Conception Cay to Abacos Spring 2010

Date: 28 June 2010

Another long one …

Conception Island, Bahamas

Wow! The snorkeling has been great here! Conception is 14 miles from Long Island. As there really isn’t any protected anchorage here, this place is great to visit only in good weather. That’s why we are only able to spend two nights and one and a half days here. Other boaters had the same idea. There are about twenty boats anchored out here. Yesterday we took a two mile dinghy ride into the interior of the island and discovered mangrove swamps. Many different kinds of fish hang out around the roots of the mangroves. It looks like they are in forest of some sort. We also saw several turtles, but very few birds. Sadly, due to upcoming weather, today we are headed for Cat Cay.

Cat Cay

We hiked to the top of Cohen Hill which is the highest point in the Bahamas (203 feet). There we visited a wonderful, small church called the Hermitage.

One person, Father Joesph, built the place all by himself out of stone and cement. On our way we noticed that there were quite a few birds here. The days are becoming much warmer.

After our hike we all jumped in off of the boat for a well deserved cool down. Then our friends (Terry, Michelle, Jackson and Taylor) showed up on their boat Lillie Mae. They were kind enough to invite us over to eat a Tuna that they had just caught.

The next day we had a boat maintenance day. We filled up our water tanks, vacuumed and changed the oil on the boat’s engine. During this day we went ashore and did some grocery shopping. While there we were given a 48 inch long (about 25-30 lb.) Mahi Mahi for free! We’ve been eating fish for dinner for several nights. All in all we had fish for dinner for 7 nights. At US prices we figured it was worth about $24 a day.

This is a picture of the boat that caught the fish.

Black Point

Yes, we are back here again. The boating season here is drawing to an end. When we were here last there were 47 boats. Now there are 4 including us. We used the wonderful laundromat, and bought a few more potatoes.

We visted a local blow hole. It’s where the water from the surf of the ocean comes up through the ground. The kids really enjoyed it.

The same day we went to a nearby beach where there were iguanas! We had fun feeding them and watching them walk around.

Staniel Cay

We spent the day at Thunder Ball Grotto, which is another wonderful snorkeling area. Philip took amazing pictures which we’ll post as soon as we have good internet. Several different kinds of fish were swimming all around us. Not only that, but the coral was amazing as well. All the colors of the rainbow were present.

We also visited the local beach that the pigs live on. We were brave enough to go onto the beach with the pigs. The pigs are so eager to be fed that they swim out to meet you in the water.

Exuma Land and Sea Park

When we first came to the Bahamas we weren’t able to spend very much time here. So we came back for another look. We made our second trip up Boo Boo hill and left a piece of driftwood with out boat name on it. There was quite a collection from other boats and we recognized many of the names.

We went and saw where the Pirates used to hang out – The Pirates Lair. People have told us that this area looks very much like the South Pacific. While in this area we snorkeled and saw Stromataehore which is the oldest living creature in the world. Besides the Exuams, the only other place they live is in Australia.

We also had lunch with a New Zealand couple that is heading back to New Zealand to finish their circumnavigation. They had quite the lunch! Olives from Morocco, crackers from the Bahama and pate from Spain.

Near where our boat was we found another wonderful coral head to swim on. Not only were the fish great (I saw a 26” Grouper and a big lobster), but the multi colored coral was vivid. Our stay here was too short. We had to leave because bad weather was coming and there weren’t any comfortable anchorages to be in. We spent a day moving the boat and headed for Eluthra.

Eluthra

The harbor we ended up in was Rock Sound. It has 360 degrees of protection. During this time we have been traveling with another boat named Lill May.

So our second day at Eluthra we went to a great grocery store and rented a car. Michel from Lillie Mae lived on the US Navel base that was located here. It was eerie touring around seeing all of the buildings hidden by plants.

These are pictures of the elementary school that Michel went to.

We also saw a place called Glass Mirror. It is a bridge that separates the dark, almost black waters of the Atlantic from the vivid blue green Caribbean sea.

We didn’t make the caves. That will have to wait for another visit to the Bahamas.

