Thursday, April 9, 2009

Empty Cooler

Today's crossing from the Berry Islands to Nassau across the Tongue of the Ocean was smooth sailing. Rick and Norm each put out a fishing pole during the crossing in hopes of catching 'the big one' - actually the big one would be a problem to land, won't fit in the 98-quart fish cooler and would be a pain to filet-- so a 20-pound mahi-mahi would be nice. The big one may have struck Rick's rig (we're learning the cool fishing jargon). It took the whole lure right off the line. And these are no conservative lures -- they're about 6 inches long with yellow and green streamers reminiscent of bicycle handlebar streamers. What fish wouldn't want a morsel like that? The fishing dudes in Hog's Frazer Cay said the fish should be hitting those lures all day long. Maybe this was just the wrong day. Too bad, Norm was all ready with his new gaff, new net, new fish cooler, and ice in the freezer to ice down the fish until it got fileted. Next time.

We're at the Nassau Harbour Club marina where water is $8/day which is cheap in the Bahamas - no kidding. It's typically 20-40 cents/gallon. This is why we invested in a watermaker to make our own H2O onboard from ocean water - quick payback. Electricity is also out of sight in the Bahamas - up to $50/night or 65cents/kw. This is why we anchor out and use our own generator to make electricity. We paid the $8 here for water to wash the boat, but plan to run the generator for power instead of plugging in.

Norm just finished washing the boat and is going to take a stroll around the marina. Think I'll join him.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

We Be On "Island Time" Mon

Tide Hiker crossed the Great Bahama Bank on Sunday, leaving Cat Cay at 0500 (that's 5:00 AM for you land lubbers or O-Dark-Hundred for you late night party-ers.) We witnessed a beautiful sunrise heading the pointy end of our boat East toward the Berry Islands. Eleven and 1/2 hours and 81 miles later we arrived Frazer's Hog Cay. We asked for a mooring ball at the Berry Islands Club. Herbie, the proprietor offered us dockage for the same price, ($15), since the depths at the mooring balls would not accommodate our boats. What a deal. Herbie also has a full service restaurant and small restaurant on the premises in addition to the marina. And, Herbie's aunt, Hilda, is the cook at the restaurant. She made us fantastic from-scratch Conch Fritters and Rum Punch on Sunday night. Needless to say, we were sacked out early after a long day.

The winds picked up on Monday to 25-30 mph, as expected, and we had to wait them out. These winds and high seas stayed with us for 3 more days. Fortunately, we had Herbie and Hilda to care for us. We took long walks on the back roads to distant beaches in search of the perfect conch shell. It is a custom to blow the conch shell, like a horn, at sunset each night putting the sun to sleep. But we need a perfect shell to make the horn. Hence our search. Also, Norm had time to build our Bahamian Lookie Bucket. It's a sheet of plexiglass glued into the bottom of a 5-gal pail. Works great!!
A couple fishermen from Key Largo were docked next to us. They were very successful each day and had an abundance of Mahi Mahi. Yes, they shared their spoils with everyone on the dock. We gave ours to Hilda and she rustled up a great Mahi-Mahi, veggies and mac and cheese dinner for us last night. Of course the wine and Gin/Tonics were also flowing pretty steady. The music was also good so dancing was on the event list.
Tonight we have been invited to go over to Legacy, another 44 DeFefever anchored close by. Ron and Pam Sweezey luckily cruised in here for a brief rest. They are heading West back to the states after being in the Bahamas since last Thanksgiving. It seems they have a new grandchild to meet--their first.