In an effort to expand my bonefish horizon, I partnered up with longslostrip recently and set out on an expedition to explore a distant island by foot in hopes of enhancing my bonefishing skills.
Our plan was a simple one. Find a place where there were likely to be fish that rarely see humans and there is ample opportunity to explore flats, mangrove lined shorelines, and tidal creeks on foot without the aid of a motorized skiff or guide.
In many exploratory adventures, there is a "jump-off" point. Ours would be Nassau. We ate and drank with the locals until well after the sun went down. When it was time to call it a night, we were spirited back to our crash pad by a fearless cabbie that made Danica Patrick's driving look timid and slow.
The next morning we rolled into the domestic terminal at Nassau's airport totally unprepared for the mass of islanders that crowded the space. We found ourselves at the rear of a non-moving que with a little less than 40 minutes left before the scheduled departure time. Anxiety was mounting until a tall linen clad man walked up asking if the flight we were waiting to catch had been announced yet. We answered in the negative and lamented that the line had yet to move and further more, the clock was ticking. His wink and reasurrance that we would not be left was comforting, but doubts lingered. The clock kept ticking.
Thankfully, our newfound abassador, Raymond, understood the thick bahamian accent that shouted above the noise of the assembled masses that our flight was leaving. He motioned calmly for us to make our way to the ticket counter as he shepparded us along.
Amazingly, in short order we were standing on the tarmac watching our plane fill with passengers. As we stepped aboard the door closed.
After the plane leveled off high above the blue and green water below, we learned that we were headed home. Aside from the two of us, the entire flight was filled with native born residents of one of the island settlements returning for an annual homecoming party.
After we collected our luggage from the back of the pick-up that met the aircraft on the deteriorating asphalt apron we began looking for someone that might be meeting us from the lodge. No such person emerged. Once again, a saint dressed head to toe in linen saved the day. He pointed to a Ford pick-up and simply said, "We'll get you where you need to go.".
The ride in the back of the truck was short and bumpy. We walked into the lodge to apologies for having been forgotten. All was forgiven when we were told of the cold beer and cracked conch that was on it's way from the kitchen.
Upon finishing our midday snack we were given a map of the island and the keys to a 1991 Ranger pick-up. Ten minutes later we were in the water, resuming our quest for bonefish.
The next week was a blur. We fished, explored and mingled with the natives at the island's only waterside bar each day.
The week in review:
Our ride back to civilization arrived at the appointed time despite our prayers for an extention of the trip by circumstances beyond our control.
We found the island and it's inhabitants to be very welcoming. The fishing a challenge (21 bonefish landed in a week & plenty of pulled hooks and break-offs). The beer was served cold.
We will return to continue our quest.[/report]