05/07/2012, N N'N:W E'E, Conception Island, Outer Islands, Bahamas
Pic DK rowing to pirate boat
Nautical: Our anchoring neighbors (what I am calling the pirate ship) on Conception Island, Outer Island, Bahamas sailed over and asked about our starboard pennant where one flies the small "courtesy flag' of the country you are visiting. Sometimes it is a small size of the country's flag, but often a modified version of it . There are rules about where, how and why. Most boaters have them wrong, so DK is very interested in getting it right. FYI the flag off the stern is the boat's flag of registry ours is USA; club flags are flown on the port halyard or on the bow. Turns out we had the correct side, but less than optimal flag. In the Bahamas they have a modified version Ð we were flying a small size of their flag. Walk the plank! Of course we did have the correct one on board, and it was soon on the starboard halyard.
The "pirates' Peter and Courtney, are ending a two-year sabbatical during which they went to the Med, and back across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. They are headed to St Augustine, FL and back to work.
Their wooden ship was built in Denmark in 1986, extensively damaged by a propane explosion, and bought by Peter, a boat builder, for $10 (one zero). In the picture DK is rowing our new 8' dinghy that he bought as a back-up (his most favorite word, next to redundant), to our large 13' center console, with 40 hp outboard motor. We couldn't imagine taking the large tender down from the boat deck (with the crane) just to go to the beach, and while it is light weight thanks to its aluminum bottom, at 370 lbs it is impossible to drag up on the sand - and back. For the new dinghy we still have (surprise) the small 3 hp electric motor that used to go on our rowing dinghy.
We had been to Conception, a marine park, once before, but I had forgotten how pretty it is, and how remarkably clear the water is. We are in 18' of water and you can see every detail on the ocean floor. In the picture, the dark blue stripe of water is where the depth increases dramatically.
Toward dusk the nurse sharks swim underneath escorted by the pilot fish on their back and a couple dozen 8-inchers snapper types who must be trolling for "crumbs'. I dragged Sabi over for a look, but she missed the parade. Yesterday she had been riveted by the sight of a large ray under the swim platform.
05/05/2012, N N'N:W E'E, Georgetown, Grand Exuma Island, Bahamas
Georgetown is famous for provisioning-- at Exumas Market. They have produce, even fennel and leeks if you are lucky. While they do bring in stuff directly themselves, the 'mail' boat arrives Thursday morning, so if you want the best choice, you and everyone else, is there Thursday afternoon.
You dinghy thru the small underpass tunnel into Lake Victoria (a 4' pond), Exumas Markets has their own long dinghy dock, just to make you feel welcome. I agree the entrance doesn't look like much (it doesn't in-person either!), but when you are willing to kill for a tomato, and the only milk you have left on the boat is in boxes, it looks like the entrance to paradise (small p).