Tuesday, March 24, 2009

3-24 oldies

After actually being able to spend some time on the internet that kind of worked, I went to some of the links that my friends have sent me, and there is one that I must share with the masses, which was sent independently by two of my friends, and a warning, this is not for kids, or those offended by horrible (but hilarious) music and course language, I got less than a minute of it loaded, but I could already tell it makes a pretty good theme song, thanks Chris and Kaity. I'm on a boat. And if I see that crazy fish Brooke, I will let you know how it tastes.

This whole ciguatera thing is pretty insane. Whenever I get wet, it makes a crazy sensation, like burning, but not painful, its crazy, and I live on a boat, so I get wet a lot. Luckily we have avoided the whole gastrointestinal side of things, we are just getting a little of the neurological effects, which is pretty interesting, but I hope it goes away soon.

Now that we have started to go backwards, we are running into a lot of people who we didnt expect to see after we left Georgetown. We keep getting calls from people who hear us on the radio to say hey, and we will probably end up picking up a few in our convoy north... if we do ever end up going north. We are trying to convince my uncle, or rather my aunt really, to stay for the family island regatta in Georgetown, we heard that it is a really crazy time, the town transforms into a bustling city of shacks and vendors and theres music and boat racing and apparently the flood of prostitutes that pours in from Nassau is quite a sight, hah. The boats they race look like they would be insane, they are definitely meant for speed and nothing else. The boats are sloop style, something like 18 feet long, with 26 foot booms that hang way over the stern, and a 39 foot mast, which makes for a sail that looks ridiculously huge for the boats, and in order to keep the boat from foundering under the huge force of the sail, they use a prize, which is just a little board that goes off the side of the boat and they load people out onto it to counterweight the sail. They get anybody they can to come on board and act as crew, usually to run around and be weights on the prize, and we were told we would be able to get on one of the racing sloops if we wanted, which in itself would be worth the trip back down to Georgetown I think. Now I am not saying I dont want to come home, cause I am really looking forward to returning, we would speed up our return if we went back for the regatta, but man it sounds awesome.

As I said before I left a few things I had written on my Grandad's computer when he left, and my mom emailed them to me just a few days ago, so I am just gonna put them up now, even though its old news


In the boater community the main form of boat to boat communication is the VHF radio, right after semaphore. In the US it is highly regulated and as we cruised down the ICW it was used for things like hailing marinas, talking to boats passing you or that you are passing, as well as simple communication. You would hail the ship you want to talk to on 16 and then switch to a working channel, we always use 72, where you would talk about important things such as a shallow spot in the waterway, or that tree we just passed that looks like a deer. That is how things went in the US, but down here in the Bahamas the radio is not regulated by anyone but the cruisers and it becomes the inter harbor telephone. Everyone in the harbor stays tuned to 68, and boats are hailing other boats all day, you get to know peoples voices before ever meeting them. People hail other boats and then switch to a different channel, and you can almost always count on it that someone will be following you to the channel you pick to eavesdrop on your conversation, everyone ends up knowing everything that’s going on with everyone. It is really great to have that means of mass communication with all your neighbors, I wish something like that existed in the cities at home. At any time you can go on the radio and ask any question and usually someone will get back to you.
Every morning at 8 o’clock is the Georgetown cruisers net on channel 72, the net consists of the business section, during which local businesses will come on and do a little advertisement, usually 3 or 4, then the regatta, during which the cruising regatta events are discussed, community announcements, during which people announce things like my poker clinics I have been holding, and then boaters general, during which people do everything from offer free old dinghies to ask for people to join them in a discussion of quantum physics after the net on channel 73. If you need something that you think may be sitting idle on someone’s boat, just go on the net, want to find a boat to take you on as crew to Long Island, just go on the net, need some help with your refrigerator, your engine, your bocce ball game, just go on the net, it is like the internet and the telephone combined, and everyone is listening, it is great.
It is pretty amusing to listen to some people on the radio, you begin to hear tendencies go around, like some people say “over” after everything they say, some people say “come back” some say “out” at the end some say “clear” some say “roger” to indicate they heard something, some even “roger roger”, others “copy”, others “10-4”. You pick up a little French here and there, with the French Canadians everywhere. I now know all my French numbers. What a hideous language French is, I feel like that will hurt a lot of peoples feelings, but geez, its so mumbly and nasaly and gross. Maybe you have to learn it to appreciate it? And I have been told that it may just be The French Canadian accent. When people want to switch to channel one one (that’s how you say numbers, one by one, there is no 12, no 67, it is six seven) but when they say 11 in French it just sound like someone is choking or something. Anyway, that only adds to the character of the whole thing, it may be one of my favorite things about the cruising community. The closest thing I can think to this that exists in the states is Craigslist, but there is only a select group of people that ever go on there and the feedback is not nearly as immediate. I am really surprised that more people don’t get little handheld VHF radios, they can transmit for miles, and even in places like the city the traffic would be minimal. Sure you get a few radio Nazis, demanding proper protocol on the radio, and the jerks who use it for means other than those intended (though it is usually for the sake of humor), but as a whole I think it is great to be able to instantly communicate with everyone around you, I think I am going to start a movement for a VHF radio enabled community wherever it is I end up living.

