The Bahamas have lots of caves but we haven’t taken the time to really check them out. Long Island has a little cave right by the dinghy dock giving us no excuse not to check it out, so we did. The cave was easy to access and had decent lighting, it had the whole stalagmite/stalactite thing going on but flip-flops are probably not the recommended foot wear to go spelunking in. The cave also had lots of bats, which were neat. I like bats, they eat mosquitos. I did learn though that if you use your flash on your camera to try and take a picture of them, they swarm. Fwip, fwip, fwip, fwip. I’m not sure I like them THAT much.
We also took a walk over to the ocean side beaches to check out how rough the seas looked as we planned on heading out the next day and its been blowing stink for a few days (nothing new). There is a little dirt road that leads to a secluded beach, no one else around, no houses, no nothing. It was another beautiful beach. Keith and I enjoyed our walk and were headed back when we saw two locals walking our way. They caught our attention with the way they were dressed. They were both wearing jeans and they both had backpacks. They also both had ski caps on, one even had the yarn pom-pom on top. What really had my attention, though, was that one man was carrying a large butcher knife, not a machete (that wouldn’t be out of place), but a very large butcher knife. As we got closer we smiled and waived and said “hello”. I read somewhere that waving is the truest measure of friendliness. In true Long Island fashion, both men smiled big and waived (with the butcher knife) and said “hello”. Okay, well that went well. Later we learned that there are several wild goats on the island, maybe they were off to get some dinner.
The plan was to go from Long Island back to George Town and on up the Exuma island chain. Last night Saraid called us on the VHF, they thought they saw a break in the weather long enough to get down to the Jumentos and Ragged Islands, did we want to come too? The Jumentos and Raggeds are still in the Bahamas but they are very remote. There are no stores, gas, diesel, or water on any of the islands and there is only one tiny fishing settlement with a population of about 100 in the very southern tip. What ever you need, you need to bring it with you. But the diving and fishing is supposed to be the best. It’s a place we really, really want to go but have been waiting for spring and its more settled weather. The timing just wasn’t right for us our jerry cans on deck were empty, we only had a few gallons of gas and our water tanks were only half full so we were not in the position to head out with them so we donated the water we did have to them and wished them well on their adventure. Today we both sailed out of Long Island and we watched their boat disappear over the horizon to the wild lands of fish and coral. We agonized over if we were missing out on a perfect diving window the entire morning as we headed back to our not-so-favorite place, George Town. In attempt to console ourselves for possibly missing out we decided to stop and do a dive on the reefs at the southern tip of Great Exuma. They looked so enticing on our sail past them last week. We pulled down the sails and anchored the sailboat right off one of the reefs. We put the dinghy in and put the tiny little 2 hp motor on it. We puttered over to the reef expecting to be spectacular, but between the strong current and the barracudas it wasn’t worth the effort. Oh well, if we hadn’t stopped and tried we would have kept thinking we were sailing past something spectacular. Now we know. We just need to get some good diving in soon.
^^This was one of the best stocked stores we’ve found in the Bahamas but the organization was a little haphazard. Baby powder and brake fluid, why of course they should share a shelf! I wonder how long it will take to sell all four Bingo cages?