Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our first guests in the Bahamas

We didn’t know what airline Mike and Charlotte would be on into Nassau so we didn’t really know if they would be on time. It was great to see Mike’s white hair as we peered through the custom’s doors. They had come on a red-eye but we had plans for them so there was no time for sleep. We took them back to the boat – had conch salad we had made that morning and washed it down with beer.

Conch (KONK) salad
Conch (KONK) salad

After a quick tour we walked over to Potter’s Cay under the bridge to Paradise Island. Potter’s Cay is where the mailboats gather supplies to take to the Out Islands of the Bahamas. Local fishermen sell conch and freshly caught grouper, barracuda, market fish and others. We bought conch fritters and Kaliks and watched the hustle and bustle of the market. Mike bought 5 pounds of market fish and we took it back to the boat for dinner – along with a small lobster tail. We had boullabaise and drinks and finally let Mike and Charlotte go to sleep.

Next day after fueling up we set out for Allan’s Cay. We had some good sailing but the forecast for light winds came true and we motor sailed for a couple of hours. We had to stop the boat once for Mike to pull in a 42 inch barracuda.

I don't think this is seaweed!
I don't think this is seaweed!


I told you it was a fish...
I told you it was a fish...

We had been warned about the poisons that collect in large barracuda so we reluctantly let it go. We had to curl Mike’s fingers off the line! We had been to Allan’s Cay 32 years ago so our memory was a little foggy. We arrived in the late afternoon and the big iguanas couldn’t be bothered with us so we went back to the boat for a swim, cracked conch dinner and a great sleep. After breakfast the next morning we had a swim but Glen and Mike had to be rescued by Pat and Wayne from Kolibrie as the current was strong. Charlotte’s strong swim strokes enabled her to return to the boat by herself. We went to shore and saw the big boy iguanas. At one point, Glen counted 25 and we are sure there were even more later on. Mike fed them carrots and insisted that they didn’t have teeth until one took a piece of his finger.

No teeth... no worries!
No teeth... no worries!

Charlotte tried to teach them tricks with a grape stuck on the end of a stick and succeeded in teaching one of them to roll over.

After another great swim, we motored 15 miles to Norman’s Cay.

Norman's Cay
Norman's Cay

This is the island that the notorious Carlos Lehder used for his smuggling base back in the ‘70s. We anchored right near the wreckage of a plane that didn’t quite make it to the runway. We had a lazy morning and then a good walk along Normans – then to the famous McDuffs for hamburgers and beers. Great atmosphere! Back to the boat where we fought off the notion of a nap and instead went conching. Dingied to some shallow water and snorkeled along looking for the giant shells. Found 10 and brought them back for group processing. Glen did the extraction and primary cleaning, Mike skinned,

Skinning... most difficult...
Skinning... most difficult...

Charlotte cut them up for conch salad and beat the crap out of others for cracked conch.

Conch beater
Conch beater

Pam mostly criticized. A fair bit of clean up was required to finish the process. Glen just jumped in the water to get all of the shell and conch meat bits off.

Clear Water...
Clear Water...

Life is tough
Life is tough

Met the neighbours, Kevin, Deena and Connor from Kelowna who are out on their catamaran, Sabbaticus, for a couple of years.

Left for Warderick Cay in the Exuma Land and Sea Park in the morning. Not a nice sailing day… but doable and fun on other fronts. Tucked into Hog Cay on a mooring for a secure night. A walk in the morning to the Pirate's Lair and Alive Beach.  We then moved the boat up to the north anchorage which is favourable. We met Pat and Wayne from Kolibrie and Mary and Axel from Azaya when we were checking in.  Nice to see them and hear of their adventures.  We did another walk from the north anchorage and saw BooBoo Hill and the Blow Hole.  The water is so crystal clear that we watched fish under the boat as we watched a beautiful sunset.   Inmans are looking at booking early for next year. We have made reservations for them to leave from Staniel Cay (about $100 each) to return to Nassau to head on to Orlando and then home. We have loved the company and so much appreciated their laid-back attitude and their affection of the Bahamian Islands.

2 comments:

  1. Quite the menu. Will that be conch, or conch? Just jealous.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Black Familly says Hi.
    ....Olympics or warm blue water? Hmm!
    You know me, a sun person. Oh yeah, the beer also tastes better.

    Fair Winds

    Richard

    ReplyDelete