Thursday April 11, 2013
Because Stephanie and I are a little of the ‘slightly odd and off the wall’ variety, we like to plan silly little things that the guys normally roll their eyes at, but we find incredibly funny. So while enjoying our cracked conch and sipping gin and tonics the night before, we had the bright idea that Flamingo Cay needed it’s own Cruiser’s Net. Back in Thompson Bay we’d tune in every morning at 8:30 to hear the local activities, catch the weather, have an open mic session, and have the net ended with a joke from Mike at Long Island Breeze. ‘We could totally do that’, we thought, ‘We should do that!’. We prepared who would do what (Stephanie would have the weather of course, since she listens to Chris Parker every morning), I would host, and the guys were actually getting into it, giving us suggestions and laughing along.
So the next morning while pancakes were on the stove and the coffee had just been poured, I put out a call on channel 16 to let everyone in the area, just us we assumed, that the cruiser’s net would be starting momentarily on channel 18. Switching over I began by welcoming everyone and going over a list of the days activities which included a hike on the beach, afternoon snorkeling, and a group dinner on Serendipity, BYOF. Stephanie filled us in on the weather, 15-20 knot winds out of the east, day after day, after day. The trades were settling in and we didn’t expect much different. When the open mic session opened up is when we let ourselves get goofy, making up pretend people on pretend boats. I was Southern Betty on Breakin’ Wind, and just wanted to say that “I am so happy to be here, y’all”. Then I finished with a joke, one my uncle had forwarded on through e-mail and the only one I could remember at the moment*, before we closed down the net and let our breakfast digest before storming the beaches for a little hike.
Clouds had been rolling in and out all day and we waited for a clearing of sun before we all piled into t/t Serendipity and dragged her up on Two Palm Beach. Wandering just past some of the brush we found a salt pond which was no big surprise since they seem to be on every island we go to now, and eyed the large hill in front of us with a tower on the top. We wanted to make it up there, but after pushing our way through thick palms and a few spider webs we quickly figured out this was not the right place to do it. Our two options were to hop in the dinghy and drive it around to the other beach where there should be access up the hill, or to scale the sharp coral that wrapped itself between the two coves to get to the other side. We, of course, went with the latter. I have to say that after our little hike through sharp coral on Water Cay I was feeling much better about my stability issues since normally I am such an uncoordinated person that it’s easy for me to fall down on even ground. This coral was at a 30-40 degree slant however, and I quickly fell behind the rest of the group as I constantly gazed at my feet, trying to figure out the best hole to stick my foot in, or if my ankle would twist if it slipped off a piece of coral I did not land perfectly on.
This lagging gave everyone else a chance to stop and take in the views though, and what we saw off in the distance was very distressing. Headed towards our very own private island was another boat. The nerve! According to our explorer charts, only a dozen cruisers visit this chain of islands every year, and this other boat had to come bursting the bubble of our private little paradise. At least there were two coves to choose from, and my hopes were they would not choose ours. Continuing around the coral peninsula we made it safely to the sandy beach on the other side and found a perfectly laid trail to the top of the hill. It only took a few minutes before we were at the top and standing under what we assumed was a radio tower. Taking turns we one by one ascended the rings to the top to take in spectacular views of the whole island. We could see the high winds and waves crashing on the Exuma Sound side of the island, and the calm bays of the banks side we were anchored on. We also spotted from the top of the tower that the new addition to our group did end up anchoring in Two Palm Beach bay with Serendipity. Damn it. Watching a few dark clouds come in and realizing I desperately needed lunch since pancakes are in fact not very filling, we made our way back down and back through the coral once more.
We got to the dinghy just as the rain started coming down. Pulling it into the water we decided not to even try and beat the rain since we were now already soaked. We took a moment to introduce ourselves to our new neighbors, two French couples on an aluminum boat named Ba’nan, complete with yellow sailcovers and a banana on the back. The next few rainy hours were spent with all of us on our own boats, taking time to unwind and relax. I figured it would be the perfect time to work on a few Spanish lessons, so I qued up the Fluenz on Matt computer and we went to work while enjoying some hot coffee and Nutella spread on Nilla wafers (a frickin’ awesome snack). In the afternoon we tried fishing one more time, although once again, I came up empty handed. The guys did quite well though, Brian catching a glass eyed snapper and a good sized lionfish, while Matt was able to get his spear through one of those trigger fish that I had been hunting down the previous day. There’s also a lobster that ended up in the mix, but as far as I know it sacrificed himself for us to eat it since lobster season ended a few days ago and catching it ourselves would just be wrong.
The fish were cleaned on Rode Trip and then brought over to Serendipity to be cooked. The lobster was served as an appetizer and the rest of the fish were pan fried, which I’m finding out is my specialty. A little bit of olive oil, a little bit of citrus seasoning, and voila, a perfectly cooked fish fillet. I threw together a little seasoned couscous as a side and Stephanie also went all out on dessert making some homemade brownies to slay our chocolate cravings. By the time we got to the brownies though we barley had any room in our stomachs but shoveled them down anyway. Now it has been two nights of freshly caught dinner, two nights of beautiful views and sunsets, and two nights of just lounging around with friends. I didn’t know what to expect when we entered the Jumentos, but I think it’s safe to say we’re enjoying the good life.
(above photo courtesy of Rode Trip)