There are so many good things about Man O War Cay. That is if you’re looking for a vacation to rest and relax. Not one restaurant except an ice cream shop! We took our own food and traded USDA beef with Walter at the Man O War Cay Hardware Store for fresh lobster that he had caught. There were two small grocery stores where each item was well over $3.00, a bag of potato chips fetched $4.99 and that was NOT the family sized bag.
Our days were a mix of scheduled lethargy. 8:15 or so awake. Sit, listen to radio, drink coffee. Float in the turquoise blue waters and decide what to eat at our next meal. Make and eat the meal. Sit, read, watercolor, needlepoint. Float in the turquoise blue waters and decide what to eat next. Nap. Go to the dockside, feed sea life and watch sunset, have cocktails. See moon and stars emerge go to house, make and eat dinner. Go to moon roof and watch for shooting stars. Fall into bed. Get up the next day at 8:15 or so.
Occasionally we would walk from one end of the cay to the other, walk on conch beach and hunt down conch with our spaghetti scoops. What a great catch we made the first day, seven conchs, two sand dollars, a sea urchin, two limpets and several other various shells. We visited the Man O War Cemetery where, oddly enough, all of the headstones had the same last name. So did every native islander for that matter. Hmm.
Really though my favorite part of each day was sunset. We would sit on our dock facing west, and watch the sun set over Abaco Sound. Ahh, the
The first evening the sea gulls where put out. Who was dock sitting in their space? I had bits of a hamburger bun and began to feed them. At first I threw the bits into the water and they would dive down to pick them up. Then I noticed that they sat on the post and inched their way closer to me, so I tested them and threw some bun closer. My finding: Sea gulls have personal space. Three feet and no less. Good thing too because MY personal gull space is three feet.
So began my minnowstry with minnows. They were dependable and came each evening to the dock to be fed. Fishes and Loaves, Fishes and Buns, Fishes and Croutons and Doritos, they didn’t care. I guess when you’re hungry what you eat really doesn’t quite matter so much. Here’s what I learned about minnows. (Chuck thinks I should apply for a research grant from Yale to do further work in the Bahama’s with minnows).
They are, of course, school fish. They swim in schools, you never see a singular minnow, they live in relationship to one another. When one turns they all seem to turn simultaneously. I never saw one fight with another. Some minnows were more aggressive but that was accepted.
I noted that there are four different schools of minnows grouped according to size.
The pre schoolers stayed very close to the bottom and hardly came out at night. The others came out for my offerings with the biggest at the top and the others layered underneath. When I would throw bits of food in all of the fish would swim in a frenzy to the bits and then quickly swim away from it, one or two had a nibble in its mouth but it was rare that one minnow hogged the entire bit. The food sank to all three levels and the frenzy went on at each level.
In the morning on the dock the little guys were there sunning themselves in the shallow water. I had some remnants of the prior nights feast which I threw out to them. I’m afraid that they didn’t swim to the food, but were scared out of their teeny tiny little fishwits. They shot away in every direction. I’m sure that if I were there longer I could have trained them to get the food. But all things come to an end and so did our stay at Man O War Cay.
Everyone needs a vacation with no agenda every once and a while. Nine days was my limit and I got antsy but it was essential to slow down my mind, my body. Oh and by the way, I got one heck of a tan. I couldn’t have begun an out island minnowstry without time. I wouldn't have been able to see the sun rise and set in all its daily glory. A space of time was created for me to begin the real process of release and to embrace the future. Ahhh, the Bahama's.