Thursday, July 13, 2006

Da Bahamas

July 12, 2006

I know it’s been a long long time since I’ve updated this blog, but I’ve got a good excuse. I’ve been working. Working long hours. In fact, at points I was finding it difficult to find the time to wipe my butt properly let alone sit down and write.

But we’ve finished our second charter here in the Bahamas and now have a few days standby time, so here we go. On June 19th we left Ft. Lauderdale for the Bahamas prior to which we worked hard preparing for the six week trip. Loading up the boat with the groceries and supplies was no small feat. I had to put my foot down when we ran out of storage space and I found some canned goods stored in my pillow case. I comprised and switched the cans for rolls of toilet paper and everything eventually found a home. Now the only problem is remembering where we stowed everything!

It was a slow cruise and the crew (Captain Pierre, Chef Chris, Stewardess Carolyn and I) paired off for watches for the better of the 19 hour journey. We anchored outside the Cay of Spanish Wells. Spanish Wells residents are very proud of their island which as the name implies was founded by the Spanish and not much has changed culturally since. It’s primarily caucasion and more or less survives on the fishing business.

Once the tide came up we were set to yank the anchor and meet our pilot who would guide us through a narrow and shallow channel into the Spanish Wells Marina. I went off ahead in the tender to meet the pilot “A-1”, a colorful character with a heavy Bahamian accent who grew up fishing the Bahamas and now makes a very good living driving his 15 foot dingy and guiding yachts through the maze of reefs and extremely shallow depths. He’s is also a great guy to know if you want fresh conch, stone crab, grouper, etc. delivered straight to your door. And we now know he really likes Oreos and can recite the capitals for all 50 United States. And he will, like it or not.

The next day was nice as we had a day to relax. We enjoyed it which was good because it would be awhile before we’d get another. We took the tender and went for a snorkel on a ship wreck and then found a great beach and stopped to check out the natural cave just inland from the beach. It’s quite large and must have made a relatively comfortable home for Jacob Sayle who was shipwrecked and took shelter there over 100 years ago.

The next day the “Whitaker” charter began.

Oopss! I stepped away. And now I’m having a hard time continuing so I’ll just pause here. Just a taste of the Bahamas. More to come…..