Flamingo Cay – The Not So Good


We watched as a small cargo ship deliver supplies to the fishing boats.  Huge 300 gallon metal reinforced plastic containers were offloaded into the fishing boat’s larger skiffs.  We were thinking fresh water for the fleet. Then, we watched as the skiffs went out to the coral ledge and hung out for the day, never offloading the containers.  It seemed strange.  It dawned on Mark, then, that those containers were most likely bleach, and the local Bahamian fishermen were bleach bombing the reefs and lobster holes.  Angie would like to think differently, but nothing else makes sense. Such a sad sight to experience. We heard stories of fishing boats from DR bleach bombing the reefs, but never a Bahamian boat.

Bleach bombing, Flamingo Cay

Angie also had a very hard time sleeping at night.  The boat creaking from the heavy surge in the anchorage makes it sound like someone is boarding us in the middle of the night and walking around on deck.  She awakes with a jolt of fear, and it is hard to get back to sleep. This has to do with the rough looking local fishing boats hanging in the back of the anchorage, the other sailing boats in the anchorage departing, we are sleeping with the hatch above us wide open, and there is no one around to call if there was ever a problem.  These new noises put her on edge. She needs to find that compromise between wanting to be remote, and accepting the consequences.

Also, Angie needs to work on trusting people more.  Not everyone is out to ransack.  However, incidents do happen.  Unfortunately, crimes against sailors are increasing with boardings, theft, burglaries, violence, and murder. We get monthly updates around the world on the crimes against the boating community. Somehow, we need to make peace with the lifestyle we have chosen, to live on a boat and travel the world.  We have to weigh the risks.  When the juice is no longer worth the squeeze, then we will do something else.

One can be mugged, burgled, or murdered any place in the world – Small town USA, Chicago or Columbia.  We also have had experience firsthand. We had our backpack stolen in Costa Rica (wallet, camera, Id’s, credit cards, cash), thinking we were safe, in a remote swimming cove. It really wasn’t the cash or the inconvenience of cancelling the credit cards and getting new drivers licenses, but that our personal space and items had been violated, and feeling stupid that we let our guard down.  That incident, however, also made us less compassionate toward others and an even deeper feeling of distrust.

There will always be a gap between those that have more and those that don’t.  There are quite a few people that have a lot more than us, but I have never felt that it was my right to take what wasn’t mine.  I believe in working hard to get what one wants in life. Set goals, and make it happen. I also believe firmly in treating others as you would want to be treated. We have not known the ravages of war, or loss of home and family due to an earthquake or hurricane, or the desperation of trying to feed a starving family. I feel compassion for those that have.  However, the kid who stole our gear wasn’t desperate beyond choice.  He was wearing gold chains around his neck and ran like the devil up a steep cliff, healthy as a mountain goat. For someone who chooses to lie, steal, mug, and do harm, I hope that karma will someday pay them back a thousand fold. Hopefully, along the way, we will make peace with it all and find a compromise.

Angie should probably also stop reading murder – mysteries.  Sometimes, the imagination can get the best of you.

Anyways, now, Mark has another item added to the work list.  Try to make the boat creaks and noises go away.  This should be an ongoing project, due to give him many hours of experimentation and frustration.

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