We have sailed to our first foreign country–we are in the Bahamas! This is a big step, mainly because we crossed the infamous Gulf Stream to these islands on our own, overnight. Just us. It was a little trepidatious heading out of Port Everglades inlet into the pitch-black, moonless ocean, but we had an unexpected send-off from our new friends Larry, Colleen, Link and Kali from Hylas 46 Sparrow Hawk who waved us off from Pelican, their dinghy, as we went under the 17th Street bridge and called on the VHF when we were a few miles out to wish us Bon Voyage!
So far, we have been exploring the very remote and sparsely-populated north end of the Abaco Islands: Great Sale-, Double Breasted-, Grand- and–mainly for shelter from a low pressure rainy blow–Hawksbill Cay just off of Little Abaco Island. On Great Sale we were the only people on the island, no footprints, no other soul aside from a wild black pig that startled us and vice versa. We walked a deserted beach, collected shells and pottered around the mangroves in Mimi spying Bone Fish, turtles, and a lonely baby shark (maybe a Dog Fish). Double Breasted Cay sent us a couple of dolphins right in the middle of my Tabata workout on the aft deck. On Grand Cay there were people! Most importantly, people willing to sell us lobster tails and a coconut tart before the weather turned nasty and the downpour and wind set in. Now we are in Green Turtle Key waiting out a 40-50 knot wind, but there are restaurants, people, and WIFI here!
We have hunted (OK, collected) our first conch and are ready for our first homemade conch salad, conch fritters, conch omelette, conch everything. Anyone have the ultimate conch recipe? And John caught his first fish off the transom. Unfortunately, it was a toothy Barracuda–not good eating. So once we managed to extract the hook from her gullet, she was back into the Sea of Abaco. However, with a bit of imagination, we are almost living off the land and sea like Bahamian natives. We have even contemplated buying some rum and making coconut flavored drinks while listening to the Sirius reggae station. Is an intervention necessary?