Edit: After I wrote this post I did the "Fish Net" parody that we presented at the No Talent Show for the cruising regatta, which I wrote about a few posts ago, this give a little taste of the fodder for my fish net.

2-18 This is what I was expecting.

Another adventure into the out islands this last week was really incredible, this is what I was expecting when I came down here, and it is awesome that it is finally happening. When Grandad made it clear that he wasn’t moving from Georgetown I was pretty bummed and thought I would be stuck here for the duration, but Mark and I have found plenty of opportunities to get out and explore the Bahamas and it is great. Rio Dulce, friends of Brian’s that have been traveling with us for a while, invited us to go along with them to Conception island one morning, and at a couple hours notice we were ready to go and out of there. So we headed out on Rio Dulce in the morning and got into Conception island that evening, traveling with two other sailboats Priority and Zola. Priority is a couple with two kids and they are an awesome family, the parents were a lot of fun to hang out with and the kids were really cool. Zola was a newlywed couple, just married in Vero Beach Florida, and they are out cruising for their honeymoon, a wonderful young couple and also a lot of fun. Rio Dulce is a family of 5 who have been cruising their entire lives, the boat is a 47 foot Catana catamaran and it is beautiful, we were really privileged to be able to sail on her. It seems everyone I meet out here I would be content sitting down for hours and talking about their lives, there is always something interesting, and these families were no exception, though I guess that’s what you get when you are meeting people who are cruising the Caribbean. On the sail to Conception we were cruising along with Zola and Priority probably half a mile off our beam and we kept hearing them on the radio talking about all the fish they keep catching on their trolling lines, we were trolling lines, but not getting as much as a bite. Dick, who owns Rio Dulce, was just flipping out every time they came on the radio, it was pretty hilarious, and no matter how many lines we put out, we got nothin. So we got to Conception fishless, but with friends who caught loads of mahi and tuna, so we invited them over and they brought over the freshly caught and prepared fish and damn was it delicious.
In the morning we all went diving on the reefs around the island, the staghorn corals were absolutely beautiful and the immensity of the reefs was really impressive. After a while fishing on the reefs we got a couple grouper, lobster (a huuge one from Zola), snapper, margate. The island also has mangrove creeks winding through it that we explored a bit, the creeks are a breeding ground for lots of sea life and we saw some sea turtles flitting around, nurse sharks, and various other fishies. There is nothing like eating lunch, and being hungry because you were diving all morning fishing for the fish that you are eating. It’s a good way to live. Priority introduced us to the “slingshot” that afternoon, which is a crazy contraption, born of the mind of Dwane on Zola, which uses a dinghy and a halyard to send you launching through the air at high speeds, I think only a picture will do to describe it. Diving the next day was even more fruitful, Zola again caught the biggest lobster any of us had ever seen, I wont even do Dwayne the injustice of reproducing his daring feat of underwater lobster wrangling here, it was incredible though, and he and his wife Kim got 4 more lobster that day, it was enough to feed the two of them for a month I think.
Priority had a brilliant plan of drifting the mangrove creeks and we all set out, along with another boat, Wild Wind, and us 4 dinghys went way up into the creek, tied together and waited for the tide to go out, and drifted down the creeks with the current back to the entrance. We must have been quite a sight, Priority had a big umbrella up on their dinghy and we were just lounging along, every one layin around. A helicopter flew over and then circled back to get a closer view, buzzing us at 30 feet, it was sweet. Sitting there drifting along in great company through the mangrove creeks of Conception Island in the Bahamas, it cant get any better right? Then Dick hands me a Yeungling. I almost cried.
