Staniel Cay 2

Ambler Isle
V and S
Thu 20 Jan 2011 16:33
We launched the dinghy and drove to try out the new restaurant at Staniel Cay, the Taste and Sea Café.  It is located right on the water by the settlement park.  Typical Bahamian "poor business" thinking they had declared Sunday, "Beef Day."  The offerings for dinner were meatloaf with potatoes, steak with potatoes, or hamburger with fries.  What if I didn't eat red meat?  Or potatoes?  Oh well, but we are beef eaters, and the hamburger sounded good.  While we waited for our meal we watched local kids play on the beach.  Seven black Bahamian children, and one very small white kid.  They tolerated both his youth and color very well.  After our dinner, we took a walk, marveling that we'd become so much better at walking around.  Places that seemed too far to walk just a few years ago were easier this year.  Back at the boat a cruiser announced he would beach his catamaran and play Avatar on his sails for anyone who wanted to join them. 
Next morning we were enjoying coffee hour when the VHF crackled with an announcement.  "Hot Bread."   Not much interrupts  coffee hour aboard Amber Isle, but in not time we loaded up the dinghy and headed for the settlement.  Valt let me off on the beach and I scurried ahead of another group of boaters with the same idea.  I picked up 2 very hot loaves of fresh coconut bread, $6 each.  Next stop was the Staniel Cay Yacht Club for dinghy fuel.  We filled the inboard tank with 13 gallons, two 5-gallon gas cans, and one 1-gallon can, total 23 gallons, $120.00.  While Valt refueled, I took several bags of trash to the dumpster.  On the way back, I stopped at the dive shop, curious to know where they took their guests diving.  A bulletin board warned of the Pacific lion fish invasion.  Seems the lion fish has no predators and is decimating the local fish populations.  The dive shop owner said they were promoting tournaments to hunt them for food, a slow process.  They are affecting the entire Caribbean, and committees have been formed to study the problem.  As usual, the Bahamian government is behind the times and can't work up a plan.  Their best plan is to allow trigger spear guns to hunt them.  A useless solution, since the lion fish knows no fear and allows a diver to come right up to him to shoot. No need for a more powerful spear.  (And this would lead to using trigger spear guns to hunt other species of fish.)They refuse to consider allowing scuba to hunt them.  They refuse to consider special permits to hunt them in the sea park which is closed to all fishing.  And Bahamians refuse to eat them.  They may have no choice when there are no other fish in the sea. 
 Back in the dinghy, we took the long way home through the Big Majors Spot and the Little Majors Spot.  Although we have occasionally anchored here, there were no boats.  We passed the "Thorn of Crowns."  It is fun to compare the charts on our old chart plotter to the new one we just installed on the dinghy.  It is so accurate, we often plug it into the helm station when we navigate Amber Isle.  Along the way we tore off hunks of fresh hot coconut bread and ate them.  The forecast is for the winds to clock around to the S-SW overnight.  This would leave us exposed, but the prediction is for only 15k winds.  We sure seem to obsess about wind, but it is the single most important factor in our safety and comfort here in the Bahamas.