The last letter found us just arriving in Staniel. We spent some time there, enjoyed the beaches and the Thunderball Grotto and then headed to Black Point for a day or two. Black Point offers free water and garbage disposal. That sure attracts a few cruisers.
The radio was alive with announcements about the Five F’s – First Friday in February in Farmers Festival. So, we hauled anchor and slid down to check out the fuss. Not being enamored with crowds, we anchored a few miles north of the cay near Oven Rock on Thursday. The C class Bahamian boat races got underway before noon the next day and we had a great spot to watch them. As they approached, we followed them with the dinghy, taking a few photos. The finish was a close one, but the boat Termite, sailed by the juniors from Staniel, won the race. Ashore, things were heating up with the Men’s Best Legs contest underway. There we met up with Jill & Don from Next Exit and shared a few tasties while catching up on our doings. Their boat was anchored right off the finish line and we were in prime position to watch the next race, with Termite finishing second.
In the morning on Saturday, we hauled anchor and turned our bow south and away from the crowds. I couldn’t believe that Murray was going to miss the Wet T-shirt Contest, but he wanted to hunt for lobster. The anchor dropped into the sand at Cave Cay and we were in the dinghy shortly afterwards. Out near the cut, we found a deep trench with ledges and shallows around it. Jay, from Katcha, rolled into the water and said ” you have got to see this”. It didn’t take us long to follow. It was awesome. The trench was 40 feet deep or more and lined with all types of corals. A squadron of seven spotted eagle rays passed in front of us 3 or 4 times. What a sight that was! Their wingspan was 6 to 8 feet and they appeared to fly through the clear blue water. Murray and Marcie, from Kotcha, saw a huge Jew Fish or Grouper Giganticus weighing at least 50 lbs. There wasn’t anything edible on the reef, at least that we could get to, but it sure was one of the best snorkels that we have ever had.
From there, we headed to another cut and more serious hunting. Jay found a ledge with 3 lobster hiding under it. Murray and Jay each got one before the last went off to hide. By now, the current had started to flow and we didn’t have much more time to waste. A quick dive on another likely area and it was time to get out of the current before we got into trouble. We spent the afternoon playing dice and chatting under the shade on Windswept IV. Just at sunset, Murray took a rod and went out to the cut in the dinghy. Not more than a few minutes went by, and he arrived back with a horse-eyed jack. Time to clean fish and cook lobster for dinner. Yummm.
In the morning, we hauled anchor early and headed out the cut with both fishing rods deployed as soon as the main sail was up. About an hour out, zzzing went one rod, with the other one following suit just seconds later. Two dolphins! We could see their golden skin flashing in the sun. Which rod to go to?? Fist furl the jib, then grab a rod. Damn, that one got loose. Off to the second rod. Haul this one in carefully, and get it past the trailing dinghy. Wow, its aboard and a beaut. About 30 inches long weighing 6 lbs. So, reset both rods and continue to enjoy this wonderful sail. The decision was made to continue past Dotham cut and into Big Rock Cut at Staniel. I am glad we did that, because the rod went zzing again and Murray pulled in a 4 lb cero mackerel just 3 miles from the cut. He reset the rod and not a minute went by before it sang its song again. This time it was another dolphin, about 36 inches and weighing 7 lbs.
With a cockpit full of fish, we entered the cut and headed to our favourite spot near Fowl Cay. The anchor was set before 11:30 and we headed to the beach to clean fish. Of course, we took a couple of pictures first.
As the sun set, we sat in the cockpit with our drinks in hand raising a toast to the wonderful day that had just been enjoyed. The dolphin was cooked ‘blackened’ with a spice recipe given to me by our friend Gary. It was awesome.
Now another day has dawned, a few boat jobs await us and then, we are heading out with friends by dinghy, to hunt for some more lobster. My sprout farm is growing well and I baked two loaves of whole wheat bread yesterday. What more could a person want for. Life is good.
Hugs to all,
Murray & Heather