben found a bristle worm. Joel saw a school of what we think were yellowtail jacks, and he chased them around our pool.
When the Meeks got back, it was time to pack up and see if we could find fresh fish for dinner. We also wanted to stop at the bakery for a snack of meat patties. We tried the bakery at North Palmetto Point but it was closed. So we went back to Governor's Harbor and stopped at the bakery there. We got a whole lot of yummy pastries and some more bread, but no meat patties. The gal there said they were only available between noon and 1pm. We will be back tomorrow for lunch.
Then it was off to Pammy's. She said to get the fish from the truck that was just passing. The fishermen had put their grouper in the truck and were taking it to the beach ramp near the (non-working and only) traffic light. We picked out a fish. It was just over 18" long. He filleted it for us and charged us $40 (for about 4lbs of fillet). From what I hear Bahamians like to haggle but I just gave him $40.
We took our fish home and started the grill. As the resident pyro I started the fire and made sure it was burning well before I took my shower. Afterwards I made the salad and some boiled carrots. Joel made the rice and cooked the fish. Oh yeah, I also made more rum punch as I usually do before dinner. Scott made pina coladas, but I don't really like them, so I stuck to my rum punch.
Dinner was good. Joel thought the fish was great, but I thought just good. After dinner we went out to watch the sunset again. The wind was pretty strong all day, including now so the gnats weren't a problem. We gabbed for a while outside before coming back in to eat cheese danish for dessert. Yummy!
Since it wasn't quite bedtime we whiled away the time with a couple of games of Mamma Mia.
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