January 21, 2010.
So, what do we do all day while here in the Jumentos? Our favorite activity is spearfishing. We’ve been here in the Jumentos for less than 10 days and have already pulled 19 lobster and 20 various edible fish aboard. We’ve shared fish and lobster with our friends, and the freezer and fridge are both still full. We’ve had to take days off from fishing and do “other” stuff.
There is always “reading” but as it is, we already read just about every evening. We both put away a couple of books a week. Oprah should be calling us for recommendations. We also spend a good bit of time enjoying the company of the crews from other boats. Then there’s beach combing…….
Yesterday we spent a day wandering the ocean side beaches on Raccoon Cay. The beaches along the banks side (western side) of all these cays are as pristine as they were a hundred years ago. The ocean side is a different story. The eastern beaches are completely covered with modern day flotsam and jetsam. Plastic of every size and shape is evident as far as the eye can see. The number of plastic and foam based shoes that wash ashore is truly mind boggling.
On most occasions it would be foolhardy to land your dink on the eastern shore of these cays. So exploring these eastern beaches is most often preceded by a trek across the cay. Sometimes there are trails and sometimes you have to hack your own. A lot of the cays have dried salt ponds in the interior of the cay. Finding and crossing the dried salt ponds makes crossing the cays much easier (if you don’t mind the goat shit). We took up a collection of washed up shoes and flip flops (called Lost Soles) and re-marked some of the trails on Raccoon Cay. They are put back each year by the cruisers so that you can find and follow the trails because they get “blowed away” during the hurricane season. But once on the beach, among the refuse of society, there is a treasure that is held dear by most cruisers…….
That’s right, sea beans. Sea beans are the seeds of several types of fauna common in Africa and or South America. A surprising number of these seeds are driven by the Gulf Stream and tides for thousands of miles before coming to rest along the shores of the Bahamas.
It’s not uncommon for a half dozen cruisers to be walking along the beach looking for beans.
There is also the benefit of fresh air, exercise and conversation, but the beans are the driving force. There are Purse Beans, Hamburger Beans (pronounced Hang ga ber on the Veranda), and Heart Beans for example, some are common while others are exceptionally rare. Amongst the rarest is the “Mary Bean” which by the way, we had never found, that is until this year. Christy has found 2 in the last week and is quite excited!
The beans are commonly polished and made into jewelry. Some of the cruisers we’ve met are incredibly talented and some of the pieces they’ve created are truly beautiful. It’s not unusual for a cruiser to show up at a social gathering wearing a new creation to be flocked upon by the other women admiring her new creation.