Sunday, July 26, 2009

Boat Projects and Dinner Parties

Today was a day for boat projects and maintenance...necessary evils while living aboard, even on gloriously lovely days!! Not that we didn't sneak in a dive in the morning, out to the Rita Zovetto, for Taylor's second wreck dive. From the huge deck winch to the large parts of the hull structure still intact, there is lots to see at this dive site, and we enjoyed it. Plus, we actually saw a fish we hadn't seen before, called a Goldface Toby, which is a member of the puffer fish family. Rather small with a translucent golden color, it was quite pretty. Taylor also found a beautiful seashell on the sand, which she carried around with her for the remainder of the dive. When we surfaced, out popped a Blackfin Cardinalfish, barely 1" long, which landed in the water right in front of my mask! I got a good look at it, being face to face with it underwater after it escaped the shell. Apparently the Blackfin Cardinalfish like to hide in empty shells, and this one certainly seemed a tad startled about the voyage it took, but off it swam, back to the depths. Wild!! We hadn't seen one of those before either!

Internet photo by Schulke, J.
Blackfin Cardinalfish

After the dive, it was on to boat maintenance projects. While I did galley clean-up, shower scrubbing, head cleaning, de-cluttering and general vacuuming inside, Ron changed out the bilge pump in the dinghy, as it had stopped working. While the old unit's float switch worked, the pump was dead in the water (so to speak), so he called PW Marine here in Bermuda and found they had a replacement in stock. Ron and Ally rented a pair of motor scooters so he could go to town to retrieve the part. This was not a five-minute job (we know how those go!!) but a hot and bruising job hanging head first under the main bench in the dinghy. Ron actually got stuck while inspecting the dead pump....he really thought he was going to break his ribs before extricating himself. I would have found him eventually, legs flailing in the air, I'm sure...

The other reason we rented the scooters was so that we could get over to Harrington Sound, as we'd been invited to dinner at Angel's Grotto, the home of Scott and Helene Simmons. To me, it's a very fascinating tradition in Bermuda that the homes have names and each is posted on the walls outside the entrances. In fact, the post office requires the name of the house along with the address, because (as we have found out, much to our consternation) there can be several homes at the same street number address. Thus, house names are required! So, after meandering through the property and looking at the names of all the houses and apartments, we finally found Scott and Helene's along the waterfront. Despite the momentary confusion as to which house was theirs, we still arrived on time....which was a bit embarrassing here, since Bermudian time is rather flexible (and folks are rarely prompt, we've discovered!). But no one minds at all; the party just begins when everyone arrives!

On our arrival, we found Scott hastily escorting a "Warwick" lizard out of the house. They have wild lizards here, some larger than others, and it used to be that the really big scary ones were only found in Warwick parish. Apparently now, though, they've migrated a bit, and are now found island wide....!! This Warwick lizard definitely had an attitude and even their cats didn't want to tangle with it, so it was Scott to the rescue!

We spent a truly lovely evening watching the sun set over Harrington Sound while chatting, dining, sharing wine and fun stories with Helene and Scott, Helene's sister Heather, daughter Vicky and our two girls. The dinner was delicious and the conversation continued until rather late, which seems to be the norm here!! We reluctantly bid everyone good night before the moonlit scooter ride home. Made it back safely with little traffic! :)

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