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We left George Town, Exumas, Bahamas about noon on Saturday, February 10th.  Our friends Sam and Jerry on Rainbow's End left to go  to Cat Island diving with Dennis and Christine on Ting Um.  Viking Rose sailed alone to Conception, an uninhabited island nature reserve.  We spent the night and proceeded the next day to Rum Cay.  The day began with good weather, but the winds built and were howling by the time we rounded Rum Cay point.  The anchorage was extremely rolly with wind and waves so we decided to follow several boats to the marina, winding our way along the tiny channels among the coral sticking out of the water.  We med-moored, that is, our stern was tied to tree stumps on shore and the anchor was dropped off the bow to hold the boat in place. The water was barely enough to float the boat, and at low tide, the keel rested on the sand and the boat listed to starboard. The boat heeled over so much that bottles on the counter were sliding to the low side.  The moon was almost full, making the tides more extreme than usual.  The next day, we shifted over to deeper water but were still aground when the tide was low.

There were benefits to being in the marina. The sport fishermen would go out every day in their huge boats equipped with fighting chairs, monster rods and reels, and high-tech equipment to take every advantage of the poor fish.  They would come back in the afternoon with their catch.  These guys would bring in 85-90# tuna and dolphin.  You knew they had a good day when they called the marina on the VHF and ask that the scales be brought to the dock to weigh the fish to see if their catch would break the record.  Bob went to watch each afternoon.  One of the tuna had double bad luck.  While being hauled in by line, a shark attacked him and took a perfect bite out of his tail section. 

There were numerous cats who lived around the marina.  A big black thirty pounder would appear each day and get his share of the trimmings. 

Bob would try to look hungry or envious in hopes that he would be given a tiny share of the bounty.   He was unsuccessful and disappointed.  Our neighbor Scooter, a sailing surfer from North Carolina, went to the dock one afternoon and brought back a gallon-size Ziploc bag of fresh tuna.   Bob continued to go admire the catch and finally, one afternoon, one of the proud fishermen said disdainfully,   "Who wants this runt?"  Bob immediately volunteered to take the fish.  He brought the dolphin back to the boat and filleted him.  Bob doesn't like bones in his fish so he does a great job of carving out the best part of the flesh.  Just-caught fish bears little resemblance to fish in stores.  The fresh fish has little smell and tastes great.  We marinate it, season it, and then cook it on the grill.  Fantastic flavor.  It's a mystery to me what they do with tuna to make it come out like it does in a can.  We eat canned tuna when there's nothing else, but it's an insult to the fresh tuna to call the canned stuff by the same name.

Only public phone on Rum Cay

Young local boy standing on and rolling a large propane bottle to the end of the town dock to be picked up by the ferry for refilling.

Viking Rose anchored and tied off to shore in the inner lagoon.  The mosquitoes ate us alive the first night.  The second day we broke out the sewing machine and the netting and made screens for all the hatches.

After a few days fighting mosquitoes we move the boat outside the lagoon into the open ocean.  Once there we learned about rolling at anchor.

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A view down the coast road.