Monday, February 14, 2011

Black Point Settlement, Exumas

We ended our stay at Staniel Cay with a nice sail on Sea Yawl Later and then a quick trip over to an island called Big Majors Spot to see the swimming pigs that we had heard about. Sure enough, the pigs get handouts from cruisers so as soon as they see a boat or dinghy approach the beach they swim out to greet you and eat whatever you throw their way. Shane was the only one brave enough to get in the water with the pigs. They seemed friendly enough but they wanted food and I bet their hooves were sharp!

Rusty (on s/v Sea Yawl Later) has dubbed our group the "Texas Navy" since we are all from Texas. There are five boats in the navy so far – Storyville, Anchor Management, Kaleo, Sea Yawl Later and Guiding Light. We are looking forward to hooking up with Pipe muh Bligh this week so that they can be inducted into the Texas navy as well!

The Texas Navy decided to head down to Black Point Settlement since we were soon to be seeing strong north winds. There was no north wind on the way down though so we motored our way to the island of Great Guana Cay where Black Point Settlement is located. We found a very nice anchorage there and spent the first afternoon exploring the town. There is a great little café with internet and a book exchange. The café is called Lorraine's and let me tell you, Lorraine makes the best cracked conch in the world and her mom makes the best coconut bread in the world. If you think I'm exaggerating, then you will just have to come and try it for yourself! Lorraine's son Josh took a liking to me for some reason and sat in my lap and gave me lots of hugs. I think he recognized a lady that missed her grandkids and need a big hug from a little kid! He sure is a sweetie.

Josh and Me
Cracked Conch at Lorraine's

Diving for Lobster

Meeting on Storyville
Early the next morning we moved around to the other side of the peninsula where Black Point is located to an anchorage that is better protected for the north winds that were coming our way. The first thing that I did was dive into the beautiful clear water and check to make sure our anchor was set. Once I saw that the anchor was buried deeply into the sandy bottom, I grabbed my spear (Hawaiian Sling) for what I was hoping would be my first chance to spear a fish. I swam over to the rocky shore and within just a couple of minutes I had spotted a lion fish and a great big lobster. I was excited to have a chance to fulfill my biggest goal on this trip – to spear a fish and cook it for dinner. By the way, I have decided that a lobster would do just as good as a fish! Anyway, I started my hunt by trying to spear the lion fish. They are an invasive species here and in Florida and divers and fishermen as asked to kill them whenever they come across any. They do look really intimidating because they have lots of venomous spines. I have heard that they are good to eat and will attempt to clean and eat one if I can ever manage to spear it! I missed the lion fish and the lobster but I was still determined. After all, this was my first attempt to even use the spear gun. I managed to scare both targets back into the reef to I moved on to another area. By that time Steve had joined me and we were on the hunt while Troy managed the dinghies and provided support from above. We found several more lobsters and another lion fish. I hit one of the lobsters, but they sure do have a tough shell! It just bounced right off and moved all of the lobsters back further into the reef. Steve pointed out the lion fish and I made another attempt, but missed once again. Then, just as I was starting to get discouraged and decided that I needed a little more practice with the spear, we spotted a lobster on the move and out in the open. I headed over for and got a shot on him. The spear glanced off and I thought I had missed out again. I took another breath and dove again, I couldn't believe that he was still there. Maybe I stunned him the first time! Anyway, I got another shot and speared him straight through! I was so excited and couldn't wait to show Troy that I had speared a lobster! I surfaced with the lobster on my spear and looked all around me for Troy. He was over a little way and speaking to a woman on the shore. The woman lived in the house overlooking the anchorage and she had come out to tell Troy that it is illegal for non Bahamians to spear fish within 200 yards of the shore of the island. And here I was, waving a lobster around on my spear yelling "I got one!". The lady was very nice and we apologized and explained that we were not aware of the law. She told us to go ahead and keep the lobster and of course, we could spear as many lion fish as we wanted since they are considered an nuisance. I felt bad that I had speared my first lobster illegally, but it was unintentional and se we celebrated the victory anyway! Troy, Steve and I had lobster pizza for lunch. Yummy!

Matt, Christie, Shane, Deana, Rusty, Linda, Pastor Kevin Rolle and Troy
Shane had made arrangements for us to get a ride back into Black Point on Sunday so that we could attend the local church service. I think it may have been my fir st time to ride to church in the back of a pickup truck and to sit in church with sandy feet. We were all welcomed very warmly and we were in for a surprise. Shane had been to a service at this church a few weeks before and met the pastor and visiting missionary. The pastor asked whether Shane would like to give the sermon on Sunday. Shane is not a preacher and according to him, he would normally have said "no way" but since he had just finished a book called The Five Love Languages, he felt like the Lord had laid in on his hear to share what he learned. He didn't tell us that he was the guest speaker, but he did a great job and, since it was the Sunday before Valentine's Day, it was the perfect subject! We were all very proud of Shane!

All men should strive
to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why.
~James Thurber

1 comment:

Daniel said...

love love love this blog, the fish spearing story made me laugh out loud at the end when you were yelling for troy, sounds like everything is going great praise God for this journey he has given you guys. so happy for you be safe love and miss you
Brenda S.