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bounties of the sea . . . and sharks!

Posted by on February 28, 2013

January 1 – 3, 2013

After spending another day in Black Point with boat chores (more laundry, boat cleaning, taking down Christmas decorations, etc), we pulled up the anchor by 8 a.m. and sailed offshore for another day of fishing. Whether we caught fish, or not, was the determining factor for our final destination. We would only go as far as Rudder Cut Cay (18 miles down the Exuma chain), but if we were able to catch dinner, then we would pull in sooner.

No such luck. We didn’t get a single bite, so Rudder Cut Cay was the spot for our anchor. The rest of the afternoon would be spent exploring the area and snorkeling nearby reefs.

beautiful palm trees & a fun cave to explore

We took a dinghy ride, just short of a mile out on the bank, to Dove Cay and Gaulin Rock where there was supposedly a submerged statue of a lady. However, after circling the islands a couple of times, we never found it. Instead we ended up finding and spearing a bunch of lion fish, a trigger fish, and a lobster on the southeast end of Dove Cay. We finally had dinner for the day!

our catch for the day!

After returning to the boat, Wil gave our catch a quick rinse on the transom, so we could have a photo session. As soon as we were satisfied with the picture, we got the Joy dish soap out for our transom showers where we jump in to get wet before soaping up. We were all just about to jump into the water when Wil noticed a shark swimming near the boat. That halted our swim and shower session!dangling her toes in the water just as the sharks arrived!

dangling her feet in the water just as the sharks arrived!

shark waiting for its next morsel

cleaning the a lion fish

consulting the fish book for shark ID

Wil decided to go ahead and clean the fish, while I ran to get the GoPro camera. Using our usual “attach the camera to the boat hook” technique, I placed the camera in the water next to where Wil was cleaning the fish. The following photos are still images that I removed from the video taken.

Caribbean Reef Shark . . . we think


this one almost got the camera!

enjoying a snack

checking out the fish head

circling reef sharks

That afternoon, s/v Eye Candy sailed in and dropped the hook. They had never tried lion fish before, so we had them over for dinner that evening. After enjoying the lion fish, we all made plans to go snorkeling together the next day.
The next morning, Wil wanted to do a quick patch on the dinghy before we went snorkeling. During the process, he accidentally dropped the patch overboard. He couldn’t decide whether the patch was worth jumping in the water after being clean and dry, so I volunteered for the job. I would be the one to dive to the bottom, knowing there was the potential for sharks! Hmmmm!
I sat on the edge of the transom, scanned the water, and eyeballed the patch. Then, I dove for it. Wil never even saw me reach the patch and turn around. He only heard my splash, and when he turned around, I had already returned to the ladder. I didn’t want to give those sharks even a moment to see me there!
While snorkeling with Andrew & Clare, we managed to spear 8 lion fish. We also did a little exploring of neighboring islands by dinghies. We managed to find a small, twin-engine plane crash site to swim over. Once we returned to the boat, Andrew came over to watch the lion fish preparation process. Wil cuts the spines off with a pair of tin snips (heavy duty kitchen shears can work too). Then, after scaling them, the heads are cut off and the bellies gutted. The fish are filleted if they are big enough. Otherwise, we cook them whole on the grill or in the pan.
When we returned to the boat after our successful day of spearfishing, we had decided to leave the fish in the bucket while we took our showers. We didn’t want even a single drop of blood in the water for fear of the sharks returning. We were getting our shower stuff together and Justine was dangling her feet in the water when the sharks showed up. We had not even started cleaning the fish yet! We figure these sharks must know the sound of a returning dinghy. From now on, we’ll do our best not to clean fish where we want to swim.

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