My son Casey & I were invited to a Labor Day weekend Father/Son dive trip to Grand Cay in the Abacos to do some diving. We’d have to pull the boys from school on Friday which oddly…..met with no resistance from them. We would be crossing over from Stuart with an ole Gainesville friend Mark Robinson and his son Andrew, cousin Aaron and friend Jamie aboard Mark’s 29 foot inboard diesel CC Mirage named Water Baby
.Water BabyThursday night
we were to meet up in Stuart and prep for a 6 am Friday departure however a few miles from the ramp Mark’s Dodge Ram 3500 had a fuel pump failure. After a bit of boat shuffling and towing the truck to a diesel repair shop we got the boat launched at 1 am. Mark was a bit “amped up” so we prepared to cross over and at 2 am we left the inlet and set the autopilot for Grand Cay some 102 NMs to the east. Throughout the 4 hour crossing there was quite an electrical storm to our north which was very cool to watch and the seas were calm at 1 – 2 foot seas.
2 am crossingFriday
: Four hours and 20 minutes later (6:20 am) we stopped shy of Grand Cay and got the boat prepped to dock & check into Customs.
We tied up to Rosie’s fuel dock, took on 35 gallons of diesel and waited for Customs to open.
Grand Cay on the horizon
In no time we got settled into our house and one of Mark’s Bahamian friends, Grady and his son Kermit, came aboard to show us around and off we went to spear hogfish, “silver snapper” & lobster and catch some conch too.
Mark, Grady, Kermit and Andrew
Great Abaco weather
On account of some tired cooks rather than cook we elected to have dinner at Rosies and we ordered cracked conch and fish.
Gotta love Cracked Conch!!Saturday
: We removed the pole & Hawaiian spears and loaded up tanks to do some diving.
Grady used to be part of Walkers Diving Program so he took us to a few dive spots off Walkers.
Mark, Andrew and cousin Aaron
Since it was 60 + feet I did not take my U/W camera.
Back on the boat we shifted gears to yellow tailing and it only took a couple of minutes for nice sized yellowtails to be right behind the boat in the chum slick.
Casey with a nice tail
Yellow tailing is a lot easier in the Bahamas than it is in the FL Keys …….
Saturday night’s dinner was fresh yellowtail & lobster
After fishing we had an electrical issue which was finally figured out but we decided to scrub the 2nd dive and head back in.Sunday
: In no particular hurry we left the dock a bit after 9 am for another dive.
Casey & Jamie going over
Vis was about 120 feet but not clear and the bottom temp was 85 ˚F.
Swimming circles around us
Andrew & his dad Mark
Aaron, Andrew & Mark
There were a few Caribbean Reef charks hanging around
Casey & I
After diving we went back in, removed the bottles, had lunch, reloaded the pole & Hawaiian spears and went back out to hog, lobster & conch.
On the patch reefs the current was KICKING making snorkeling challenging so we decided to chum & yellowtail for a while to allow the tide to slack some.
Grady with a nice strawberry
After an hour we went back to spearing and eventually shifted gears to conching. I didn’t take any spearing photos as I preferred to have a Hawaiian Sling in my hands.
Queen conch Strombus gigas
Andrew coming up
Andrew & Casey
There all over in the grass beds
Gotta love it!!
Looking forward to tonight’s cracked conch and fritters ……..
Grady cleaning conchs
Sunday’s dinner was steak and Miss Raphalita who runs a small kitchen in Grand made us some Bahamian peas n rice and potato saladMonday morning
: We left the dock at 6:30 am and headed 102 miles west back to Stuart.
We skirted a few storms along the way but the seas were great with only one storm we had to pass through.What a great trip!!
Current was kicking. One of the young ones had never speared before and the others were still new to it. Definitely entertaining and fun though.