Exuma Islands Treasure Hunt: Bones

Fearless treasure hunters, here is your last clue.  A complete answer will explain the Haiku’s last five syllables.

Bones: A Haiku

On Powerful Beach.

Fifty-three feet of bleached bones.

Plastic tragedy.

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Our second Exuma treasure

We found our musical treasure “taking five” in a small bay off of Rudder Cay.  We had passed through the Dotham Cut into Exuma Sound and sailed south west to Rudder Cay Cut where we passed back on to the bank side.  After anchoring Elizabeth Jean and inflating Sensei, we paddled to a quiet spot for viewing the pianist.  “Who is Sensei,” you ask.  Stay tuned to a future post for your introduction.

The clear water cannot hide this stunning treasure.

A penny for your thoughts, pretty mermaid?

Wish I knew who to credit for this and the following fine images.

Dotham Cut is near Staniel Cay on the above chart and Rudder Cay Cut is near Big Farmer’s Cay.  The seas in Exuma Sound has mellowed sufficiently for our sail down to the pianist’s hiding spot.

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Exuma Treasure: Something Musical

Musical Treasure: A Haiku

In shallow clearness,

She tickles the ivories

Off of Rudder Cay

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Exuma Treasure Hunt: We have a winner (actually 2)

Two treasure hunters correctly guessed our first Exuma treasure.  As one of them commented, “pigs don’t fly, but they do swim.”  Stay tuned for the clue to treasure number 2.

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Big Major Island, the pigs’ home is just north of Staniel Cay, shown on the above chart.  We arrived at Staniel after pleasant nights at Highborne and Shroud Cays.

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Exuma Treasure: Porcine Pulchritude

Treasure hunters, here is your first clue.

Porcine Pulchritude: A Haiku

On Big Major’s shores,

Hearty shipwreck survivors.

Porcine pulchritude.

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Exuma Islands Treasure Hunt

From March 16 to April 21, Elizabeth Jean searched the Bahamas’ Exuma Islands for their fabled treasures.  The next three posts will include clues to the treasures we found and their locations.  Guess the treasure and Elizabeth Jean will buy you a round of your favorite libation.  Remember that “all that is gold does not glitter.”  For a bit of treasure lore see:

http://www.discoverexuma.com/about1-c1ozp

Albatross-eye-view of the Exumas.  The photo captures the difference between the deep water of Exuma Sound east of the islands (upper right corner of picture) and the shallower banks on the islands’ west side.  We made our way south from Nassau protected on the bank side, hurried along by 15-20 knots of north east winds.

This old style chart places the Exumas in context to the east and south of Andros, the Bahamas’ largest island.  Florida’s south coast is visible to the chart’s far left.

Our Exumas treasure hunt extended along the Exumas to and from George Town, our most southern destination.

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Eight Bells: “He’s off in the wilds again” Julie Coppen

Less than a week ago, our good friend Ken Leghorn ended his adventure on this earth.  In recounting his last day, and the beginning of “his next adventure,” his wife Julie Coppen commented that “He’s off in the wilds again, where he will know exactly where to go and what to do.”  Her words are fitting given Ken’s ease in Alaska’s wilderness and his commitments to introducing people to Alaska wilds as a guide and to protecting these areas as a civic leader.  Ken remains present with us as we travel in and through nature’s beauty.

Southeast Alaska peaks and glaciers, as seen from my departing plane window winging me back to the Exumas.  Ken is off in these wilds again.

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“Shaken not stirred” Bond, James Bond

As is the.case with many red blooded American boys, I remember my first.  My first James Bond movie that is.  It was 1965, so I must have been ten.  My father had whisked my brothers and me off to Florida for some sun.  My mother, who had not yet embraced air travel, stayed at home and enjoyed time off from her four boys and husband.  Meanwhile, the Laschever boys enjoyed the pool at Miami’s Norham Shorham Hotel, hamburgers and pizzas, and on one memorable night “Thunderball,” the fourth Bond movie.

