Saturday, March 31, 2018

Fun day and making my own conch salad!!

Busy day -  we set our sails and had a screamer at 8 knots over to Snake Cay to see a protected mangrove area.

We saw this sport fisher boat on our port side - and it was clear that we were on a collision course.  He has the requirement to avoid us since we were under sail.  I kept expecting him to alter his direction slightly and go behind us....but he did not.  At the last minute I pointed towards him to make sure we didn't crash.  I don't know if he didn't know or didn't care.....

The rest of the sail was pleasant and we anchored near the entrance to the mangroves.

After a bumpy dinghy ride thru the cut (the winds were still 25 knots, and there was about a 3' swell going into the mangroves - wild on a little dinghy!)

Once in the protected area, we spent over an hour putzing around.

Then we had a nice sail over to Tiloo Bank - a pretty sandbar that gets really shallow at low tide.

Spent some time wading around looking for sand dollars .

Duane being silly, pretending to take a nap.

Didn't find any sand dollars, but found a sea biscuit.  This one is just the shell.

And a live one!

Saw so many conch - I thought we should try our hand at some conch salad.  Took 2 large ones.
We are permitted to fish and take conch per our Bahamas Cruising Permit.

Relatively simple process - punch a hole in the surface and cut an attachment point, then pull the meat out.

Fresh conch!

Tedious to clean - the trimmings on the left were frozen for use as fish bait next time we're in the ocean.

The trimmed white meat - ready to be "beaten".  It's terribly tough if you don't do this step.  I wrapped the meat in plastic bags and beat on it with the side of the hammer.

The fixin's - the finely chopped conch, the sour oranges Reid and Laurie gave us, tomato, onion, lime juice and some red pepper flakes.  (I didn't have fresh I improvised.)

Mixed all together and let marinate for about 15 minutes to "cook" the conch with the acids.

Yummy dinner with peas n' rice and cornbread!  (Duane had a grilled hamburger since he can't eat the conch).  Good day!!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Tiloo Cay

The ocean swells were still large and uncomfortable, so we stayed put in our protected spot. 

We'd read that there was some snorkeling near by, so we loaded up the dinghy and headed out. 

I'll have to say, it was pretty disappointing.  We spent a couple of hours going from spot to spot and really found nothing very interesting.  But there's always the chance that we weren't looking in exactly the right spot.  We don't take a GPS with us on the dinghy, so we're not very accurate with our locations.

A fairly large barracuda

And a pretty starfish!

A pretty boat.

A whimsical house that looks a little like a castle  - there are several of these around.

Back to our pretty anchorage.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tiloo Cay

The winds are diminishing so we spent a few hours moving south to Tiloo Cay.

Passed this barge taking some construction equipment from Marsh Harbour over to Guana Cay.  It reminds me that everything must be taken by boat to these islands.

Just had a relaxing day - the monohulls were having a "brisk" sailing day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Nice walk

Out to get a little exercise - we wandered for a few miles around Marsh Harbour. 

Someone has a sense of humor!

Pretty views of the Sea of Abaco.

Pretty sky and coconuts!  That's about the only notable thing we did today!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Back to Marsh Harbor

Woke to a pretty sunrise.  The anchorage had filled with lots of boats - we were surprised to see how closely this catamaran was anchored! 

Soon we headed back across the Sea of Abaco towards Marsh Harbor. There is another cold front coming with forecast 35+ knot we'll sit it out in the snug harbor.

On the way over, the sea was flat we decided to just let the boat drift and we both jumped in with scrubbers and spent about an hour scrubbing the growth off the boat's bottom. 

The water was only about 6-7 feet deep - as we were pulling away I spotted this huge starfish.  It's about a foot across or more!  We saw several in the calm water as we motored towards Marsh Harbor.

Not an exciting day, but a pleasant one here in a little slice of paradise!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Man-O-War and Great Guana

We woke to fairly calm seas and a pretty sunrise just north of Man-O-War Cay.

Since the forecast was for calm seas,  we decided we'd try to snorkel on the outlying reef at Fowl Cay.  We anchored near the reef on the sandy bottom and swam towards it.  It was lovely.

Duane diving down to look at a conch shell - about 20 feet down.  I can't free dive like that.  At about 5 feet down my ears hurt.

Pulled the anchor and went back into the Sea of Abaco.  Lovely water here.

We anchored in the crowded Fisher's Bay anchorage and met up for Reid and Laurie's last full day on the island.  They took us in their golf cart over to Nippers.  Here's the daylight view of the beach where they shot the fireworks.  Quite a lovely view for a beach bar!

Lots of folks dancing....having a great time.    And no, we didn't join in.....a little to "young" for our tastes.  Fun to watch some of the shenanigans though!

Just a lovely little patch of flowers near the marina.

After the Nippers visit, we headed over to "Grabbers", another beach bar close to the anchorage.  This young man was making us some conch salad.  Wonderful fresh veggies - three colors of peppers, onions, fresh squeezed lime and oranges and of course the raw chopped conch. 

 He was fun to talk to while he chopped away. 

He allowed the customer to decide how much of this Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce to up on the salad.  I got a good spoonful - man was it hot - but with wonderful flavor!

Reid enjoying his salad.

The last excitement of the night was that this big power boat in the background was anchored too close to shore  when the tide went out.  They are stuck on the bottom -when a group of men went out to help push them off, Duane and Reid joined them.  But they decided that the water was too low - they'll have to hang around for several hours for the tide to re-float them.  Lesson learned, I hope!