25 January 2007 | Conception, Exumas
Dave and Lisa
We finally lifted our anchor in Georgetown and set sail for some of the smaller islands in the Bahamas. We left with our friends on Le'Cat and Tabitha. Our first stop was Long Island, located about 40 miles east of Georgetown. We had listenedd to a weather report before leaving that indicated that the winds would be too light to sail. Once outside the cut, we were pleasantly surprised with North winds at 15 knots. We had a lovely sail. Thompson's Bay, Long Island was where we decided to put down the anchor first. Long Island has approximately 5,000 residents. They are well set up with a couple of grocery stores and a dive shop. While visiting the dive shop, the owner informed us of a cave on his property. He gave us some flashlights and we explored the many caverns and we were amazed at all of the stalagmites and stalactites. We later returned with our friends to watch the bats come out of the caves. There are five diferent species of bats that inhabit the caves. While in Thompson's Bay, we spend sometime hiking over to the beach on the Atlantic side of the island. These beaches would be spectacular if it weren't for all of the garbage that comes in with the surf. Ninety-nine percent of the garbage is plastic. It is so sad. Along with the garbage there are sea beans, hamburger beans and coconuts. We gathered several coconuts and Dave spent an afternoon removing the husks to make them easier to store. Our next stop was Calabash. We were hoping to do some fishing there, however it was very rolley and made for an uncomfortable evening. Only one night there before moving on to Conception. This was an island that was pristine and completely uninhabited. The island is surrounded by deep water and reefs. As soon as our anchor was down, Dave brought out his dive gear and took a look at the reef next to our boat. He said it was magnificant. He wasn't able to stay down there too long. His tank ran out of air. He was anxious to go hunting with DJ and Eric, so they loaded up the dinghy with their spears and fins. Dave was attaching the anchor to the dinghy when, splash, the anchor sank to the bottom. It was approximately 25 feet down. Since Dave didn't have any more oxygen in his tank, he had to free dive. On his way down, he felt a lot of pressure in his ears and then heard a POP! OH SH>>>>>T! He managed to grab the anchor and surface. While struggling for balance while climbing up the swim latter, he had a look of pain on is face. It didn't take long for him to confirm the diagnoses of a blown eardrum. He tried to relieve more pressure from his ears and proceeded to expell air from his ear. FREAKY! He spent the afternoon lying down while I worked on the VHF to receive medical advice. A couple of boats provided relay to a doctor in San Salvador. I have antibiotics on board and didn't know whether to give them to him. The doctor said to put some cotton in it to keep the air out and get him to a doctor. So now we find ourselves back in Georgetown two days later. But... before leaving Conception, we were given two huge lobsters and found several conch. Dave was able to get the Conch without diving under the water. So our trip out to the little islands has provided us with some well-deserved protein. Dave saw the doctor today. I won't even go into what that wait was like or the conditions of the clinic. They gave him some drops and antibiotics and will look at it again next week to see how severe the damage is. The doctor's visit, ear drops, and antibiotics were a total of $78. I forgot to metion that we had some more unexpected excitement in Conception. We had some dodgy clouds that produced a water spout. This was our first sighting of one. It was coming towards us but retracted back into the clouds. Also, the kids broke the cardinal rule of not swimming after 4pm and had the amazing experience of being greeted by a reef shark. It was only 4:30. I guess there isn't much lee-way in that rule. Luckily, they were close to the dinghy on their friends boat and everyone survived the encounter. Although, Nicole is back in my bed.