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  • Katharine Hesmer

DAY 18 | December 31, 2021

Cat Cay Islands, Bahamas to Chub Cay, Bahamas

Spent the last day of 2021 on a long trek from Cat Cay Islands to Chub Cay, which took about 10.5 hours total. We saw nothing but beautiful blue water and clear skies for the entire trip. Not a single boat, island, or life form of any kind, with the exception of the various creatures swimming along around us. Steve spotted a few flying fish and just about lost his mind.

Ron also decided it would be the perfect time to put a fishing line back in the water, and within a short amount of time, he’d already caught something . . . and all he could say was, “I hope it’s not a barracuda”. So take a wild guess what it was.

That thing had the most menacing teeth I think I’ve ever seen. Its mouth reminded me of the hilarious dog, Kyle, in the movie Despicable Me, which, it turns out, isn’t that hilarious when you’re the one charged with getting a gigantic hook out of its mouth, which of course

wasn't me. 😳 Ron put on a diving fin to protect his foot and stepped on the side of the barracuda just firmly enough to hold it still. It fought back a tad but was already so tired from the long swim behind the boat it kind of gave up. Ron was able to return it to the water, but we weren’t sure if it survived the ordeal. The catching part is fun; I’ve never liked the dying part. Which would partially explain why I don't fish. #wimp

Ron put the line back in, and within 10 minutes, the reel whizzed AGAIN . . . making a massive birds’ nest in the reel which just sealed Ron’s conviction that he wasn’t meant to be a fisherman. That sentiment was only reinforced when we saw that it was, yes, ANOTHER barracuda. Swim fin back on foot, pliers back in hand, and this fish fought back harder. Ron escaped those dagger-like teeth but not without a bit of stress in the process. That barracuda swam off, lucky to be hook-free, and Ron went back to the captain’s chair, DONE with fishing, at least for today.

Ron set up a hammock upstairs, and enjoyed this long relaxing ride with good tunes and an even better companion by his side. I tried to catch up on work, at least the work that doesn’t require internet, so it felt good to have some time to be productive without worrying that I was missing changing scenery outside. I typically work in the pilot house at the table so I can see what’s going on around me.

The ride today has been really smooth, with the water getting more and more flat as we went along. Almost mirror-like as the wind continued to die down. In fact, Ron said if we were in a sailboat, we probably would’ve been better off just going ahead and anchoring because it would be super-slow going if you had to depend on wind power. That was a nice contrast to yesterday, when the seas were fairly choppy. The water is INSANELY blue, clear, and flat. I can see straight to the bottom. CRAZY. And there is not a sign of life ANYWHERE around us. Literally. Not even on the horizon. Aside from the occasional flying fish temporarily interrupting the glassy surface to skip across the water like a smooth rock— if that rock looked like a fish and could skip 15 times. More CRAZINESS. I cannot think of a time when I’ve been ANYWHERE where you couldn’t even see LAND around you. It’s just impossible to describe how spectacular it is. It's nearly impossible to discern the "line" where the water ends and the sky begins. To cap it all off, there was absolutely no cell service, which was absolutely wonderful.

KORKZcrew had left Cat Cay Island at 7:30 a.m.; we didn’t encounter a single boat until one appeared wayyy off of our port side at 1:00 pm, traveling in the opposite direction.

It was hard to take it all in. It was almost eerie how calm it was, and how clear the water was. We were in 14 feet and it looked like 2. Just crystal clear. Ron said it was like an aquarium. Or a swimming pool He also commented that KORKZcrew can handle conditions like these! Hahaha. Yeah, that’s pretty much true. She doesn’t seem to like the rocking and rolling, and she isn’t alone. But remember, they call the Great Harbour “unsinkable”, and while we will not be putting that claim to the test, it’s still reassuring to know without a doubt that these are really well-built boats.

Coming into Chub Cay, a big yacht was closing in on us on our port side, towing a boat the size of KORKZcrew . . . their dinghy 😂. They contacted us on Channel 16, not being able to see our boat’s name on AIS, and said, “little trawler coming into Chub, can you follow on our stern?” Or something like that . . . basically asking if it was ok if they passed us, but I thought it was funny (and fitting) that they called us Little Trawler. It’s like the Little Engine That Could. Or the Little Bathtub, thinking it can hang with the big guys.

Anchored in Chub Cay around dinner time, and enjoyed another pleasant evening aboard KORKZcrew.

Night Night, Chub Cay!

10.5 hours underway / 76 nautical miles

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Gerry Neumann
Gerry Neumann
Jan 09, 2022

You can eat Barracuda. One of the best eating and most popular eating fish in Belize. I never ate it growing up on Key Biscayne but they eat it here and it is amazing.

Gerry Neumann
Gerry Neumann
Jan 09, 2022
Replying to

Filet it just like any fish or cut like tuna into coda steaks. They are keepers for sure.

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