We arrived at the theater late and missed the starting sequence (always memorable).  So, we sat through the beginning a second time and then just watched the whole thing again.  For a preteen, the combination of action, sex, and underwater photography (scuba scenes comprised a quarter of the film) was heady stuff.  Bahamian cruising presented several reminders of my Florida Bond bonding.  To start Sean Connery has a home in Lyford Cay where we dined during our stay in Nassau.  The plot thickened at Staniel Cay, where the Thunderball Grotto, a domed cavern filled with fish and other attractions, all but commanded us to take Schooner for a snorkel visit.  To cap it off, Bond himself made an appearance at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club in an advertisement for a Bond-themed party.

Thunderball Grotto, Staniel Cay Photo credit: Sacha Kalis (see http://www.sachakalis.com/blog/).

Oh yes, there were also fish in the grotto.  Photo credit:S/V Spiraserpula.  For more photos and information on the Grotto see: http://cruisingbiologists.com/a-quick-tour-of-thunderball-grott/

The grotto’s dome creates a cathedral like space and an opportunity for meditation.  Photo credit: S/V Spiraserpula.

We arrived about a week too soon for the party.  With regrets, we left our casino attire stowed in Elizabeth Jean and ambled further down the Exumas for our George Town rendezvous with daughter Jean and her fiance Max.

Bond, James Bond.

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“Around Nassau Town we did roam” Bahamian Folk Song

As was the case with the folk song’s author and his grandfather, Elizabeth Jean‘s crew and friends roamed Nassau Town for the better part of a month.  During that time, we eschewed “drinking all night and getting into fights.”  Instead we savored separate visits with our daughter Beth and friends Bill, Amy and Anna Ferron (and their Nassau-based nephew and niece-in-law Andrew and Emily).  Highlights of our Nassau sojourn included Beach Soccer championships, overnight sails to West Bay anchorage with its stunning sun sets, rich history and fine snorkeling, tours of Nassau’s cultural museum and museum of slavery and emancipation, conch fritters, salad, cracked conch and snapper at Bro B’s (under the bridge), and the flamingo parade.  In contrast to the Sloop John B‘s crew, Nassau did not leave us “wanting to go home,” but whetted our appetite for further island exploration.

Disney cruise ships lit up the night sky with fireworks during our night passage from Grand Bahama Island to New Providence Island (home to Nassau).    This ship’s larger than life mural only hints at the beauty lying under the sea.

FIFA’s regional beach soccer playoffs were in full swing during much of our Nassau stay.  Here the U.S. team stands for the pre-game flag ceremony.  The U.S. met the Bahamian team in the playoffs.  We were a decided minority in the stands.  Both teams advanced to the world championships in Nassau at the end of April.

The local fans fervently supported their team.

The flamingos paraded for us at the Adastra Garden, Zoo and Conservation Centre.

After the Revolutionary War, the British Government gave large land grants to British loyalists from the former colonies.  This map from the Clifton Beach Heritage area shows these large tracts.  The map also shows West Bay, a perfect anchorage when the wind is from any direction other than the west.  The Lyford tract is now a beautiful residential area that includes a marina.  Andrew and Emily hosted us and the Ferrons for a marvelous dinner in their Lyford Cay home.

These ruins suggest a harsh and primitive existence for the Royalists who fled the colonies with their slaves.

To access Jason de Caires Taylor’s Girl Holding Up the Ocean, our dinghy, Schooner, braved high winds and chop.  We secured her to a mooring ball and snorkeled over.  The water’s clarity made for excellent snorkeling here and at other West Bay sights.  For an account of the statute see:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2792659/18ft-atlas-sculpture-dropped-coast-bahamas-form-incredible-underwater-art-garden.html

For a brief history of the “Wreck of the Sloop John B,” first published in 1916 and popularized by Carl Sandburg in 1927 and the Beach Boys, see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_John_B._Sails

 

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Flamingo: A Haiku

Blazing pink plumage.

Bahama’s national bird

Awkwardly regal.

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