February 10, 2010.
We need a bit of help from whoever can provide it. I need you to grab a weatherman and sacrifice him to the gods. This death doesn’t need to be cruel or prolonged but it has to be symbolic. If you can't bring yourself to kill him at least give him a "light and variable" ass whipping. Thanks.
We had a vicious front come through last weekend, another is here now (Wednesday) and the worst of the bunch is forecast for this Friday night. So we’re alternating our time between shelling, hunting and hiding like bitches from an angry pimp.
The weather in between the fronts has been nothing short of fabulous. After the last front we went snorkeling on a small reef right next to us in the anchorage. I found close to a dozen lobster tucked in amongst the coral. Most were smaller than legal but I did pick through the bunch and was able to take 4. Bob on Savage Son succeeded in finding and shooting the first lobster of his career.
After lunch we headed out to the reefs to the east of us along the ocean side. In a first for me; I found my first legitimate lobster hole. I always hear stories of Bahamanian lobstermen finding a spot where they just pull one bug after another out of a “lobster hole”. I was swimming along a plain flat bottom with no structure what-so-ever in sight when I came across a small hole with a deep ledge running the entire circumference. There were antenna poking out from every angle. I counted 6 lobster that I could plainly see. I shot 3 as quickly as I could while 2 escaped under the ledge and the sixth fellow was a little small.
In just a few hours we boated 7 nice sized lobster making 11 for the day. With so many lobster in hand we went from boat to boat making sure that everybody in the anchorage was having lobster for dinner. Since we’ve been here on the south side of Ragged Island we’ve taken 17 lobster and an 8 pound White Margate in the 2 days we’ve been able to get in the water. I’ve also been chased from the water by a Bull shark with horrible interpersonal skills.
On the last day of the last front was the Super Bowl. The only place with a television is on the north end of the island. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be walking the 1 ½ miles up the island to the Bonefish Lodge to watch the game. The walk there wasn’t so daunting, it was to be the walk home late at night in the pitch dark after a few adult beverages that might be scary. There were 5 boats anchored in the bay near us so we all headed in to town together. Businesses here on the island can be more than a little sketchy. The day before the game the proprietor of the lodge was still trying to troubleshoot the video feed for the television. The TV might be fixed, he “thought” that there might be some finger foods and he would try to get some beer in.
So we all headed in carrying our own snacks, liquor, laptops to check our mail (and to update the blog) before the game and even our garbage since we would be walking past the islands dump. As soon as we got rid of our garbage a pick-up truck happened along and picked all 9 of us up and drove us to the lodge.
It was too rough for the boaters anchored on the north side of the island to dingy into town so the lodge owner headed out in one of his fishing boats and crammed 17 people onboard and brought them in for the party. There ended up being about 40 people there, both cruisers and locals alike enjoying the game, the food and each others company.
The lodge owner was able to round up 5 cases of beer so instead of drinking what we brought most folks bought drinks from him. His wife cooked for hours and sent out one tray after another of conch fritters, lobster chunks, fish and chicken wings. His wife told me that beers were 3 dollars apiece and we would all just run tabs and settle up at the end of the evening.
So the lodge owner has picked up and will return everybody home to the north anchorage in his own boat. He’s arranged for a truck to take all of us others home to the southern anchorage at the end of the evening. His wife has slaved away in the kitchen feeding dozens of people and they’ve served us 5 cases of frosty cold beer. When we went to settle up with the man he told us it was his gift to the community and to the cruisers as well. I can’t begin to explain how poor the people of this island are and the hardships they endure and yet they’re willing to make a gift of this evening to us. There were about 15 cruising boats represented so we passed a hat and everybody happily threw in 20 bucks that was pressed into the lodge owners wifes hand. The locals here really are something special, it really couldn’t have been a nicer evening.
Until the next evening or course when we went over to Far Niente to celebrate Jays birthday. I thought Jay looked especially festive in his lobster horns party hat.