Sail boat racing in Bahamas is taken very seriously, at least the racing part.  Afterwards the celebration and discussions take on a different more relaxed atmosphere.  The boats are built by various builders and each island and builder really takes the boat building and racing very seriously and besides the pride of winning there is the bragging rights that come with it. Not just the boat builder but the entire island gets to share in it.

There are three classes of boats with the A class being the longest, around 29 feet long, then the B class at around 22 and the C at around 17 feet.  So once you have gone ahead designed it and built it how do you move the boat to the water?  Well you ask about for any local bodies and organize a boat moving party.  There were two class C boats that needed to get into the water at the anchorage we have been at.  So Dean, gee can you spot that brightly colored person, helped many others move the boat from the storage and boat building area to the water.  This involved moving the boat over rocks, down roads, over a gravel road, and finally down a slippery rocky beach.  Both boats made it successfully into the water and no one was injured.  I doubt in the US the moving of boats would have occurred this way.

One race will be at the 5 F festival and then another larger one will be in George Town.  In the US for a boat race all the boats are milling about the start line until the gun sounds and then off to the windward mark.  Here the rules are a bit different, everyone is anchored and the sails are down and when the gun goes off the anchors come in and the sails go up.  Sounds rather exciting.  Another part of the boat design is there are boards that go out over the edge of the boat that people sit on to help offset the amount of sail in strong winds.  The boards are normally parallel to the water but as the wind increases the angle on the boards increase.  We have seen the board at a good 45 degrees to the water.

Kris has been walking with Sam a lot, and took a longer walk the other day and wore poor Sam out.  We think that Sam got some water in his lungs as he was drinking, and just could not get his breath.  Kris ended up carrying him on her shoulders part way home of the 2 mile walk back.  (Sam weighs 45 lbs)  Kris says her shoulders are sore now - I wonder why.  Sam has recovered fully by the way.  On the walk she came across the unique castle house in the photo. 
In many places on the islands you will find these "sink holes" for lack of a better term - they are roundish holes filled with water.  Some have fish in them, so we suspect the rock is so porous here, that there are many small fissures running all under the islands.  The sink hole in the picture was about 1/2 a mile inland from any water, and had little fish and crabs in it.

 

 

 

update 1/29/12; when are A, B, and C not grades???