January 27, 2011.
It took us several days and with the help of friends we’ve found ourselves getting back into the swing of things. First we did a little hiking with our friends Roland & Leta on the eastern side of Hog Cay. Then we had to do a little hiding from a front that was due to come through.
Fortunately the weather this year is nothing like the brutal weather we endured here last year. We hid between Hog Cay and Ragged Island when a front was due to come through and we found ourselves hiding from what turned out to be 3 knots outta the west. Cool beans.
Since we were between the cays with excellent access to the ocean we decided to head out and do our first hunting since Molly’s passing. We were spurned on by the fact that we actually had to take something out of the freezer last night for dinner. The area we’re in is pretty heavily hunted by the locals and is one of the best spots for grabbing a lobster if you’re in the Hog Cay anchorage so we weren’t expecting much. Somehow we ended up snagging 7 bugs in a very short time.
The next morning we motored the 1 mile back to Hog Cay’s main anchorage to hide from some brutal easterlies. Hog Cay provided excellent protection as the wind hovered between 20 and 30 knots outta the northeast for 2 straight days. In the comfortable lee of Hog Cay it was still a very easy dinghy ride in to shore to hike, socialize and play some Bocce.
When the wind finally dropped to light and variable we raised the sails and headed the 10 miles north to Raccoon Cay. Once here we reconnected with several friends to do a little hunting. We heard a few boats that were recently departed and heading north saying that the surrounding waters were “hunted out” but we were hoping for the best.
We arrived in time to drop the hook and have some lunch before heading out in the dink. After lunch we met some new people and reconnected with some friends and headed out. The group boated 13 lobsters and various fish with us grabbing 8 lobster and a Hog fish. Not too shabby for waters that are “hunted out”.
During the evenings cocktail hour plans were made for today. Our friend Di, who we’ve traveled with for years, is NOT a water person. Surprisingly, we’ve met several people over the course of the years that just don’t have any desire to get in the water and she was one of “those” people. The water everywhere in the Jumentos is pristine and Raccoon Cay is just the place to get Di in the water. Peer pressure can be a bitch.
In the morning it was sunny and 82 degrees with 2 knots of breeze. Several of us dinghied in to the beach and Christy and Bev provided instruction and support as Di made her way into the water. The water here is crystal clear and shallow. Di donned her mask and snorkel and gingerly slipped into the water. After 50 yards of moving parallel to the beach she was ready to add swim fins to the outfit. The 3 girls ended up swimming hundreds of yards over the course of an hour.
They concluded Di’s inaugural swim with a trip out to swim around one of my favorite reefs. It’s only 30 yards offshore and in 3 feet of water. The reef is about 10 feet in diameter and only a foot tall but its still one of my favorite spots in the Bahamas. Everything is miniature. The coral and structure is all tiny. The reef is covered with hundreds of brilliant yellow, orange, blue and purple fish all less than 2 inches long. The badass Nassau Grouper that is king of the reef is only about 4 inches long. This silly little reef really is one of my favorite places and I can’t explain how happy it made me that Di got to experience it first hand.
The girls snorkeled the morning away and it was soon time to head home for lunch. After lunch everyone headed out to try their luck at hunting once again. We had ourselves another run of luck and came home with 7 lobsters and another Hogfish. 15 lobster and a pair of Hogfish in 2 days….not too shabby considering that these waters are “hunted out”. We did give the majority of the lobster away as we’ve got plenty. Life is getting better in the village….