Bushwacking

Sunday April 7, 2013

It was apparent that we had waaay too good of a time on Thursday night when we woke up on Friday and couldn’t get ourselves off the boat.  The impending storm that was keeping us in Long Island for longer than we had originally planned was also making it’s way in and tossing the seas up with it.  Our normally calm anchorage was now rocking Serendipity back and forth and I can’t even tell the moment where the hangover ended and seasickness set in.  We tried to get ourselves motivated to make it into the Breeze on Friday night for happy hour and live music, but after moving to the other side of the bay for a little more protection we could not get ourselves motivated for the 30 minute dinghy ride over.  An evening of movies and nothing else was in order, and it was actually a nice little break from all the running around and projects we had been doing.  Yesterday we did move the boat back to where all our friends were in front of the breeze and even had a nice dinner of grilled fish after Ren caught one of the biggest groupers I’ve ever seen.  Throw in some sides of coleslaw and potato salad compliments of Long Island Breeze (ok, there was still a per person charge on those), and it ended up being a really nice night that just came together without any pre-planning.

Today was our last day in Long Island, and Ren and Ashley wanted to take us for one more outing.  They described a grotto that was supposed to be behind an old abandoned church and it was supposed to be filled with little red shrimp.  We not usually ones to turn down a hike anyway and the promise of a red shrimp grotto made it sound even better.  Once again we piled the six of us into their little coupe and wound around the deserted roads until we came to the abandoned church they were talking about.  It was definitely old and definitely run down but at the same time it held a little mystery and charm to it.Even though the walls were crumbling down, faint hints of a once bright paint still stood out on shutters and walls. We stepped over strewn 2×4′s and avoided hornets nests as we took in the beauty. One of the things our guidebook recommended doing most while in Long Island was visiting one of the many churches. I’m not sure if this was one of the ones they had in mind, but if we had to pick only one to see, I’m glad this was it.

After the quick tour we wandered out back to where we were supposed to find the trail that would lead us to the grotto. Neither Ren nor Ashley had actually been there before themselves and were just going on simple Bahamian type directions of ‘look for a marker behind the church and follow that trail’. It was the same kind of directions that got us lost going to the beach for Easter service. ‘Take the road across from this restaurant and follow it to the beach’. Simple and direct. We looked for a ‘marker’ and found what looked to be a previously worn trail leading up a hill that we followed.  After bushwacking for nearly an hour we were dropped out at a salt lake, but no grotto to be found.  Matt and I seemed to fare the best as far as cuts and scrapes while the others nursed their cut up legs and blistered feet. We sat for a minute while catching our breath and playing with the foam washing up on shore before setting back out to find the real trail.  Once we were all but back to the church the guys began taking path they saw a bent blade of grass and eventually their calls let us girls know that it had been located.

Changing into our suits, everyone but Stephanie jumped into the chilly but crystal clear salt water to do a little exploring.  Sprinkled across the bottom were tiny red shrimp with long antennas extending from their heads.  Holes at the top of the grotto let in beams of light and we’d swim back and forth between shade and sun.  No one stayed in too long since it was far from the bathwater we normally experienced in our shallow, protected anchorages.  It was another well kept secret of the area that we felt special for being one of the few to experience it.  The drive back to Salt Pond was long and lazy with a few detours along the way.  We drove down beaten up dirt paths and picked sea grapes off vines that grew just off the road.  Finally getting back to our boats we gave ourselves a few hours to freshen up before joining again in the evening for dinner on Nila Girl.  The grouper that Ren had caught the night before gave enough leftovers that we were doing fish tacos with sides of tortilla chips (our ready to serve contribution), along with Ashley’s guacamole, and Brian’s homemade tortilla shells.  Another perfect day in paradise.

4.7.13 (6)

4.7.13 (7)

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