The title of this post will probably be a turn off of for some. No matter, I try to keep my posts real and tell the story as it happened.
Bahamas… What can I say… It has waters like nothing I have ever seen, or even dreamed existed. Even right here on the docks in Alice Town the water is crystal clear. We are currently tied up at a marina called Blue Water Marina. I picked it because it has the lowest price in Alice Town, but it turns out its one of the better marinas here. The amenities are simple and not flashy, but everything is clean and well taken care of. The staff are super friendly and take care of the boats and people staying here. This is evident by the large number of boats that have stayed here before and returned. We are probably the only first time visitors to this marina currently tied up.
Yesterday we started out day by fishing off the dock. Fishing started with all three kids, but Jonah got bored and headed inside to play Pokemon on the DS. I guess catching fish after fish gets boring after while. About an hour into fishing we decided to start keeping some of the bigger ones we were catching and eat them for lunch. We were mostly catching Spanish Grunts but caught a bunch of Big Eyed Toms (really a Squirrelfish). Then Quincy landed a fair sized Grouper all by himself. Shortly after the Grouper we decided we had enough fish and I filleted them and headed back to the boat to cook them. Small fish like that are a bugger to debone, so I decided to debone once they were cooked and use the meat to make a fish dip of sorts. It turned out fantastic and was excellent on rice or eaten on a cracker.
Once lunch was over, I took the kids to the pool and hoped on the Internet to research charts. It turns out that the charts that came with our plotter are accurate, but lacking tons of data. While they show depths, channels and other navigational hazards, they are completely devoid of other data. They offer no data on anchoring, mooring, marinas or anything. So while they are good for pure navigation, they are not so good for “cruising”. Unfortunately expanded charts are expensive and I was faced with a $300USD pill to swallow. On the up side, the charts would include not only the best data on the Bahamas(Explorer charts, and Wavy line), but the entire Caribbean. I bit the bullet and began downloading the entire 11GB of charts (which I’m still doing 18 hours later).
During this process I was introduced to a young Bahamian called Eddie. He was chopping coconuts for one of the boats here (Shallow Up) and offering to perform any service you might need. Shortly into said coconut chopping, he chopped about %20 of his thumb clean off (the piece flew off into the sea). I called Rhonda to quickly get the first aid kit. She dashed back to the boat and returned to bandage Eddie up. We got the bleeding under control and administered a couple Ibuprofen and a beer to dull the pain. Since we had proven to Eddie that we weren’t your typical white “Crackers”, he got immediately comfortable and began sharing his life story of growing up in Nassau. I won’t tell the whole story here but lets just say that this fella has seen his share of shit. He regaled us with one story where a crackhead “Juked” (shanked with a screwdriver) him for no reason and how they enacted their revenge. He was proud that he didn’t kill the crackhead, just cut him up to teach him that “E can’t be juken peepa for no reason, mon”. Through our conversation I learned that Eddie has only been in Alice Town for a short while and came here to escape the gangs of violence of Nassau. Unfortunately chopping coconuts and washing boats doesn’t completely pay the bills so Eddie provides other “items” tourists might like. Meeting people like Eddie sure puts into perspective how lucky I was to be born in a place without those problems.
I spent most of the afternoon talking with Eddie and it was almost supper when Quincy come over with the fishing gear and asked to go fishing. Unfortunately I was still downloading charts and helping mom with a computer problem, so Quincy and Rhonda had to fish without me. An hour later I had the laptop “doing its thing” next to the dock and ran back to the boat to get the bigger fishing gear. We spent about an hour fishing and trying different techniques to catch the bigger fish. The water is so clear here that you can see all the fish, even the bigger ones. The bigger ones stay farther out and are very wary of any bait or hook casted near them. I switched hooks and bait a few times till I could get them to at least investigate the bait. The trick was to slowly pull the bait and have them follow closer to where the small fish were. Once the small fish started chewing on the bait, the bigger ones would hit it. Using this method I was able to catch a nice sized jack, a decent goat fish and a remora (google it). The remora was just for fun as I had to cast my bait near an 8ft bull shark and yank it away when the shark went for it. Eventually the remora came out from under the shark and took my bait. Shortly after throwing the remora back, a school of 3 horse eyed jacks came looping through the docks. I was so engulfed in trying to catch one of these big boys that I wasn’t prepared when he did strike. I didn’t even have the Cuban YoYo in my hand and was just holding the 90lb test. When the fish hit, the YoYo quickly started unreeling on the dock while I had the line racing through my hands. I was worried the YoYo would bounce off the dock and quickly stomped on it with my foot. Unfortunately that was my mistake as the sudden stopping of the line caused it to break. Shitty deal as that jack was well over 2 feet long and would have been a hell of a catch. On the up side, we would have thrown him back as big jack like that are implicated in Ciguatera poisoning (google it).
This will probably be our last blog post for a while as we are headed to a secluded anchorage to wait out a few days of wind, then we will cross the Great Bahamas Bank and stay in the Berry Islands for a few days. The anchorage, the crossing and the Berry’s are pretty remote and we probably won’t have and data service. Of course you can always ping us on our satellite tracker to say hello.
Checked in and going exploring!
Amazed at the lovely beach!
The fish Conch shell find!
Of course Jonah had to have on as well!
This was a seriously hilarious moment (look where he is trying to hang the receiver). They had never seen a payphone.
Super pretty fish. We threw him back after removing the hook. I definitely used the pliers and I didn’t want to stick my fingers near the beak.
Our dock catch. My foot for scale!