Sampling the Bahamian Life
12 January 2012 | Big Major's Spot, Exumas, Bahamas
We left the Exuma Land and Sea Park this morning and came down to Big Majors Spot and anchored. We had a target to leave by 7:30 in the morning, because we can only spend one day here before we move on towards Georgetown. We actually hit our target departure time and got here, just over 20 nautical miles southeast, at 10:30.
Big Majors Spot is a wide-open bay with a sandy bottom, anchoring is not a problem. The Rocna set up to the bail. We had the dinghy up on the davits so were able to quickly launch it. We deployed the awning, had a bite of lunch and set off to see Staniel Cay, the first community in the Bahamas outside Georgetown and Nassau that Rick and Tracy have seen.
On the way over to Staniel, which is a long dinghy ride away, we went close to the beach here and fed the pigs. This is where the pigs swim out to get food from cruisers. We had a pre-cooked pizza crust that was broken up from being on top of all the other food in the fridge. We decided it was not salvageable and Tracy fed it to the pigs while Bud drove the dinghy and Rick and I took pictures. I put a picture along with others from the day in the gallery.
Rick wanted to visit a grocery store so we decided to dinghy up the creek on the far side of town to Isles Grocery. The tide was fairly high and the creek is shallow so Bud thought it would be better to go there first. The only problem was, once we got there the store was still closed for lunch (12 to 1:30PM). After looking in through the doors, Rick decided it wasn’t worth waiting for it to open. This was his first experience with the out island stores, with their one or two isles of food that are mostly empty except on days when the mailboat comes.
We took the dinghy back to the beach at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and walked through the main part of town from there. I’d forgotten Fuzzy’s leash, so we used one of the lines from the dinghy as a leash, it weighed almost as much as he does. We walked to the house that sells bread and there were still loaves available, so Rick bought a whole-wheat loaf and a coconut loaf. I was looking around for the tote bag we’d brought and didn’t see it. Bud had left it at Isles Grocery, at the other end of town. He started towards the grocery, we were going to walk up to the gift shop and then back towards the Yacht Club. When we got to the gift shop it wasn’t open either. Across the street was a plywood picnic table under a big shade tree so we sat down to wait for the store to open or Bud to get back.
A Bahamian came by and started chatting with us. His name is Don Ferguson, but he told us everyone called him Yellowman after a reggae singer he looks like. We had a nice visit with Yellowman. He was waiting for the local fisherman to come back with his catch. Bud returned with the sack and we all waited for the fisherman. At one point, Rick, Trace and I left to go to the Pink Store, which was reputed to have bananas. Bud and Fuzzy stayed with Yellowman under the tree, that’s them in the photo. The pink store didn’t have bananas, but Rick got some beers, some Ginger Beer, and some cookies. He offered a beer to Yellowman, which was gratefully accepted and we continued to sit and sip and wait and talk.
Just when we were about to give up and check a couple of the local restaurants for dinner reservations the fishing boat came in. They unloaded about a dozen of the biggest lobsters I’ve ever seen, 6 or 8 huge conch, about 10 big fish of various kinds, and one huge crab. Rick bought us two lobster tails, two conch, and a hog snapper. We asked them to gut and skin the hog snapper and leave it whole because Bud was going to grill it. We walked back with our bounty and dinghied the mile or so back to the anchorage. There was no wind, the water was perfectly flat, and it was an easy ride. (I didn’t have to try to take the computer in this year because we have our Bad Boy WiFi antenna. I’m able to access the internet from the boat. Unfortunately, it’s satellite Internet, thus too slow for Skype.)
We had a delicious dinner. Four of us had all we could eat of the grilled hog snapper and there was still a lot of meat left on it. Bud sprinkled the carcass overboard trying to attract fish. He attempted a couple of casts with his one of his cast nets, but the 6 inch fish that were swimming around all easily avoided his net. We were going to play cards again but we were all so tired we just went to bed.
Rick and Tracy really enjoyed seeing the less developed side of the Bahamas. For as close as they are to Florida, the Bahamas have remained relatively unspoiled.