Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Port Sandwich: Calm Anchorage and Friendly Folks

We like this spot! Though you can't get into the water due to sharks – it is a nice spot. The anchorage is very, very calm – no matter which direction the wind may prevail. The holding is good in 13 meters (44 feet) of water. There are some nice walks along a relatively easy road. Fresh bread is baked daily available in the village of Lamap about 2 miles away. But the best part is that the islanders here are incredibly warm and friendly. Everyone stops you on the road to chat and introduce themselves with handshakes and warm smiles.

We heard a story about how it got named from Capt. Edmund, off one of the copra collection boats. He had called us for weather info that morning so we went and visited the boat later that day. He said that Captain Cook named it Port Sandwich because it was so rough outside the protected bay he couldn't eat for days – but finally in here, he could have a sandwich. The other story we read was that it was named for the Earl of Sandwich. But we like the Captain Cook story better!

One day while returning from Lamap with our fresh out of the oven bread, we were looking for some oranges and tangerines (or mandarins as they call them). We stopped and asked a lady if she knew where we could get some and she told us to co me back tomorrow morning and she would have some for us. We returned the next morning as planned and she invited us into her home where we sat and visited for awhile and met her brothers, sister and some of her children. There she had lots of oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit and a large unusual fruit that she had just picked for us. Then her older brother Raphael came in with more tangerines and a giant white grapefruit. It was HUGE. We paid the equivalent of about $4.25 for all that. We were loaded down – plus some of the fruit came in a lovely homemade palm-frond basket. After visiting with the family and trying to remember our high school French as best as we could (we keep slipping into Spanish after so many years in Panama/Colombia/Honduras) they offered to take us to a waterfall the next day.

So today (Wednesday), we hiked back to their home and we again were treated with great hospitality. Otelia, our hostess, had baked some sweet coconut/caramel treats and had fresh bread and fruit out for us. Then her Auntie came in with freshly roasted breadfruit for us as well. Unfortunately, it was a drizzly day and then it started to rain a bit harder and we could tell they didn't really want to walk up to the waterfall. However, if we did they would take us. We said we'd do it another day. So off we went with a large bunch of gifted bananas and some coconut jam (that we actually bought). We also arranged for them to visit us on the boat on Saturday. They really are a lovely family.
Yesterday, we also enjoyed the hospitality of "Rock" who owns one of the little stores nearby the anchorage area. He offers cruisers free fresh water showers and water for the laundry. Or you can even bring your laundry in to his yard to wash and hang out on his lines. He and his wife Noella are very lovely and they are always happy to sit and chat with lots of stories and information. He speaks excellent English so the conversation is easy. We took advantage of the free showers yesterday!

There is some weather coming in over the next few days and this is a perfect place to sit out anything – so we'll stick around a bit longer. If they only had internet here – it would be perfect! Lots of delivery boats have also come in and out of the wharf to collect bags and bags and bags of copra. So there is plenty of entertainment watching the copra get delivered to the boats and loaded. Looks like another is expected today as copra is getting loaded on the dock. Last night at midnight, a large boat, "Big Sista" came in and it was amazing to watch so many people on shore come to meet it to get their packages off of it. It was funny to see all these flashlights in the darkness – like a swarm of fireflies – late at night coming down to the dock. The boat was here and gone within an hour.

We still want to explore at least one of the three rivers on the other side of the bay! Lots to do in between the never-ending boat projects.

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