Life in the Berry Islands

Doing my share of the davit repair, refilling the hydraulic fluid. Notice the gap in which I must shimmy and no wires or tubing can be disturbed.

Yeah, the new part for the davit worked!!!! There were some hoops to go through facing paying $1600 for import duty+ $850 for VAT; Scott convinced Customs that the boat was unusable without the davit (getting to shore for provisions, etc) and the import duty was removed saving $1600. Boat parts have no duty when they are needed to make it go. Then the VAT was only $850! Bob and Scott together spend 6 hrs. installing it, tried it out, and learned that it was set for a starboard mounting davit. After more calls to the manufacturer they learned that they needed to lift it 2″ and rotate the inner rotor 180 degrees. Bob and Scott knew that it was a ridiculous plan as the mounting pins were not locked in place and would fall out causing damage. To avoid that, they instead removed the rotor, reconnected the hydraulic lines and did the rotor rotation, then disconnected the lines, re-installed then reconnected lines. Upon completion, Scott called the manufacturer and they acknowledged that they had sent a part for a davit that sits on the starboard side – not the port side! Ay, ay, ay! They never asked us which side and we didn’t know that it mattered. Lesson learned.

After all was said and done we were ready to motor on we checked weather and saw 1.5 weeks of high winds forecasted. Where did we want to be during a long blow? Anchored in gorgeous Exumas, unable to get off the boat, worrying about the hold of anchor and mooring ball? Or, in the marina walking the beach, riding bikes, and socializizing every day? Easy-peasy…Great Harbour Cay Marina won!

The day before the big winds we had a gorgeous day just meant for taking a cruise to empty the holding tank, make water and set out our 2 fishing lines. The Wahoo hit within ten minutes. I thought it was a tiny fish because it didn’t fight like our previous Mahi Mahi. We were shocked to see a nice sized Wahoo. A little later came a small but chubby but had several servings of meat. Fishing creates a mixed bag of feelings for me. I get a thrill and my heart races once it is on the hook. It is a true race to get the fish into the boat prior to a shark making an easy meal of him. I am in awe of the beauty and strength of the fish and saddened while I spray alcohol into his gills to ease and quicken his demise. Now if I could just improve my fish cooking skills!

One calm morning we managed a dinghy excursion which included snorkeling and lobster tickling. Well, Scott and Bob tried the lobster tickling, not me! They did find one but didn’t catch it they also saw a young Lion fish, an invasive species which, although delicious, is a threat to the marine ecosystem here and in the USA. Click to see the Lionfish, native to the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Yummy Snapper and plaintains.

For our last day at GHCM we rode our bikes into town for a farewell meal with Bob and Denise and Hammerheads restaurant. The mail boat did not deliver groceries that week so the restaurant was out of gas for the grill and several dishes. I normally would order a grilled fish but must confess the crunchy fried Snapper was outstanding. Just as a child, I loved the crunchy fins and was sorely disappointed that the crunchy tail was missing! I first tried plantains in Bogota when I was 20 but had not seen them again until moving to Florida.

I was so sad to leave the homey atmosphere of Great Harbour Cay and our dear friends, Bob and Denise. However, I knew that beautiful waters and fun adventures were awaiting. We left on a clear and calm day. This was evidenced when we dropped anchor in West Bay in water so clear we could count the blades of grass and view the relaxed anchor chain. A lovely day was capped off with leftovers from Denise’s apple crisp from the previous night and a lovely sunset over Goulding Cay.

Next up…The Exumas!

My favorite part of beach on the east side of Great Harbour Cay at low tide.

One thought on “Life in the Berry Islands

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  1. Fish killers – now that’s something I thought I would never hear about!! Good on you guys. Hope the season is stacking up to be a good one. Not much time left before you have to head north I guess. How far north will you go this season – highly recommend Nova Scotia – short season but quiet if the border is open.

    Happy cruising.


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