Bits and Pieces- The Bahamian Experience

March 18: I don’t know how to make a coherent whole from these tidbits, but we’ll see if this works.


Pot Stickers:  A Bahamian name for the scruffy, inbred dogs that roam around every Bahamian town and frequent the docks. Mostly they are all the same grayish color, same medium size and if female are pregnant or nursing. The name comes from the “stuff” that sticks to the bottom of the pot when making Bahamian peas and rice-a diet staple and something we always look forward to when coming and are tired of by the time we leave. This goo is fed to the dog, hence the name.

on the dock

Now we met a special pot sticker on Spanish Cay. He had been rescued following a hurricane and has now grown into a healthy, friendly dog that is a permanent part of the Spanish Cay Marina. No one knows what happened to his litter mates, but he was rescued at 5 weeks and nursed back to health by Anita, the manager of the marina. Now about 18 months old, he is a long-legged, white with black spots and named appropriately: Hurricane!

Shoal or Fish Mud?

Fish Muds: These are common on Little Bahama Bank north of Grand Bahama Island. One of the challenges of sailing the Bahamas is the shallow water. You’re suppose to “read” the water depths by color. Light blue- shallow; dark blue-deep; green- grassy areas; black-coral heads. Sounds easy, but then you throw in something like this. Fish muds are light blue, almost milky and appear to be a shoal area, but the homogenous color and “sometimes” fussy edges gives them away as fish muds. No one really knows what causes them, but the most common theory is schools of bottom feeding fish stirring up the sandy bottom. Still, it makes you hold your breath and watch the depth finder when you find your route crosses one. Now I don’t have a photo of one but this does show the various colors of the water.

Bahamian Music: Now everyone knows of the wonderful calypso beat of Bahamian  music but here’s what we experienced this trip. Not the usual While sitting in the outdoor restaurant at Old Bahama Bay Marina one lovely evening we were listening to music, all to that foot-tapping beat when we realized the words were “Old Black Joe” by Stephen Foster a song that is, well let’s just say, not very popular in the US and here we were listening to it in a mostly black culture. Where did that come from?? Then in Spanish Cay we heard “Auld Lang Syne”! Perhaps they need a new CD? Not the music we came for. Glad we have our Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley and Barefoot Man CDs onboard!

What more can I say? At least we’re collecting lots of details for Night Watch. 

Jan and Ed

About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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