We set off for Georgetown the next morning, and in a quick mid trip decision decided to change our route to go to Long Island with Priority and Zola. On the way we stopped at a nice reef to do a little diving and we got enough fish to feed us for a couple days, I got my biggest jack yet. On the way we were trolling again, and we caught two barracuda, which was pretty awesome, but they are not edible, so it was less awesome. They eat all the little coral eating fish which get ciguatera from eating coral so they also have ciguatera, no barracuda meat for us. After making it to Thompson Bay for the night, the first thing I did was go into the Long Island Breeze resort and use Dick’s skype to call Kari and try to justify not talking to her for 2 weeks including Valentines day and our 1 year anniversary… so back me up here, the Bahamian Valentines day is a week after the American… right guys? So, later Mark and I took the other boats on a little cave tour in the caves we explored when we were on the island before and it was incredible all over again. The next day was an awesome adventure, Mark and I hitchhiked down the Dean’s Blue Hole after hearing from many people that we had to see it. After a few minutes walking down the road we get picked up by a big ol’ white Escalade and find ourselves in the company of three 50somethings, two guys and a girl, who when I asked them what they do there, they said they do what Michael Phelps does, swim and… well that other thing he is famous for doing these days, which they obviously did a lot of. And a little down the road, we stop in at a little dive shop and picked up William. William as it turns out, holds the record for free diving, a record which he set last year, in Dean’s blue hole, the very place to which we were en route. I chatted with William on the way, he trains free diving every day, with multiple sponsorships that is how he makes a living, and does spear fishing in his free time, or I guess probably both at the same time really. Once a year he attempts the record dive, he set it two years ago and broke his own record last year with a dive of 285 feet. Inconceivable. So they took us to the blue hole, got out and chatted a bit with us, and then left Mark and I to explore it. The hole is surrounded by cliffs, with parts you can jump off of that are something like 40 feet high. We sat around and marveled at the hole, 50ish feet in diameter and plummeting down into darkness to 600 feet deep. Both Mark and I then took the 40 foot plunge off the cliff into the hole, hopefully you see those pictures. We hitchhiked back, making a stop at Max’s Conch Bar, which had the best conch salad on the island and the best drink I had ever had- coconut water and gin. Man it was good. The next ride was Cecelia, homemade banana bread, took us back.
On our way back into Georgetown we ran up the spinnaker sail on Rio Dulce, a brightly colored giant of a sail, and show boated our way through the harbor and back to hamburger beach. I got back just in time to do my poker clinic at 3, the family was all over joyed to see us back, and now it is back to the good ol’ life in Georgetown. It is also worth mentioning a bit of excitement that occurred a couple days ago. I was planning on buying Kari tickets to come down to see me over spring break as a valentines gift, and when I tell her this on Monday… she tells me she already bought tickets and was going to surprise me, holy crap is that girl awesome, I gotta say I am a bit disappointed I ruined the surprise though. So now I have that to look forward to, Brian has volunteered as the chairman of Kids Day in the upcoming cruising regatta, so Mark and I will no doubt play a large part in that, so that will be interesting, and the cold fronts have finally decided to stop blasting us with 20 knot winds and chilling us to the bone with 65 degree weather every day, so we will be able to do some good diving over the next few days, so things are looking good around here in Georgetown, now lets see what happening, in your neck of the woods.

