We have arrived in paradise. The Bahamas has become a second home to Matt and a place to potentially live long term. Hard to imagine why. Could it be the crystal clear water? The welcoming Bahamians? The spearfishing? The snorkeling? The Kalik? The Rake n Scrape? The untouched surf areas? The places to kiteboard? The wrecks to explore? Either way we feel like we have arrived at home.
We start the journey through the Bahamas in Mayaguana. Our sail from the Dominican Republic was smooth except we spent a good portion of it just drifting with the current as the sea was calm like a lake and we were to stubborn to turn on the engine. With no guests on board what is the rush, we drift along feeling like real sailors.
Once we arrive through the technical reef we rest a bit before starting the usual chores. Checking into customs, getting wifi, having a beer, etc. It cost us $300 to check in and that is good for a year, but steep nonetheless. We get a sim card and should now have wifi the rest of the trip. The town is a sleepy place like most towns in the Bahamas. The bar and grocery store look like someones house and the roads are just dirt, there are three churches you can see and a park that barely has the basics. We find an open bar and drink our beer, congratulating ourselves for making it this far. Eventually we make our way to the grocery store to see shelfs of chips and not much else, we inquiry when the mail boat arrives so we can make sure to stop by then.
We end up spending over a week in Mayaguana waiting on bad weather to pass. To pass the time we dive some of the most pristine water and reef habitat I have seen yet. Matt manages to catch a giant Tiger Grouper and we are so excited because we have not had meat for days. We fillet the fish and decide to cook it tomorrow because we heard about a party going on in town. Getting cleaned up we head in expecting to see the familiar faces from the past few days. Unfortunately it was a ghost town, nothing going on. Oh well. We head back to the boat excited to eat our fish a day early. Matt had posted his victory photo on Facebook and when we arrive back at the boat we get a message from one of our Bahamian friends telling us that type of Tiger Grouper could kill us. WHOA! It was a casual message with not much explanation as to why but we decide to play it safe and instead drink our dinner.
As it turned out there was a party, it just was the following day. When we headed up to the bar we have been hanging out at they were setting up tables, a grill and people were playing dominos. We asked the locals some more about the fish and showed them the photo. NOPE do not eat. The Tiger Grouper with the RAGGY tail could have a high chance of Ciguatera and you can lose all your hair and will most likely need to be life flighted out of here. Jeez!!! We dodged a bullet with that one. Had we not came up to the party yesterday we might have been eating the fish before we got the message from Locksley telling us it’s poison.
We spent the evening drinking, eating and playing dominos with the locals. It was a birthday party and it seemed like everyone had made a dish to bring. All the food and drinks were free all night. We tried to give them money as a donation, but they refused. When we asked if we could donate money to the school, we were able to give $20.00 to the principal.
|A site from one of our daily walks. I also did my exercises at this beach #21day fix|
|Matt caught a Strawberry Grouper and that is good eating|
I have one more story to tell about our week in Mayaguana. While hanging out at the bar, as usual, Matt asked one of the locals about the shipwreck out in the ocean. They did not know anything about a shipwreck. We explained we saw canons and an anchor. The conversation got very exciting at the mention of a canon and the eyes of the fisherman lit up. He explained that canons are worth a lot of money and someone had told him they would come down and get the canon if he found one. He could retire and take care of his 9 kids and 17 brother and sisters without having to dive for conch anymore. We agreed to show him the spot in the morning. Could this be true? Could we all get rich?
We start doing some research and learned that YES you can get rich but NO it is to good to be true. The Bahamas does not allow you to take anything out of the water. We immediately regretted having told this guy to come over and spend the morning in a complete panic about what to do if he shows up. Around noon, I can’t take all the worry anymore and we go to town to walk around. It seems he is out fishing for conch. We see him later that night and neither one of us makes any mention of the canon. We decide to leave the next morning, but first we want to get the coordinates of this wreck.