Governor’s Harbour and Cupid’s Cay

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We turned the screw (engined) from Black Sound to Governor’s Harbour as the wind was on our nose.  This is Captain Instantlyexcitedandboyish’s favorite time to troll for fish because we can stop on a dime when we hear the reel drag.  He put on his favorite yellow jig and we pointed Echoes north for a couple of hours ride.  We were settled into a long blue water day dream when we heard the tell tale drag of the line.  Captain Giddywithaculinaryplan pulled in Cyrano de Bergerac the Cero Mackerel.  Captain Fillet-o-fish very meticulously cleaned Cyrano minutes after landing him while underway and tossed him in the fridge.  Two hours later we had Matt and Sadie over for all of the Mackerel Sashimi (raw sliced fish) dipped in soy and wasabi that we could eat.

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It was delicate, soft and delicious.  The princess was happy.  Sadie purred with every bite.

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The Captains Carnivores growled satisfactorily.

We followed up our sashimi with an unusual food pairing of grilled hot Italians served on a toasted bun with of a slice of provolone, smothered with Italian red sauce and sprinkled with raw onion.  I even had a mouth watering Montepulciano to serve with it to work its magic on Matt.  We are moving in the right direction for another conversion for the winos.  Properly fueled, we were ready to join the party in town at the Anchor Bay Fish Fry.

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The above quaint building hosts the Friday night Fish Fry and street party at Governor’s Harbour.  Do not let the totes adorbs looks deceive you.  There are gallons of their “World’s Famous Rum Bubbas” in there.

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Rum Bubbas are made with rum, punch, rum, rum and a whole lot of dancing juice.  It is quite the locals and cruisers party.

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There was a limbo contest.  This was the ending and the winning contestant.  Are you kidding me?

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And then the dancing began.  By this time Sadie and I had a couple of Rum Bubbas swimming in our blood stream and we were wiggly.  So we joined the dance and shook out our happiness.  Shortly,  a short local gentleman came to dance with Sadie.  I am using the word short generously.  I think maybe “little person” might be a more accurate description.  Anyway, he would put his arms around Sadie while dancing and his arms would conveniently extend from his shoulders and wrap around her stern, her fanny, her patootie, her badonkadonk, you get me?  The Captains Wedon’tdance were hanging out nearby.    Shortstop would look over and when Matt made eye contact with him his arms would quickly reach up to her waist but as soon as Matt turned his head his arms would quite naturally and understandably fall to a more comfortable level around her magnetic gluteus maximus.  My belly hurt the next day from laughing so hard.  And maybe for other reasons, too.

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Read the sign.  🙂

The following day we woke up to bucking roly polys.  Echoes was anchored in a particularly bouncy section of the anchorage and we later ended up moving her becasue of it.  I turn green in these conditions normally so this particular morning I could not get off that boat fast enough.  We spent the day in town like four teenagers loitering.  We had a long lunch at Buccaneer.

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Who did we have lunch with you ask?  Rickrack the little baby lamb in a diaper having a bottle of milk.

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We hung out in the park with a beer each in little paper bags because the cashier told us the bags provide insulation.  The friendly locals would come and hang with us in the park for a while.

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We made friends with Dr. Seabreeze the world famous calypso singer.

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We ate some memorable BBQ and then hung out with the artists of this wonderful creation.

Governor’s Harbour is truly my favorite city in the Bahamas.

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Return to Rock Sound, Eleuthera

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Echoes

It was a sublime sailing day for our sail from Cambridge Cay in the Exumas to Rock Sound, Eleuthera.  Captain Idon’twanttogonorth and I are slowly meandering our way back to the states.  We were  happy to be sailing with Soul Divers as neither of us had pictures of our boats under sail.  We threw up our sails, set up the fishing poles and enjoyed a long, picture perfect day.  I asked Captain Inhisglory if he could sail a little closer to Soul Divers so I could take a picture.  As we approached they began to slow down.  No, they’ve given up on trying to ditch us, it wasn’t that.

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Souls Divers

Look closely at Matt’s fishing pole.  He was wrestling with a fish.  It is difficult to catch large fish on a sailboat because you can’t just stop suddenly.   Also, sailboats aren’t designed to reel in or land fish easily.  It takes a bit of panache.  Sadie sprang into action, pulled in both sails and slowed the boat down.  Matt tied himself to the boat with a belt so he wouldn’t be pulled over.  We sailed on but watched the beginning of the catch.  Thirty five minutes later they landed a big Mahi.  Sadie named him Elmer because he looked like Elmer Fudd.   They guessed Elmer to be about four and a half feet and around thirty five pounds.

