After our visit on Long Island, we headed out to Conception Island for a couple of days.  Conception Island is a Bahamas National Trust Island, and is uninhabited.  You are not allowed to remove anything from the island or beaches, and one mile radius from the island.  Once anchored, Kris got out the binoculars to investigate something white she saw She could not quite determine what she saw, but remained curious.


We took the dinghy up into the mangrove river, and saw many turtles.  We saw about 30 or so, and once they saw us they zoomed away rather quickly.  The next day, Kris's curiosity could not be sated, so Derek and Kris headed inland to find the mysterious white item.  About 1/2 hour of looking, trekking through heavy scrub, they found it.  It was a 12' x 12' collapsible awning with frame.  It was in good shape, with only a small rip in the awning from where a topped palm tree must have stopped its inland tumble in the wind.  Since the island is uninhabited, and the awning was a good 1000 feet into the scrub and brush Kris decided to "rescue" it.    It took about 2 hours for Derek and Kris to extract the awning and get it collapsed due to the heavy brush and scrub, but eventually it made it back to the boat.  Dean just shook his head.


The next day we snorkeled on the reefs around the island, and saw lots of coral and fishes.  There was one small fish about 2" long that hung out right at the stern of the boat.   Derek enjoyed playing with him, as the fish did not move away at all, and you could put your face or hand right up to him.  Due to a bad storm coming, we decided to head back to George Town for the best protection, because heading north to Cat Island did not have protection from the strong west winds forecasted.

One of the stories we did not hear much about until we arrived in the Bahamas is about the "Lion Fish".  In 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed an aquarium tank in Florida. About a half-dozen spiny, venomous lionfish washed into the Atlantic Ocean, spawning an invasion that could kill off local industry along with the native fish.  Not sure if that is the only introduction of the fish but along the Eastern Coast the population of the Lion fish has multiplied faster than other fish they feed on, like grouper, snapper, and other game fish.  The Lion fish's spines are poisonous so they do not have a natural predator.  People are trying different approaches and  one event was the "First Bahamas Lionfish Derby" which was a huge success: 1,408 lionfish taken in 1 day!  We went after some with Bob and Anne and came back with 5 fish.  Once you cut off the spines you can filet the fish and get some nice white meat.  The fish are not that big so it does take a few to make a meal. 

After the bad weather passed we planned on heading to Cat Island.   We have enjoyed George Town but really wanted to head north and see other places.  Well on Thursday the winds looked like they were favorable and off we went, again trying to make it to Cat Island.  So maybe this year we are not suppose to go to Cat Island because based upon the winds and waves we choose  a better option and that was to head back up the Exuma chain to Black Point.  So sailing along with 25 knots of wind, seas were 4 to 8 foot and we needed to make a short passage through a narrow opening, no issues right?  Something happened with our steering cable and other than giving us a high amount of stress as we neared the rocks with little to no steerage we did ok. :)

So now we are in Black Point and have worked on our steering system, a couple of cable clamps decided to come undone.  We fixed that problem and made sure the rest of the system was ok.  It also allowed us to fix a small leak on our outside shower, repack the steering grease, grease the rudder post, and change the filters in the raw water intake.  See everything worked out for the best :).

The weather has been very unpredictable and not enjoyable lately.  When we got to George Town the winds blew out of the south and west, normal is north and east, and were 25 to 35 knots.  Most anchorages favor the "normal" winds so everyone sought the few that were not normal.  For most of our time in the Bahamas we have not had rain but in the last week we have had squalls and rain storms almost everyday.  It is becoming their rainy season so I guess it is normal but for us it is not as enjoyable.  Again it is time to head north.

 

 

 

update 4/28/12; Conception Island,  Lion Fish, finally north bound

The Awning Adventure

Lion Fish