Spanish Wells

Due to great fishing this is the most prosperous Bahamian island. It is very similar to the United States. There are actually street signs!

The beach is beautiful but there aren’t very many coral heads to snorkel on. There’s a great grocery store here and wonderful shops. The only thing missing is a large laundromat! Luckily we don’t have much laundry. We wear our swimming suits most of the time and wash them by hand. All we need washed is our socks and underwear. So one washer should be good for us.

The people who live here have beautiful gardens.

Walking the streets, we found a shell shop. Conch horns were only $12.50 each so we bought two for the kids. A much better deal than $40 a conch horn in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas.

Along the water front here we discovered some friendly fish and a manatee! A local fisher man has two cages full of pet fish. One cage was filled with meat eating fish and the other had non meat eating fish. We got to throw in fish pellets and watch the fish eat. What a feeding frenzy!

Rita, the pregnant manatee also lives here. Since there isn’t lots of food available for her, they feed her several heads of lettuce twice a day. They don’t know where she came from. As soon as she delivers they hope to move her to a sanctuary in Florida.

We actually paid for transportation and went and visited Harbor Island. It took two ferries and a car ride. Harbor Island is also prosperous. They have beautiful homes, resorts and restaurants. We spent a day enjoying the surf off of the Atlantic Ocean.

Royal Island Cay

This is some of the most beautiful coral we have seen so far. Giant fan coral, brain coral, and multi colored coral were on the reef we looked at. Not too many fish were here. The water is now warm enough that we don’t need our wet suits. However, the wind has died and the bugs are now out at night. The screens don’t keep the noseeums out, so we’ve been closing the windows at night. Thankfully we have lots of fans to keep us cool!

There is a beautiful, abandoned home here.

Abacos, Bahamas

We revisited the Sea Park here. It’s much better than last year. The water is warmer and calmer, which makes for better viewing. This is one of the largest reefs we have visited. Cheez Whiz added to our enjoyment as the fish loved eating it and it’s easy to use.

We saw dolphins for the first time in the Bahamas. They swam around our boat and gave us quite the show.

We also came back to Tilu Sand Bank. Sand Dollars, Sea Biscuits, and beautiful shells were found in the sand bar at low tide. The Sand Dollars here, unlike the ones in Georgia, are already white.

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An Email from Corwin

My Travels in the Bahamas

The first place we went was Chub Key Marina. It was $4.40 a foot for almost no services. So we decided to leave the next day.

Then we went to Androse. Coming in wasn’t looking good. While we were going in we got stuck on a rock. But some people came in a dinghy and helped us off of the rock. That’s how we met Robert. They took us out to dinner. The next day it was wednesday! That’s when vegetable guy Lee comes. He comes to the marina every wednesday. Anything that can be grown in Andros he has! And then our friends told us about a man that was even cheaper than Lee but you would need a car! We plan on coming back to Andros. But we had to go.

So then we went to Wardrick Wells. It is a National Bahamian Park. They are trying to keep the animals safe. If you are caught taking a shell, they charge you $200 a person on board a boat. There were amazing snorkeling sites. The fish just come right up to you. And some even bite you!

Easter was coming up. We heard that Black Point had a good Easter party! So we left the park and went to Black Point. When we got there we went straight into town. The first stop was the public trash disposal where we met Arye. She told us where to put the trash. She was very nice. She told us where to go for the Easter party. When we got to where the Easter party was nobody was ready. So we decided to go for a walk. The town was big for the Bahamas, but it was not big for us. We walked over all of town. When we got back they still weren’t ready. So we bought a dinner ticket. Then me and my sister went and played basketball and our parents went to the grocery store and went back to the boat. Well, we stayed and played basketball. When they got back they had started selling food. So we ate lots and mom and dad went back to the boat to put the left overs in the fridge. Then the Black Point basketball team played against the Nassau basketball team. Nassau is the biggest city in the Bahamas. Then the Easter games started. There was bag races and egg races. During the game we met some kids on Katmandu. Their names were Francis and Stephanie. After a couple of days at Black Point we went to George Town. It is the second largest city in the Bahamas.

We hope the email find everyone well.

Amazing Grace II