Instalment 13 - February 21, 2001 - Clarencetown , (Long Island)
"The Flying Fish Marina"©
- Jim Laverdiere (Formally Scurvy Dog #6)
- Janette (she who is to be obeyed)
to read past instalments, click here to go:
to the Borean log list
(Occasionally, editorial comments from Don of S/V Destiny Calls, host of this web site and southern waters frequenter, will appear in green italic)
Oh what a day . I finally got to live out one of my fantasies. One that I had dreamed of for a long time. Now get your mind out of the gutter, it isnt one of those. This one includes animals, and I wish you were all here to experience it with us. Hang on Im getting there. Cest un histoire a faire ch..r Normand at Martin. Meredith (she studied Marine biology) you of all people would dearly have loved to have been here, and I wish my eldest grandson Spencer could have been there up on the bow with us. I wish each and everyone of you could have been here.
Janette and I left Calabash Bay early in the morning on February 15th. As we rounded Cape Santa Maria with our headsail unfurled I noticed a dorsal fin break the water on my starboard side. I got up to investigate and it was a dolphin (porpoise). As I approached the bow I called out to Janette to come forward. Lo and behold there must have been 7 or 8 dolphins swimming on either side of the bow. Big ones, medium ones and even a baby dolphin hugging close to its mother. They played with us, or I should say the bow of the boat. They twisted, turned, weaved in an out. They would go of to the sides only to come back gingerly accelerating to cross from port to starboard. Occasionally one would turn on its back just to tease us ....it seemed to be saying come on cant you go any faster.
Janette and I just stood there for the longest while just transfixed by this sight. The boat slightly heeled, some wind in the sail , with these nimble creatures at our toes . Their backs would would break the surface of the water as the bow of the boat crested a wave, imitating our movement through the water. they were there along side us for a full 20 minutes giving us a spectacle that one can only see when they are a sea. Unfortunately by the time I got my digital camera out they were gone...but I do have some video and slides of the event and I will try and get something posted upon our return.
We are now in Clarencetown , (Long Island) by way of Conception Island and Rum Cay. Conception or Concepcion as it is known by sailors is a land park. Uninhabitated, this tiny Island is thought to have been the second landfall by Columbus after San Salvador which is just to the east. It has a beautiful long beach and those clear Bahamian waters. One can fish here but may not pick up any shells or disturb the Island in any way. Someone has put up some garbage cans so that any visitors may pick up flotsam that tends to accumulate on the windward side of the island. Visitors however are not allowed to leave there garbage here....we must bag it and wait till our next opportunity.
In the inland creeks here you can see many sea turttles that live and play in the warm shallow waters. Onto Rum Cay we motor sailed once again to settle at anchor near the gouvernment dock. Bruce aboard Blue Ryder caught a 30 lb Mahi Mahi and shared it amongst the boats at anchor. It was very fresh and very tasty.
Our cruise to Clarencetown was the first time we have ever travelled without a puff of wind. The water was like a mirror,flat and calm. Also eerie.
Clarencetowns claim to fame are its two twin spired churches. Both built by the same man.Jerome Hawes built St-Pauls Church as an Anglican missionary and St-Peters church as a catholic priest, after his conversion. Both imposing monuments that can be seen far out at sea.
But what Struck Janette and I about Clarencetown ,is that it isnt like any of the other communities we have come across. Here there seems to be a greater civic pride. It is a very neat and tidy town, even the grass on the side of the road was mowed, the houses are all very clean with well tended gardens and hedges,and these really are the frendliest and nicest people in the Bahamas. The locals are ready to make phone calls on your behalf, tell you who you need for whatever, lend you their car to explore the island, a place I could spend some time in....as we are waiting on weather. It got a little nasty the other night and we decided to spend some time at the Marina. The Flying Fish Marina in Clarencetown is the cleanest and most complete marina that Janette and I have stayed at. It compares with any well known marina in the 1000 Island area. Janette and I luxuriated in the shower as we had unlimited hot water, and under pressure too. Something we had not had since leaving Florida. They also boast a laundry room where as all the water here is softened cistern water (rainwater)....we may just never leave here
When I check-out the pictures that Jim emailed to me, two struck a nerve. One, of Bruce Van Sant and Jim reminded me of Joni and my bumping into Bruce and his lovely wife in the Caicos away back in 1998. We loved and lived by Bruces book "the Gentleman's Guide to Passages South". It is the undisputed bible for all cruisers pressing south through the Bahamas to the Caribbean along the infamous Thorny Path.
The other was of this wreck off Conception. Janette took the picture labled "wreck at Conception" February 2001.
The St Annia Express went onto the rocks during a nasty norther Christmas 1997, and was the talk of the Islands that winter. All the crew got ashore safely, but had to survive on deserted Conception island for days until being rescued. In early February 1998 when Destiny Calls visited the island, Joni took a picture of me exploring the nearly intact wreck. There were still tools, lights, personal belonging aboard since it had been too rough for boats to visit Conception and lighten what ever was left of the boat. At least until we got there.
I still have a few trinkettes from the St Annia Express on Destiny Calls
It seems almost sad that now, the St Annia Express is barely recognizable.
The sea is totally unforgiving.
To the previous instalment.
To the next installment
To read past instalments, click here to go:
to the Borean log list