Big Fish got the Last Laugh

So, there is a problem with some bigger fish down here in the Bahamas, they eat smaller reef eating fish, which feed on coral, some of which contains a poison called ciguatoxin, which I have read is 1000 times more potent per volume than arsenic, so pretty nasty stuff. Well the bigger a fish gets, the more reef eaters it consumes, and the more toxin accumulates in its blood, so bigger fish can have harmful doses of the stuff. And I killed... a huge fish. We even pulled a reef eater out of its mouth when we were filleting it. So now it seems that Mark and I are suffering from a mild case of ciguatera, and if you google it, just about every site describes amberjacks as a likely species to carry the toxin. Its not so bad, just a little tingly in the extremeties, and that is even subsiding already, the best part is the reversal of hot/cold sensations, its kind of cool. So, nothing to worry about really, and even though I thought I won the battle, and had a hell of a time doing it, that fish definatly did get the last laugh.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Big Fishy Birthday

Hokay, so, we are making our way north again... kind of. We made it as north as Shroud Cay, and then we were invited to partake in birthday celebrations for one of the kids on Priority, which also happened to be my birthday as well (he is exactly 10 years younger than me- March 22 1996, how scary is that, 1996, seems like he should still be a baby), so we came all the way back down to Staniel Cay where we had been 4 days previous. Further south, woe is me, that means more time in the Bahamas, oh bother. We have been having a spectacular time in our journeys, the sailing has been magnificent, the weather has been great, and the fishing, oh the fishing has been outstanding.
Making our way up through the Exuma islands we base much of our decision of where to anchor on what good dive spots are around the area, and we have been finding some really great spots. I know I go on and on about the places we dive, so I wont get into it really, but we have been seeing some breathtaking wildlife. Eight foot stingrays, eagle rays, huge nurse sharks, bull sharks, outstanding coral growth, and through all of it I have been getting some great catches, a lot of which I put up pictures of. One day I was peeking in a hole and saw what I thought was a lobster tail hanging down, I speared it, pulled it out, and there was some cockroach/lobster looking mutant on my spear and I had no idea what I had just killed, take a look at the pictures of it in the Conception album. Turns out it was a spanish lobster and they are a rarely seen species of lobster down here and actually taste really good, better than the spiny lobster I usually get. I also got a couple rock crab, you have to look at the picture, in the Pipe Cay album, of one of them, the thing had claws so massive I kept diving down trying to figure out what species of animal I was looking at and after 3 dives down I realized I was just looking at a claw attached to a big freaking crab, so then we had a delicious crab dinner. Ok, and if you are tired of hearing fish stories, just hang on to your seat for one more, this one is a doozie. Just yesterday I was diving the rocks right here in Staniel Cay where we are anchored, same rocks we dove when we were here 4 days ago, and when we were here before, Mark told me about these gigantic fish he saw that scared the crap out if him when they went swimming by they were so big, and we identified them as greater amberjacks. Then Duane speared a monster snapper, and sharks were on the scene before he even got the thing out of the water, so there is a lot of big life on these rocks. So we are scouting the area, and Mark grabs my fin and points frantically at two huge fish that just swam by, the same two amberjack he saw last time we were here. We both just gawked for a bit, they were some of the biggest fish we had seen, and they were darting around in front of us at incredible speed, and then when we got back to the dinghy after a while we were taking about them and I thought about it and decided that if I got a shot on one, I would take it, hoping for the off chance that it didnt just run off with my spear and I actually bagged the thing. So we move up the reef a bit, get back in the water, I am swimming around, and there it is, one of the amberjack is circling a little coral head in front of me. So I approach it, expecting the thing to take off at any moment, but it just keeps circling, I get closer, it circles again, closer, still circling. So I have already made the decision that I am going to shoot the thing if I get a good shot, and in about 3 seconds he is going to circle right under me, so he comes by, 15 feet below me, I cock back the spear as far as it will go, and I take the shot. Nail him in the head, perfect shot right behind the skull and it penetrates all the way through his gills, and he is not happy. I now have this 4 foot mass of muscle flailing around under me, slamming into the ground trying to get my spear out of his head and he wont let me near him, so I chase and I chase and I chase, never quite getting ahold of the spear and barely keeping up with the fish, all the while trying to scream to Mark through my snorkel because I didnt want to take my eyes off the fish, and I knew I was going to need some help finishing it off. After chasing it for a few minutes I got it cornered against a rock and got the end of the spear, I got a fist on the spear on either end of the fish and led his frantic attempts at escape to shore, practically being dragged the whole way. His flailing is now spilling huge pools of blood into the water as we move along and I remember the sharks that Duane encountered in the same spot. I get to a shallow coral head and climb on top, and standing in waist deep water, I hoist the thing out of the water. It is still flailing on the spear, blood is pouring down my arms, the water is saturated with blood around me, and I am weighing my options, the thought of sharks circling becoming more and more real in my head as the water gets a deeper and deeper red. There is a rocky shore 30 yards one way and the dinghy 50 yards another way, both of which require me to let the fish back into the water where it might wrestle off the spear, or might just take me for a ride. I look around, no sign of Mark, I give a couple shouts, and nothing, so I start heading for shore. I realize quickly thats not happening, I am keeping that thing and its blood out of the water as best as I can, so I get back up on the coral head and just keep shouting for Mark. He finally rounds the corner and I hold the behemoth up above my head to let him see what is going on, and he books it to the dinghy, starts over, and when he gets about 10 feet away, I realize its all good, I got the fish, I havnt been attacked by sharks, so I think about what just happened, and just break up laughing, I must have been quite a sight. I hoisted the thing in the dinghy, clambered in myself, and we both laughed and gawked in disbelief at the size of the fish that was taking up the entire bottom of our dinghy. So we then went on our show off rounds, going to all the other boats we were diving with, all of our friends on sailboats, and then got back to the boat and started on the monumental task of cleaning the thing. When all was said and done, we filled 4 ziplock 1 gallon bags full of meat, the fillets were 4 inches thick and we didnt leave an ounce of meat on the fish, we measured it at 42". After the filleting was done, and we had been tossing skin and scraps over, I actually dove in the water to clean off, Mark and I keeping an eye out for approaching dark spots, and then I saw one coming, I scurried to the boat and out of the water, and an at least 8 foot shark skimmed the surface right where I was just swimming right when I got out. After that we took the carcass and hung it over the side with a line, the resulting pictures of us teasing the sharks with it are pretty awesome, its the same shark that just about got a taste of me. So in the end I am left with something like 20 lbs of meat, a majorly bent spear, and a really good fish story.

