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  • sailorstacey

Catching the Wind, Catching Fish

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

A few days aboard Delfina waiting out strong east winds allowed time for cleaning, cooking, reading, maintenance, and chess. However, after two straight days on board at anchor we were anxious to set sail again. When the wind turned to the southwest, we left Thompson Bay for Calabash Bay, a northern bay near Cape Santa Maria. Our Canadian friends on Horizon 360 and Asana joined us in the anchorage. We set out together in our dinghies to snorkel the nearby reefs, which were filled with lush, colorful coral and a kaleidoscope of reef fish. We also had another aim––to catch spiny lobster, which have no claws, but are nevertheless formidable in their own right. Christoph carried our newly -purchased spear gun, which is a long stainless steel spear sent flying by a sling shot. It turns out to be very hard to: a)find the spiny lobsters, who live deep within holes under coral formations; b) to dive down long enough to aim and release the spear; and c) to retrieve the spear with the lobster attached. Fortunately, the others had better luck, so they contributed the "surf" and we contributed the "turf" to our shared feast. We also took our dinghy around the Cape to see the Columbus monument from the ocean. The magnificent cliffs dwarf the underwhelming monument.

We had hoped to leave Calabash for the wild and unique ecosystems of Conception Cay, but another front set in motion clocking winds that called for a change in plans. We decided we'd work our way north to Cat Island, after waiting out strong northwest winds in George Town. This gave us another chance to boogie to the Rake and Scrape music at Eddie's.

We also took a wonderful tour of the Exuma Foundation ( which is committed to advancing the educational development and welfare of Exumians through a variety of development programs. Young Foundation employees led our group along a nature trail, past habitats they created based on permaculture principles. The Foundation runs a sustainable farm, and we were thrilled to buy its fresh eggs, arugula, kale and honey.

The winds caused us to abandon the idea of sailing to Cat Cay, and instead we sailed southeast, back to Long Island, with the eventual aim of sailing south to the Acklins when wind permits. Along the way, we passed through deep blue Atlantic waters, and finally caught a Mahi-Mahi ,which provided delicious sushi and enough fillets for two dinners.

For now, we are completely protected from the squalls and east wind blowing at 20 knots in the unique habitat of Joe's Sound. The water inside the narrow cut is just enough for the eight boats that sought shelter here, and the two moored vessels that are permanent residents. Pat, the "Mayor of Joe's Sound" lives on a moored houseboat during the winter season. We were grateful for his expertise in guiding us and two other vessels through the entrance cut at high tide. Such is the benefit of local knowledge.

Boaters like to meet up for "sundowners," so last night all the boats in the anchorage took their dinghies to the beach for a crackling bonfire, delicious appetizers, drinks, and live guitar music. We hooked up again with our friends on Jubilee, and another boat called Lost Shaker, with whom we hope to sail South to the Acklins when weather permits, likely on Super Bowl Sunday.

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