Tag Archives: #mayaguana

Bahamas 101

We are currently cruising through the amazing archipelago known as The Bahamas. We didn’t know much about this incredible cruising ground and now fully appreciate why so many boaters, particularly those from North America, spend their winters exploring the incredible little nooks and crannies!

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Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island is the deepest known blue hole in the world at 663ft.

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According to Wikipedia, The Bahamas territory encompasses 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) and is made up of over 700 islands, cays (keys) and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. These islands are divided into regions: The Abacos, The Exumas, The Raggeds, The Jumentos and the Far Bahamas, which cover the more uninhabited outer islands. The main ‘cities’ are Georgetown down south in the Exumas, Nassau on the island of Providence, also the Bahamian capital, and Freeport on the northern island of Grand Bahamas in the Abacos.

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Many boaters sail across from the US for the northern hemisphere winter and spend their time cruising up and down the islands often only visiting the closer ones: The Abacos and The Exumas. We made our way up from the Dominican Republic via Turks and Caicos and have visited some of the outer or Far Bahamanian islands. These were a treasure and we feel privileged to have been able to visit some of them!

The islands we have visited have all been different but, at the same time, very similar. The striking similarity is the ‘gin-like’ clarity of the water! We attribute this to two reasons: the islands are flat and have little to no agriculture eliminating run-off; and, the prevailing winds during winter are from the east so this means the Atlantic ocean is flushing out the waterways with every tide. The result is pristine waters just begging you to snorkel, dive or swim.

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Staniel Cay

We find it impossible to accurately describe the colour and clarity of the water…..

The shallows, of course, present their own problems. We have to time our movements according to high tide and our snorkelling to slack water. We are on constant alert for coral heads and sandbars and many nautical miles are completed with only 1-1.5m under Kool Kat’s keels.

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Capt’n on high alert for coral heads and sandbars.
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Typical sandbar on the right.
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Jack’s Cove and very typical island terrain

We had to stop at Rudder Cut Cay to dive on David Copperfield’s stainless steel piano with accompanying mermaid. And, of course, Mal had to tickle the ivories. Not bad clarity in 15-20′ of water. The tide was going out and it took all our energy to maintain position. We time our dives now for slack water!

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And, like all good tourists, we had to feed the pigs at Staniel Cay….

And, snorkel Thunderball Grotto. This is a gorgeous little cave where James Bond (Sean Connery) did what he did best in the film Thunderball.

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Good ol’ Sergeant Majors always provide a pretty show.

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And, so we continue, up through The Exumas to Nassau where we are collecting my sister at the end of this month and we can share some new experiences with her through The Abacos! Can’t wait 🙂

Until next time, Sue and Mal xxx

Island friendliness…

We needed to refuel but the fuel dock on Mayaguana is no more so locals, Marissa and Dalton, drove us to Pirate’s Well to pick up fuel in two 15-gallon drums. We talked, laughed and sang and generally hit it off! We discussed all things island, and it came up that we hadn’t ever tried conch salad. Ok, says Dalton, today is your lucky day!

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OK, out to KK to refuel whilst Dalton and Marissa go fishing, or is that conching?

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We’ve never refueled like this before! Boy, those drums are heavy!

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Four hours later, we’d finished refueling and Marissa and Dalton arrived with all the ingredients to make a conch salad and with two fabulous dog snapper for our din-dins!

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Chop, chop, chop and dice, dice, dice very finely! Intersperse with jokes and a little rum and soda!

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Add some salt, goat pepper (wow, it sure packs a punch!), ground black pepper, capsicum, red and brown onion, and heaps, I mean heaps, of lime juice!

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It was sooooo good! Dalton’s THE MAN! It went down very nicely with an ice cold beer!

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Then he prepared our snapper; first he created a rub with salt, garlic, that fiery little goat pepper and a touch of black pepper.

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He made an incision on the outside and placed in the cut along with inside the fish itself.

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Then he placed sliced capsicum and onions over and inside the fish and wrapped in foil. We refrigerated it for a few hours and then placed on the grill and hmm! Need I say more!

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What a day! Thanks Marissa and Dalton for giving us a taste of island life Mayaguana-style!

Still having a blast, Sue and Mal xx

PS: Conch are everywhere throughout the Caribbean and The Bahamas and is also known as Lambi. We’ve tried it a few times in a stew-style dish but it’s always been a little rubbery. This is what a conch looks like alive….

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Photo courtesy of Google – one type of conch.