Fresh-Made Conch Salad In West End Settlement
29 October 2008
It was a spectacular day on Grand Bahama Island. Sun, clear sky, light breeze, the sort of day they depict in the advertisements. Spent some time at the beach with the dogs and new friend Rob, then took one of the resort bikes into the settlement to do some provisioning (bread, eggs, cheese, onion, canned fruit and meat, candy, batteries, rum, etc.) Its about a 7 mile ride to the end of the settlement and back and I really enjoyed it. Stopped along the way at Dr. Conch for some fresh-made conch salad. You can see from the pile of conch shells near the shack that he's made a few conch dishes in his day. He took the conch out of the shell, cut off the skin, and diced the raw mollusk meat, then diced some onion and tomato and added the juice of four lime halves. Finished with some home-made hot pepper sauce and it was time to eat. I was a bit wary but it was actually quite good. Very fresh tasting, not "fishy" at all.. like ceveche but without time for the seafood to "cook" in the lime juice. I couldn't finish it all and took some back to the boat for later (or to add to the dog's food, depending on what it takes like the second time). On the way back I stopped at the resort front desk to drop off last night's movie and to pick up two more. I've been watching more and more movies. Didn't have the time or patience before, but now I do and I've been enjoying them nearly every night before bedtime. It's a good time to cozy up with the dogs and relax from the hard day of... well of nothing particularly hard except for some bad weather sailing. I starting getting into the nightly movies when the weather was particularly bad. I would close up the cabin and turn off the light and it was almost like I wasn't rocking and rolling at anchor out on the water in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. Having spent a few days at the marina I can say without a doubt I'm hooked (so to speak). So pleasant and convenient and social. Not that I would always stay at marinas, just that I plan to stay at them more often in my future cruising. I'm sure my crew will appreciate that as well. Jake and Anne have been able to go on and off the boat a lot more often since we're right at the wall. And there is a 3-4 hour period each day where the tide is so low that it is too far for them to jump from the boat up to the dock, so I can leave them on deck and have some time away from each other. There is technically a weather window to cross tonight, but the forecast is for up to 7 foot seas due to the recent bout of windy weather from the north. I could do it, but I just checked and the National Weather Service is predicting 2-3 foot seas for Monday. Light seas are by far the preferred scenario for ocean crossings. That means I have to stay in this beautiful, modern marina resort for five more nights but if it means an easy, safe crossing, I suppose it's worth it. I'll do it for the dogs, if not for myself. I'll force myself to be happy here (just kidding, of course, I'm happier here than I've been in weeks of stressful bad weather). If the conditions are right, I would even consider sailing farther north than West Palm and avoiding a few extra days on the ICW to get to a place where I can store the boat less expensively. Maybe a window will come sooner - maybe another front will come down and ruin it. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I'm heading up to the deck to enjoy what is gearing up to be a great sunset.