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They filleted Elmer up once they were underway again.  Check out Sadie’s technique of rolling back the skin and ripping it off the meat.

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The consumption of Elmer was rapturous.  Sadie made Mahi Ceviche to start with.  Ceviche is a process where the raw fish is “cooked” in the acid of fresh lime juice.  Then she added jalapeno, yellow pepper, red onion, avocado, seeded roma tomato, salt and pepper.   We ate it with corn chips. That was just the appetiser.  For dinner they grilled marinated mahi and served it with a cucumber/carrot salad and fried rice.  We ate like royalty and until we were about to burst.

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Although Elmer was clearly the highlight of Rock Sound, we also enjoyed checking out some caves.

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There were lots of little bats and also a lot of mosquitoes in the caves.  The tree roots were fascinating.

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We hiked on a hot afternoon to the Ocean Hole.  Jacque Cousteau explored this mysterious ocean hole.

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We cooled off in the ocean hole water which is rumored to have healing powers.  All hangovers magically disappeared!

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Rock Sound is an excellent stop for provisioning so we stocked up at the best grocery store I’ve found in the Bahamas and also, liquor (WINE!!!  Oh happy, happy day!) and of course, Evon’s bakery that she sells at the hardware store.   I was happy to be back in Eleuthera!

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Soul Divers gaining on us

Cambridge Cay

The Cambridge Cay story is best told picture book style.

Once upon a time there was a Sea Princess who went to Cambridge Cay Fairytale land in the Exumas Land and Sea Park.

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The Sea Princess and her Captain Notalwayscharming picked up a mooring ball.  A mooring ball is a tethered, secured line you hook up to your boat.

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The witchy anchor B.P. was happy to have a well deserved rest.

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There was a friendly host boat that collected the $20.00 a night mooring fee and told sea travelers wonderful stories on where to go and see magical things.

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There were big Beyonchee (what Captain Notquiterightinthehead calls Beyonce) types of fancy schmancy boats.  The Sea Princess wanted one.  She wondered if she could at least sneak aboard for a bottle of excellent wine and a long hot shower.  But the Sea Princess forgot her robe that makes her invisible so she had to drink vodka sodas and bathe with a cup of cold water.

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Big Blue Shmancy boat wanted the host boat’s mooring site as they liked the host’s location the best and Big Blue was the best.   Big Blue asked if they could pay the hosts to move their boat to another ball.  The hosts said Big Blue didn’t have to pay them but they should bring some water and diesel to the little YoungandDumb sailboat that was in a pickle because they didn’t plan properly and were stuck and thirsty.  Big Blue sent their not so little tender with their not so little, handsome crew members to deliver the water and diesel to YoungandDumb in jerry jugs.  The Sea Princess enjoyed this very much.

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That day the Sea Princess and Captain Needstobuyheracrown went snorkeling with Soul Divers.  Matt and Sadie are gopro profun let’sgo pros.  We swam around a little plane that crashed to the bottom of the sea.

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Someone may have crashed the plane on purpose because it was probably filled with magical pills that took some customers to magical lands and made the sellers very rich.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0140.Then we went to snorkel the Coral Garden.  The Coral Garden  is a cleaning station for fish.  The Sea Princess doesn’t like to clean but she doesn’t mind if the fish do.  The fish made a pact.  The big fish promise not to eat the little fish if the little fish will eat the annoying parasites that cling to them.  The big fish will even open their mouths to let the little fish clean their teeth just like the dentist.

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The Sergeant Majors above ate all of Captain Fullofhotair’s hair.

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The Sea Princess and her friends have been looking for Bob Lobster’s cousins before lobster season ended because they wanted to eat them.  Matt played tag with one around a reef for a while but lobsters are faster than you would imagine and they hide in holes.  Matt has a tickle stick to taunt Bob’s cousins out of hiding and then he puts a net behind them as they swim backwards.

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Bob boldy came out to flip us the bird now that lobster season is over and we were in a protected park anyway.  This is from my cousins, he said.

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That evening it rained just long enough to make two rainbows to frame the magic land.

