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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Starting North - Raccoon Cay

We had a marvelous stay at Hog Cay. We attended Jim's macro photography class - and I won an award, yay! Jim even printed out the picture I took with his camera. I cannot wait until we get decent internet to share pictures - hopefully at Ida's in Black Point.

We went to town and visited with Maxine before we went to school to ask the principal if he wanted help. It is an all age school with twelve students and two teachers, if the principal teaches. He was more than willing to have us help. Myron took the 11th and 12th graders as they needed help in trigonometry. I took two boys and two girls, ranging in age from 11 to 14. I could see that the gal from Cookie Monster had done a great job with geometry, so I focused on business math. We taught before lunch, took a lunch break, and then taught to the end of school. Then we visited with Maxine again. On our way out, a man introduced himself to us as being from the Abacos as crew on the fishing boat 'Leopard.' They came down around Feb 14 and had been stuck down here due to the strong easterly winds. Myron tried to tell him about our route, which their draft would allow, but he did not seem interested. It was fascinating that he grew up as a neighbor and school mate of our friend Jan at Man-O-War. You never know who you will bump into around the islands.

At Hog Cay, we had our first boarding by the Royal Bahamian Defense Force. There were about seven guys in the fast boat, the larger boat was anchored several miles to the west. Three guys came on board. The oldest, who carried an Uzi, did most of the talking and questioning, while one fellow took down all our vessel and personal information, and the third fellow seemed to be in training. They were the nicest group of guys and, while they had to do their official thing, they repeatedly told us that they were glad we come to visit their country. Later on in the day we met them up at the 'yacht club,' a shaded eating and seating area at Hog Cay that the cruisers and Edward (Maxine's husband) have maintained over the years. I brought plantain bread (like banana bread) and they munched some down. They had complained about their previous cook, then said their current cook is better, but when they raved over my plantain bread, I figured they were not getting very good food - and I also told them they could not shanghai me for a chef!

Myron gave a fishing seminar, helped re-rig some lures and taught how to make different fishing knots. We even went through our gaffing process and how we secure the fish on board. The cruisers that attended paid close attention and asked many questions. We showed them pictures of some of the fish we have caught. We reminded them that we often go out of our way to find fish, and also likely places where fish might be found. They were so grateful. We hope everyone is rewarded with catching more and bigger fish!

We met lots of new folks from vessels such as Dyad, C language, Cat Tails, Pay Dirt, Marcana, Charka, and so many more. Elsa and Jaap on Sark had a good time, but they are already back in Long Island. We hope to see them somewhere up-island before they leave for Bermuda. We found conch, but were not successful in catching grouper. Maxine said they were not biting for her either. The tradewinds have been relentless, limiting our dinghy exploring and ability to go to town to teach school, but the protection from these winds is perfect in these anchorages. And the wind direction is also perfect for us to head to our next destination.

Starting north is a difficult reminder that our stay in the Bahamas is coming to an end. Today's trip to Raccoon was easy enough. We tried again from the dinghy for grouper, no joy. Then we found a trail and took a hike to the other side. We took the machete and had to use it a couple of times. I thought there would be sandy beaches on the other side, but it is all seriously rocky shore. Good exercise anyway, but if you take that hike, be careful. The last part is a bit hazardous with deep pits in the limestone right off the trail.

I need to figure out what to make for lunch. We ran out of fish a couple of days ago. No worries, we have plenty of food. Maybe we will snag some grouper this evening.

Love to all,

{GMST}22°21.29'N|075°48.82'W|3/8/2015|3:13 PM{GEND}

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