Monday, February 23, 2009

JUST SIT RIGHT BACK AND YOU WILL HEAR A TALE

These are not my photos but file photos which are quite accurate.






"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, A tale of a fateful trip That
started from this tropic port Aboard this tiny ship. "



Some bosses give you annual bonuses, some turkeys, some nada. When I worked at a bank years ago ( oh,oh, here she goes with that "years ago" stuff) our bank president was an original. That year he organized the first annual trip to Bimini for his employees. Paul had a 36 foot Hatteras and offered to take anyone willing to the tiny resort island in the Bahamas, off the coast of Florida. Now is that theme song from Gilligan ringing a bell??




Those who didn't want to go on his boat, could fly at his expense. Seven women signed up for the trip. All the men had all ready taken a similar trip. Five of us decided to take the boat, the other two flew the roughly 50 miles. Two of us were divorced, two single and 3 married. Paul brought his teenage son Danny along as a chaperon. None of us could have afforded such a trip on bankers salaries in those days. We were beyond excited.




The trip over was totally uneventful. The water was glass smooth. I had never seen the ocean like that. After a couple of hours of smooth sailing, we were in a foreign country. Paul cleared us thru customs and we were like children wanting to do everything at once. Paul offered to take those who wanted snorkeling while the rest went shopping. I chose to snorkel with 3 others



The water in the Bahamas is unbelievably clear. We jumped over in what looked like maybe 7 feet of water. I dove towards the bottom to retrieve a beautiful conch shell near the reef. I pulled down, down, down thru the water but the shell was still out of reach and my ears were killing me from the pressure. When I popped back to the surface, Paul was laughing at us for the bottom was at least 30 feet away. That was how clear the water was. Paul free dove for the shell. For a much older man, he was in great physical shape



We cooked our backs as we snorkeled that day, mostly on the surface. Those were pre- sunscreen days, in fact we used to apply baby oil to hurry the (tanning?) process. The current was pretty strong that day and we didn't realize how far from the anchored boat we were drifting. Two of us ended up quite a ways from the boat and Paul called us to head back.



I felt a tapping on my back and my buddy pointed towards a large fish on the reef. It was a Barracuda who had his awesome. toothy mouth wide open while cleaner fish were doing their dental hygienist work on him. He looked as big around as a telephone pole magnified by the water. Barracuda's won't devour you like a shark but they can take pretty good chunks off. In that relatively short distance back to the boat, we could have given Michael Phelps a run for his money. We were inspired and back on the boat in record time.



That evening, we all got dressed up as much as Island living called for and hit the night spots. Paul was in his glory with 7 women trailing him about. One nightclub we entered had a featured comedian who was supposedly recording his performance that night for an album. He was in progress when we entered and we did create a bit of a stir. As we all took our seats, the comedian couldn't stand it so he addressed Paul.


"May I ask you Sir, just how many women are you escorting?"


"Seven, " Paul answered with a mile wide grin.


"And how long do you plan to stay in the Islands?" asked the comic. You could see he was heading somewhere with the questions.


Paul beat him to the punch line however. Still with his happy grin he answered, "Actually only a week. I wouldn't want to show partiality." He got the biggest laugh that night.


That night some of us slept on the boat while the rest went for the creature comforts the island hotel offered. Having lost out on dibs for a bunk, I blew up an air mattress and chose to sleep under the stars. It was a magical night and we all slept peacefully unaware of what was coming ..........

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale "


2 comments :

  1. You sure do know how to make a girl squirm!! Talk about cliff-hanging!

    I love that crystal clear water, although I've never been to Bimini; just Cancun, Bermuda and the Bahamas. I also swam next to barracuda in Mexico and watched them being caught by Mexican boat workers off the back of a trimaran, with a wire, by hand. It was a bloody mess!

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  2. Well now,Judy, you sent me on a research mission. You had me wondering if the Mexicans ate the barracuda you saw them catch. We were always told the large ones could give you Ciguatera which is not fun and can last for yrars. It seems some cultures do eat them and take their chances. Explains what you saw. Very interesting. Thanks for sending me on a learning trip.

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