An Unbelievable Fish Story

Hello everyone,

As all of you know, Jeremy and Cynthia have been visiting with us in George Town, Exuma. They headed back to the snow and cold today, after 10 days aboard. We had two rain storms while they were here ( and it hadn’t rained in GT for a year ) and also two days of heavy wind.

The day after their arrival, Matthew was napping below decks while the guys had gone to town for supplies. A call from another boater alerted me to an imminent squall, with rain and wind. I started the motor and stood watch in the cockpit as the storm approached. The winds howled through the rigging but our anchor held tight. A nearby boat dragged anchor but didn’t come close to us. The decks got well rinsed with fresh water that day. Matthew slept through all of the excitement. The guys were smart and stayed in town until the squall passed by.

Once the squalls cleared out, we left our hidey-hole and headed to anchor at Sand Dollar beach. There were many vessels there but we found a space. Matthew loved his visits to the beach and we tried to go early and late to limit his sun exposure. After an early lunch, he would nap for an hour or two while Murray & Jeremy fished or snorkeled.

The two of them were trolling through the reef area, and snagged a 2 ft fish. Murray thought that it was a barracuda, but kept it anyway. They returned to the boat and I identified their catch as a cero mackerel, a very tasty fish. So, Jeremy was justifiably proud.

A few days later, we had been kept aboard all day with high winds. Matthew was getting tired of sitting inside, so “Poppa” and Jeremy took him in the dinghy for a ride. While exploring the shoreline, they saw a fish flapping in the shallows. When they got closer, Murray realized that it was a mutton snapper and seemed to be injured. “Grab the bucket, Jeremy”. With a shallow pail, they chased this fish around. As soon as they got close, it revived and flipped away. Finally, Jeremy was able to get it in the bucket – sort of. The fish was much too big for the bucket and hung out on both sides. Matthew was very excited and told us all about the adventure when they returned. The fish weighed 9 lbs! He made an excellent dinner while half of him went into the freezer for the next guests.

During a snorkel later in the week, Murray shot a slipper lobster. They look very weird, almost prehistoric. They have no claws or antennae, but DO have a very delicious tail.

So, although we stayed in George Town harbour for their visit, we managed to catch fish and lobster to supplement our cans and frozen supplies.

The daily beach trek was a favourite for Matthew and he got braver with each visit. By the last day, he would kick and try to swim with his life jacket supporting him. Cynthia enjoyed the search for shells, while Matthew dug in the sand, filled up pails and made a boat out of anything he found on the beach. Some of the “boats” sank immediately, some sailed away. If they sank, I would hear ” Gamma, get it” and Gamma would get it.

Today, they departed very early, meeting the taxi at 7 am. With other visitors expected in Nassau in a week, we hauled anchor and headed north. It was a motorsail at first, but the wind picked up and we sailed the last 3 hours. The sun was very hot and we are diving in to cool off right now. Friends are stopping by for drinks and snacks in an hour or so and we are in position for a “green flash”. Tomorrow we will sail on north again, perhaps stopping to do laundry in Black Point.

That is life aboard, not all play but also not all work.

Enjoy each other and cherish your families. Spring will soon be here and all will be new and fresh.

Hugs, Murray & Heather