Zigzagging up the Exumas
07 March 2011
We plan to head up along the east side of the Exuma Chain, then cut in at Rat Cay Cut , pick our way up the western side past Lee Stocking Island, back out at Adderly Cut and then back in at Ruder Cay Cut; this over a period of several days. As we leave Emerald Bay, we leave out our fishing line as we customarily do.
Most cruisers fish; some like us who go through the motions of dangling a line behind the boat on a Cuban reel (I have one lure). Others take it far more seriously and have multiple lines, with expensive rods and constantly changing lures and settings. I've never caught but have seen the wonderful fish others have caught. Most recently and in a previous post, you'll note the majestic Mahi Mahi that our boat buddy, Irene caught.
Well, as we're sailing along, I absentmindedly check the tension on the line an sure enough, we have a fish. It's quite exciting ! Motorsailing so we cut the engine and move slowly forward on head sail as I reel in the fish. It flashes silver and blue as it struggles to escape the lure but to no avail as it is well hooked. Judy loves fish but hates to see anything suffer so is very concerned about how I will manage it on board and ultimately dispatch it. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it's ot nearly as big as Irene's behemoth so I can simply hoist him into the cockpit and then into a bucket. I don't want to beat the thing about the head to kill it; partly because I don't want to make a mess in the cockpit and more so because Judy won't let me. We've heard that if you pour vodka into a fish's gills it humanely an quickly kills them. Well, we don't have any vodka but Judy comes up with a bottle of Tequila which basically looks the same. I'm a bit dubious but pour a good measure down its throat and while I'll never know if it got the fish drunk or killed it, it did have the desired result in that Judy at least thought it was dead and did not suffer.
We pull into our select anchorage for the night, Children's Bay Cay (more about this later) and drop our anchors. Rog and Jacquie are avid fishers and have books on the various species. We identify mine as either a King Mackerel or Blue Runner (a member of the Jack family). In any event, w conclude that it'll make good eating. A cute story was related to me about a cruiser who had asked a local fisherman how to determine which fish are edible and which not to which the local replied, "if you catch it you can eat it, Mon".
So, I proceed to gut and filet this fish, give half to Rog and Jacquie and this evening, Judy and I feast on our bounty from the sea!
We had anchored along a very pretty bight on Children's Bay Cay and understand it is one of the numerous islands in this area privately owned by very wealthy folks. I have internet access on my Kindle here and check it out; we an buy this island, (probably a mile long by a third of a mile wide) for the sum of $60 million! Guess we'll have to pass. Oh well, we are enjoying the scenery and beaches for free.
The next day, we up anchor and head (inside) about a mile and a half to a beautiful bay on Lee Stocking Island. This particular anchorage is very well protected by high hills . There are at least five separate white sand beaches to choose from and only a couple of boats to vie for their privacy.
Lee Stocking Island is the base for the Caribbean Marine Research Centre, where we took a tour the last time we were here two years ago. We did not take the tour this time but we did do a hike along the long slender island and took in its glorious vistas. It was lovely here but with bad weather coming, we move on after two great days.