Monday, May 11, 2009

Cat Island

Kristen here - This blog post was written this past Wednesday. I have just gotten around to posting it.

We've made it to Cat Island. I must admit that I've been in kind of a funk lately. The day before Chris left I was very emotional, and I chalked it up to his leaving. I was fine while he was gone, but then, when we got to Cat Island, it all came back. I was angry, cranky and sad all at the same time, and had no idea why. And, being in paradise makes it all the more frustrating. How can someone be depressed when they're surrounded by nothing but beauty? But, one thing I'm good at is pulling up my big girl pants and moving on. Yesterday I felt much better, and today I feel like myself again. Sometimes I take on too much and get overwhelmed. I think this is what happened. My cure was to go fishing and relax with a good book for a while. Chris helped by doing school with the kids so I could relax. Much cheaper than a doctor's visit and twice as effective!

Ok, now on to what's been going on. The trip to Cat Island was long and a bit bumpy. We left Georgetown at 7:30 after listening to Chris Parker's weather at 6:30, with an anticipated arrival time of 5:30 PM. The swell was about 5-6 feet but with a huge period, and a slight wind chop. This means the waves were like long rolling hills with miniature steep mountains all over them. It makes for a very rolly motion on the boat. This motion did not agree with anyone on the boat. Chris held it together, but Casey, Kaitlin and I all got seasick. By the afternoon, my stomach was sick and growling from hunger at the same time. Seasickness sux! We ate lunch and felt much better. I just hate seeing the kids feel bad, but they are troopers and deal with seasickness quite well.

We caught one fish as we were entering the anchorage in Cat. It was a small Spanish Mackerel. I was so determined to catch a fish this trip. Every time the rod clicked, I jumped up despite my seasickness and checked the line. The problem was that we were going through a TON of seaweed. This is both good and bad. I've heard that the mahi mahi like to hang out under floating seaweed so I was sure we would catch one. The bad thing is that you are constantly pulling your line in to peel seaweed off the lure. So, other than the mackerel, all we caught was seaweed. When we contacted Side by Side, they told us that they caught multiple huge Mahi Mahi's!!!! Grrrrrrrr….. I must be either incredibly unlucky or doing something wrong. I will have to pump them for information later. The mackerel was quite yummy grilled with an orange, soy, ginger sauce.

Yesterday I did school with the kids and then decided to do some hunting. I had seen some large Jacks near a small coral head two days ago. That day I had a hook and a piece of conch, which they completely ignored. My fish book said Jacks like spinners, so yesterday Kaitlin and I went in search of the Jacks again. We couldn't find the same coral head, but we did find another one much further along the coast. We decided to jump in and check it out. There were tons of small colorful fish, but nothing big enough to eat. I even checked for lobsters, but found nothing. At least we got to see some beautiful coral! We jumped from black patch of water to black patch of water the whole ride back. Most of the patches were grass and not coral. I trolled for a while with
the spinner, and needless to say didn't catch anything.

Because my fishing was so unproductive, I decided it was time to clean the side of the boat. It seems our generator exhaust leaves a black mess on the hull. I tried cleaning it a while ago with the magic eraser with no luck. Yesterday I tried with some boat soap and still had no luck. Now it's time to pull out the major chemicals, Oxalic Acid! This stuff was amazing. You rub it on, wait five minutes and then rinse it off and reveal a shiny white hull. No arm breaking scrubbing! It even removed rust stains.

After that, we all went into town for some ice cream. The market had pints of ice cream for $3! Chris and the kids had gone in on Tuesday, and I went in Wed morning to run, but we hadn't been in together yet. Well, the supply boat must have come, because the ice cream selection
was huge! Well, ok they had gumball sherbet things now on top of the pints. Let me tell you though, when you don't get cold things too often, those sherbets are like heaven. After the market/gas station, we walked to the restaurant section of town. This is a series of five shacks along the beach. When Chris was in town, one of the shacks gave him a sample of coconut cookies and coconut pie. We had to visit them again to buy some more. So that's their trick, get you hooked with the sample and then you have to buy more!!!! There was raisin bread too, so we got two loaves.

The next shack had a picnic table out front and some people were playing backgammon and dominoes. A gentleman stopped us and started chatting. He was a native of Cat Island, and told us tons about the Islands history. He was also part of a Rake and Scrape band. I mentioned that I was dying to hear some Rake and Scrape, and had missed it when we were in Georgetown. So, he said that they were going to be playing today for his family, and cruisers were part of his family. He told us that he has been all over the US playing Rake and Scrape. He's even played with Sammy Davis. I can't wait to hear him tonight!

Last night I made what I think was the last of our ribs. They were absolutely delicious. When we were done it was dark, and I was up top reading when Casey threw some scraps overboard. I heard a funny splash and decided to get the head lamp and check it out. When I shined the
light in the water, I could see 3 or 4 good sized sharks nibbling at our leftovers. They were about two feet long. They were grey, and it looked like their gills were on top of their heads. I got out my book to identify them, but it was just too dark to see anything. They were definitely not nurse sharks though!

This morning we had French toast made with the Cat Island raisin bread, and then did school. After school we watched Side by Side and their friends Myokota arrive at the anchorage. Everyone is quite excited to have playmates again!

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