Weather was flaky as we got started Friday morning with what was left of tropical storm Dorkian or whatever the hell it was that made its way past where we were leaving and where we were going. A little overcast but essentially do-able. (friends have a very nice 28′ Pursuit)
We get across and dodge most of the rain. Check in with customs, and bitch and moan about how beautiful the water is in the Bahamas and how the geniuses in our government are criminally ruining the water where we live. Less then one hundred miles away and the difference is worlds (or oceans in this case) apart.
We were staying about twenty minutes away from where we checked in with Bahamian customs and decided to start looking for lobsters on the far side of Gran Bahamas. It was overcast but the water was still crystal clear and one could easily see to the bottom at damn near any depth.
We basically went old school in our fist lobster hunt. You essentially toss over two ski tow ropes from the stern of the boat, jump into the water with a mask and snorkel some flippers and grab the end of the ski rope and hang on. The boat pulls you along and you watch the ground for the tell tale signs of lobster. Essentially a lobster looking at you from a hole in the ground. You can cover much ground this way, and believe it or not once you get situated and used to things its like your flying along in the water.
We saw shit that first day. It was getting to about mid afternoon and we decided to go and check into the hotel. We stayed at a place called the Blue Marlin Cove. Its like a hotel / marina. It has been recently overhauled and renovated these last few years, and I have to say the place was really nice. New, clean, all the amenities it seemed. Well except one small one. Reliable full time electrical power.
At first we didn’t even know there was any issue. We check in, get the room, grab a bunch of stuff from the boat and head up. My friend Kenny and I head for a shower while his wife Talisa and their niece went about unpacking and setting up the base of operations for the next couple of days.
Lights in the room were working, TV on. Nothing unusual. I take a shower. Thats odd, little to no water pressure and its not particularly hot. I dismiss it all because well frankly I didn’t care. I am clean and salt free at this point and ready to relax. Clean up get out of shower, get ready to let one of the girls use it if they want then it happens. “Flicker” power out, on everything except a couple lights and the TV. No water at all. Its like 4pm. We’ve been in a boat since 7:30-8am crossed the Atlantic between Florida and the Bahamas and Talisa and her niece have a look on their faces like, well lets just say, it was a look like “I should kill your two asses for taking a shower first. (meaning Kenny and I)
Now I have fought grizzly bears, mountain lion, an occasional homeless women in a free government cheese and food stamp lottery line. I was damn well smart enough to know not to say a world, not to look Talisa in the face and make eye contact. Don’t offer her a drink, don’t say shit. I have read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by god and this was a Nagasaki nuclear bomb about to go all level of “holy shit” melt down.
4:00 turned to 6:00 and no change. Sweat beads are starting to form on my brow. Then it happens. “Flicker” all electrical power is lost. No TV NO COLD BEER!
Fuck this, I am springing into action! “Thats it I’m talking to a manager.” I make my way back down to the lobby, chat up the assistant manager and explain how paying a pretty weekend premium room rate and not being able to shower or take a shit for going on three and four hours is bordering on unacceptable. We needed to start talking rate reduction, and comps but most importantly rectifying the situation as fast as possible. I don’t beat her up that bad because after all its not her fault its the power company. Plus really there was more cold beer on the boat and I just needed some quick refuge from the rapidly pissed off honey badger Talisa upstairs for sneaking the only known shower in the Bahamas a mere few hours ago.
7:00 ish rolls around, management moves us into a comparable room down stairs where hot water will return quicker when the power resumes. We get all our crap moved down, look at the clock its nearing 8:00 pm and “Flicker” power returns. Talisa and Rayna head in and get showers finally.
As I tell you all this, and as I have thought about this scenario the last few days, it occurs to me, this was and is more then likely perfectly normal. Bahamians much like every other Caribbean Island residents are essentially on “Island time”.
Power is at best mediocre in the Bahamas. In fact I picture some nuclear power plant with a Rastafarian Homer Simpson at the controls. Power is out to half the island? No problems my friend, we be workin’ on it!
That was Friday. Saturday we head out and check some “spots” and do some fishing. Weather was a little overcast and clearing. We caught a bunch a fish, seven or eight lobsters and came back to the hotel with enough food for a decent meal. Power was restored for the moment, and as soon as we got the boat tied to the dock, Talisa and her niece bolted right for the room and a shower first. Lessons learned and all that I guess. Kenny and I shrugged, and started cleaning fish and making dinner.
Sunday, our last day over, we got up and packed up the boat and checked out. Get a reasonable discount on the room for the weekend and we head back out. The weather Sunday was picture perfect and as is the normal procedure we hunt lobster all the way home. Ok not all the way but we damn sure spend a good portion of the day getting our share. Getting our share we did in just a few short hours.
Where we were diving for lobster was anywhere from 10′ to 20′ of water. In the Bahamas you are permitted to free dive and use a Hawaiian sling type spear to take lobster. Up to this point its been a few years since I have seriously gone after lobster in this fashion. I was rather surprised at first how I had to work to get down 15′ to 20′ on a breath of air and the 30 or 40 seconds I could realistically work down there before turning blue and drowning in an untimely death. As the day wore on and I stretched my lungs out more and more things got more comfortable. At least when Talisa wasn’t bum rushing my lobsters in her greedy zeal to kick my ass in the water. That damn girl can swim and hunt is all I am going to say and she is not scared. Its funny, then ego crushing, but in the end its all good.
We got into a rhythm whenever we would come into an area with lobster where I’d let her go down and stir up the hornets nest so to speak. I’d watch a few lobsters try and make an escape. While Talisa was heading to the top I’d go down and pick off and murder what was left or what she may have missed. In no time we were cleaning up an area like a bunch of strip miners in an Al Gore coal mine.
After a while it was time to head home. We pointed the boat west gunned the motors and headed back to the polluted and toxic Indian River Lagoon. We’re the greatest nation in the world, sent a man to walk on the moon, yet we can’t as a nation manage a lake’s level of water without destroying our own natural habitat and resources. Why? It’s all because some scumbag sugar farmers stroke big $$$ checks to cocksucker politicians. Sugar subsidized by the US taxpayer for all you keeping score at home on your “we’re getting fucked by the South Florida Water Management District” bingo card.
But thats a story for another time.
Let ‘er rip, tater chips.