GoodBye Eluethera Hello Staniel Cay
Lynn and I had a few nights in Rock Sound waiting out strong Southerly winds before we made the jump to either Cat Island or Staniel Cay Exumas. We were still undecided until the day before we left. We had a nice Dinner with Lynn’s newly made Bahamian friend, Holly. She has a nice handmade jewelry store in Rock Sound. She was very generous to let us use her Wifi and invited us for dinner. We gave her filets of mutton snapper and said Goodbye! The last night in Rock Sound we caught the biggest Mutton Snapper of the trip. He had to be close to 20 pounds. Pretty amazing. We anchored at a beautiful spot in the southern area of the sound, and even went skinny dipping as we had the whole anchorage to ourselves.
The next morning we woke at 6am and headed out for Staniel Cay, Exuma. The reason for this was because west winds were predicted in the coming week and Cat Island does not have any protected anchorages for west winds. Also, Lynn really wanted to see the swimming pig island. We had a rough time motoring into the choppy seas around the tip of Eleuthera. It was pounding harder than expected but it calmed down after a few hours, and became amazing. Within the first 2 hours, we hook and landed a solid 15-20 pound Mahi. Hooked and landed is one thing, but actually getting it in the cooler and fileting him is another. After I gaffed the fish, I put him on the stern deck and put a fishing net over his head and stabbed him with a knife in the head in order to kill him so he would stop kicking. Well, that was the idea. He proceeded to come off the gaff and started flapping and kicking like crazy, I could not control him as the seas were rough and lynn was driving the boat. He then in slow motion kicked himself right over the gunnel of the boat. Shit. I watched helplessly as he kicked in the water and sank down. No doubt he is going to be shark bait. So now we have a deck full of blood and mahi juice and no fish. Brutal. This acutally happened to me twice last year, and we made a system of preventing this but I guess I thought I could do it this year with just my fish handling skills. But nope. So I spent 45 mins cleaning the entire deck and we continued to the Exumas. Not another bite the whole way.
We arrived to Staniel Cay around 4 pm. Lynn got to see the pigs that day. She loved every minute of it and fed them some saltines. These pigs will eat anything. The next day was rainy but calm winds. We did some dinghy exploring in the amazingly clear waters of the Exumas. The Exumas are just a long chain of dotted rock islands with deep ocean on one side and shallow clear Bahamas bank of the other side.
The next day we moved to an amazing anchorage between some islands off the beach of Thomas Cay. We did a little diving and I managed to blast a big Nassau grouper. We had grouper fingers for dinner. We tried to fish in the anchorage that night but just ended up hooking up on some sharks. We even had a big hammerhead come right up behind the boat. It was pretty cool!
The next day we did more dinghy exploring and tried to find some conch. As we were exploring I saw a little wave breaking on a reef near compass cay. It looked ridable for surfing so I got my board and caught some fun waves. It was awesome to surf in the Exumas, and to find a reef break all to myself. This is a surfing sailors dream. More magic in the Bahamas!
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Rabbits and Piglets and Fish, Oh My!