Monday, March 28, 2011

More fish and a life saved from sin!

After having caught one fish on our own and then getting huge hunks of Mahi from The Dog (we just love The Dog and hope we run into him again! What a character!), Hans and I just couldn't get enough. And after Dog informed us that we'd never catch anything on our own on the banks of the Bahamas, I truly feared Hans was going to put me to work and make me walk the docks, and I'm just too old for that. So I'm very happy to relate that after leaving Grand Cay we managed to snag yet one more Holy Mackerel, and we had only traveled two miles.


Our second fish, and check out the gloves!! Probably not necessary for such a small fish but I hate getting stuck by fish fins!

We then anchored at Double Breasted Cay but I hate to admit that we never left the boat. The promised sandy beaches were way over on the other side of the rocks that we ended up in, and since getting our dinghy and motor going is such an ordeal we decided to stay put (I'm very serious when I say that dinghy davits had better be in our future).

At Double Breasted and believe it or not this is maybe the second time I've relaxed in the sun.

From Double Breasted we set out for Yankee Carter Cay and I will ask all of you now to please never try to anchor there! Our Dodge Guide to the Abacos states that the entrance to this anchorage carries a depth of 4 feet at MLW (Mean Low Water, an oxymoron if I ever heard one!) and let me tell you that it certainly does not! More like two and a half feet because that's what we draw, and I watched in horror as we left twin trails of sand behind us as we fought our way in. We had to shut down our port engine when we realized no fresh water was shooting out behind us, and we were then stunned to find ourselves in what I can only describe as a Shanty Town on the Water. Tons of working boats, non working boats, and a sunken hulk littered the anchorage and we ended up tossing out the hook in 14 feet of water and far too close to the current, and prayed that we wouldn't drift into anyone during the night. Hans cleaned out the strainer on the port engine, got it back into working order, and we ended up enduring heavy winds and currents throughout the night. While we thankfully didn't drag due to the current, we found that we'd swung uncomfortably close to a working boat the next morning. We felt tremendous relief that the Bahamians, who were on that boat, merely waved a happy good morning to us and didn't hesitate to take off in a another boat thus leaving their mothership in mortal danger of being smacked by the Knotty Cat.

This boat is a lot closer than it appears. I could have just about jumped onto it.

I heard a number of conversations on the radio from people who had anchored the night before and realized that we actually had a better time of it. One couple slept in their cockpit because they were afraid someone would drift into them. Another man got so sick of getting beat up that he weighed anchor at midnight and set sail. Stupid old me slept through the night and I figured that every time the boat shuddered with the slamming waves, meant we were still anchored.

We left at high tide, and getting the anchor up turned into a nightmare that we hadn't even considered and I can't believe we didn't ram into anyone. Hans admits that, so far, this has been the most nerve wracking anchoring we've ever made. We didn't draw a breath of relief until we were way out of that harbor and we will never EVER go back there.

I should have known something would go wrong (my good luck streaks don't last very long) since on our way to (Damn) Yankee Carter, we caught a huge Gray Snapper. Honest to God! Because my trolling line had veered straight down and out of sight I said to Hans, "What the hell is wrong with my line? I think we've snagged bottom!!" But after a bit of tugging, I felt some resistance, and I knew that I hadn't snagged a rock and that I had something more than a Holy Mackerel on the hook! After winding the line around our winch a few times, a form started to take shape and I was actually shaking as I had no idea what it could be. Finally a fat pancake shape with a big eye appeared and we were able to pull it into the cockpit. A quick look at one of our charts proved it to be a Gray Snapper at 30 inches long, and since it felt like it weighed more than a gallon of milk, I'd put it at around eight pounds. Hans would love to think it was more like fifteen but I don't think so.

Mr. Snapper didn't like the rum we gave him and he hung onto dear life for far too long. Here he's still sporting our lure.

We don't happen to have any 'Snapper Helper' on board but he was still delicious!

If you look closely you can see Wilbur giving Mr. Snapper (who's reclining in the captains locker sans beer) the 'fish eye'!

We moved onto Foxtown with nary a bite but that's okay (I have two days worth of fish in our freezer), we had hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for dinner and we endured yet one more night of winds and current. I sincerely hope the day will soon arrive when receiving weather reports won't require thousands of dollars worth of equipment. As of this time most of our information is days old and even a few hours can make a difference.

Upon leaving Foxtown, since the winds were S SW at around 15-20 knots (instead of our old forecast of NE) we took advantage and sailed toward Green Turtle Cay. What a difference it makes to sail along with following seas! We felt sorry for people heading in the opposite direction as they hobby horsed up and down into the wind and waves.

We entered Green Turtle at around 6 PM on Friday night, once again at MLW, and saw depths of four and a half feet in the channel. I'll be glad when we can finally start coming and going with some higher tides.

Another pretty sunset in the Bahamas.

BTW, internet access here is very poor at this time so I will post when I can.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see that ya'll are catching fish. There's hope for us after all! Beautiful pictures and hope you get to enjoy the beaches soon.