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Then there was cloud entertainment.

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Mr. Messyhairbigheadman blocked the sunset.

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I asked Captain Alwayspredictable what he wanted for dinner and he said, Mmmmmeat!  We had steak with grilled, roasted asparagus and potatoes.

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The next day the four friends went on a beautiful hike around the magical land.  We walked around the island in a circle.

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At the end of the walk we had to wade waist deep in the bright blue sea to get back to the dinghy.  The Sea Princess took off her shorts and carried them above her head as even semi fresh laundry is precious to her.  She was wearing black underwear so she figured no one would know it wasn’t a swimsuit bottom.  Captain Thinkshe’sprettyfunny stopped purposefully to chat with a couple on the beach as the Sea Princess stood there feeling foolish.  Then Captain Willpayforthislater said really loud as we bid them farewell, DID YOU ENJOY TALKING TO STRANGERS IN YOUR UNDERWEAR?  The Sea Princess did not.

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Next we took our dinghies to snorkel in the crazy Rocky Dundas caves.

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They had tremendous stalactite and stalagmite formations that looked like the many tails of a scary cave monster.

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The Sea Princess hit the wrong setting on Soul Diver’s gopro and accidently took five hundred rapid fire out of focus pictures and chewed up their batteries.  She is not allowed near it anymore and Captain Meanman said to them, I told you so.

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On the snorkel between the two caves Sadie found Sleepy the nurse shark.

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This living coral wonder took over two hundred years to grow.  It has tons of little coral polyps that are mostly stomachs with mouths and they like to eat algae.  Gross.

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This is Smiley the puffer fish.  We see you.

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The second cave was even more of a wonder.

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Next we got into our dinghies and went a mile or two to check out the infamous bubble bath.  We walked along a creek.

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We reached the cliffs by the Atlantic side.

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It was a mystical place with hundreds of rock temples.

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There was a bath where you sit and wait for the waves to crash over you with a bubbly tickle.

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The Sea Princess took a long bubble bath.  The bubbles were cold.

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Most of us were worn out after a long, fun day but Matt still had some wiggle in him.

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The Sea Princess had a royal last day in the magical Exumas kingdom.  She fell asleep grateful and happy and dreamed of more enchanting seas beckoning to her.

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The End.

 

 

Staniel Cay Part 3 and Pipe Cay

 

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Itsy the Silver Argiope on the beach at Pipe Cay.  Do you feel a tickle on the back of your neck?

We threw out our jib like an offering to the blue sky who gratefully filled it with the kind of wind sailors dream of.  We returned to the same anchorage spot we spent a week at and had the inlet all to ourselves this time.  We dinghied in to pick up our solar regulator and to do a load of laundry with Ruth’s company at the laundry/liquor store.  It really is the best bar in town with its three bar stools and counter next to the washing machines.  The tourist tour boats don’t go there and sailors and locals are frequently dropping in for a cold one and to bask in Ruth’s comical boldness. She told Captain Methismatch when he was teasing her to hurry up and get him a beer, Sit small until you’re called.

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Itsy         many pictures courtesy of Soul Divers Photography

In order for Captain Ohboyabigproject to do any kind of work on the boat he needs to empty every crevice, settee, cupboard, underwear drawer, medicine cabinet, fridge and tool box.  The boat looked like a hurricane hit it as the solar regulator was installed, a battery system control monitor put in and some shunting of batteries went on.  I sunned in the cockpit, sipped umbrella drinks and ate bon bons.  It was a big project that went well and now I can have my fan at night and even some lights on without any lectures about it.  Captain Myhero is really quite a remarkable fixer guy and I thank his mother, Caryl, for buying him that erector set when he was just a wee little trouble maker with bright blue eyes.

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We provisioned with an $8.00 package of frozen, sliced, water injected, yuck deli ham, a $7.00 bag of Fritos, a $7.00 box of Wheat Thins, a $9.00 bunch of asparagus, a $75.00 case of Heineken and because I was starting to talk backwards and my left leg was doing a nervous jig, one bottle of $35.00 Josh Sauvignon Blanc.  I could not and would not spend $28.00 for the bottle of Barefoot.  Forgive me if I told you this already, but back in February a kind marina employee gave us a lift to a liquor store and grocery.  I bought sixteen bottles of wine.  I bought them in a hurry.  I later found the whites to be dated 2012 to 2014.  What should have been pale yellow was dark gold.  The wine was most likely sold cheap because it was old in the first place and then it sat in a two hundred degree freight car on a baking ship for three weeks.  Three bottles we used to stun and kill fish with or I simply dumped.  The others I drank with sparkling water to cut the vinegar taste.  Even the shit wine was gone.  I drank Soul Divers out of their wine.  The wineless princess was whining.

