Columbus was a brave captain! He sailed without a gps, without radar, without Chris Parker's weather reports...without even paper charts! I don't know about you, but I certainly don't have the know how to figure out celestial navigation. In fact I can only name a few constellations. I suppose I could learn celestial navigation if I had to, but I have no desire. I like the easy electronics, but can dead reckon on paper charts if I must. Recently we felt a tee tiny bit like Columbus. We were at Long Island and motored right by the Columbus Monument. Columbus actually came to the Bahamas first. This Monument is a memorial to his stop here in 1492.
In addition to going right by the monument, we also went out of range for our Garmin charts. We love our Garmin charts. They are way more accurate than our Furuno charts...kind of like the difference between a Garmin gps and a TomTom for cars. It did make us feel like we were in the car commercial where they are driving and driving trying to get out of cell phone range with "No Service".
I confess I'm a wimp and I'm just a tiny bit scared of heights. (I did master going to the top of the mast on my sailboats. :) But, NO way would I ever climb up a steep rock ledge and jump through an opening barely wider than the width of my arms spread open....Especially when that opening is jagged rock! But a few French Canadian teenagers were brave enough. They climbed tot the top lickity split and jumped right on through and then rushed back up to do it again. The braveness of youth!!! I was inside of Thunderball and used the underwater camera, which also does video, to video their jump. For a low megapixel camera, I thought it did a nice job. Check it out!
Great Name for George Town's famous hang out! It totally describes what folks come here for...chattin' and chillin' and hangin' wit yo' friends!!! Check it out!
Caribbean lobster are very different from Maine lobster. The most obvious difference being that the Maine lobster has claws while the Caribbean lobster does not. The claws are the sweetest and best part, imho. It is what Mainers use to make their delicious lobster rolls.
To catch a Maine lobster, you put out a baited lobster trap. Then you haul the trap up and oh so carefully remove the lobster and put bands on the claws so you don't get pinched. No one gets in the water 'cause it is just way to um shall we say ch-ch-ch-chilly. Most folks just run to the store and buy a couple for dinner. Not a biggie.
Here, you could buy them from a local fisherman, but that takes the fun out of it. To catch one, you must go swimming. The water is warm enough so that isn't a problem. The hard part is that the lobster like to hide under rocks and ledges. You aren't allowed to use a tank, dive down and walk around to find them. You must swim around looking for a rock or ledge, hold your breath, dive down and look to see if one is hiding. Then you come up for air, dive back down, aim your spear and shoot. Hopefully you got him. If not it is up for more air, hold your breath and dive down to try again. It is not easy to do, trust me.
We went out for our first try at Black Point. Pay Dirt!! Don got four lobster!!!! He has been officially nicknamed, Don, da mon!!! We shared two and ate two. We steamed the tails. Ummm! Ummm! Yummy!!!
Can't wait to try again on Long Island!!
Nordhavns have definitely been all over the Bahamas in 2013! We met up with Jim and Julie on Just Believe in West Bay and traveled together all the way to Georgetown. Randy and Rebecca on Argo met up with us in Big Majors as did Nigel and his family on Silver Spray.
Thunderball Grotto is a small cave on an island near Staniel Cay. It is a wonderful place to snorkel at slack tide. The current rips through here, so going at slack tide is a must. We like going at slack low. As you will see even at low tide there isn't much room between your head and the jagged rocks that come down. At high tide, you would have to swim down under the water to get below the rocks and go through the opening~ Not something I want to do! There are beautiful corals and fish both inside and outside the grotto. It is fun to swim through the grotto and around the island. If the tide starts to pick up even a little, it is a quick drift dive giving you the desire to do it multiple times. A few crazy folks decided to climb up the rock to the top and then jump through the hole at the top which is only a few feet across. For all you James Bond fans, yes, this is the place where they pulled 007 up through the hole in the top with a helicopter in the movie Thunderball.
While we were at Warderick Wells, we took some time to do a little cleaning. Salt and sun are a boat's worst enemies. After crossing the Tongue of the Ocean, we had enough salt aboard to to fill a sea salt shaker. No, we didn't really fill the shaker, but we did spend about 5 hours washing the salt off. Check out the back cap rail. We stripped it and redid it while we were in Stuart. It was much easier than I thought.
The depth across the Bahama Banks is shallow. Mostly around 20 feet deep. When you get to the Northwest Channel and The Tongue of the Ocean (Yes, this is a real place.), The change is drastic. It is like falling off a huge underwater cliff in a matter of 50-100 yards. We left Chub Cay, with a depth of 10 feet, and were in 1,000+ feet in about two minutes. Because we left before dark, we had the Furuno on split screen. The right hand side of the screen is our radar, which helps us see the things we can't see in the dark. The left hand side is the depth. It gives you a visual look at the bottom. The first picture shows the dramatic drop off. The second picture shows the deepest reading we got before the depth meter was no longer able to read the depth because it was just too deep. Supposedly this is some of the world's best fishing ground, but we got skunked! No fish for dinner! Guess Brandon will need to come show us how it is done!!!