Winter Getaway Aboard Rode Trip – Week #2

It’s hard to believe that two weeks have already ended and our friends, Brian and Jennifer, are making their way back to Honesdale, PA. Brian and Jennifer adapted to Rode Trip with ease! They could practically sail and maintain this ship by themselves, not to mention that they totally kicked back and enjoyed the cruising lifestyle. I think it is safe to say that they had a spectacular vacation; and we were sad to see them go.

During our first week with Brian and Jennifer, we had explored Staniel Cay and nearby Big and Little Major. We had celebrated a festive Christmas on Great Guana Cay with the fabulous residents at Black Point. During week two, we island hopped southward along the Exumas.

At Great Guana Cay we followed the trail which led us to a cave just north of Oven Rock.







Snorkeling opportunities were plentiful…even frolicking with mermaids!






Fishing comprised a large part of each day. Fish tacos were on the menu the evening the guys harvested roughly 20 lion fish.


Deep sea fishing was less successful. We didn’t land any mahi-mahi’s, although we did manage to select the best lure for barracudas…and each catch was larger! Finally we opted to take the line out of the water, we’d had enough barracudas.




The guys tried their best…but sometimes even without fish a night of burgers and BIG beers really hits the spot! MMmmmmm!




Glamorous sunsets were the perfect ending to each fun-filled day.


Kayak excursions provided a nice change of pace. Brian and Jennifer took a turn and explored the salt pond at Normand’s Pond Cay.




Fishing was a hit at Normand’s Pond Cay and the small blue hole provided a great backdrop for photo shoots. Brian landed this new find for us, a stone crab, which was delicious.






On the trails a Stocking Island, we hiked to the top of Monument Beach for beautiful views.





Termite mound.


“It’s a starfish!”


We chilled at Chat’n’Chill where we enjoyed rum punches, goombay smashes, and Kalik.


It was a spectacular vacation and we are looking forward to Brian and Jennifer’s next visit…wherever Rode Trip may be!



The Red Shrimp Grotto

Thanks SO MUCH for the update, Bruce! Wifi was hard to come by in the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Islands…but now we are up and running again. Enjoy!

Ren and Ashley (sv/Nila Girl) had some adventuring planned for their day and they invited Matt and Jessica (sv/Serendipity) and Brian and I along. Our goal was to discover and explore the ‘Red Shrimp Grotto’ a locally known grotto on Long Island. The six of us piled into Ren and Ashley’s car heading south.

The first clue for the grotto was to go to the oldest church on Long Island; and as local lure will tell us the oldest church in the Bahamas.




After thoroughly exploring the church ruins we headed behind the church where our next clue was to find the trail.


We didn’t exactly find a trail. What we did find was a thinned patch of brush that we bushwhacked through until we arrived at an abandoned salt pond. Being spoiled by the clear and vibrant blue waters of the Bahamas, we were a bit disgusted by this brown pond. It was, however, a nice change of scenery and we admired the dark greens of the palms lining its shores. The salty foam felt cool against our sweaty, dirty, hiking feet; only Serendipity had thought to wear appropriate footwear for this trek.




Back through the brush we walked toward the church ruins determined to find the trail for the grotto. Sure enough, just beyond the back yard of the church there was a trailhead clearly marked with a cairn. Ren, Matt, and Jessica went ahead to scout it out. From the distance Ashley, Brian, and I heard a shout, “it’s here!”

The grotto was beautiful; a cavern filled with cool, clear, saltwater. Ren, Matt, Brian, Ashley, and Jessica went for a swim. They disturbed a napping bat who I could hear squeaking from my post atop the grotto as they explored the cave below. There were tiny, red shrimp swimming to and fro near the bottom of the grotto. Upon learning of the potential for shrimp Brian and I thought it a good idea to bring the cast net. There weren’t enough for an appetizer through, and poor Brian had trudged through the brush carrying his cast net and fish bucket the entire way! Everyone was careful not to disturb the water, but with five people in the grotto the clarity was quickly clouded. Nice and cool, we headed back toward the boats…




…but not without a detour along the way. Ren drove out this road toward Welch Cay; a small community of about 5 oceanfront houses on their own private bay. We had a snack along the coast and enjoyed the view of the ocean side.


On the drive back we enjoyed dessert, sea grapes! Yes, these berries are edible and taste like tart grapes fresh from the vine.



Later that night we had one last hurrah prior to leaving Long Island. We had dinner aboard Nila Girl. Ashley prepared a lovely spread with conch salad, homemade guacamole, salsa, and pan fried grouper for fish tacos (Ren speared the grouper the day prior and it had already fed seven of us, now for round two). Brian and I brought along homemade tortillas and chipotle coleslaw and Jessica and Matt provided the chips and cheese. It was so much fun to share in this feast by brining all our resources together! Ren and the guys took us for a sail to the northernmost part of Thompson Bay. Patty (sv/Lutra) joined us for the meal and brought along a tasty pasta salad. After dinner, we joined the cruisers get-together on the beach to get our campfire fix. Then we sailed home and said our goodbyes…for now. We’ll be meeting up with Nila Girl and Lutra soon enough!

Long Island, Bahamas

Long Island is like no other Bahamian island we’ve visited; the people, the landscape, and of course the crystal clear waters make this island feel like a place to call home. Brian and I began our explorations of the island on the Atlantic side with Matt & Jessica.

We found rocky coastline with soft, white sand. We also found garbage strewn in the seaweed. It’s a shame we’ve invented this plastic substance…now we can’t get rid of it.




I’m gonna strap that boy’s fins to the ground…when he’s not on or in the water, he’s defying gravity!


We quickly immersed ourselves into Long Island’s community, meeting fabulous locals and boaters at the Fish Fry.


And of course made plans for upcoming days of fun!