I love those days when I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done. Today is one of them. My morning started with baking the crew some fresh biscuits. They ate them while they were hot with butter and apple jelly.
I then thoroughly cleaned the head and gathered up all my and Danny’s laundry, and washed it on the stern. It’s a back breaking but satisfying process. After scooping up a bucket full of ocean water and scrubbing the clothes in it with laundry soap, I refill the bucket with fresh water and scrub them once again. After that I wring them all out and hang them on the stanchions.
When all that was over we all climbed into the dinghy and motored into Bimini to buy some fruit and vegetables. The streets are narrow and lined with a variety of painted homes and businesses, and many bougainvillea vines.
When we reached the store, which was the main floor of someones home, the only produce they had were sweet potatoes, onions, lemons, a few plantains and some really expensive apples.
Friends had suggested that we try a local deli called CJ’s, so we found it up on the hill overlooking the ocean and tried it out. There were a couple local ladies inside, one of which was friendly and the other seemed like she’d woken up on the wrong side of the hammock.
We attempted to order various items on the menu, only to be told that they didn’t have it, so we settled on some sandwiches and sat outside to wait. The view was beautiful.
While waiting, two older couples started conversing with us, asking where we were from etc, and after a couple minutes told the creatures that if they wanted to make $50 to share, he’d love it if they come scrub the bottom of his 65ft power boat. They of course jumped at the chance and arranged to meet him at his boat a little later.
After our meal, which was one we’d just as soon not have again (and we are not picky eaters), we made our way back to the dinghy, and on the way passed the remains of Ernest Hemingway’s home.
On the way back to Tanda Malaika, we discussed scrubbing the power boat, and the creatures definitely wanted to do it but expressed some concern about the number of bull sharks that roam around the Bimini marinas. In fact, in the late afternoons, many show up to feast on scraps thrown out by the local fisherman. I decided that I would accompany the creatures and would be with them in the water on shark patrol. The twins and Mycah and I went over to the big power boat named ‘Pirate’, and they began to scrub. The growth wasn’t too terrible, but the growth that was there was quite difficult to remove. They worked hard while I swam back and forth between them, watching for bull sharks. Bull sharks are also known as Zambezi Sharks and are one of the most aggressive sharks in the world. They are stocky and adults range from 7 to 10ft in length. They are opportunistic feeders and fierce hunters.
Huge schools of reef fish – mostly Sargent Majors, snappers and wrasse, swam below us while 1000’s of cone jellies floated past in the current. In some areas between the pillars, fish were sparse.
I stayed fairly close to Emma, since she was alone working on the starboard side, but I kept a close watch over the entire area surrounding the creatures. I had just turned around from looking to the north side of the marina, when I felt a presence behind me and turned to see the dark thick form of about a 7 – 8ft bull shark working its way through the pillars in our direction. I calmly called to the creatures telling them there’s a good sized bull shark coming our way, and within seconds Emma was on my back with her arms and legs wrapped around me, Aidan looked excitedly and Mycah continued scrubbing since it hadn’t quite clicked in her head yet. We watched as it swam right past us, moving toward an area a couple hundred yards away where the fishermen were. I moved to the bow and had the creatures scrub the forward hull on either side of me as I watched closely among the pillars. Just a couple minutes before their job was complete, I heard Aidan excitedly saying ‘look, look, look,’ and there swimming not even 10 ft below us, was another bull shark – this one with a hook still stuck in its mouth. I grabbed my GoPro, flipped it to video and chased after it as it continued on through the pillars and out into an area too murky for me to see far in to. I returned to the creatures who had just completed a fantastic job on the ‘Pirate,’ and we climbed out after being in the water for about 90 minutes and onto the dock to chat with the owners. The owner was so impressed with the creatures work that he gave them $20 each and commended them over and over again. He was so impressed with their hard work and good manners that he asked Mycah if she would be interesting in crewing for him and his family in a few months. The other couple we had met had their boat next door, and I mentioned to them that as I swam under their boat, I noticed that the zincs on their port side really need to be replaced. They were so grateful that they sent us home with three grocery bags full of goodies they hadn’t used when their grandchildren were visiting.
We returned home to Danny and Jude, and while Mycah and I did our abdominal workout routine, Aidan and Emma cooked a wonderful dinner.
It’s been another wonderful day. I am so grateful and honored to be the mother of the greatest children in the world. Early tomorrow morning we will begin our 10 hour sail to Freeport, and we are excited for the adventures that will bring.