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Giant squalls and big-ass sharks
July 19th, 2009 by Kate

We are all falling into bed after a great weekend in West End, Grand Bahama.  It is the furthest-most western tip of the country, and the first stop for many boaters crossing over the Gulf Stream from Florida.  It was my youngest sister Claudia’s 15th birthday, and Jeff flew in from AZ for a long weekend..  Ten of us slept between my dad’s boat and a very wonderfully air-conditioned hotel room (yes, I know, this Third World country-thing with no AC is breaking me in for the Asia part of our trip!).

So my last post, when I said it is “better in the Bahamas” well I failed to mention that it is sometimes “bigger” here too.  Last night, we sat on the  dock with a bunch of other boaters grilling fish and swatting mosquitos when a really big, I mean really big, squall kicked up over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and within minutes pounded the begebbers out of us!  Forty to fifty mile an hour winds with gust upwards of 65+, total horizontal rain, and lightening that literally made the entire ocean look like it was a sunny day.  The thunder cracked so loud you instictively looked around to see what was going to fall on your head.  So you’re thinking “big storm”  what’s the big deal… HA!  Our only place to retreat within a quarter mile were onto big floating boats with large poles sticking up high into the air – exactly the place our mother’s told us NOT to go in an electical storm (mom- was your eye twitching uncontrolably last night – its because we were ALL not heeding your warnings!)… 

So imagine about 15 of us huddled inside a boat cabin soaking wet in giant rocking waves, with lighting and thunder about, oh, every 3 seconds – and Phoebe screaming over and over again – IT’S A HURRICANE – and for those of you who know Phoebe, I need say nothing more.  After the storm passed, we all decided that even though we were a bit scared, it was sort of awesome too.

Oh but not as awesome as the 7 foot shark the kids saw (yes, length confirmed by non-overdramtic adult – read: not Kate) today while out snorkling!!!!  It was a nurse shark (they aren’t typically agressive) but sitll very cool and big (it was bigger than the dinghy they were in!).  They also saw a large sting ray, a lion fish (unfortunately not native to the Bahamas and reeking havoc on the local reef fish, but a very very beautiful fish), and an octopus that actually squirted ink!  They also hit the sea biscut lottery, so we’re going to try and bring some back to AZ and see how many make with without breaking into a zillion tiny bits.

Phoebe’s not home tonight to add to her critter count, so I’ll do it for her:

  • nurse shark
  • sting ray
  • octopus
  • conch
  • lion fish
  • sargent majors (those cute black & yellow fish)
  • snook (although there is some debate among the adults)
  • flounder
  • sea gulls
  • puffer fish
  • needle fish
  • trigger fish (dead & stinky but cool)
  • potcakes (stray mixed breed island dogs- Miranda you would won 500 dogs if you lived here)
  • giant hermit crabs
  • land crabs

6 Responses  
Sam writes:
July 20th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

WOW!!! 7 feet no joke? Woah!!! Man, it sounds like so much fun!!! I wish I could have been there!!! (Sorta, except for the whole Phoebe shouting thing.)
Missing you guys!!!

Mama writes:
July 22nd, 2009 at 10:23 am

Enjoyed this account of day. Remind Derek that trees are in the tall metal pole category with regard to lightning. Also add curly tails to critter list. eb

Miranda writes:
July 22nd, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I love finishing my day reading your posts. So exciting and I can actually hear your voice Kate…and Phoebes shrills. I must read on.

Miranda writes:
July 22nd, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Potcakes??? That name troubles me.

Miranda writes:
July 22nd, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Ok. Just googled potcakes. Why o why did I look. I want one. I will contact PAL (potcake adoption league) and inquire. I read that the locals think of them as we do pigeons. How very sad.

Thanks Kate. Really.

Anita (Nana) writes:
August 12th, 2009 at 10:11 am

Hi all,
Nice to receive surprise telephone call.
Looked up the town you all our sight seeing and visiting.
Shugorei looks great and smells good again. She needed the grooming.

How was engine viewing, today?

Ms.Ingrid bringing grandson, Niklus, to Siesta Key, Florida on 9/27/09 as off from his Kindergarden classes in Switzerland. Her telephone call last weekend of news of Ms. Greta’s $700.00 a week condo find for us.

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