Grand Cay, Bahamas: Labor Day weekend 2015 diving, fishing, spearing & conching

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.

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Water Baby

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Thursday 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.

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2 am crossing

Friday: 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.

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Grand Cay on the horizon

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Grand Cay

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Tying up

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.

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Mark, Grady, Kermit and Andrew

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Great Abaco weather

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On account of some tired cooks rather than cook we elected to have dinner at Rosies and we ordered cracked conch and fish.

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Gotta love Cracked Conch!!


Saturday: We removed the pole & Hawaiian spears and loaded up tanks to do some diving.

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Grady used to be part of Walkers Diving Program so he took us to a few dive spots off Walkers.
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Mark, Andrew and cousin Aaron

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Going over…..

Since it was 60 + feet I did not take my U/W camera.

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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.

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Casey with a nice tail

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Yellow tailing is a lot easier in the Bahamas than it is in the FL Keys …….

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Nice tail

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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.

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Casey & Jamie going over

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Aaron

Vis was about 120 feet but not clear and the bottom temp was 85 ˚F.
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Turtle

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Swimming circles around us

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Casey

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Porkfish


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Andrew & his dad Mark

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Queen Angelfish

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Aaron, Andrew & Mark

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There were a few Caribbean Reef charks hanging around

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Casey & I

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Spiny

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.

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Grady with a nice strawberry

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Queen trigger

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.

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Queen conch Strombus gigas

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Andrew coming up

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Andrew & Casey

There all over in the grass beds

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Break time

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Beautiful mollusk!

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Gotta love it!!

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Looking forward to tonight’s cracked conch and fritters ……..

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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 salad

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Monday morning: We left the dock at 6:30 am and headed 102 miles west back to Stuart.

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We skirted a few storms along the way but the seas were great with only one storm we had to pass through.
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What a great trip!!
Hoo Yah!!

Brian

Replies

  • xmuskyguidexmuskyguide Beautiful HomosassaPosts: 1,524 Captain
    Thanks for sharing that trip BBB. Loved the pictures.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SlackerSlacker Posts: 1,485 Officer
    Great memories made and nice pics, thanks for sharing.
  • Rick1-2Rick1-2 HorseshoePosts: 919 Officer
    Looks like an awesome trip
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,897 Captain
    That looks rad, great pics.
  • Scott CrownScott Crown Posts: 661 Officer
    Awesome Brian.
  • butchbalbutchbal Posts: 425 Deckhand
    What a great trip, enjoyed the pictures!
  • Moon ShadowMoon Shadow Posts: 835 Officer
    Enjoy your post. Awesome photos
  • Biggary16Biggary16 Posts: 468 Deckhand
    Wow! that was a great family adventure that you all will never forget.
  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,843 Captain
    Great Pics!! Thanks for sharing:fishing
  • huntentailshuntentails Posts: 1,696 Captain
    Great Stuff and Pictures
    Took me back to when I was a YoungMan
    Used to make those kind of runs Myself
    The learning days with my Dad will never
    be forgotten :beer
    :Rockon
    58c3c16f-8a45-4d30-b16f-bc3107cf4657_zpsplzwx9u1.jpg0af8c5e9-faa1-4c9d-81d3-c711ee6ce6e3_zpsojsft7fc.jpg
  • RedbonzRedbonz Posts: 4,533 Captain
    :thumbsup
    If it don't fit force it. If it breaks it needed replace anyways. :banghead
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    Great pics and trip. Glad Mark is getting the Mirage out! I have known Mark for many moons via the Biodiesel business and using biodiesel. Was he burning a little bio on this trip?

    Gran Cay and Rosies is a hoot, love hanging out their and fishing the region. Any tuna? I have traveled there many times in a boat just like Marks a 33 Mirage "Hall Pass" and in the past on a 29 Mirage "Leavin".

    Great report!

    Peter
    133cbf2b243368b1ddb2f591a1988076--beach-posters-florida-travel.jpg
  • FishesmanFishesman Posts: 416 Deckhand
    Thanks for sharing. Looks like great times.
  • BiomarBiomar Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    Hey Peter: We trailered 100 gallons of the good stuff (BioD) to Stuart, and added 100g of dino-diesel & ~40 gallons of water before we launched. Mainly to keep the load lighter for the long haul. It was a fantastic trip! Definitely the good ole days!
    Mark
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,779 Captain
    Life is Great in the BBB Family! Thanks for sharing your cool trip w/ us Mang!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    Biomar wrote: »
    Hey Peter: We trailered 100 gallons of the good stuff (BioD) to Stuart, and added 100g of dino-diesel & ~40 gallons of water before we launched. Mainly to keep the load lighter for the long haul. It was a fantastic trip! Definitely the good ole days!
    Mark

    That's awesome Mark! Boat looks good...the rear awning is neat and biodiesel use is so very cool.
    133cbf2b243368b1ddb2f591a1988076--beach-posters-florida-travel.jpg
  • APEAPE Posts: 973 Officer
    Thanks for the report and pictures Brian, it looks like a great fun trip. I have been interested in the Mirage CC diesel boats for several years now but I cant make up my mind if I want to go all in for an offshore boat or keep my near shore fleet.
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