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A LOT!

Project completed, boat stocked, we headed off for Pipe Cay with Soul Divers on our way back to the Exumas Land and Sea park.  I don’t even mention our diesel/water stops anymore as Captain Toocooltobumpdockswhilegettingfuel has become one with Echoes.  It is a thing of beauty.  My digestive tract is most grateful.  Captain Scoringbigpoints is also really good at filling our water tanks with rain water saving us the fifty cents a gallon for water and affording me longer showers.

Pipe Cay is a quiet cay with a beauty all of its own.

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We walked around the ruins of a US Navy Decca station and followed a path to the west side of the island.  We came upon a vast expanse of sea floor at low tide.  It was like stepping on to a beached moon .  We walked for a mile on rippled sand to the slim Pipe River where boats were anchored in the river but appeared to be sitting on the sand.  Conch shells littered the vast and vacant sand floor.

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Happily worn out we settled in for a quiet night of reading and star gazing.

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Black Point

An angry squall was coming with her bully brothers wind.  We tucked in to the well protected harbor of Black Point to wait it out.  The winds were a steady twenty to twenty five with gusts up to thirty five.  We spent days stuck, swinging around on Echoes and with my hands getting closer and closer to Captain Notagoodboredman’s neck.

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Black point residents take great pride in building their own class C boats and racing them in competitions.

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We leave the VHF on twenty four hours a day when there is heavy weather in case someone sees a boat, hopefully not yours, dragging anchor, or a runaway dinghy.  We were woken up at three am to a VHF argument between two freighters one stormy night.  A smaller delivery boat was tied to a dock where a big freighter felt he had the right to be.  We woke up to their angry curses and threats.  Woke up implies we were sleeping.  We barely slept that howling night.  I imagined the roar of the wind was from kraken drowned banshee spirits recruiting for the dark undersea by trying to send our boats into the craggy walls.

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A small grocery store on Black Point.  Typical Bahamian meats in the freezer are steak of an unknown cut, pork shoulder chops, chicken wings , occasional lamb shoulder chops and frozen hamburger patties.  All are packaged in plain ziplocks and are of questionable quality.  The women at Black Point weave fronds to make the purses, baskets and dolls you see on the left.

All boaters underway, and often when anchored, have VHF tuned to channel 16.  Channel 16 is the hailing and emergency channel.  You move channels to have a conversation with the boat you hail.  There is a protocol of procedure and language;  roger, come back, over.  For instance, if we want to reach Joy we hail them on channel 16… Joy.  Joy.  Joy.  This is Echoes, over.  And then they respond, Echoes.  This is Joy.  Let’s go to 17.  You move channels and carry on.  Sometimes you hail boats for social reasons or other times with questions of navigational intentions, or to gain information.  You soon recognize not only the many boat names within your VHF vicinity but the voices that go with them.  Some of those voices are almost cartoon like and we have our favorites that we make fun of regularly because we are not nice people.  It is fun to run into the boats (not literally) you have been hearing and occasionally you meet their people.  Oh look, there is Von Yachtzki.  Or, So that’s Bumfuzzle.  Once we were at a happy hour and as soon as the man spoke I knew exactly which boat was his.  He was one of the voices we often mimic.  Like we might say, Dahhling, can ahh pour you ah libation of yah pleasuhhhhh?  I couldn’t look at Captain Twinkleinhiseyes as the man introduced himself or I knew I would lose it.  Hah, Ahm Thurrrston from the yachhht I’vegotmoremoneythanyouandbiggenitaliaaswell.

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Myself, Elizardbeth, Igor, Tinkerbell, Godzilla, Junior and Juanita the protected Bahamian Rock Iguanas.  Well, not me, I’m not a protected Iguana but the rest of them are.  These and many pictures courtesy of Soul Divers paparazzi.

