Countdown to the Family Island Regatta

Valt & Sandy
Mon 22 Apr 2013 16:26
April 22, 2013

Yesterday was a day of natural wonders. We snorkeled offshore at the east end of the harbor. A shallow place, we first spotted a big river of minnows swimming endlessly past. Next came a school of 100 bar jacks. A ray swam by, accompanied by a long, thin blue coronet fish. They seemed to be hunting together. A fish boil by shore caught our eye. A huge school of bone fish was working the rocky crags, looking for dinner. Back at Amber Isle, a lone dolphin swam under the boat. He surfaced for a breath nearby, the retraced his path under the boat. His skin and dorsal fin was smooth and perfect, no battle scars. He did not spook even when we stuck the camera under the water to get his picture. We were giddy with excitement as dolphins are rare in the Bahamas. But as the hours went by and he continued his course, we began to worry that he was either sick or lost. Finally, four hours later, at sunset he swam slowly off. It was time to take cover for the night. We hoped he joined up with his pod. Add these sightings to the giant hermit crab we found the day before and it had been great days. Our hermit crab occupied a huge conch shell and when we picked him up out of the water he displayed the biggest claws we'd ever seen! They reminded us of stone crab claws.
Back to reality, we received a message on our telephone. Our $100 of prepaid minutes would expire today unless we hied into the settlement and bought more. Then the expiring minutes would continue another 90 days. Even $5.00 was enough to save our minutes. So a trip to town was hastily planned.
It would also give us a chance to check out Regatta Point. Since the Family Island Sailing Regatta starts tomorrow, many temporary shacks had been erected to serve food and drink to the many spectators. People came from all over to cheer on their home teams. Once in full swing, music would blare, full blast, from the 10' speakers that lined the street. Already racing sailboats dotted the harbor. The entire week the sleek skiffs would race, sails taut, ballast boards full of sailors steering the boat. We planned to take the dinghy and sit at the turns to watch the action. So did 100 other cruisers.