06 July 2015

Stupid Can Openers | Marsh Harbour, Bahamas

Cans are a wonderful thing. Inside their metal bodies they hold the secret to happiness. Food.

Food like sauerkraut, beans, potatoes, corn and tomatoes. We eat a surprising amount of canned tomatoes. For some strange reason, Scott will only eat cooked tomatoes. He turns his nose up at fresh tomatoes. Weird, huh? But, I don't like avocados, so maybe that makes me weird too.

When you live on a boat or in an RV (or are some sort of prepper getting ready for the apocalypse), then cans are a wonderful thing. Food stuffed in metal cans lasts forever. You can eat cans of tomatoes you stocked up on ten years ago when they were on sale and they're still good. Apparently, Twinkies have the same longevity. Remember Twinkies? Imagine how much longer they would last if they were stuffed into cans. When I was growing up, we weren't allowed to eat processed food at home. So, I secretly ate Twinkies at my friends' houses. That's probably what stunted my growth.

The only problem with cans, whether they're stuffed with tomatoes or Twinkies, is that they need to be opened. And you need a special tool to do so - the magic can opener. Otherwise, you're going to go very, very hungry.

I don't know if this happens to you with your partner/spouse, but, sometimes, the things I say to Scott come back to bite me. For years, I've been harping on about how important it is to have a back-up can opener, safely sealed in a Ziploc bag to protect it from rusting. Just in case of the unlikely event that the primary can opener breaks.

Like many husbands, Scott has mastered the art of pretending to listen to me and seeming deeply interested in what I am talking about. He nods at the appropriate time and repeats back bits of what I've said to him. "Yeah, sure Ellen. Can openers, Ziploc bags and Twinkies. Important stuff. Fascinating." All the while, he is daydreaming about racing, sail trim and what's for dinner.

One day, tragedy stuck. Our can opener broke. Tired of life and not able to bear the thought of opening another can, it just fell apart on the counter into pieces. I cried out in anguish, "Scott! What are we going to do about dinner?"

"No problem, Ellen. Just dig out that spare can opener sealed up in a Ziploc bag." Turns out this was the one time he had actually been listening to me. He knew all about my obsession with spare can openers. 

Hmm...guess what we didn't have on the boat.

Guess who rubbed it in.

Right about this time, our pals from S/V Wild Blue, Charlie and Jane, popped by for happy hour. Not only did they bring beer, but they also brought a can of bean salad. "Ellen, pass up a can opener and a bowl and we can snack on this with our beers." Charlie ended up opening the can with a screwdriver. It seemed like a real hassle. Fortunately, we had something else to eat that night for dinner which didn't require a can opener or a screwdriver.

This all happened while we were anchored in Marsh Habour. I can't say that we loved the place. Honestly, I'm not even sure why we anchored there three nights. But we did for some reason. It's a big harbor with plenty of room for lots of boats. Seems like a really popular place. For us, though, it didn't have the charm of some of the other places we've visited in the Abacos, like Green Turtle Cay and Hopetown. We don't even have any pictures of Marsh Harbour, which tells you something.

Marsh Harbour is a big town. And the good thing about big towns is that they have big stores. Like Maxwell's, a large grocery store similar to what you would find in the States. They have everything you could possibly need, including can openers for $6. It seemed like a lot of money for a can opener, but needs must and all that. So, we forked it over. 

Speaking of forking money over, did you know that Bahamian money and American money are interchangeable? The Bahamian dollar is pegged to the US dollar so the exchange rate is fixed at 1:1. You can pay for stuff in US dollars, in Bahamian dollars or in a mix of the two. The Bahamian pennies have starfish on them. Much prettier than ours. Sorry, Abe.

We used our new can opener that night. I'm pretty sure we had pasta with tomato sauce. The second night I went to use the can opener. It broke. The brand spanking new can opener. Broken. The only way we could open cans was for Scott to use our brand spanking new can opener as some sort of stabbing device to pierce the lid open. Slow and tedious, but better than a screwdriver.

By this point, we had left Marsh Harbour and were anchored at nearby Matt Lowes's Cay. Otherwise, we would have returned the stupid can opener and got our $6 back - in either US or Bahamian dollars. 

When we got back to the States, guess what one of the first things I did was. Yep, bought a new can opener. Guess what's on my list of things to buy for the boat. Yep, a spare can opener. Or two. Maybe even three. I don't think you can have too many onboard.

LOGBOOK NOTES | Monday, 25 May - Thursday, 28 May 2015

Nautical Miles - 15
Anchor Up - Elbow Cay (outside of Hopetown)
Snorkeling Stop - Garden Cay
Anchorage #1 - Marsh Harbour (three nights)
Anchorage #2 - Matt Lowe's Cay (one night)
Number of Stupid Can Openers - 2
Cost of Laundry in Marsh Harbour - $2.50 (top tip - don't use Bahamian coins in the washer, it jams it up, stick with American coins)
Cost of Bread - $3 (cheap as chips for the Bahamas)
Free Trash - down the street from the Union Jack dinghy dock

Next time on the blog...we make it through the Whale Cay Passage and head back to Green Turtle Cay. We didn't see one single whale along the way. I think that's probably a good thing when you're going through a cut with lumpy seas.

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  1. Hopped over from Jaye's post. This is hysterical! You're always adding things to my fear list; I had to check with Matt about our can opener situation. He has 6 swiss army knives / leathermans stored in strategic locations throughout the boat. Phew. Of course, I don't think any of them are in ziplock bags....yet! What larks! Lucy

    1. Wait until you see the can opener Jaye got me (I'm going to do a post on it). It's amazing - you'll want one too!


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