Ok, so that last one was worth a read right? We are going to be holed up in Staniel for a couple more days waiting out this cold front before we start north again, and we will be heading up the Exuma chain, to Nassau, and then through the Abacos and from there we will set off for the east coast, probably some time at the end of April, and start up the ICW. But for now, its my birthday, and all the boaters we are with made it great, I was treated to birthday songs from Gottalife and Priority this morning, Bird on a Wire made some bread and cake which are sitting in the galley waiting to be devoured, I got some nice home made bling from the girls on Gottalife and Bird on a Wire, Mark bought me a delicious lunch at the yacht club when we went in to town to talk to mothers and girlfriends, and we had a grown-up (Ya, thats me now, I am old) movie night and all watched Office Space to close the evening. It was a good day, plus that present from Poseidon yesterday, I think I could do a birthday like this every year.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The Georgetown Cruising Regatta is the apex of the Georgetown cruiser experience. All of the cruisers come together to create this 2 week long celebration, and the ridiculousness of the cruising community is made readily apparent as the days of the regatta unfold. To begin with, in a normal regatta, the races play a pretty large part in the whole thing, and in the races the point is to sail the course the fastest. In this regatta the races are just another event, playing second fiddle to the coconut harvest and maybe the scavenger hunt, and the main focus is not on going fast, they give the best prizes to the people who take the best pictures, cook the best desserts underway, and catch the biggest fish, and the prizes are usually rum or some type of alcoholic beverage. The whole regatta is carried out in this sort of fashion.
Opening night is host to the "No Talent Show" which was a spectacle of folks with seemingly no self restraint going up and making fools out of themselves, from the 70 year old french lady Nicole (the same one who took me out in poker 2 weeks in a row) who is about 100 pounds over weight and has a bust that weighs as much as me going up to do a belly dance in a sheer pink tutu get up with the town madman Hanz in a similar outfit behind her trying to mimic her (surprisingly graceful) moves, to the family of 5 trying to do the evolution of dance, the loads of karaoke, broadway songs, songs with sailing lyrics added, the "Booze Brothers", The California Rasins, the old fat chick who just went up and downed some wine on stage while "Red Red Wine" played, the French guys and their crossdressing, and the parents covering eyes of children when some guy (french of course) wound up in a banana hammock, but, there was one act that displayed an incredible amount of talent. I wrote up a spoof to the cruisers net that goes on every morning in Gtown while I was in Conception, it was the underwater fishing net, hosted by Mike Mahi, with the water (instead of weather) from Franz and his pet catfish whisker 5 (instead of Hanz on his boat whisper 5), a sea dance party from rock fish Ron (instead of Rockin Ron, who throws all the dance parties in Gtown) and it went on like that poking fun at all of the Gtown celebrities, even Mayor Bill on "Rosanante" (in teh fishing net he was Mayor Krill on the shell of loggerhead turtle "Oceanante", daringly casted by Dick of Rio Dulce). Well from the first time we gave our mini presentation in Conception over the radio, the ideas came pouring in from the kids and adults alike for additions to the fishing net. We signed up for the No Talent Show and had a little meeting where everyone presented their ideas and we put them all together with the original script and set up a skit where all the kids and adults on our little group of boats had a part to play. We got up on stage with everyone hiding behind a sheet and me acting as the narrator as they all popped out and made their fishing net announcements, Kari even played an important role as general eye candy/sheet holder, and we closed with the thought for the day from Barnacle Brian: "A wise fish once said: I've got a fever. And the only prescription... is more conch horn" and the famous conch horn orchestra that was lining up to come on after us all blew their horns in salute, it was awesome. The kids had a blast and everyone was in tears laughing by the end of it, it really went over well, people were coming up to me every day afterwards to say how great it was, and insist that we had far too much talent for the no talent show, a couple of the A-list celebs even asked for the script.
