Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Island hopping and lobster hunting

On the 30th of January we finally left Green Turtle and headed towards the Whale. The whale is a area of the Abacos where one must exit into the Atlantic ocean for about 30 minutes only to veer back into the banks at Great Guana. Unless you have a very shallow draft vessel you don’t attempt the inside but there are several conditions that make the whale a place you want to wait for calm or calmer weather for as there are several reefs that one could get washed onto if not careful. Also if it is rough than it makes for an unpleasant ride. Hey were not here to win any races so we get there when we get there. On the day we picked to proceed through the whale it couldn’t be better, well it could have been if we would have gotten any kind of bite on the lines we threw out. Oh well, maybe on our way down to Eleuthera we may get lucky as there is really no fishing to be done on the banks due to it being so shallow. We ended up in the anchorage outside of Grabber’s,
Sunset from Grabbers beach

a local hangout for cruisers, put the hook down and headed up to Nipper’s for their Sunday pig roast. It’s another local hangout painted shades of pinks, blues, yellows,and greens overlooking the Atlantic with the beautiful shades of water the Bahamas are so famous for.
View from the top of Nippers

They also have the famous frozen Nipper that will soon make you want to get up and dance. No wonder these places are always so festive, the states need to take lessons from the Bahamians on how to make a drink. They definitely do not skimp on the good stuff…..So after partaking in the all you can eat pig roast we walked the beautiful white sand beach to try and walk a bit of it off before returning and having maybe a few too many of those frozen Nipper’s, They do sneak up on you….The next day we hung around the boat doing some neglected chores, I mean who wants to clean when paradise beckons…and later we took a long dinghy ride over to Spoil Cay,aka Shell Island and found several very nice shells.
On Tuesday Dirk was chomping at the bit to go hunting so we headed out to some reefs and he was more than happy to bag one. On Wednesday we were going to head to Marsh Harbor as we needed to do some re provisioning but not before Dirk took one more look at some promising reefs he had seen the day before. A few hours later he returned with 3 lobsters and a big grin,
he was happy and I was glad. We soon shoved off and made the uneventful trip into Marsh Harbor, set the hook down in almost the exact spot as last year and called it a day. I was surprised to find out that Marsh Harbor now has a new grocery store which upon entering made me feel like I was back in the states. I was so excited with only expectations of finding what I could and making due as is so often the case in the Bahamas. You get what you get and be happy you got it at all. Upon entering I saw every fruit and veggie one finds in the states but also some others that I had never seen before. I spent lots of time up and down the aisles looking at the stuff I was familiar with and daring to try some of the local products. I may be wrong but I think that some of the prices have actually gone down, yes I said down since last year when we were here and lots of the items were very compatible to prices back home. I bought a bag of coleslaw for $2.19 And a large 46oz size of pineapple juice for $ 2.59, a 2 liter of tonic water was $1.89, canned corn on special .79 cents a can and I got tostitoes for 1.99 a lg. bag. Usually chips run 6 to 7 dollars a bag here so we don’t eat them once we run out of what we brought with us. To top it off, no sales tax....Wow. So I stocked up on what I could and hit the liquor store on the way back. I learned last year that beer here is outrageous at about 46.00 a case, but liquor is cheaper than the states, even the name brands. We carry beer from the states where we can fit it in but once it’s gone, it’s gone. Laundry was done the following day and then we took off for the quaint island of Elbow Cay and Hope Town. We grabbed a mooring ball as there is no anchor room and settled ourselves in for a couple days. Super Bowl Sunday we headed out to do a little hunting at the reefs, I say we, Dirk does the hunting as I sit and sun in the dinghy reading or doing whatever. He was happy at the end of the day as he bagged 3 more lobster and 5 conchs. Back to the boat to clean the catch and then over to Harbors Edge Restaurant to watch the game. Neither of us had a favorite team as we really aren’t into football much but it was something to do for the evening. After the slightly disappointing half time show we went back to the boat and turned in early. Monday was a lazy day beach combing and later we had Carol & Dave from s/v Zydeco over for some fresh conch fritters. Carol and Dave use to be our dock neighbors several years ago in Panama City when we still owned our power boat before we saw the light of sailing. They have finally broken free to travel this year and we have run into them on every island we visit which is not unusual at all. You run into the same folks over and over again which makes this lifestyle great. The next day it was calm and Dirk wanted to try his luck again at the reefs taking a single hander along with him that had wanted to go. For those of you non sailors, that means someone travelling alone. I have to give those people credit for having the courage to leave the safety of their dock, travel across the Gulf Stream to explore and travel all by their selves. Normally it is men but on occasion you do find a woman. So Dirk took this guy John out to show him how to find lobster and conch. John didn’t find any but Dirk came back with the biggest one he has gotten so far. The tail alone measured a little over 9 inches. After many photos of his trophy he was vac u sealed and put in the freezer for later consumption.
Here is Butter's checking out Mr. Lobster

We can’t eat lobster every day now can we? So the following day we headed to Man O War with the idea of staying a couple days but Mother Nature had other plans. That evening the winds picked up and we had a pretty rolly night with no let up in the winds for a couple days in sight so it was back to Marsh Harbor to seek some shelter. We have been sitting here for about a week now planning our next move which should be tomorrow. Looks like we may head out of here and head to Tahiti Beach and perhaps Friday catch the Cracker P’s full moon party than make tracks to Little Harbor and wait for a window to head on down to Eleuthera. Once we arrive there the Internet will be less than grand so I will update when I can.

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