Thursday, May 14, 2009

Onto Eleuthera

Kristen here - Today is Tuesday 5/14. Lets see, the last time I posted we were in Little San Salvador. All of the boats we were with were moving to Rock Sound in Eleuthera. We were in need of diesel, gas, water, showers and laundry so we decided to spend the evening at a marina just south of Rock Sound. We were bummed to miss even one afternoon with all of our wonderful new friends, but've seen the picture of my shorts.

It's funny, we used to look forward to staying in marinas. Being securely tied to a dock with power and water does have its advantages, but it doesn't rank as high as it used to. Last night we were pinned against a west wall by an easterly wind. It took all of my might to push the boat off the wall to place bumpers. Then during the night the bumpers popped out and we had to get up, push the boat away from the wall and reposition them. This happened about three times during the night. One of the reasons we stayed there was to have a night without rocking, and what did we get? A night bumping against a wall. I think we'll stick to the anchoring!

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that I've slowly been getting sick. It started about 4 days ago with a bit of a sore throat at night and when I woke up. I felt fine during the day, so I chose to ignore it. When we got to Little San Salvador I realized that it wasn't going away. I probably should have taken it easy, but there was no way I was going to miss out on all of the cruise ship fun. Then the morning we went to leave Little San Salvador it came to full blow. My throat was so swollen that when I strained to lift the anchor, I had trouble breathing. Now let me just say that I don't handle being sick well. I pride myself on being a strong person, and anything that weakens me is extremely frustrating. So when I couldn't get the anchor pin in place I just broke down crying. My balance was off, so I was scared to handle putting the sails up withe the boat rocking. I was completely useless and frustrated. Eventually Chris told me to go below because he needed to concentrate to get the boat sailing. I was completely insulted to be treated that way. I'm not a child! But he was right. I was trying to do stuff that I shouldn't and was creating more of a danger that helping.

During our sail I started to feel a bit better, but I was completely freaked out about needing medical attention. What if this was strep throat? It felt like it was spreading to my ears. How am I going to get to a doctor? Angie from Side by Side offered up Mark's services, but I didn't want to impose. By the evening I was feeling somewhat better, but the anticipation of the next morning was killing me. What if it was worse? I don't want to stop moving and lose our friends.

So, I called my sister in law who is a doctor and asked her advice. She said most sore throats do not require antibiotics. Even strep throat will be ok if you just let it run its course. I was kind of sad to hear that because I wanted a quick fix. I wanted the satisfaction that came along with taking a medication and knowing it would work in a fixed amount of time. But I completely value her opinion and took her advice. I did nothing. This morning I woke up and felt much better. By mid morning I was back at 90%. Thanks Aunt Anneke!

It is kind of scary when you get sick or hurt. Out here there are clinics on some of the islands, but not all of them. If something happens, you have to deal with it yourself. I am so used to running to a doctor at the first sign of any problem. I was never a hypochondriac, I just hate being weakened so I tried to avoid it as much as possible. Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I can't complain though. Alley from MiaCota split her chin open on a slide when we were at Little San Salvador. She was so brave! As we all walked back to our dingys at the end of the day, she was sitting on the beach crying. She said to me, "I'm not crying because my chin hurts, I'm crying because I can't go swimming for a week". Apparently she was informed that you can't swim after getting stitches. She went back to Side by Side where Mark stitched her chin closed. He did a wonderfull job and we're lucky to have him traveling with us!

This morning we had to make a decision on where to go. Side by Side was leaving Rock Sound to go to Governors Harbor, still in Eleuthera. All of the other boats were going to stay in Rock Sound. Asilare, a new boat was going to meet Side by Side in Governors Harbor and they have an 11 year old boy on board. The wind was supposed to be blowing about 15 - 20 knots and could go a bit higher. We considered staying at the marina, there was an educational center there to explore, but we didn't want to lose our friends.

We decided to leave and see what the seas were like. If the going was ok, we would go further north to stick with Side by Side. If it was too rough, we could stop at the nearby Rock Sound and stay with friends there. Seeing as the winds were still pushing us against the wall, we asked a powerboat to pull our bow out for us. It worked out fairly well. We tied our new anchor snubber to the bow and midship cleats and he pulled both points at the same time. As he tugged, our rear started to move toward the wall, but I was able to push it off and jump onto the boat just in time. He was our savior for the morning. We never would have been able to get off that wall without his help.