So after a smashing opening night the excitement continued with the coconut harvest. They let go 700 coconuts on the other side of the little hole one anchorage and 100 people in teams of 4 raced to their dingheys and using flippers on their hands as oars, paddled across and collected as many coconuts as possible, drenching other boats with buckets, stealing/defending collected coconuts, cheating as much as possible. Me, Kari, Mark, and Gregg, a local kid from St. Francis, ended up in a three way tie for 2nd place and in a tense tie breaker where we tossed coconuts over a volleyball net into circles on the other side, I failed our team miserably and we wound up in a pathetic fourth place. After that madness we went to the Texas Hold'em poker tournament, which I dealt in, and we all got out pretty early, though I did have two students in the top 4 who came to my clinic two days before, and I actually won the week before, a $100 prize, so I was allright with the loss. A bonfire on the beach with a bottle of wine given to me by Fred (which he won for getting the first full house at the table) was a nice way to end the day.
A scavenger hunt the next day with Dwayne and Kim from Zola, Mark, Kari, and a kid J who we just met, was fun, but the ridiculous list of all red items (to fit the Red Hot Nights theme of the regatta) was pretty impossible to fill, most of the items we got were a result of a little creativity and a lot of red sharpie. The winning team was Gregg who lives there, one of his friends, and Whistling Winds (a couple of the A-celebs in the harbor), they won for the 4th year in a row, dang cheaters.
We also helped run the children's day, which my Uncle volunteered bravely to be the chairman of, and we had fun doing a bunch of activities with the (mostly bratty) cruiser kids and the (mostly awesome) local kids from the nearby primary school. We ran around and did relay races and obstacle courses and all kinds of fun stuff, and Cory, who I hear is a mad sick rapper, made us a cheer "We are the orange team, everywhere we go you can hear us scream..." to the tune of Iron Man.
Well after all that madness we were looking to get out of town, start heading home. Kari went to the airport and we were getting ready to go, I was actually cleaning Fred's hull, and he said he heard someone calling me on the radio and it sounded like they said Kari. Turns out she was calling me from a taxi on her way back from the airport because her plane was leaking fuel and her flight was cancelled, so she had to stay another day, poor girl, and we delayed our departure one day. She started on her journey home Tuesday and we got out on Wednesday, though we will be taking a bit longer than her. We will be heading up the ICW by mid April, and if anyone has nothing to do for a month or so, we could use some crew (Alan? eh? summer break? All of you looking for jobs? Nobody is going to hire you, get over it... nawww jj ((that means "just joshing", I kind of like the phrase "just joshing" better than "just kidding" (((jk))) and I think that this whole jj thing could really catch on if it is given the right exposure, my widely read blog is a good start, though it will inevitably be misinterpreted to mean "just joking", which I still like better than "just kidding", but I think that "just joshing" has a more distant interpretation than "just joking" from "just kidding" and is therefore a more necessary addition to the online lingo lexicon))), though I guess you all have lives to live up there in the real world. So, Kari brought me down a laptop, and with a puter of my very own I will be able to email and whatnot more readily, so I hope to hear from you people soon. Have a wonnnnderful day.

