Hello and welcome back to another edition of “LIFE IS GOOOOOD!!!” Here is your host Bill Lumberg, in for Brendon Rawlings while he is in the Bahamas. “Yeaaa Hiiii, Yeaaaaa, hiiiiiii, yeaaaa, yeaaaaaa, hiiiii, its Bill Lumberg, thaaaanks, yeaaaa, thats greaaaaat, yeaaaaa.”
...Anyway, while I am on great moments in comedy, there is a boat here called More Cowbell, and people get on the radio all the time and spurt out little bits of the SNL skit, it is pretty awesome. One of the things I miss most about being on the boat- No Youtube. I have been jonesing some Christopher Walken brilliance for weeks! Some Don't Fear The Reaper? Maybe a little Weapon of Choice? Aw man, I didn't even think of weapon of choice until just now. Please do me and yourself a favor, and look up the Weapon of Choice music video, it will make your day, or at least your hour. If that doesn't make your hour, I want to be living your life, well at least for an hour, cause that would mean that you are doing things better than watch Christopher Walken effortlessly glide in rhythm with the heavens as he tangos with perfection, and flies with the grace an angel.
OK, so probably the best thing that has happened over the past week is that I secured for us a new dinghy, for free, that is even registered in PA. That means I can legally take it home and dinghy to
Southside instead of drive whenever I am feeling nautical. Awesome. Other than that, it has been a pretty awesome week. I gave a poker clinic on Tuesday, teaching all the newbie cruisers how to play the game so that they will come to the tournaments that are held every Monday and Thursday. Like 13 people showed up and it went really well. Now, if you have ever taught someone to play poker, you know that sometimes there are those who just don't get it. Especially if you are teaching a group of 13 people of the age range of 50-75, then there are a lot of those people who just don't get it. Well of the 13 I taught, only one made it to the real tournament on Thursday, and she happened to be sitting at my table. She was one of those who didn't quite get it. She was the first one out at the table. I am the one who took her out... woops. She even said she was trying to use one of my tactics when she went out to me, so she pretty much hates me now I think.
We have been going diving as often as possible lately, Mark and I found a secret diving spot with Kari, and we have been trying to get back there. Wed. we went to the secret spot with a girl from a sweet 70 foot schooner that is circumnavigating and she caught 2 conch and a lobster, and that was without any real intent to catch anything. Thursday we go out with my Uncle Brian and Dick and Barnacle from Rio Dulce. I make the first kill of the day with a lobster, then Dick came up with a Margate, then I get another lobster, and then I hear Brian yelling about something. I swim over and he points down into a tunnel in the reef, out of which is poking the end of his spear. I swim down to see what was going on down there and the entire spear disappears. I looked up to see my uncle with his hand over his face in disappointment, thinking he has lost his spear for good. We look around a little and I see what we are looking for, the face of a huuuge grouper poking out from a nearby hole. Dick comes over and spears the thing a second time, and the two of them yank it out of the hole, Brian's spear still lodged in its head, and they triumphantly carry the 25 pound tiger grouper by two spears back to the dinghy. We all go back and marveled at the fish, and when we jump back in, a good 5 foot reef shark makes a beeline right for us. It slows down and circles while everyone jumps back up into the dinghy, but I stick around in the water for a little to see what his intentions are. He glides along the bottom right towards me, and I just lay there in the water next to the dinghy watching, he keeps coming, keeps coming, and then... keeps going, right underneath me, 15 feet down. That was kind of intense. I assume it was attracted by all of the blood and commotion we had been causing with our kills, but that is where we decided to call it a day. We went back, cleaned the fish and lobster, and made plans for a fish fry the next day.
Rio Dulce is a 47 foot catamaran, a Catana 471, and man she is a beauty, the Costigans, who own Rio Dulce, invited over Me, Mark, Grandmother and Grandad, Uncle Brian, Aunt Sheryl, Erin, Geneva, 3 people from vessel 3 at Sea, and 3 from Nina. That made for 19 people, all of whom brought over dessert, fish, lobster, appetizers, rum, wine, all kinds of goodness. 3 at Sea brought some amazing homemade mango salsa and some delicious gooey brownies. Nina brought conch fritters made from the conch caught Wed. I caught 2 lobsters which Brian steamed, and he made pasta salad, I made some guacamole, sautéed veggies, and vermicelli, Rio Dulce made cilantro lime cole slaw that went perfectly with the fish, some seasoned rice, and they prepared the grouper that Brian caught by breading it with cornmeal and ritz crackers and frying it. The 20 of us gorged on as much lobster and grouper as we could eat, mixing it with the veggies, rice, pasta, salsa, butter, all kind of endless deliciousness. Even after we were all totally satiated and more, that grouper was not even close to gone, it must have given 15 lbs of meat, and it just kept going and going. It was amazing.
Today Brian, Dick, Barnacle and I went out diving again and I had a great day fishing. I had never shot a fish before, and today I went for it. Barnacle pointed out a nice size red snapper in the distance, about 25 feet down, so I went for it. I came up slowly, spear cocked, and just when it started to decide it was going to get out of there I let it rip and got him right in the head, he thrashed around a bit, so I caught up to him, grabbed the spear, and jammed it down into the sandy bottom, right through his skull. Everyone has told me that red snapper is some of the best fish you can get, so I am quite happy with that as my first kill. I tend to do that, the first time I do something, I do it to the max. My first beer was a Guiness, my first cigar a Cuban, my first shot of liquor was 151, and my first shot on a fish fish- a big ol' red snapper, ha. And after the snapper I got a good shot on a blue runner, and then a rock hind grouper, all of a pretty decent size, not too bad for my first fishies. The rock hind grouper was a particularly interesting shot. Every now and then when diving you will come across a little cleaning station where gobies and wrasses eat away at the akin and mouth of bigger fish, it is a pretty amazing phenomenon, especially to see it in action, the trust that is understood, like when a big rock hind grouper lets a little fish into his mouth to clean, but dosn't eat it, for whatever reason, and everyone knows that is how it goes. Well, I violated that trust. I saw that grouper laying there on a rock in the reef with a gobie in his mouth and two wrasses cleaning his scales, I dove down and got closer and closer, and the poor sap didnt even think about moving from his little day spa. Nailed him right in the head. Ya, I felt kinda bad, but man did he taste good. So ya, it was a good day fishing, my uncle got a lobster too, so we will be eating pretty well the next few days.
So, aside from fish stories (which, as far as fish stories go, were pretty truthful), I have just been hanging out, meeting people. There was a bonfire some young folk were having after poker one day, my brother and I went down, and they were all ridiculous. Two chicks who were way too proud to be from Jersey, Monica, the chick from Nina, who has had her eyes on Mark and was... tipsy, some racist dude from South Carolina playing Jack Johnson songs interspersed with impromptu songs about Obama, the best one of which was titled I think: Obama Bahama, Obama Loves the Conch. Or something like that. It was pretty hilarious though, he was good. And then we realized that Monica's dinghy had blown away across the harbor, and she was passed out cold in the sand, not even able to stand up, which ended up in a fiasco of my grandparents not willing to help for some reason, us disobeying them to get the poor girl to her boat, and my Uncle helping Mark find the dinghy in the morning, so it was a night of excitement and drama that turned out fine in the end. Mark is now crewing for a ship on its way to the Virgin Islands and should be back in a couple weeks, the guy is flying Mark back when he gets there. I could have gone too, the guy needed more crew, but I have to stay here with the Grandparents, we might be going to Long Island Tuesday, so that is exciting, Mark said I could go next time...
Well, I hope that you are all enjoying the snow, we still haven't seen any down here yet, drop me an email and let me know how you are, I'll respond as quickly as I can, I promise, but hey, iz da Bahamas mon, it might be a while. Ha! I love being able to say that!