Feb 18

I picked up the van promptly at 9. Despite being concerned about the left side of road driving, I managed to drive it successfully from the rental shop to the town house. Fortunately it was just a series of left hand turns, so all I had to do was stay on my side of the road. We loaded up and headed off for the children’s park on Grace Bay. It was on the way there that we discovered that I have a mental block vis a vis left-side-of-road driving. Whenever I do a right hand turn, I end up on the wrong side of the road. My dad was in the passenger seat and was supposed to be the navigator and side of road reminder, but after he told me to turn the wrong way at the second turn (I had memorized my moves to the third turn, so I ignored him) he was relieved of his map reading duties. After the third right turn in which a shriek from the back seat reminded me where to be, he was reduced to a simple mnemonic, “Dad in ditch”; as long as I kept him in the ditch, I’d be on the correct side of the road. It didn’t help that the windshield wipers and turn signal were reversed. Hopefully the locals were able to discern my intent from the waving wipers.

At the children’s playground, Miwa had lots of fun, but it was way too windy to snorkel, and frankly, the playground looked like it could collapse at any moment. We finally managed to drag Miwa away, and headed off for Chalk sound. We had some trouble interpreting the map, and ended up taking a slightly longer route, and doing several u-turns, but we go there eventually. It was an amazing place, kind of like the South China Sea in miniature. We would have gone for a pontoon boat tour, but it was still really windy.

We went to a sheltered bay, but by the time we finally found the public beach access and walked down to the beach, it was almost lunch time, so I just took Miwa for a quick walk out into the shallow bay before we headed back to the van. It sure was shallow a long way out! I was 100m off shore and the water was only half way up to my knees. I think we might come back tomorrow and splash around for a bit. There was also a dredged out channel for boats along a limestone shore that looked like it could be good for snorkeling, Miwa and I saw some fish from the edge.

We went for lunch at a restaurant on Chalk Sound, and somehow we beat the crowd, so we got to sit in the gazebo with a lovely view of the sound.
Apparently the wind and my driving had worn everyone out, so after lunch we headed back, stopping for supplies at the IGA. Miwa fell asleep after we left the IGA, so we kept driving, and went all the way to the eastern end of the island and back. By then it was about 2:30 and getting into nap time.  And that was about it for the day.


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