Another beautiful day on Mayaguana.  I don’t think I will ever get tired of this view.  Tristan and Tessa are in the water first thing.   How can you go back to suburbia after this?  Around lunchtime Tessa tells us there is a boat approaching.  It is Smokey, the guy who owns Paradise Villas.   He has a helper with him, Lenny, and a boat load of conch, fish and LOBSTER!  His premise for stopping by is to see how we want our lobster’s cooked that night.  I think it is more to show off what a good fisherman he is.  I have no problem with that, and sit on the swim platform to watch the show!





























They have caught all of this in 2 hours.   Amazing!  Lenny makes fast work of the conch.  It takes him about 3 seconds per conch to puncture the shell, pull out the conch and drop it in a bucket.  Smokey has about 14 lobsters and we buy 6 good size tails from him for $50.00.  I will freeze these for later.   While he cleans the grouper, he fills us in on the island.  The I Group had originally purchased 10,000 acres, all prime oceanfront, from the previous Bahamian government.  When the new government took over, they  redid the deal, making the I Group give back 5000 acres.  I think that was a good idea.  While I think some development is good for the islands, you can’t have all the good land sold to outsiders.  You have to make land affordable to the locals. 

As Smokey cleans the fish, he rinses the heads and puts them in another bucket.  I ask him if he ever makes fish head souse.  He smiles and tells me that is what they are for.  Now normally I would not eat anything with a head in it, but we did have fish head souse on Rum Cay.  It was so good. 

As I watch them throw the lobster heads and conch shells back into the water, I can’t help thinking about the sharks this will attract.  I asked Smokey about the sharks.  Makos, tiger, bullsharks and lemon as well as nurse sharks, all come in at high tide.  We saw two big dead sharks up by where the local kids swim.  With those kinds of sharks in the water, I can tell why our friend the day before had his speargun!  The sun was hot and I offer Smokey and Lenny our last two beers.  They seemed appreciative, even if it was Bud, and not Guinness, or Heineken which is what they normally drink.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a light beer. Smokey borrows a few zip locks from me, and then fills a large one up with conch for us, no charge.  As they leave I ask if I can also get some conch salad tonight and they say no problem.  They head out and we agree to meet up at 5:00pm for dinner..

It is another quiet day in the settlement.  We hardly see a soul as we make it to Paradise Villas.   The restaurant/bar is much less busy than it was yesterday.  When we walk in, Smokey asks us what we want to drink with dinner and I say water and the kids will have Coke.  He says he is out of Coke, but he has fruit juice.  I look at the kids and they shrug.  I say they will just have water.  The next thing I know, he gives one of the guys some money and sends them off somewhere to buy Coke.  We get a Heineken each, and then someone else tries to order a Heineken and they tell him they are out.  But later, Smokey brings me another Heineken.  What Dan and I figure out is that he is saving what few Heinekens he has left for us.  How nice. 

Smokey is going all out to make sure we have a good evening.   He sends one of the other guys out to get limes off the tree for the conch salad.  This is really turning into a team effort.  Now the unfortunate part of the whole evening.  We walk in and they are playing some really good Bahamian music.  Oh no. Not for us.  The music changes to the white man’s CD.  Ok, it starts out with Billy Squire.  I can handle that.  But then it changes to Juice Newton.  Juice Newton.   Can you believe it?  I want to pull out my eardrums.  As bad as I feel for me, I feel even sorrier for the poor Bahamian who had to make the white man CD.  I am sure they are in therapy.


Soon the food is ready.  We sit down and huge plates of food are put before us.  Dan and my lobster dinner is actually 2 lobster tails each, with a huge side of corn and peas and rice.  We each have a big bowl of the best, spiciest conch salad I have ever had.  The kids are eating grouper fingers and peas and rice.  This is from the grouper caught earlier today.  The food is so good, and we are really touched at the special effort Smokey made for us.  The price for our meal?  4 beers, 2 cokes, a jug of water, 2 lobster dinners, 2 conch salads, 2 grouper finger dinners?  $46.00.


We start a happy walk back to the dinghy dock.  We get about a block away, when a pickup truck pulls over and offers us a lift.  What a great day.  We fall asleep with Juice Newton’s “Midnight.  Waitin for the 12:05” running through our head.