Today we had another long boat ride, but it was exciting because the guys caught 3 large dolphin fish / mahi mahi. They’d actually hooked 8 of them, but a problem with the gaff (read: giant hook on a pole) meant that only 3 made it on board. Still, it would be plenty for a couple of nights of dinner for a group this size.
I loved that the fish seemed to glow when they were just under the surface, and we thought it was interesting that the fish lost their beautiful colors pretty quickly after they were killed. I didn’t particular enjoy watching them stick the knife in the fishes’ brains to kill them, but I was glad they died quickly and the cleaning/fileting process didn’t bother me a bit.
We landed at Hawkesbill Cay, where we dinghies into shore and snorkeled/swam/played on the beach for a while. The kids were really into building sand castles and destroying each other’s castles, and after a few hurt feelings it was interesting to watch them form alliances and enact (short-lived) treaties.
Bruce led interested parties on a 90-minute hike of the island, and the rest of us stayed to play.
I was actually pretty cold, though the sun was shining, because the water wasn’t really warm and the wind was blowing. So after swimming for a few minutes, I wandered around the rocks in knee-deep water to look at fish, crabs, and snails and to enjoy the powdery sand. There were also quite a few small jellyfish – maybe 3 inches across – and we walked very close to them to watch them swim. Apparently, they have really long, invisible strands trailing from them, because I got stung on both feet and a leg from a couple of feet away from a jellyfish (or else was stung by one I didn’t see). The burn was immediate, and made me yelp and walk out of the water. It felt maybe a bit worse than a wasp sting, and it was interesting to watch the welts rise. I kept trying to put my feet in the water to soothe them, but it seemed to make it worse, so I just buried my feet in the soft sand instead. As I was in mixed company I opted not to pee on my own feet to relieve the sting.
When the hike was over and the boys got back, Christopher’s friend D got a jellyfish sting on his wrist. Christopher ran over to see what had happened, and got stung on the back of his leg as a reward. Both boys were laying in the sand, howling and crying, and I had trouble not laughing at them (Parenting Award #1 of this trip). Of course I felt sorry for them, but the fact that Christopher ran right over to the jellyfish and then was shocked when he got stung really made me laugh. Plus, their other friend, C, who hadn’t been stung, kept alternately yelling at them, “Suck it up!” “Be a man!” and “Let me pee on you!” which only made me laugh harder. Luckily, the boys were too busy rolling on the sand and crying to notice my reaction. (My only regret: that I’d forgotten the camera on the boat. Would’ve loved to have taken pics of the stings and aftermath.)
After the trauma/drama settled down, we went back to the boat, took our Lemon Joy baths. The boys stripped down for their baths and swam naked for a good 20 minutes. Most of the dudes on the boat were pretty casual about clothes, and I have to say: I saw a lot more dongs than I’d expected to on this trip.
Then we watched Charlie filet the mahi. He had come prepared, with seaweed sheets and ginger, and made sushi for everybody. We also had some cooked fish, which even Christopher loved.