Clarence Town, Long Island
Monday, we had rain squalls rolling through every few minutes, so it wasn’t a great day to get to shore, so we decided to wait. It was still squally this morning, but by mid-afternoon things had cleared up and we decided to chance it. Dreams of more fresh food bid us forward as had seen the mail boat arrive at the dock on Monday. A short dinghy ride across the harbor led to a small beach next to the government dock. We anchored the dinghy and set off to explore. Just a few steps away we found the Government packing house where our guidebook suggested we might find produce on Tuesdays. It was a large warehouse, and we clambered up the truck ramp to peek inside. Sadly all they had were hundreds of onions, a few papayas, and some very large, strange looking squashes.
We asked for directions to the grocery store and headed off in that direction, past a few very old houses, the police station and a huge pond. Directly across from the pond we found the Tru Value Food and Drug Store. Well, they didn’t actually have drugs, but they would send for them from Nassau. They didn’t have much food either. Not one single fresh item. But I did find New Zealand butter, some canned OJ (yes, you do get used to that nasty stuff), a box of corn flakes, and amazingly a bag of frozen corn on the cob, Coleen’s one wish for a 4th of July meal!
We set off down the road again and came upon Ena Majors Straw Market. We stopped in for a look and bought a jar of local pepper jelly. Ena told us that you had to go to the next town to find produce as the Tru Value didn’t want to take the risk involved with fresh food.
It was hot walking on the paved roads, and I am not much of one for the heat. Coleen and I opted to take a rest sitting on a lovely stone wall, under a shade tree surrounded by flowers and singing birds. DJ headed down the road a bit further to explore.
Later we hiked up the hills to see the Anglican and Catholic churches both built by Father Jerome. Both were exceedingly beautiful, and had amazing views of the sea, although one was undergoing reconstruction due to recent hurricane damage. Storm clouds were headed our way as we passed the town clinic. We thought about seeking refuge on their covered porch, but decided to keep going. It was just starting to sprinkle when I spotted the Rowdy Boys Bar & Grill a short distance away. We walked fast and made it inside just before the deluge began.
We were the only customers and enjoyed a cold Kalik at the bar while visiting with the owner. He is a native Long Islander and was quite interesting. He told us stories about building boats and racing in the regattas, owning a farm and losing all the bananas in a hurricane, before quitting the farm and building the bar (actually a quite nice little restaurant, with an ocean side pool and a few rental cottages.)
Several squalls rolled through while we enjoyed our beer and conversation, one with fierce winds. I was so hoping my little sailboat was still swinging on her anchor and not washed up on the coral. But there wasn’t much I could do about it, so I opted for another beer. Seems that we missed the big Kalik 25th anniversary party a few days before but we still got a commemorative beer bucket and 6 Kaliks for $15. I of course mentioned that I could not drink 6 beers, so they filled my bucket with ice and beer and I carried it back to the dinghy.