The trip to the Bahamas was by design a training experience for all three of us. That is why Mark went with us. He was to teach us the ins and outs of this particular boat. After all he owned the boat for twelve years, so he knew all the ins and outs. Like any true sailor Mark had very strong opinions as to how things are supposed to be done and which products work, which ones don’t and so on, so I’m not sure he was totally thrilled with some of the changes we’ve been making to Stray CatZ. It was a great training opportunity for us though, and I know we all learned a lot. I only mention this because even though we were in the Bahamas, it wasn’t all just fun and games. Only mostly 🙂
Here is a recap of the highlights; We spent a total of three days at the dock at Browns Marina in Alice town. That’s where we took care of some maintenance and cleaning items, but more importantly, we installed a brand new Garmin radar unit for the boat. That required sending Mark up and down the mast numerous times. And for some of my Knoxville friends, yes I am radar qualified.
We walked around Alice Town and Baily Town and did a little beach combing on N. Bimini. Wow! There are a lot of conch shells there.
We spent a couple of days snorkeling. One of the them near some rocks off shore of N. Bimini and another day we were at the Sapona shipwreck. Both times we saw an enormous amount of fish in all shapes and sizes including nurse sharks, barracuda, cow fish, angel fish and a porcupine fish. There was beautiful coral and we even caught a live conch, but released it, because no one was motivated enough to clean and prepare it.
We spent a couple of nights anchored off Cat Cay. Right off the end of the runway, so we could watch the planes come and go, and I would feel at home.
Every day the sea turtles would swim near the boat, but by the time we got in the water to swim with them, they would disappear. At night I would sit on the transom and look into the water and watch the light show of the bio-luminescence. It reminded me of watching the fire flies back in TN, only with more colors.
On the way down to the anchorage Kylan caught a three-foot barracuda, which of course we released before it could slice us up with its razor sharp teeth.
On our last full day, we finally launched the dinghy only to discover the water in the fuel tanks from the six weeks at the dock in Ft Lauderdale. A few hours were spent cleaning the carburetor, which worked as a temporary fix only, so we could go ashore and enjoy an overpriced meal on Cat Cay. Unfortunately we didn’t see any more iguanas.
The next morning we took off bright and early bound for Ft Lauderdale. The winds although from the right direction were not strong enough to really help. Mark was in a hurry to get back to a father’s day meal with some friends. Maybe he was just anxious to leave us and move on to the next chapter in his life. It only took us about 7 hours to get back, but when we got to the dock, it was occupied. Unable to reach anyone and not sure what to do, we tied to the neighbors dock which was empty, and left a note. Fortunately the neighbor was understanding and Stray CatZ rested peacefully back in the USA.