Kolius Family Boating Adventure
Hello to all from Hawk's Nest, Cat Island The Bahamas!
We hope this email finds everyone doing well. The fishing continues to be great here. Just a mile from the harbor we can catch mahi, wahoo, and billfish. Go a few more miles to yellow fin tuna to that list! Our fishing skills have dramatically improved and we have also developed some very good friendships here while learning from some of the best fisherman around. The marina is full of boats and the ocean full of fish. Sharks continue to be our nemesis especially the Atlantic Oceanic White Tip when they go after a hooked up tuna or wahoo. We have a great under water video from the GoPro of 3 white tips behind a boat we were fishing on about a month ago. We also hooked up a mako trolling a few weeks ago. It was after the mud flap shaped like a tuna and hit on the lure. We fish 3-4 days in a row if we can and then clean the boat for the next 3-4 days. :) All in all...good fun.
The title of this email is April showers bring May land crabs....so let me explain. About 3 days a week it rains. During the winter months we had wind but not much rain at all. During that time when we were not fishing we could at least clean the boat, dive, fish in the creek or do some other outdoor activities. Now it rains and everyone gets a little stir crazy during that time. A few boats have found some creative ways to fill the time. One boat (the Over and Under) are raising some pigs they basically stole from some Bahamians because they did not like the conditions those pigs were living in. The pigs have a large pen made out of kitchen shelving that includes a broken wheel barrel that has been converted into a shelter. The pigs are both females and have been named Anna Nichole and Pamela. There is a mega-yacht anchored not too far from here in the bight and they have two sportfish boats here at the marina (a Cabo 45 and a Viking 52 Express with an enclosed helm deck). The scraps from the mega-yacht and from both of these boats have become the food for Anna Nicole and Pamela. Not too bad for a couple of rescue pigs!
Another boat captured some very small mahi minnows in the creek and they are raising them in their transom live bait well.
But the all time favorite thing to do when it rains is land crabbing. Land crabs are more abundant in the spring and summer months (or so I am told). These crabs burrow in the limestone soil and come out to eat the leaves of plants especially at night and in large quantities after it rains. Hawk's Nest is known for having a large number of these crabs since they tend to lay their eggs in the mangroves which are abundant here. Land crabs can fetch a hunter anywhere from $3-$5 dollars depending on the size. All one needs is a flashlight, a pair of cooking tongs or just a lack of fear in picking one up (a few Kaliks are needed as well). As I mentioned earlier everyone gets a little stir crazy when it rains. So the boaters here that decide to go land crabbing are not selling the crabs. Instead they are planting the crabs on each others boats in surprise locations. One night a crab was put in the toilet of the Viking 52 that belongs to the mega-yacht. Early the next morning they had to head out to pick up guests to take fishing. During the night the crab had climbed out of the toilet and into the mates bed. Since they were leaving early it was still dark when she had to get up. The story goes that as she woke up she laid in bed a few moments trying to wake and when she finally turned over the crab was staring at her eye to eye.
A dive boat was here last week from Nassau (part of the Stuart Cove Dive Resort). The people that had chartered the boat wanted to dive with the sharks (we all still can't figure out why since we see daily what the white tips, makos, and tiger sharks do to our fish) and the Bahamians that were running the boat and trying to please the divers were incredibly nice. The best we could tell they did not tip the boys. After the dive group left...it rained that afternoon....and the land crab hunters came out. It was an especially good night for land crabbing and a couple of buckets were filled. The boys that ran the boat had a room at the resort which made it easy for the hunters to go to work. A large ice chest was filled. The boat was docked next to us which gave us a first had view of what was to happen next. As the captain of the boat went to put ice in the ice chest he discovered his little...rather big surprise! The mate fell on the dock laughing as the captain screamed. Now the boys have a nice capture of crabs to take back to Nassau and hopefully they can get a few extra dollars for their time on Cat Island. The hunters will remain a secret.
Finally, the weather is looking really nice for the weekend and we think we will head over to the Bahamian island of San Salvador for a few days and then return here. I am currently working on my open water dive certification so we will need to come back so I can finish that up. Then we have a tentative plan for returning to the USA. Florida by June and Key West before the 4th of July. Then from there we will keep you posted.
Send us an email if you have time. We are interested in knowing how everyone is doing.
Joanne, John, Stormy Dog (the most spoiled dog in the Bahamas thanks to all the boaters) and Sailor Cat ("You have a cat on the boat, too?")