Exuma Bound

18 Dec

Our first stop after the crossing from the Abacos was Spanish wells. We tied up to a very industrial looking dock (concrete, rusting bolts sticking out, generally evil looking to my topsides) and I hopped off and went looking for the attendant. Sure enough the reason it looked like a fishing boat pier is because it was. The fuel dock was the next one over. After re-docking we got to pay $4.37 a gallon for diesel. God only knows how much it was for the two gallons of gasoline we got for the dingy. It’s a purely fishing town that hasn’t become touristy yet which was a nice change after spending weeks in the Abacos. We were able to buy lobster off a pier from a nice man named Roy. I’ve always wanted to buy seafood off a dock!

After provisioning with some fresh vegetables and stores we took off down the western bank of the island of Eleuthera. Good harbors are few and far between so you’ve got to have a little strategy when planning the day. We went through some pretty tight cuts (narrow channel cut into the limestone) in the islands to get into harbors. The cut into Hatchet bay was about 50 ft wide. You know its a tight situation when you can almost reach out and touch each side of the rock canyon that your 24,000 pound boat is being sucked through with the flood tide. It’s kind of a rush!(sorry)

We’ve been doing a lot of motoring down here but it feels good to get some use out of the ol’ iron genny after all the work of installing a new one . Speaking of gennys, we finally fixed the fuller and bent on the 150% genoa to try and take advantage of what little wind there is. Now we sit on the hook in the lee of Highborne cay hiding, ironically, from what is going to be a  decent blow in the morning. We motored across the Exumas sound which about 25 miles wide and separates Eleuthera, Cat Island and Long Island from the Exam chain. At long last we’re a stones throw away from Staniel Cay. Rachel and I traveled here  a few years ago and I made a promise to myself that when we came back it would be aboard Satori. Well, here we are.

I’ve been spear fishing a few times now and I’ve speared 3 grouper. I would post pictures but unfortunately they look a lot bigger in the water… At any rate, they still made a decent meal fried in butter and old bay. I know using old bay doesn’t really keep to tradition down here but some habits are hard to break. In the Bahamas you can only use a Hawaiian sling to spearfish with. No spear guns allowed. I plan on getting a spear gun once we are further south toward Panama. If the Hawaiian sling is the aquatic equivalent to bowhunting, that would make spear gun the .22 of watery marksmanship. Spear fishing in general is pretty challenging. The spear only has a 10 foot range and the fish are pretty much always moving. Compounding matters is that the good eating ones (grouper, snapper, lobster) seems to know they are good to eat and are especially skittish. They dive into holes in the reef when they see you coming. Annoying but it just adds to the fun.

-LC

Rachel’s been doing a great job photo documenting the trip so far:

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This article was syndicated from Cruising – Beautiful Crazy Happiness

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