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  • Katharine Hesmer

DAY 63 | February 14, 2022

Long Island, Bahamas

KORKZcrew is the blue dot on the map.

We've had high winds of up to 30 knots for the past several days which tends to keep you from going anywhere, even on the dinghy, but today the three of us decided to tackle some provisioning and hit the local market. Other cruisers we'd previously met mentioned that there's a good grocery store just down the road from a dinghy dock we could see in the distance, located near a cell tower. From there it's an easy walk to Hillside Food Supply.

Grocery shopping is a little different when you live on a boat, as you might imagine. One of the many things I appreciate about the Bahamas is that I haven't seen any plastic bags in the stores, and most expect you to bring your own canvas bag. That's the "rule" rather than the exception.

So Skeet took us to the dinghy dock, and we enjoyed the opportunity to stretch our legs and make a beeline for the grocery store, bags over our shoulders and ready to go. From the street, the market appears relatively small, but my GOSH what an amazing variety of food AND hardware supplies we found inside! It seemed like the store kept going back forever into more and more rooms, where the inventory was well organized and fully stocked. It's fairly common — and understandable — that in the few markets you find in the Exuma Cays, you'll see empty shelves depending on when a store's next shipment (literally "ship"ment) is scheduled to arrive. While Long Island is not part of the Exuma Cays chain, it still obviously has the same challenges of receiving inventory. But this particular shop seemed to do a stellar job of somehow keeping the shelves full. Or maybe we just hit it on a good day.

The Hillside Food Supply building looks deceptively small from the street.

You really have to think about what you're buying because you then have to carry all of the bags back down the road and to the dinghy dock, making a rather short walk seem suddenly like a trudge. Not a huge deal, but something to think about when you're weighing (pun intended) whether or not you REALLY need that 28 ounce glass jar of tomato sauce.

After a successful grocery run, we started our walk back, and Ron split off from us at the dinghy dock to walk to a nearby marine supply store. The plan was for Skeet and me to take the groceries back to KORKZcrew in the dinghy, and then Skeet would return to pick up Ron. Here's the fascinating (!) journey from the dinghy dock back to the boat. You'll quickly notice how highly we value pizza in this family. It's a wonder I haven't turned into a gigantic pepperoni with extra cheese.

Here's how you load groceries into your floating "car". 😜

Back to KORKZcrew we go to unload the prized pizza. And some other healthy stuff (as far as you know).

Came back to find this cute guy patiently waiting. Apparently he'd been looking out for our return. Hijacking the binoculars is a new trick he must have learned while we were gone.

When Skeet went BACK to get Ron, Steve was not-so-patiently waiting for his master's return. Steve loves me and Skeet, don't get me wrong, but there can be 4 of our 5 family members in the house with Steve, and if Ron is outside, that boy is crying at the door. I try my best not to take it personally but it isn't always easy.

Video proof that I am literally chopped liver. Which is actually something Steve would probably like but you know what I mean.

Here's another story from today that you'll probably find a tad more interesting than chronicling our grocery store adventures. Let's hope. Earlier this morning, the O'Kelly's from Clarity were on their dinghy heading to shore in KORKZcrew's direction, and were nice enough to stop at our stern and chat for a minute. They are the couple whose YouTube channel we've been watching for awhile, and you'll probably remember the video of Skeet taking them a KORKZ back when we were in George Town. We'd literally only met them in passing — their boat passing ours — so this was a fun chance to introduce ourselves, and we thought it was so kind of them to venture over to our trawler full of strangers. Ever since we'd arrived at Long Island, Skeet had been asking daily if I thought we'd see the O'Kelly's since we were anchored in the same vicinity, and I told him I really thought there was a good chance, especially if they go to Tiny's as much as we do. Which is way too much. So of course, poor Skeet was ASLEEP while his revered O'Kelly's were right at the back of our boat! Never fear though, for we invited the O'Kelly's to come by for happy hour around 5:00, which they did, and Skeet had plenty of time to chat with his new friends. Nick is a licensed pilot too, so you can imagine how much Skeet enjoyed those conversations. I had a great chat with Megan, where we basically single-handedly saved the world, so rest assured that has now been taken care of. You're welcome.

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