Matthew Town, Great Inagua and the Flamingoes


Friday, March 27

The morning started early with swells from the SE rocking the boat from 4am onward.  After listening to Chris Parker and getting the weather from our area via the Webcast from free WiFi through the BadBoy, we had breakfast and went to town to get a SIM card for our cell phone. (I posted that we got the phone Thursday, but i remember now we got jus the iPad SIM cards yesterday)  I was very glad to get off the boat!!!  First errand was to get rid of our trash.  We found the trash cans through the help of a couple guys in  pickup truck on the concrete dock who also told us Nixon is the guy to talk to about going to see the flamingoes.  We talked to the BalTelCo.  Unfortunately, the BalTelCo didn’t open until 930am as they had a meeting at 9am.  So we started walking to the  Library.  Along the way we saw a couple guys in a truck towing a boat so struck a conversation.  They are fishermen, Winston and Vincent, going out today.  We told them we would be interested in some fish later and told them where we were.  Continuing on our way, we talked with a guy sitting under a tree in the shade, which is in short supply here on this scrub island.  We continued walking and was picked up by Eddie, who took us to the library.  “Just sit on the bench and Henry Nixon will show up.”  So we are sitting here waiting enjoying the shade and the beeeze on our backs.  After a while, we didn’t see him, so Phil went to the library, which was unlocked and he was told that Henry was in his office.  Phil talked to him and made arrangements to meet him there at 12 noon after he picked up somone coming in on a plane.

In the meantime, we went into the library and met Linda using her laptop with the free WiFi on very comfortable couches.  We invited her and Jim to come see the flamingoes, but she declined as wanted to leave early enough to go to the reef to have good visual site conditions to see the coral heads.   Phil saw Jim at the gate to the office and chatted a while after Jim had been to Customs.  We decided that we would wait for Henry and see the  Flamingoes today even if it meant we would only be able to anchor in Man of Way Bay just before the reefs this afternoon.

It took until 1p for him to arrive and we were on our way.  Only the town has paved roads.   Then the rest of them on the island are wide dirt roads a creamy color.  We’ve noticed a lot of trucks and 4-wheel drive vehicles here, and we just found out why.   The speed limit is about 20-25 because that’s the fastest you can go.  Once we got to the Morton Bahama factory, we turned right and went by the salt ponds on the left of the raised road and on the right the retaining basins.  The land here is very flat naturally.  There are dead short stumps and rocks all over in the retaining basins that feed the salt ponds.  The waters have a pink color to,them and an unusual smell that was strong to me but not noticable to Phil. We did see flamingoes mostly in the distance and a few closer by that started flying.  We also saw blue herons and pink Spoonbills.  There were twists and turns in the road, but eventually the route was in a big loop and we were back at the Morton Salt factory, on the paved road again back in town by 3pm.  This whole time there had been no mention of cost by anyone.  Phil asked if we could give him some gas money, then Henry said (with attitude of you thought this was free Mon!) that there is a fee of $50.  Then he relented in his attitude and said that he should have mentioned the cost.  YES, but we should have also asked.  

At 328pm we started the engine and raised anchor by 335pm  lowering the anchor at 5pm in north Man of War Bay.  This time the anchor sounded like it was running out of power.  I called Phil to check it out, but of course, it didn’t sound that way when he listened.  I made spaghetti for supper even though we had beans creole style in the fridge.   Here we have 1-2 bars of cell phone signal.  I tried to call my Mom, and the new cell phone isn’t working.     We relaxed and read most of the evening.  It is less rolly here, but there is a little swell coming in.   

I’ll post photos of this trip later when have better WiFi signal.

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