Sapphire...One day at a time.
Back out on the ocean
01/26/2008, Royal Island, Eleuthera, Bahamas

Thursday, January 24

We were raising the anchor at 6:15 in the dark and were underway by 6:30. Our plan today is to go out the Little Harbour cut and into the ocean for a 50 mile run down to Royal Island on Eleuthera. We had no difficulty in the cut and the ocean was perfect. We had swells from the east most of the day but the period was about 9 seconds which makes things pleasant. The trip was uneventful ... except for the fishing.

I had two lines in the water. One was a hand line with a snubber attached in the middle. The other was one of my old salmon rods for Lake Michigan wound with 50 pound test. I was running green and white squids about 50 to 60 feet back skipping between the waves trying to imitate a flying fish.

Before noon I hooked something small. Once it was in the boat, we got the fish book to see just what we had. It looked like a tuna shape but color and size were wrong. As it turned we had a small Blackfin Tuna which was cleaned, bagged and in the refrigerator immediately.

At some point in the afternoon , I was below checking the engine when Kathy was yelling something... when I got away from the engine noise it was clear that we had a fish on. She was holding the rod in the holder while the drag was screaming. I got the rod detached and started making some ground as Kathy took the helm to try turn us into the wind to slow us down some. At about this point I realized that there was also a fish on the our hand line .... it was going to be disaster unless I got that one in the boat first so I put the rod back in the holder and hauled in the handline. The fish was well hooked so I hoisted it over the side into the cockpit and grabbed the rod to try to land the second fish....after a few minutes we got it along side and I was able to get the net under and dumped it in the cockpit with his (really, they were "hers") buddy.

Neither of us needed the fish book for these guys... we had two 12 pound dolphin...popularly referred to in the seafood case as Mahi-Mahi. There are absolutely beautiful when they come out of the water...neon yellow...with bright blue and green hues.

Although the seas were a little rolly I took them to the foredeck, where we have access to water, and had them cleaned in a few minutes.

We arrived at Royal Island at about 3:30. Royal Island has a wonderfully protected harbor. Unfortunately, the once wild island, is being developed into a resort and although we can anchor, we can't go ashore. A front is supposed to go through tonight with winds up to 25k ... it's a great place to be even if we can"t go exploring.

Jim and Beth (Madcap) joined us for a grilled mahi mahi dinner and later we listened to the Spartans beat Northwestern.

01/26/2008 | Randy
Mike, Do the dolphinfish fight like salmon?
Little Harbour
01/26/2008, Lynyard Cay

Wednesday ...Jan. 23


At about 10am I went to shore to check out the island / cay. I found a path and hiked over to the Atlantic which was all coral. Waves were crashing and throwing spray 30 feet up in the air. Above the coral there was an area where sand had filled in making walking much easier amid the trash that has washed ashore over the years. Most of the trash was plastic...milk crates and water bottles were the most prominent but there were lots of shoes, nets, line, lumber, pvc pieces etc.

I headed to the southern end and worked and then worked my way back up to my starting point. The western or inside of the island was composed of a number small beaches separated by coral outcroppings. The tide was going out and I found my first conch shell that didn't have a hole in it's shell.

"Madcap" arrived around noon and after lunch we went to one of the beaches that I had found earlier in the day. I snorkeled around the dropoff while the others looked around for shells and sea glass. We hiked to the other side of the island and again marveled at the trash.

At about 2:30 we dinghied to the community of Little Harbour, about two miles south of our anchorage. It's claim to fame is that it was settled by the Johnston family in the 50's who wanted to get away from civilization to raise their family. They charted, fished and scrambled to eke out a living. Randolph Johnston, an artist, built a forge and made beautiful sculptures. Today there is still a forge where they make high end jewelry and sculpture, a gallery, and an open air bar. While Kathy and Beth checked out the gallery, the rest of us had a glass of rum punch. It's interesting that all of the bars and restaurants have their our specialty rum punch. At Pete's in Little Harbour it was called the "Blaster" In Green Turtle is was the "Tipsy Turtle". Anyway they are all about the same, but they have their unique blend of fruit juices that make them a little distinctive. They are all very tasty and one is enough ... we sometimes have two.

We made plans with Madcap and Mystique to leave for Royal Island early in the morning.

01/28/2008 | Jeff
A calmer day
01/26/2008, Lynyard Cay

Leaving Marsh Hrabor....January 22

The wind was down a little so we went to shore. We dropped off the propane tank to be filled on the way to the laundromat.... while the clothes were washing we went next door to the Grocery to scope out the situation and were pleasantly surprised to find it well stocked. We made a few purchases and headed back to the boat ...picking up our propane on the way. Back at the boat we emptied our jerry cans of diesel and took off for the Jib Room for more fuel. By noon-ish we were ready to get out of Marsh ... for destinations south before the next front locked us in.....

We had a wonderful sail / motor sail to Lynyard Cay where we spent the night.

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