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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Daylight Savings starts today
03/08/2009, Allen’s Cay Anchorage, A very nice weather day.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Wayne put on the swim ladder today. I finished reading some more trash pulp - Vampire Junction. My brain is going to turn to mush. Then after lunch we went over to Leaf Cay (Iguana Island) to burn some trash in the fire pit and I found a conch the correct size for the taking (it had a pronounced lip on it) while wading in the water. I decided to keep wading to see if I could find another one but wasn't having much luck. A Bahamian boat anchored near by and asked if I'd like to buy some conch or lobster. He said his boat name was Secret One, David and Queenie. He wanted $25 for 4 conch or $20 for 2 lobsters and was adamant in letting me know it was almost the end of lobster season. He said he could bring them back tomorrow. After conferring with Wayne we decided it was to much.

While on the beach we met a couple couples from Michigan. They're anchored over at Highborne Cay - Boat named Tiger Sea. They're heading south also but for the Virgin's. We commiserated about St. John's - wish we were heading there too - maybe next year. After chatting with them we headed over to the other side of the island to scout for conch but no luck. So from there we went over to Allen's Cay to get some pictures of the Cairn there. We met a family from Maine there - Laurel, and her two boys Allister (5 yrs) and Dakota (8 yrs) were on the beach and her husband Charles was fishing with his Hawiian Sling for Grouper. I chatted with her & the boys while Wayne waded in the water looking for conch. I'd mentioned we were looking for conch and one of the boys said he saw ours in my bucket - would I like to see his? Yes of course. They had 4 on the beach and he said that he had another one that he put back because all they needed were 4. Would I like it? Well, yes if you guys don't want it. "We only keep what we will eat and there are 4 already. Impressive. So the older one Dakota put the one he'd put back into my bucket with the one I'd caught. Laurel explained how you clean them so after we got back to the boat and got a screwdriver, hammer and knife I wanted to go back over and have her show me how. She could instruct me on the one that Dakota gave us and I could mimic her actions on the one I found. So we dinghied back over to Allens and she said it's her husband that does that, she cooks them. He was just coming out from snorkeling so I asked him if he'd show me how. Yes of course. What a sport. Afterwards I felt like he got waylaid by me - I guess he did. But he said I could help him out by giving him the weather when I got back (which I did). He led me step by step on Dakota's and I mimicked him on mine. There's one part that's clear and looks like a worm that's supposed to act as an aphrodisiac from the stomach of the conch. You're supposed to slurp it down. Charles showed me it and proceeded to swallow it down. Then said I should try it. I told Wayne I'll try it if you do. Uh uhhhh... Then Allister said go ahead & try it. I asked him, have you ever tried it? Nope. I said - I will if you will. You take a bite then I will. He wasn't to sure about that, but after I said, oh oh, if he does, I'll have to too he took a bite. Sooooooo.... Yes of course I had to - I'd told a 5 year old I would so I did. Then after Allister tried it and I did, you know Wayne had to LOL. Diana you'd be proud of me!!! I didn't think I could do it but I did! Found one, killed it, ate part raw, cleaned, prepared it, cooked it! Laurel told me that before cooking it I had to pound it to almost a paste.

Wow - I got my first conch today, killed it, cleaned it, prepared it, cooked it and then.... The defining moment - would it live up to Hilda's??? I made the salad, we had homemade bread that I'd already made the day before (the seawater bread), mixed up a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, garlic, a titch of sugar, dredged it through the egg and mixture, then into the olive oil and onto the plates. Wayne tasted it first and said - just as good as Hilda's. I was ecstatic and tried it too. Marvelous. The only problem was, I wanted more... A sure sign of success. Well actually there were two problems. The other one was that in smashing or bruising it in the cockpit, I had bits of conch meat flying all over (including me). Messy business. I'll have to remember to try and prepare it before bringing it to the boat from now one.

Did you ever have one of those blah days?
03/07/2009, Allen's Cay Anchorage

Saturday march7
Yep - even in paradise...
Today was a zero day. Wayne sat about and read. I moped, made coffee; made lunch; made dinner; did dishes; felt lonely, trapped and confined. Did I mention that I moped around today and it was never noticed? Yep... a zero day. Some days are like that everywhere. I think they get amplified when you're living in and sharing 36 feet of space with another person.

One lone Palm Island Beach - looking for someone to build sand castles on it

Vegetarian Dinosaurs
03/06/2009, Leaf Cay aka Iguana Island

Friday, March 06, 2009

Well, the battery monitor seems to be working still - a good thing. I started that John Grisham book last night that Wayne finished the night before - Street Lawyer. What a good book - it hooked me and I was up reading until 10:30. Then I finished it this morning. I love it when a book hooks you and keeps you in suspense until the end!

We went over to Allen Cay - me without my camera because I thought we'd only be swimming. What a spectacular view from the top. Wayne washed the grill out in the sand and I snorkeled around abit. I found an old car wreck in the water, and saw coral, quite a few fish that I was familiar with from my salt water tanks at home and school, and some juvenile conch about as big as my fist. Then we went back over to Leaf Cay (Iguana Island). I had some old cherry tomatoes, celery tips and romaine scraps that the iguanas snapped up like it was gold. This surprised me because there were two tour boats and various tourists feeding them most of the day. I think that the tour boats bring grapes with them for the tourists to feed, at least that's what it looks like from our boat.
Snorkeling over there I saw bigger fish - yellow fin, red fin and some fatter silver fish. Found one conch that was just under size to take - the start of a lip but not prominent, so I let him go.

We then took a saltwater bath and fresh water rinse back at the boat. It's so stunningly beautiful here but desolate/isolated except for the cruisers and tourists that frequent these uninhabited islands. The white sand seems whiter against the aqua colored water and blue skies. The grey/brown rock masses of coral/marl islands streaked with green lend more color to the blue pallet. I find myself lonely at times for my family and friends. I miss the sharing of lives and thoughts with people.

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