March 7-March 16
Travis arrived on Friday, March 7 along with a front. Mark and I were going to pick him up in our dinghy together, but with the front we decided Mark would get him by himself. Then we changed our minds again and decided on the water taxi because the water was just too rough. We left our boat at 4:30 pm on the water taxi. We picked up some ladies from another boat that were headed to Nassau on the return flight of Travis' plane. The water taxi guy suggested that the taxi that picked up the ladies to take them to the airport pick up Travis and return with him. We thought that was a good plan. So the taxi driver went to the airport with only Travis' name to be able to identify him. Mark and I were worried because we had told Travis to meet us elsewhere. We need not have worried as Rowland, the taxi driver, returned with him about 7:30 pm. Travis was a little bit stunned when Rowland approached him and told him we had hired him to pick him up and take him to the water taxi.
On Saturday we hung out and showed Travis a few of the sites near the boat. We took him to the Exuma Sound side of Stocking Island where we shelled, took pictures, and walked in the water along the beach. We also walked up to the monument on Stocking Island. Then we went to Chat & Chill to meet a couple we had arranged to go to Conception Island with. Then Mark took Travis to Georgetown to get fuel for the dinghy and then we went to Scandia for him to meet Bev and Arne. We had a really full day.
Sunday we were going to sail to Conception but the wind turned and ended up on our nose so we motored the whole way. We had our fishing lines in the water but only caught a barracuda. When we got to Conception, we put the dinghy in the water and went to the beaches. Both sides of Conception had great beaches. We climbed the rocks and hiked. On Monday morning we went into the lagoons of Conception. They had their own beauty. The water was an emerald green due to all of the vegetation. We saw sea turtles, stingrays, a nurse shark, and several fish in the mangrove roots. We didn't snorkel as planned because the front had caused the water to be murky and we could not see the bottom. Needless to say, we were a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of swimming. We went to another secluded beach on the way back from the lagoon. It was on the northwest side of the island and secluded from the rest of the island. It was beautiful. We stopped by Pura Vida, a catamaran we had met when we first arrive in Georgetown, and exchanged fishing tips. Then we met on Painkiller with Beth and Scott and another couple from Safina, who went to the lagoon with us. We all decided that we would not stay through Wednesday as planned due to more weather coming and because the anchorage was very uncomfortable due to the surge.
We left Conception on Tuesday morning at 7:30. We fished all of the way back and this time we were lucky. First we caught a spearfish. It hit one line and didn't like it and went for the lighter weight line. The light line snapped. The fish danced in the air three times. That's how we knew it was a spearfish. It got the hooks caught in his mouth and didn't like them. It was a beautiful fish. We at first thought it was a sailfish, but were mistaken. He actually took the bait on both lines. We re-rigged the lines and a short while later we heard the reel sing again. Travis reeled in a beautiful mahi-mahi. It weighed about 25-35 pounds. That was the highlight of our trip to Conception. Not too far from the cut back into Georgetown, Painkiller radioed that they also had caught a mahi-mahi and they would be delayed getting back. It was a great day for both of us.
We anchored at Kidd Cove on Tuesday when we returned, so we would be closer to town as another front was expected Thursday night just in time for Travis to leave. We crossed the harbor on Wednesday to take Travis to Chat & Chill for their wonderful ribs, but they were having trouble with their staff and computers so we went out to the beach and petted the stingrays then left and went to Exuma Yacht Club for burgers instead. While in Gerogetown, Travis shopped for souvenirs for his friends that were watching his dog.
Travis decided he wanted to go back into town again on Thursday to shop for himself. We did that and then came back to rest and relax on the boat. We saw dolphins in the water and Travis jumped in to swim with them and take pictures. What a great way to top off the week by swimming with the dolphins! Thursday evening was Rake and Scrape at Peace & Plenty Resort. We decided we would go since we had not been to one before. It is a local music thing. Anyway we went for dinner and stayed a while for the music, but since the wind and weather had blown in the conditions were lousy and we were not impressed so we left. We ended the evening playing Mexican Train as we had almost every night Travis was here. He beat Mark and I every game. He was really excited as he said he has never won against us.
On Friday, Mark took Travis in at 5:40 am to catch his taxi to the airport. The water was rough and he was able to get Travis in without getting anything wet. On the return trip Mark got soaked. Usually I am the one getting wet as I sit in front of him acting as a shield from the water, but since I wasn't there to shield him he got wet. It wasn't funny to Mark, but it was to me. Just after the sun came up we moved across the harbor to the monument anchorage. It is much calmer there.
We attended a free-diving talk on Saturday and ran into town for a few last minute grocery items before leaving Georgetown.
Today, Sunday, March 16, we left Scandia in Georgetown. Their daughter was still visiting and wouldn't be leaving for another week. We decided we wanted to head north to visit Eleuthra and the Abacos before heading home. We left with friends on Painkiller and Charisma. We are hoping the weather will settle down some so we can take our time at each place we visit.