Sitting up in the pilot house, we could see with our own eyes that a serious storm was coming. The Weatherfax hadn’t shown a good picture of it the day before, but you could see it on the radar, streaming through above Cuba, across Grand Bahama, and now it was on top of us. Chris went forward to the windlass while Phil laid down another hundred feet of chain between us and the anchor. The slight shifts in the boat’s position were revealed in the apparent movement of the sandy bottom under deep, clear, pale-green tropical water. We were on good holding ground. There wasn’t really much to worry about though it couldn’t help the fishing. And there were the compensations of a tropical squall: the supercharged atmosphere of deep, humid wind, the unpredictable tide slipping through the roots of heaving mangroves. It was interesting weather.
We were in a remote part of the Bahamas, a long way from even the smallest village. There were so many small cays and deep green cuts that if things abated at all, we could get in a lee somewhere and go on looking for fish.
Meanwhile, we hung on our anchor, transom directed at the low, broken coast, covered in spindly pines well spaced in their sandy footing by incessant sea winds. At the last village we’d bought bread from the local bakery. The people were cheerful and smiled quickly. Most had little to do. Their modest gardens were ruled by stingy rainfall; commercial fishing seemed reduced to supplying a hotel or two. The people were scattered along the roads that left the village, strolling or carrying sacks. Coconut palms bowed over the roadway, and as one of my companions said to me, a coconut did not reach a great age here. These pedestrians weren’t the first poor natives to roam the luxury home sites of the future.
The boat was owned by a friend of mine, and in his foresight and wisdom she was equipped with good electronics, shipboard refrigeration, and comfortable places to eat and sleep. And she carried two bonefish skiffs in davits.