Fish and Lobster

Hello to all from the sunny Bahamas,

The last message said there wasn’t any excitement. Well, that changed quickly.

Shortly after I wrote, we went to Staniel in the late afternoon to try once more to call my mom. A friend noticed that the nurse sharks and rays, normally near the docks at the Yacht Club, were all huddled in a corner. Then she spotted a quick-moving large form. It was a hammerhead shark about 8 to 10 feet long. The locals got extremely excited and eventually chased it down, shot it with a bang stick ( a pole that fires a shotgun shell ), tied a rope around its tail and dragged it ashore to be butchered. It was a scary shark to see, with its strange shaped head and fast acceleration.

The next event was the Super Bowl party at Club Thunderball. That was lots of fun and we even had a bet on the game. Not sure exactly how the system worked but, needless to say, we didn’t win. It was the only time we have been “out after dark” since we arrived in the islands. It is just not the safest thing to be motoring around in a dinghy at night. In fact, two boats of Bahamians had collided just a night or two before. Everyone was rescued but many were flown to Nassau for medical treatment.

Last Monday, we sailed north to Norman’s Cay to meet Al and Ann on Calypso Poet. They had brought us a new serial port to USB adapter to resolve, hopefully, my computer problems. Other friends, Harold and Angie on the trawler Halagain, from Parry Sound, also headed to Norman’s the same day. The three boats joined together to dive daily and our larder got steadily fuller. Murray hooked a mutton snapper one day and then shot a 10 lb margate the next. Angie shot a large yellow-fin grouper and, through a community effort, we managed to haul him aboard. Harold cleaned the grouper and shared it with all of the boats as it took a group effort to get that big fish. Many lobster were shot, cleaned, cooked and buttered. Some were even frozen to share with friends up north. One was a slipper or Spanish lobster that looks like a prehistoric bug. He was just walking along the bottom when Murray spotted him, dove down and picked him up. Not a happy lobster but sooo sweet to eat.

The computer problems seem to be resolved. The external antenna enabled us to get a wireless connection in Norman’s and we had a chance to make a Skype call to Jeremy and Cynthia, with video. It was so nice to see the kids and see how much they are growing and changing while we are gone. We tried to make a few phone calls but the connection was not great, with extreme delays. Thanks for putting up with the try – Linda & Kuyler& Don & Lena! Maybe someplace later, with a stronger wireless signal, we will try again.

Now, on Sat, we are on the way southward. Motoring this time. Another cold front is coming in tomorrow and we will have several days of strong winds, over 25 knots with gust to 35. It will charge our batteries and we will have time to play games and watch movies. Many friends are gathered in Staniel, awaiting our arrival. Cocktail parties await. Our larder is very bare, with no fresh veggies left. The supply ship was into Staniel a few days ago and the stores may be cleaned out by now as well. We will get whatever we can or make do with canned stuff. There is little danger of starving aboard this ship!

Hopefully all is well up north and the snow hasn’t gotten too deep. Much love to everyone and write when you can. We love to get your messages aboard.

Hugs, Murray & Heather