Man-O-War Cay has a character all its own. Settled by hard-toiling Methodist loyalists, it is still a working island where boats are built and repaired. MOW is very quiet. You can’t buy alcohol and you won’t get served food on a deck if you are shirtless, but we wanted to make sure the girls got a chance to see the cay. So after a quick morning swim we motored over to MOW.
We anchored outside the northern harbor entrance and piled into the dinghy to go ashore. The patches in the dinghy held, and the wind was behind us, so we had a pleasant scenic ride in. We tied up at the government dock near the MOW marina and started exploring.
We went to Joeâ€™s Studio and Gift Shop, where there were some surprisingly bawdy trinkets and hand carved mahogany model boats. We peeked into one of the Albury Brothers boat shops, where they were building the fiberglass boats which are the standard for this area.. We walked around the colorful, but not ornate, village ending up at the Sail Shop. This shop is staffed by three ladies behind sewing machines. One gets the feeling that even though they no longer need to make sails, they must keep cranking out product. The walls are lined with brightly colored bags of all shapes and sizes, including wine carriers and I-Pad pouches. The ladies were very industrious, but you could tell that their days were also filled with chat breaks.
We walked up Loverâ€™s Lane to the ocean side, where we found a stunningly beautiful, rock-free stretch of beach. Debbie immediately hit the water, quickly followed by Karen.
As we walked back toward the Dock-and-Dine restaurant we passed a hardware store. We went in. I found a Glo Plug switch. As Duwan, Debbie and I were leaving Karen found a booklet profiling the career of a local body builder. We have learned that Karen often lingers behind in shops to talk with the locals. We found ourselves outside waiting for her. We assumed that the small crowd of local men was just happy to chat with a real live woman in their big hardware man-cave.
As it turns out, one of the men was the body-builder. He was still competing, and winning, in his sixties. Karen, told him she was interested the book â€“ as an inspiration for her friend, Terry. He wrote Terry a nice autograph.
We were on a bit of a schedule. We wanted to reach Treasure Cay Marina at high tide and before they closed. The food at the Dock and Dine was good, but the service seemed slow to me. There were storm clouds arisinâ€™ and I thought we should be on our way.
It started raining before we got to the dinghy, and we had pre-storm wind and waves on the way back to the boat. Karen baled water energetically. At first she was able to keep up. But when we turned into the wind we were shipping water at the rate of five gallons per wave. There was no way for her to keep up.
We got away before the storm hit. We had a nice fast sail to Treasure Cay staying just ahead of the dark clouds. Karen said she thought this was the best sailing of the trip. Some dolphins came up beside us, but we werenâ€™t going fast enough to entertain them, so they moved on. Debbie took the helm and got to experience â€˜surfingâ€™ the boat down some small waves. Looking out over Whale Cay we could see another storm coming our way.
Duwan guided us into our assigned slip with no problems. The harbormaster caught a line for us. He quickly handed it back to me as I stepped on the dock. He went to help another boat just as the rain started coming down in earnest.
After a supper on the boat of pasta with Thai peanut sauce we went to the Tipsy Seagull, the Marinaâ€™s large open air bar. It was pizza night and there was live entertainment. The place was overflowing. All the golfers, fishers, and vacationing families on Treasure Cay were there.
The entertainment was a keyboard player and singer who knew all the sing-along standards. They were a big hit with the crowd. It was hard to have a conversation with everyone yelling â€˜BaDa-BaDa-Baaâ€™ and â€˜So Good, So Good, So Good!â€™ during Sweet Caroline. The duo covered everything from CCR to Stevie Wonder. But after a couple of mango margaritas were consumed it was time for us to call it a night.