As you know by now, Captain Mercelesslybadgersme never, ever tires of his jokes or games.  He is still making ridiculous bets.  And  remember Echoes, like the Pink Floyd song that I stupidly let him know drives me nuts?  I went to sign a guestbook at Farmers Cay yacht club and Captain Itsstillfunforme had already signed it.  I didn’t even let him know I saw it.  Do not fuel the fire.

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Captain Mustbedoingsomethingconstantly is frankly not pleasant to be around when he is bored.  Bugging me becomes his favorite time filler.  You can not give him any reaction to his shenanigans or he will grab hold of said annoyance and beat you with it until you want to kick him in the nylock nuts.  You have no idea how hard holding in your annoyance is on your third day stuck bobbing in howling wind.  Sometimes I can feel my eye twitch and my veins pop.  I was loading up pictures when he decided to hail Soul Divers about something.   Soul Divers!  Soul Divers! Soooul Diiiivers!  This is ECHOES!!!  Cooome on back, ya’hear?!, Captain Obnoxious shouted in the VHF with his best and quite accurate Gomer Pyle imitation.  I couldn’t help myself.  I lost it.  I screamed, STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!  as I threw a pillow at him.  It was the nail in my coffin.  He giggled like a ten year old finding his first Playboy and did a little happy dance.  He got me under my skin and he knew it.  So now this is his new VHF hailing voice he uses frequently no matter how much I have ignored it since my fatal mistake.  And now when we pull into an anchorage our fellow boaters will see our cattywampus, bounced between pilings bow pulpit, our dock rash, me at the bow wrassling B.P. with rust all over me and mumbling obscenities like a mad woman and then they will see the name Echoes and think, Oh my word, its that boat with the guy that sounds like a complete idiot.  Should we pull anchor and reset somewhere else?

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Colonel Oliver Osprey keeping watch

The winds began to calm in the late afternoon after three days of captive Captain hell.  I’m sure everyone was anxious to move on, get off their boats and a few more feet away from their spouses.  Our neighbor pulled anchor at 4:00 in the afternoon which is unusually late.  Captain Curious watched them go because they left their anchor dangling in front of the bow where it could bang into the hull and cause damage.  Let’s call that boat Oops.  Oops went about two hundred yards weaving through the boats in the crowded anchorage and unfortunately cut a small sailboat a little short.  Let’s call that boat WTF.  Oops drove right over WTF’s anchor chain, or most likely anchor line, and got all tangled up in it.  Next, Oops swung smack dab into WTF.  WTF ran out with fenders to put in between the boats.  Several fellow sailboaters jumped into their dinghies to provide assistance.  It seemed as though WTF’s anchor line was wound around Oops’ keel, or maybe even his prop.  People were snorkeling and buzzing around in their dinghies trying to fix it.  Finally, WTF released their anchor line from their boat and drove off with the anchor still set to nothing but the seafloor.  Oops somehow got loose after some assisted fiddle faddling and also drove off to reset.  WTF came back to their anchor and with aid of a couple dinghies retrieved the loose end of their line and retied their anchor to their boat.  I don’t know which boat I felt the most sorry for.  For some reason I seemed to relate more to Oops.

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Sadie and Toby enjoying the last beautiful evening before the weather turned some of us, ok me,  all grey and grumpy.

The excitement over, Captain Boredoncemore started acting like a pirate…again.  Come ‘ere ya wench and bring me some rrrrrum! he growled simply to entertain himself.  And then he chased me around the boat, I’m Long John Silver and I’m gonna shiver your timbers.

I’m ready to move on from Black Point.

 

 

Hetty’s Land

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We desired a bit of solitude and protection from the north wind for a couple of days.  We tucked into a little inlet called Hetty’s Land on Great Guana Cay.  We walked inland from the beach to explore the island after Captain Fishless fished and I snoringly snorkeled.  Hetty’s is not a popular stop so we were surprised to find an interestingly marked path.  The path is not walked enough to leave a recognizable track so some thoughtful sailors hung washed up flotsam every fiftyish feet to guide you, a white crab pot hanging from a palm here, a yellow flip flop on a bush there, a bit of orange line hanging from a scrub tree over yonder, marking the way.  I felt like a child on a birthday party scavenger hunt.

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The trail led us through a mushy salt marsh, under tickling palms, around shin scratching brush, and up a rocky climb to the dramatic beauty of the atlantic side.  Ah!  Captain Notusuallysopoetic exclaimed, That must be the color cerulean.  Cerulean is a magnificent color of blue green and also the boat name of our friends Robin and Christopher.

