FOXTROT. Do You Copy, Mon?
OSCAR MOTEL GULF we just had the best trip to the Bahamas! Last week was spring break so Tom, Sophie and I traveled to Exuma along with my parents. It was a week filled with fishing, food, friends and family – basically this post is brought to you by the letter “F”.
F IS FOR FLATS FISHING
Love those bonefish. The conditions were pretty sublime the first few days with plenty of sun, a light breeze, and consistent fish sightings throughout the day. A cold front came in which made the final two days windy and the fish skittish, not to mention scarce. But we worked a little harder and still caught them, and enjoyed walking the flats. I never tire of the infinite colors of blue in Exuma.
Nor do I tired of catching bonefish.
Sophie debuted her super cool hat she received for Christmas. My dad put a Bahamas flag patch on a Winston Rod hat for her.
The first day she caught this barracuda.
And helped handle my bonefish to the boat for practice.
The next day she caught her own. Her very first bonefish!
She caught another one on the last day as well. Everyone caught their fair share. Here is my dad handling one for me that I caught. My trip fish? Uh yeah, that’s a big 10-4. This was cool.
F IS FOR FOOD
These Exuma trips are fishing first, we’re not really there as foodies, and yet we always seem to find time to load up on the Bahamian cuisine. Our first night at Big D’s Conch Shack we ordered conch salad, conch fritters, and crack conch. It literally could not have been fresher.
At Eddie’s Edgewater we ordered more conch in a variety of forms, as well as grouper fingers and snapper.
And wine. And Kaliks. Which may explain why I was trying to feed this snapper a french fry. Sort of a Fish Called Wanda moment.
One night Tom and I stole away to a spot called Catch & Fire for sunset and date night.
Another evening we took a break from seafood and dined on bbq chicken and jerk pork right off the grill and on the beach.
We ended the trip with a lovely meal at Latitudes at the Exuma Beach Resort where we started with none other than…conch fritters.
And conch chowder which in the Bahamas has a tomato base and is delicioso.
On previous trips, I don’t remember mac-n-cheese being such a prominent side item but it was on every single menu in Exuma this time….and I chose it as a side dish prety much every single night.
F IS FOR FRIENDS
We enjoyed both old friends and new friends on this trip. Of course it was great to see our old friend, Stevie.
But we also befriended the loveliest, most enjoyable family from Kansas who had four daughter ranging from freshman in high school to freshman in college.
We love our new friends! The girls were slightly older than Sophie but they took her under wing and she was thrilled to hang out with other kids, not just grown ups the entire time. Meanwhile the adults had a ball together, we had about a million mutual friends in common. Looking forward to staying in touch with our new Kansas friends!
F IS FOR FAMLY FUN
As many years as we’ve traveled to Exuma, we’ve never taken time away from fishing to see the island’s most popular tourist attraction: the swimming pigs. But having a teenager on the trip inspired us to break away from the flats, just for a bit, and explore some of the other activities that normal, well adjusted, non-fishing families take part in while on vacation.
One of the highlights was seeing the beach iguanas. Apparently this species of iguanas was once nearly extinct until a conservation group placed them on this particular cay and nurtured the population back up. Nicholas Cage purchased this island without doing his homework only to later learn that because of the protected iguanas, he can never build on it. Maybe he can lease it out as a set location for a remake of Jurassic Park.
The absolute ultimate highlight of our non-fishing adventures would have to be seeing, finally, the swimming pigs. I absolutely love love love these pigs.
They were extraordinarily calm and friendly because boats come by regularly with snacks. On this particular day our captain was feeding them his extra Funyuns.
On our last night, the place where we had dinner had a DJ and everyone was letting loose on the dancefloor. Sophie was mortified at the thought of us dancing so she bolted with grandparents while Tom and I busted out some sweet disco moves.
I do loooove a dance off. But truly, nothing is more romantique that hiking around on the flats together for three hours and finding schools of big bonefish.
It was a fantastic trip, we never wanted it to end. Fish, food, friends, family, fun…and now farewell. Until next time Exuma.
Over and out.