Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mayaguana and the Pink Flamingos

We arrived at our last Bahamian island! Mayaguana is the south-easternmost island of the Bahamas and has three small settlements. Cruisers don’t typically visit here unless they are staging to go to or from the Caribbean. We are waiting here until a weather window opens up, and then we’ll sail to Providenciales, which is in the Turks and Caicos island chain.

The first day we anchored at Northwest Point and took the dinghy to Blackwood Point to find the pink flamingos that supposedly live there. And found them we did! I was so excited because it was the first time that I’ve seen flamingos in the wild. The water where they were resting was shallow so we turned off the motor, and I got out to slowly make my way over to them. They were easily spooked though, and once I got 30-40 feet from them they all took off. Watching their pink bodies and black tipped wings fly across the bay was a beautiful sight!

After that, we moved on to Betsy Bay, waited out a rainstorm, and then went to the beach. There we found hundreds of pieces of dead coral and a few baby conch shells. I took a lot pictures and selected a few pieces of brain coral and conch shells to save as souvenirs. Coral heads littered the water between the boat and the shore so we jumped in to snorkel before heading back. In a matter of minutes, we found three large conch that would soon make their way to our dinner plates. David had been waiting to find some that were large enough to eat. Harvesting them is easy…getting them out of their shell is the exact opposite. We both gave it a go and a few hours later we were enjoying fresh conch fritters.
Here’s my version of the process:
1)      Knock a hole big enough to fit a knife in the top of the conch
2)      Sever the muscle and watch who knows what ooze out of the hole
3)     Stick your hand up into the shell and pull the conch out
4)      Cut away the digestive tract and some other stuff but save the crystalline style to eat (locals say it provides energy and a boost in libido)
5)      Eat the crystalline style and watch David’s face twist into a grimace. He can’t believe that I’m eating it. It wasn’t bad though – like eating a slightly salty and crunchy non-flavored Jello.
6)      Make a few shallow cuts and peel the skin off 
7)      Beat the crap out of the meat with a piece of wood to tenderize it
The meal was delicious, but we won’t be doing that again. We are officially conched out after being in the Bahamas for two months.




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