July 14th 7:00 AM Pics up on Flickr.
And then, it was done. We fly out today. By tonight, I hope to be somewhere that I can post all these entries.
As long as we’ve been coming down to Green Turtle Cay, we’ve been hearing about the Legendary “Nippers” on Guana Cay, one of the next major islands south in the Bahamas chain. On Sundays, Brendal takes the boat down to Nippers, and tries to find wild dolphin to play with on the way down. As we left the harbor yesterday morning, Brendal put Jenni at the wheel of the boat. Not just for a campy snapshot, which you can see here, but to drive the boat while we looked for dolphin. She was at the helm for more than an hour as we threaded out way around sand bars and shallows in search of the elusive dolphin.
We didn’t find any.
We (I) did spot a big leatherback sea turtle, and we chased him around with the boat for a while. Some of us got in the water to see if we could get a closer look. Stupid me jumped in instead of slipping in, and scared him away. I don’t know what I was thinking, but Brendal continued to chase him with the boat until Jenni got this shot of him when he came to the surface to breathe. I may have gotten a shadowy picture of him in the water with the point-and-shoot, but we’ll see. He swam away pretty fast. I felt pretty dumb about scaring him away, but there you are.
Before seeing the turtle, we’d stopped and snorkeled at this little coral outcropping that probably once was a larger island, but thousands of years of erosion by the sea have turned it into a giant mushroom in the middle of the ocean.
There were thousands of little silvery bait fish circling the island, as well as some big yellow tail snapper, some very pretty blue angelfish, and who knows how many other species in the nooks and crannies around the island. Meanwhile about half a dozen barracuda were cruising around as well, looking for a meal. I think I got some really interesting shots of the ‘cuda and other fish around the island. So even though we didn’t get to see and interact with the dolphin in the water, it was a nice morning with some good snorkeling and the ever-present Goombay Smash.
Nippers, however, was not our thing. I’ll have to just come out and say it. Now, lots and lots and lots of people will LOVE Nippers. It’s colorful, it’s loud, there is dancing and island food and enough boat drinks to float a cruise ship and a gift shop. It’ll be a great setting for at least one scene when I write my novel set in the islands. Brendal seems to really enjoy Nippers, as did most of the other of the several hundred people that seemed to be there. It’s just not for me. It’s not why I come to the island. So for us, Nippers was “one and done”. Not to mention that lunch, with three drinks, was pushing $100. I don’t want to discourage ANYONE from trying Nippers. It should be experienced. And now, we know.
As the afternoon wore on, storm clouds began to gather. It actually rained for a while while we were at Nippers. The dancing didn’t stop. Pretty much everyone was there in a bathing suit anyway. But it made for an interesting ride home. What looked like a little squall line turned into a full-fledged storm. But the dive boat slogged through it safely. There were only 9 of us on the boat, and as the rain came harder and the seas built we all wound up under cover, but not staying particularly dry. As we came across the Whale Cay cut, where the water is completely unprotected, Brendal was just following the ocean, riding the tops of some very confused and bit waves, spray was crashing up over the deck and onto the dive deck. It looked like a scene from “Deadliest Catch”, but without the crab pots and exposure suits.
As we came back up in the lee of the islands, the rain abated, the seas flattened out, and Brendal put Jenni back at the wheel for the trip back to his dock. We made an interim stop at Bluff House, where one of our passengers was staying. It tuned out to be someone Andie had helped at Villas Continental get out of a contract. We’ve run into more people from Jacksonville and North East Florida down here this trip … but I think that’s because we simply had the chance to stay longer than we ever have before. Jen did really well driving the boat. Again, I was a very proud dad.
So there you have it. We need to go settle up at the shop this morning, pack our gear, and begin the adventure home. I hope Rick and Krista eventually got their dive gear, and that they’re able to dive today. The seas look pretty big again, but the weather is the weather and you can’t do a thing to change it.
I love this island. We’ll be back, I hope before another two years has passed. Brendal is threatening to come for Parents weekend at Miami of Ohio.
I really hope he does.