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The sea was striped with vivid varying hues.  The water crashed noisily against bleached white rock boulders.

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There were small caves that water would rush through and a view to a distant horizon to get lost in.  We gobbled it up with our eyes and rushed back leeward to hail our friends on Soul Divers.  Come check out this path, we called, Bring your gear, spear and beer.  There could be lionfish here!  We all trudged back over to the windward side.  There were no live coral heads to hunt on but the beauty alone was worth the hike.

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That night Soul Divers had us over for homemade, amazing tamales.  I didn’t think I would taste anything better until Captain Breakfastisthebestmealoftheday fried up leftover tamales with fried eggs on top the following morning.  Best.  Breakfast.  Ever.

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Matt and Sadie took all of the line and rode out of their deep, narrowly partitioned anchor locker to search for their troubling leak.  They filmed the box by lowering down their gopro as only a five year old razor skinny kid could stand inside of it.

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Happily, they concluded the leak is not structural but more of a seepage through a rotted area.  An easier fix than structural but it would have to wait until they can hall out the boat.  Captain Livestofixormix was happy to take a look and help come up with a temporary improvement.  In the end, they decided to plug the lowest drain hole so as not to take on as much water on the seas.  Some creative, loose engineering went on to plug the hole and tie a line on to the plug to remove it if necessary underway.

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Having solved the world’s problems by noon we decided to celebrate.

Sangria Saturday
On the Bahamian Sea
A slow buzz with soft edges
My Cap’n and me

Peanut butter cookies
For lunch with friends
Baritone laughter
Time stalls and bends

Sunshine through closed lids
A smile tugs at my lips
The Cap’n is telling jokes
That I’ve heard quite a bit

Clear waters calling
Gunkholing for reefs
Tossing a line to mermaids
Shelling on the beach

Sangria Saturday
On the Bahamian Sea
A slow buzz with soft edges
My Cap’n and me

 

Little Farmers Cay

Little Farmers Cay was settled by a freed slave from Great Exuma who moved there with her two sons and daughter.  Apparently her children did not have any hobbies other than creating children of their own, the plentiful Nixons and Browns.  The English Crown willed the cay to her descendents as a generation property.  We paid our twenty dollar a night mooring fee to the hard working, friendly, eighty years plus, Roosevelt Nixon.

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It was good to be back in the Bahamas of its people rather than with the taint of tourists.  I realize that I am a tourist too, but I am starting to feel Bahamian.  Ya mon, whas da hurry?  Farmers Cay Yacht Club is my kind of yacht club, laid back, good bahamian food (fried snapper, chicken, lobster or ribs with peas and rice) and with a happy hour that pulls in our fellow sailors with rum punch (the key is coconut flavored rum) and conch fritters.

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Fortyish people, mostly Nixons and Browns, live on this three and a half mile island which has two very small grocery stores, one church and five bars.  Captain Saynomore wanted to “see” all five.  We have attached ourselves like desperate octopuses to Soul Divers as they are fantastic cooks, have wine (which I, GASP, am out of), are most excellent underwater tour guides and they have a snarky cat I love, Toby.  Soul Divers often sets sail before sunrise and forgets to tell us where they’re going but we are clever at tracking them down (I have a nose for wine) and then we anchor right next them.  Hi de ho neighborino!  The four of us began our bar to bar hike around the island.  We only found three bars but found island charm times five.

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A comfy hammock made with a mattress in a fishing net

We visited a wood carver with a fruit tree garden.  He gave us a tour of the pomegranate, almond, sarsaparilla, and odd fruits I’ve never heard of.  The walk made us thirsty so we stopped at a restaurant.  Read their hours.

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There was a sign in the bar that said no swearing so we needed to remove Captain Tellsdirtyjokesregularly quickly.  Removing Captain Onemorelastone from a bar is like removing a Remora from a Sea Turtle (I’ll explain later.)  Especially when he has a new friend who thinks his ancient, worn out jokes are funny.  But we finally managed by promising him there were more bars on the island.

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See Speedy the hummingbird resting in the top right of the picture?

