Great Harbor – Again!

On January 22nd, we enjoyed a five hour sail from Hoffmans Cay back to Great Harbor Cay. Along the way, we caught a few small fish and passed a couple Royal Caribbean cruise ships at Coco Cay. This time around, we headed straight into Great Harbor Marina. We were greeted at the dock by Trameco and Freddie. It was good to be back in one of our favorite places. 

Great Friends at Great Harbor

After washing all the salt off of our boat, we purchased some fresh conch salad from Steve at the government dock and rented a UTV to get around the island. It took quite a while for me to get used to driving on the left side of the road.
The next day, the boys met a nine year old girl named Charlotte, who was cruising with her grandparents aboard M/V Odyssea. They spent much of the next couple weeks playing with her. They built tree forts, caught tarantulas, fished, played cards, and explored the woods surrounding the marina. She came with us to explore the ruins of a huge resort that has been abandoned since the 1960’s. 
We spent lots of time just sitting around talking with our friends, Alvin and Fettuccini. Alvin shared his homegrown papayas with us and showed us about a place called “Top of the Rock”, with a view of the entire island and the surrounding cays.

Another Injured Child

The following week, the boys were roughhousing and Abel hit his head on piece of wood trim in our salon. It resulted in an inch long gash just above his left eye. We were pretty concerned since the bone in his eye socket was visible, but a retired nurse on another boat so kind as to inspect the wound and give us some Steri-Strips so we didn’t have to put sutures that close to his eye. 
Coincidentally, the next day, at the marina’s Grill and Chill, Abel was bit by a dog on the other side of his face. Fortunately, the dog had all its vaccines and the bite only left a few scratches on his cheek. Abel has always been our most accident prone child!

Close Encounter With a Tiger Shark

On January 28th, the boys and I took a spearfishing trip to a nearby plane wreck. Gabriel and I speared a large mutton snapper, which wedged itself and our pole spear under the wing of the plane. It thrashed around and the water became clouded with blood and sediment. As I was trying to get the fish out from under the wing of the plane, I heard Gabriel scream underwater.
I looked behind me and saw him face to face with a tiger shark. It looked to be about 10 feet long. It was just a few feet away from us, so I speared the shark in the nose. It swam away but was back in our face in seconds. I gestured for Gabriel to swim back to the dinghy with Isaiah while I repeatedly speared the shark in the nose every time it got close. 
This process of poking the shark in the face and swimming a few feet backwards continued for what seemed like an eternity. The spear didn’t seem to even scratch the shark’s tough skin, but eventually I made it back to the dinghy. I half expected to lose a leg while I turned my back to the shark while climbing into the dingy.
We waited for a while and then did several donuts around the plane wreck in our dinghy to try to scare the shark away. Eventually after seeing no sign of the shark, I jumped in, dislodged our fish and the spear and headed back to the marina. Gabriel was pretty shaken and swears he will never spearfish again. I hope he’ll reconsider, but either way, I’ll be much more cautious the next time there is blood in the water. The fish, however, was delicious!

Saying Goodbye

Before we knew it, it was time to start heading back to Florida. After so many stops in the Bahamas, Great Harbor was without a doubt our favorite. Not because of the delicious food and clear water, but because of the wonderful locals and kind cruising community there. We said our goodbyes, but knew we’d return one day.

4 thoughts on “Great Harbor – Again!”

  1. I think this was the first I heard about the Tiger Shark and that sounds absolutely frightening!! Glad everyone was safe and you didn’t lose a leg!!

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