We spent the night of 27 February at Sumner Point on Rum Cay and took advantage of the intenet that allowed us to work from the boat. Underway the next morning at 0900, we covered the 31 Nm to San Salvador, arriving just about noon. Even before discovering what a wonderful place this was, we had decided to stay over for two days to do some boat cleaning and general maintenance. Fortunately, they had unlimited water for a nominal daily $15.00 fee. Riding Rock Inn was our host, just north of the islands major city of Cockburn Town and the marina was a very nice one that we had practically to ourselves.
The first order of business was to seek out the local laundromat and take care of nearly two weeks of clothes: overflowing the hamper. We secured a golf cart and set off to Cockburn Town to find the place. After several rounds of questions it was finally located in the back of a pink house. The proprietress offered to shift to the dryer and said we should return in two hours. This gave us time to explore to the south. Along the way we came to a family burial plot and the poignant headstone of a two year old. Further down the road we found the commemorative cross marking Columbus' landing in 1492. Although there are still arguments about the location of this first landing in the new world, this seems like a probable place to step ashore. Curiously, just next to this cross is a rather garish platform and flame pot for the Mexico City Olympics. And, right next to these historic references was a hand painted sign advertising Landfall Laundromat...open 24 hours. About this time the sky began to turn black and angry. We hopped in the cart and sped back to town ...at about 10 miles per hour.
Our laundress wasn't expecting anyone to be out in the squall and said that she hadn't put the clothes in the dryer. We planned to return in the morning for the dry clothes and continued on to the boat in some really wet ones. That evening the winds howled for a while and we felt snug in our corner of the basin. The next morning the boat got a good scrub, inside and out. After that we retrieved the clothes and did a little shopping. Just north of the marina there is a big Club Med complex and the nearby airport seemed busy with lots of flights coming and going. March 1 was also a special day in the town. American Ambassador John Roon came for the day and delivered a speech at the local elementary school. The school children put on a skit dressed in colorful Junkanoo costume. It was all very festive and the town was alive with activity. A beautiful Bahamian Defense Force corvette sat at anchor for the day just off the town.
We decided that the golf cart was just too pokie and traded up to scooters at the airport. This gave us the range to travel to Sand Point and climb among the ruins of Watling's Castle. Still standing from the 1600s, you can make out slave quarters, a separate cooking room with fireplace and the two storey main house. All the doorways were just over five feet high leading one to ponder the stature of these ancients.
We turned in the scooters just before dusk and had dinner at Parodis near the airport. Great Bahamian fare; this restaurant had just hosted the ambassador's entourage earlier in the day. The walk back to the boat was a little spooky, but the big new moon came out in time to light the way back.