We walked into one of the small grocery stores which had less food in it than I had on Echoes but had the most glorious smell.  The proprietors were sitting in the shade out front.  I told them the smell of their store brought me back in time to my grandmother’s most wonderful kitchen.  That would be my coconut bread, she replied.  Is this coconut bread for sale?  I asked.  Five dollars.  I bake right here, and she pointed to a kitchen attached to the store.  Five dollars bought me a fragrant, warm loaf of golden, spongey bliss.  I dreamt that night I was sleeping on a bed made of warm coconut bread.

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By far, for me, the bestestest part of Little Farmers Cay happened below the water.  There is a turtle and fish sanctuary right in the center of town.  There is no fishing or hunting in these Green turtle breeding grounds but you are welcome to swim with them.  The turtle man will give you conch to hand feed them with.

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The turtle nemesis under Michelle Turtle is a Remora fish.  Our family calls them Shoe Heads because the top of their heads are flat and have a shoe tread like texture to them.  They have suckers on their front dorsels and attach themselves to anyone they think might bring them a free meal with a free ride.  Ramone Remora took the conch that I am feeding Michelle in the above picture out of her mouth.  Michelle slapped him up silly on his head with her fin, took it right back and gobbled it down.

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Sadie is feeding Squirtle.  These awesome shots are from Soul Divers’ gopro.   I have now added a gopro to our never ending wish list of purchases for the boat next year, right below wine cellar.  Who needs a bilge?  Green turtles get their name from the green tissue under their skin.  They can get over five feet long and weigh over seven hundred pounds.  These guys were smaller but still breathtaking.

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We also saw rays and puffer fish.  Puffer fish have a permanent smile of their faces.  When they are agitated or scared they can puff up to more than twice their size.

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There were about ten turtles swimming around looking for conch handouts.

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After swimming with our new hard hat friends we had conch salad ceviche that Carselle made for us on the spot right on the dinghy dock.

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We had previously seen locals fighting over the conch penis and pissel when fisherman were shelling conch in Great Harbour.  Both the pissel and the penis are said to be Bahamian Viagra.  Captain Courageousanddofeelsorryforme ate them both.  The little brown doodle is under the spoon and this is the pissel (also called a pistol).  The pissel is a part of conch anatomy used in digestion.

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The conch ceviche was spicy and out of this world.  And this was the scenery as we waited for our ceviche to be made.  There were Browns and Nixons returning from from fishing.

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There were Nixons and Browns catching bait fish with a net.

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Our turtle friends would visit.

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Even puppies!

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I called this day Princess day because the princess was very, very happy.  There was no B.P., no smelly meat juice in fridges, no roly polys, no yuckified sausage, no full waste tanks or hungry no see ums feasting on my every inch.  Instead there were the many hued, turquoise waters of painters’ dreams, friendly turtles, spicy conch ceviche sprinkled with laughter and cold beers to wash it all down with.

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And the next day wasn’t too shabby either.  The next day we went lionfish hunting…oh my!

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Photo credit Dr Googlesearch and Wickipedia

Lionfish are venomous and extremely invasive.  They are prolific breeders and have very few predators.  Their sharp spines are poisonous and they hang hidden upside down in crevices protecting their soft underbellies.  They eat juvenile reef fish like pigs on a beach.  They are dangerous to marine life balance.  Most people do not hunt or eat lionfish because of their venomous spines but Matt and Sadie are both scuba dive instructors and are both experienced hunters.  Equipped with sling type spear guns, thick gloves and a container called a zoo keeper to keep the fish in after its killed, we went lionfish hunting.  Or at least they did, we just went along for the fun of it.

There was a dancing Sea anemone.  Sea anemones are animals that use their tentacles to catch their prey.

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Then we saw a gorgeous pufferfish partially puffed up.

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And finally, Sadie and Matt found a lionfish hiding in a hole.  They speared it and put it in their zoo keeper.  Did I tell you lionfish is delicious?  You just have to know what you are doing to clean one. Sadie filleted the small beauty.

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I had never eaten lionfish.  That evening Sadie brought over lionfish ceviche and I will never forget its succulence as long as I live.  I declared it Princess day 2.  It was a very good day.

 

The parts for our broken solar regulator have finally reached Fort Lauderdale.  Next they are to be flown on a small plane to Staniel Cay.  We will begin to make our way back up north to pick up our parts and end the arguments of battery use priorities.   I’m tired of living in the dark but I do look my best.  I miss my fan at night.  However, these experiences are most definitely worth it.