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Category: Food

What’s on the menu?

What’s on the menu?

Stephen’s new found hobby is fishing (or as he calls it, hunt).

I am basically of no help in this process other than to keep him company and to be on shark watch duty (don’t worry mom, I haven’t seen any yet). Our friends from Valkyrie swear that most of the sharks are harmless and that if you see one, it will most likely leave you alone. Their strategy for scaring them off is to poke them, or to just yell really loud. I’m still not sure I want to get close enough to test either theory. The one time Stephen did go out without me, he did see a little reef shark, about 7 feet long. I guess I will be his good luck charm to keep them away.

So what’s on the menu?

Lobster, not the prettiest creatures but one of the most delicious in my opinion. These are some of the biggest ones we have gotten so far!

Conch, the bahamian specialty! The pretties shells, the ugliest creature. I will spare you the pictures of the cleaning process, but its a slimy mess. Google at your own risk if you are really curious 🙂 The meat itself is pretty good. It doesn’t have a very strong flavor, but is a bit tough to the bite. Bahamians enjoy these fried and in a salad, kind of like ceviche. I gave the second attempt a try.

And fish. Our favorites have been grouper, snapper and jack fish with were all delicious. The true prize was when Stephen and Mike went casting, and came back 1.5 hours later with 23 fish. Nuts, I say.

       

We aren’t the only ones that get to enjoy the feast, there are always fish around looking for scraps. For days we have had these funny fish under our boat, Remoras.

Ray eating some fish scraps

Remoras are “shark suckers”, meaning they attach themselves to sharks and eat scraps. To do so, they have a very funny looking suction cup on top of thier heads. Everytime we threw some scrap food overboard they would quickly swim out and eat it up. Their favorites were moldy bread (we had a bit of a humidy problem), and fish bones. They were not super fond of lime rind.

Remora eating scraps

I refuse to jump in the water with them around, so hopefully they abandon us soon.

 

what happens when you de-scale a fish
Friday Night Fish Fry

Friday Night Fish Fry

Every Friday night, Governor’s Harbor turns into a party with a DJ on the street, rum flowing freely (though not free), and tourists from all over the island turning up to the fish fry.

This is a little shack on the beach, that only opens on Friday nights (only) and serves fried fish, or grilled pork. We opted for the rum punch and fried fish, of course.

I will say, the night was more worthwhile for the company than for the actual food/drinks. We ran into Shannon, our hitchhiking picker-upper-friend and chatted with her a bit more. She promised (and delivered) a new cilantro plant for me since mine was on the verge of death. I will remember her every day I make ceviche and thank her for that.

We also met some fellow cruisers, in a very similar plan to ours. We had been following each other on Instagram and were able to meet up. Shari and Brian, on SV Jabawoki (I may have butchered spelling) were lots of fun and we hung out for about a week from the fish fry through 2 other anchorages. We hope to meet them again through the Exumas.

The next morning the sugary rum and fried food had the full effect on me. Hard to get away from any fried food in the Bahamas, but might have to stick with a beer next time around.

Fresh and Local food, IN THE BAHAMAS

Fresh and Local food, IN THE BAHAMAS

They said it couldn’t be done, but we found some locally grown veggies.

It is very true that it is hard to come across local produce (and we are still searching for local eggs). Most of the vegetables in stores comes imported from the US or Costa Rica. Because of this, it takes several weeks to transport the goods to the local bahamian islands. And this results in not only expensive, but also bruised and old veggies. Some things like carrots, potatoes and cabbage keep easily, but others become undesirable.

Needless to say, when I read about Island Farm in our guidebook I was going to beg, steal or borrow to find my way there.

It didn’t require any of the above, but did include some hitchhiking. The farm is about 5 miles away from the settlement we are anchored in. We walked over to the main road and I stuck my thumb out shyly, but didn’t get anyone one to stop. We walked a bit further up the road we saw a car right ahead of us with two lovely ladies (Sharon and Cici) that were trying to get our attention to give us a ride. As luck would have it, they were also headed to the farm.

 

 

We arrived in this beautiful tree filled location, with so much green, lots of picnic tables, and some little christmas lights decorating the bigger tree trunks. To the back, there was a little open shop with lots of leafy greens, vegetables, and a huge selection of homemade sauces, jams and other foods. Some days this selection also includes homemade breads.

The owners welcome you to walk around the farm, so we started going down a little path to take some pictures. Unfortunately for you, I stopped about 10 steps in, upon seeing a spider the size of my fist and quickly turned back. A was able to persuade Stephen to take a few pictures anyways.

 

After we were done, the owner, Clyde, drove us back to town and along the way told us all about how he started the farm 10 years ago and what he is doing to incentivize other locals in this and other islands to do the same.

The final score of the day was a successful run at hitchhiking (though we were mainly offered rides, and not asking for them , green beans, carrots, and delicious little bright red tomatoes. They all proved to be delicious. We quickly decided that we would stick around here enough days to make a second run.

 

Bahama Mama!

Bahama Mama!

 We finally made it to the Bahamas! After exactly one month in Miami, on December 20th just around 5am, we left Coconut Grove to jump to the Bahamas. The winds were predicted to be in the mid teens, blowing from the South/South West, ideal for the passage. The first several hours provided great sailing, but by late morning the winds had died down to below 10. While we could have continued on sail, we were being pushed north by the gulf and would have missed our target of Bimini. So, we decided to turn on the engine and motor sail the majority of the way. This allowed us to come into Alice Town, Bimini before sunset with plenty of time to navigate any shallows and clear customs. To our dismay, we still didn’t catch any fish.

We only stayed one night in Alice Town, then headed towards the Berry Island, through the Grand Bahama Bank. Winds were low, and because we used the engine so much in the passage, Stephen refused to turn it on for three days. This meant a lot of drifting, a lot of sitting, and a lot of a whole lotta nothing. But, the water was clear, the weather was warm and the boat was stocked. Can’t complain.

Just as we were arriving, we caught our first fish! We determined it was a spanish mackerel, and a very delicious one.

We arrived in Great Harbor Cay on Saturday, the time I had gone without setting foot on land. We were expecting a bit of a town setting, but unfortunately there wasn’t too much going on, so we stayed most of the time on the boat.

We spent christmas eve and christmas day swimming around, trying to fish, and catching lobster. We had a lobster feast on christmas day!

Our un-traditional, but very delicious christmas meal

Our next stop was Soldier Cay (on the way, we got the first Tuna!!!), a beautiful beach nearly to ourselves. From here, we are planning to leave tomorrow for the Spanish Wells, pending weather.

The first Tuna! Blackfin and a fighter
mighty mackarel
Tuna was a diver, and wrecked chaos on our lines. Took me 3 days to detangle