Once outside the marina, the wind was quite heavy, but the seas were pretty light. Chris wanted to put up a double reefed main and a single reefed jenny. I suggested two double reefs and then see how that worked. He thankfully defers to my decisions now, and we did the two double reefs. Thank goodness we did! Even with the reefs, the boat hit 7.5 knots of speed! It wasn't uncomfortable at all though, so we decided to head to Governors harbor. The guidebook said there was a lot to do there, and seeing as it's going to be very windy for a few days, we want to be somewhere with mucho entertainment.

OMG!!!! I almost forgot to talk about the Mahi!!!!!!!!!! Ok, where to start? I believe I mentioned how jealous I was of Side by Side and their 8 Mahi Mahi. Here I couldn't catch anything and they catch 8 of the best fish around. So on the way to Eluthera, on the day I was feeling quite yucky, we didn't put out any lines. I just wasn't up to it. Then one of the boats ahead of us announces that they have just pulled a huge bull Mahi Mahi on board. That it, I mustered up enough energy to throw our hand line overboard. Chris let out the pole line. I sat in the cockpit half asleep with the handline in my palm. If anything struck I was going to feel it. Usually we just let the line go and tug it once in a while to see if it feels heavier. Not this time. I wanted to catch those fish! It wasn't long before I felt a big tug. I tugged back to set the hook and didn't feel anything. Then the tug came again and I had him! I immediately sprang to life and started pulling the line in. The fish was swimming all over the place, and jumped. There it was, green, blue and yellow. There's no mistaking what was on the end of my line. This was it...the moment I had been waiting for. My first Mahi Mahi.

Now it's 20 feet behind our boat. It's swimming back and forth. It goes under the dinghy and I take the line behind the railing to the other side of the boat. Then it swims back under the dinghy and I run back to the original side of the boat. Now the line is terribly tangled in our railing. Finally I get it to the side of the boat, gaff it and pull it on board. It's huge!! I'm almost crying. We've just landed a 3 1/2 foot Mahi Mahi. I get out my professional fish cleaning station (a cooler top found while beach combing) and get right to work. This thing is flopping all over the place and I'm wrestling with it and my fillet knife. As I'm slicing the head and fillets off, the body continues to try to throw itself back overboard. Even after the head has been thrown back to the fishes, I can still feel muscles twitch.

Then as I'm cutting, Chris is trying to pull our lines in. Our hand line has become tangled in the pole line. While Chris is trying to untangle them he gets a hit on the hand line. "Honey!" he yells. There is Mahi #2 jumping just 30 feet behind the boat. "Should we keep it?" he asks. "You betcha!" I yelled back. By now my first fish is fully dead, so I leave it to help with the second. It was another biggie! We pulled it up to the side of the boat, and just as I was to gaff it, it jumped off the hook. Oh well, no great loss. I still have the first one.

I went back to my first fish and finished up the cleaning process. Kaitlin was fascinated by the fish guts. She wanted to see the heart, so I showed her what I think was the heart. It was quite a bit larger than I thought it would be. I showed her a couple other parts, and we'll call that science for the day! Who needs to disect a worm, my kids can disect a fish!

The Mahi Mahi is truely a beautiful fish and I was honored to have finally caught one. I put the meat in the freezer and will not let it go to waste.

Ok, now back to current info. The sail to Governors Harbor was a great experience. the winds were high, and the waves started to grow as well. We had to be on our toes. Many of our sails lately have been very relaxing, so this was a good day for sharpening our skills. Pelican held up quite well, as did her passengers. We didn't bother running any fishing lines today because of the heavy winds. It would have been dangerous to deal with fishing and heavy winds at the same time.

We arrived at Governors Harbor later this afternoon, and pulled up next to our friends to drop anchor. Guidebooks said the holding was poor in this area, and they were right. Our first attempt didn't hold. Our second attempt held, but we realized that we were too close to a neighboring boat. The third attempt held, but when we went below we found that we were too far away from shore to get internet. Onto anchor attempt number four. I drove the boat around while Chris checked for internet from below. When we found our spot, we dropped the anchor for the fourth time. Luckily we held. Phew!

Everyone else had been here for a while (they're all on catamarans and sail a bit faster than we do), so they were heading into town. Our kids went with them while Chris and I stayed on the boat. I invited everyone over for a Mahi Mahi dinner. We had plenty to go around! Mia Cota volunteered to have the kids on their boat and the adults could eat on Pelican. So while everyone was in town, I cleaned our boat, made chocolate cake, salad and fish. We had an excellent evening.

Tomorrow there is supposed to be a kids fair fundraiser thing in town, so I can't wait to check that out. Oh yeah, and also ICE CREAM and waffle cones!!!!!!!!! YUM!!!

No comments: