Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 2, 2016 snorkeling at Mama Rhoda Rock, Berries

It was late morning when we took off today to snorkel.  There was an island close by called Mama Rhoda Rock.  It is known for it’s 230 ft wall for diving.  And there is a reef in front of it for snorkeling.  So we went over to check it out.  The reef was right at the surface, so that is impossible to snorkel over.  We moved over to the rock itself and could see fish.  We sat for a little while to see if there was a current moving the dinghy.  There wasn’t much, but we chose to start on the east end and drift with the dinghy to the west along it’s southern shore.  I was ready to jump in before Dave, but I sat there a few minutes.  For the first time, I had a strange feeling that a barracuda or a shark was going to be there the instant I jumped in the water, and I shared this feeling with Dave.  He told me to take a spear with me, even if I didn’t want to fish.  We also talked through “spear etiquette.  If we are near each other, we should keep them pointed down, like a gun, especially after Dave sharpened the tips today.   Feeling better, I jumped in with a spear in hand.

There was a nice coral growth along the rocks.  I hung onto the dinghy and my spear and enjoyed the view while Dave swam near the boat fishing.  Since we have fish in the freezer, he was looking mainly for grouper.  We finally saw one.  He dove to take a shot and it disappeared under a rock.  Dave was searching for it about the time I SAW A SHARK.  I tried to get Dave’s attention to let him know.  Then I was kind of watching Dave to see if we should continue or get out of the water.  All of a sudden he yells “GET IN THE BOAT!”  I didn’t need to ask any questions, just got in asap.  When he got in the dinghy, he said the shark had come towards him, so he thought we should call it quits.

We ended up taking our dinghy to another nearby island, South Stirrup Cay.  It was really shallow so we headed back towards Chub Cay.  We motored between Chub Cay and Crab Cay until it got too shallow again.  On the way back to our boat, we motored into the marina to check it out.  The slips here are about $4.00/ foot.  We think $2 is high.  It was very nice and there were several large fishing boats docked there.  It wasn’t very full, but we saw people sitting leisurely on their boat as crew were taking care of the boat.  And we saw guys taking photos of each other on the dock, like they were on the fishing trip of a lifetime.  There are condos here, and some large vacation homes that look like they would sleep 10-20 people.  The airport is private.  If you want to check into customs here by boat, you have to get a slip at the marian or pay $100 to tie up at the marina and customs will come to your boat from the airport.  Interesting to see, but not our kind of place.  Since it is so close to deep water, it is really popular with sport fishermen. 

Back at the boat, I made a couple different dishes that I have been wanting to try.  We have had a Zataran’s mix for crab cakes on board for a long time.  We chopped conch and made conch cakes instead of crab cakes.  The mix made 12, so I cooked 6 and saved 6 for another day.  I also make my own sauce.  Cracky’s wife, Tania, made a sauce for her conch fritters with mayo, ketchup and mustard.  So that’s what I did, not knowing the proportions.  I would say 3 parts mayo, 2 parts ketchup, 1 part mustard and hot sauce to taste.  It was great.  It reminded us of remoulade sauce or what the Bahamians call Calypso sauce. 

Then I made the Bahamian macaroni and cheese.  They bake their mac and cheese with egg, butter, cheese, and evaporated milk.  Then they cut it and and serve it like a piece of cake or lasagna.  It turned out really good.  We had it for dinner along with some of our wahoo from the freezer.  (The wahoo we caught on the charter fishing boat in the Abacos last February).

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