The half dozen

We went from two boats in the Ragged Islands to a half dozen and were able to meet up with a few familiar and new (to us), intrepid cruisers.  January was a windy month so we still had to spend a bit of time hiding from the blow, but we were able to hit the beaches for walks, cocktails or a potluck in-between fronts.

A local fisherman Van would be out manning his traps once the winds let up.  He always offered a lobster, conch or fish to us and was eager to accept a cold beer in return.  Since there is still no water on Ragged Island (& the well water makes your skin itch),  the unusual winter rain water has been helping a great deal.  His attitude is that they have plenty… to eat… to catch… to be happy.

I’d pop underwater whenever possible and was thrilled one day to watch a huge loggerhead turtle swim by.  

Juvenile Nassau grouper


True tulip snail depositing eggs


Loggerhead turtle

He/she is the one who visits the boats in the anchorage each evening.  One evening the turtle and a mutton snapper were picking from our lobster scraps.

The lobstering has been great this year ~ curry lobster salad is our typical lunch.  Mark has caught a few 6 pounders and we don’t waste a bit of the catch.  He cooks the heads and there is a ton of meat for sandwiches from just the head, antenna and legs.  

He recently got a nice snapper for dinner and I have started making stock from the fish heads (also a ton of meat there)… to fully appreciate everything the water is offering us.  This makes for some amazing chowders.

A weather window arrived for us to sail north to prepare for visitors in a week.  The scenery of this sail approaching the Exuma banks is breathtaking.  Timed for high tide, we squeaked through the Hog Cay cut seeing a low depth of 5.3 feet… wondering if things are silting in… wouldn’t want to be there in low tide.

After six weeks in the Raggeds, we were left with a few limes, carrots and potatoes, but were far from starving and just getting creative in the galley.  Now, we are back in the landscape of spars and mast-lit nights.  I must say that I was happy to see a tomato again!

© M&M 2019