May 14th We departed Atwood Harbour at 7.45am for the 42 mile run to French Wells. Conditions were very good with calm seas and barely any wind. We sat up on the fly bridge for most of the way.
The only excitement was that Brad caught his first Mahi Mahi! It was a very nice size and he filleted it. We got enough for dinner and 3 bags for the freezer.
It seemed to take ages to get around the light house on Bird Rock. Could have been something to do with Robbie going wide to try and go over a sea mountain to catch a fish. No joy there.
We tried to go into the Acklins Bight which is behind the protection of the islands, Crooked Island, Goat Cay etc but as we arrived late in the afternoon and the sun was hidden behind clouds. There were dark storm clouds brewing and the wind was picking up. We very slowly ticked in but the depth got shallower and shallower and finally we decided to turn around and drop anchor in 3.2m of water. Theres half a metre of tide so it got down to around 2.7m deep. It was actually quite a nice anchorage and once the storms passed it was very flat and calm. It was a wonderful light show with the thunder and lighting.
May 15th Robbie and I woke up early and jumped into the duck with the drone and headed onto the bottom of Crooked Island. I went for a walk to the ocean side of the island, while Robbie set up the drone. I was very surprised to hear the drone over my head and it whizzed off over the water to Southern Star. The first over water attempt! Robbie’s confidence is growing.
He has been busy constructing a protective shield to put around the iPad as it was so hard to see with the sun. He had a successful session and we headed back to Southern Star to have some breakfast and start cleaning the hull.
It was great having another 2 sets of hands, so Brad, Kristie and Robbie all had scuba gear on and did the bottom and I did the waterline down as far as I could reach down the hull. We spent a few hours and Robbie also checked all the anodes which were fine.
As we came up we saw a water spout in the storm clouds in the distance. We have only seen this once or twice before.Kristie made mahi mahi wraps with salad with the leftovers from last night’s dinner, they were scrumptious!
We then went for a big explore in the duck into the lagoon area, we went for miles up the inside of the island, and it felt like it was never going to end. Eventually we found a nice beach area and pulled up for a walk and a swim. The water was so warm it was like a bath. No wonder there is a thunder and lightning show every night with the water this warm.
We headed back to Southern Star and had a swim in the water, which was so clear we could see we were actually sitting over our anchor.
We decided to go for an explore up the creek we had seen this morning on crooked island. It was very picturesque and the water was very clear. The mangroves were thick and it felt like Crocodile country but thankfully it wasn’t. We went as far as we could get in the duck before the mangroves closed up.
We went around to the ocean side and Brad and I walked on the beach, there were some uprooted trees from the last hurricane. The sand was so soft and clean. The whole afternoon there has been dark storm clouds hanging over the horizon.
Back to Southern Star where Kristie and I cooked roast chicken with homemade stuffing and roast vegetables. (Kristie has been asking for this since she came aboard it was her favourite birthday dinner as a child) We outdid ourselves and made a Berry crumble as well.
Dinner was superb and then we watched Ladder 49.
May 16th Well this morning was the first morning that Brad and Kristie were up before us! We departed just after 7am for the 40 mile journey to Clarence Town. Not too much later we got an email from Jennifer saying come to Conception Island tomorrow, the diving is the best in the Bahamas.
At that point Robbie, Brad and Kristie were all bringing in the first Marlin of the day! It was Brads first ever Marlin so it was all very exciting! The boys think it was around 80 kilo’s and it gave some impressive jumps while Brad was reeling it in.
We had a quick conflab and all decided to change course and head straight for Conception Island, a run of over 70 nautical miles, which means we will be there after dark most likely but we have our good friends on Starlet to help guide us in.
Not long after Robbie was looking at the AIS and there almost parallel with us on the other side of the island, was L’Adagio! (Laust on his Nordhavn 76 with Rick and guest Hans from Denmark, unfortunately Monika is home in Denmark) Robbie called them on the radio and had a big chat. He told them about our plans, and managed to convince them to join us.
We are making good speed with almost one knot of current with us which was giving us 8.3 knots of speed at 100rpm.
It wasn’t too long and the rods went off again, and it was another Marlin! We wanted Kristie to take it on but conditions had got a bit choppy and it had taken that much line on, that Robbie turned the boat around and chased it as we didn’t want to take too long to get it in. Kristie declined the opportunity to reel him in and Brad grudgingly accepted the challenge!!
This one didn’t take so long as it was hooked on the bigger rod and reel better suited to Marlin. They just pulled him up on the swim platform for a quick snapshot and released him. They are such beautiful creatures it is a shame to catch them really. Both were striped Marlin. This one was around 60 kilogram.
There will be a lot to celebrate tonight! Robbie just spoke to Laust and they also hooked a Marlin today and 2 Mahi Mahi, so with our catches today and the reunion of Starlet, L’Adagio and Southern Star we will be enjoying the beautiful Bahamas, the great company and what more could you want?