On the move again

The last 2 weeks have been a slur of activities, and it has been awesome. The Georgetown cruising regatta started on the 6th and there was tons to do with that going on. Kari came down the 26th and I hitchhiked out to meet her at the airport. Sitting there waiting for her I talked with some of the taxi drivers and watched them playy dominoes. They play while waiting for planes/customers arrive at a little table by the lot where they park their cars and they go around the table so fast you can hardly catch what is going on. They slam the dominoes on the table for absolutely no reason and chit chat in their hardly discernable bahaman accents the whole time. It is quite a spectacle to behold, especially since it goes on all day every day.
Diving has been going well lately, I have decided that every guy should learn how to spearfish some time in his life, it is quite satisfying to know that you can go out at any time and spear a freakin fish for dinner. I have been getting a lot of fish when I go out, except one day the fish were all in hiding or something and nobody on our boat had hit a thing. I was desperate to get a fish and I spotted a big trigger fish, which are edible, but they are big beautiful fish, it was all black with bright blue accents, and I approached it with my spear cocked ready to fire when I decided it was just too dang pretty and I would let it go, and then when I surfaced, Gottalife's dinghy was coming right past me, so if I hit the thing I would have come up to the girls screaming in terror at the huge beautiful fish hanging on my spear... good thing I didnt get it. I ended up with a lil grunt that day, the only catch of any of the 5 guys in our dinghy. One of the guys was Charlie off a 40 foot catana catamaran "Kaya". He was a silver medalist in the 2004 olympics and is a pretty awesome dude, he actually left Mark in charge of his boat while he flew home for a couple weeks to sail in a race, and man is it a gorgeous boat, if anyone is planning on dropping a million on a yacht, the catana is a pretty good option.
Nassau grouper season started on March 1st, which was a pretty big deal, cause you would see huge nassaus before and they would just sit there and look at you, they are so cocky that you can literally whack them with your spear and they just twitch a little bit and grunt, which I am convinced is just them laughing because you couldnt shot them. But now... we can spear the dang things. We went out at 7 am on the 1st to get an early start on the season, Kari's second day in the Bahamas, she wasnt thrilled to be dragged out to jump in the water that early, but she did it with a smile on her face with romise of good fish for dinner. And nothing. I have not had a day that I came back with nothing for a long time, not even a freakin grunt. Nothing. And with Kari on the boat it was that much more embarassing. After that frustrating morning, Mark and I went out to out secret dive spot to try to get us some dinner. I got a superb shot on a really nice sized snapper, must have been a 15 foot shot and I had to chase the sucker around, he was big enough he took off with my spear through his side and led me on a chase for a while, but I got him. Still desperate to get one of those Nassaus, Mark and I stuck around for a while and he pointed out a hole where he saw one hiding. I came over the ridge above the hole and just before the grouper made his escape I nailed him right behind the gills dead center, knocked him out cold. I also speared a huuuuge margate that day, fought with it for a couple minutes on my spear, he got off, I chased him through a cave, got all bloodied up and stung by fire coral, speared it again in the cave, he got off again, and then dissapeared forever. I still think of that fish every day. The one that got away.
Ah well we are heading back to sea son, I am at Black Point on my way up the Exumas Chain and we are heading in for bread and internet, you know, the essentials, we will probably be exploring the exumas and the Abacos for about a month and then we will be back in the states and homeward bound, I will try to get on as often as possible.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


So, I fail at this whole blogging thing, I have good intentions, and they just never play out.

My grandmother's health has worsened so that she had to fly home a week ago, they are not sure what the problem is, but she is currently on her way home and on the mend. Mark and I are left on Sandpiper and we will be heading out of Georgetown in the next week, hopefully I will be able to get a more detailed update on here before we leave, all of the updates I had written on my Grandad's computer and all the pictures I had left with my grandparents, so... that wont be on here for a while. Kari is down here and the cruising regatta is going on, so we are nice and busy for now, and we will be underway in just a few days, so hopefully I find some time for this somewhere in there.