I have known that I wanted to this program for a long time now. My brother did it back in 2003. I saw how much fun he was having learning the fish and then going out on the sail boats and seeing them in person. I saw what he brought back from the trip and it all sounded like so much fun i just had to try and go. So here I am! I took the class and went on the trip.
I couldn't sleep, I had to be up at 4:30 in the morning so we could meet at the library and and be at the air port around 6:20 ish. This was a day of waiting which i learned to do very well on this trip. Especially when your in the Bahamans. We get to the air port and our plain takes off around 8:30 am. We land in Florida at 12:00 and from there we waited 30 minutes for a shuttle bus to come and pick us up. While we were waiting i noticed something. There was this bird. A pigeon, It was walking by large crowds of people. It was just walking by, i guess looking for food. A couple of other students and i would try to get as close to it as we could. My brother, Jake was just standing on the curb and if he was to take a step back he would step on it.
The bus finally showed up and we raced to the hotel. When i say raced i mean it. They drive crazy down there. There were so many loops and turns. We finally made it safely to the hotel. We had the rooms booked at least two weeks in advance and they weren't really yet. We got there and Mr. and Mrs. Nash's room was ready but no one else's was. So we put all of our bags in there room and took off to go for a walk.
We were in Florida and of all places that we went to was K-Mart. It was kind of nice from my prospective. I work at K-Mart here in town and i got to see what another store was like. This one has cool cloths and it was busy. Their store had nicer things and it even looked nicer on the out side. But the customer service was slow and they didn't seem to be to happy to work there. I tried to use my discount and the lady there messed it up so i didn't even get that.
We finally left that store and headed to a restaurant where we could grab something to eat...Finally! We went to the Ale House. It served lots of seafood and normal foods. I tried oysters and claims for the first time... I don’t like them. But I did like the fried squid. I ordered the jumblia thinking it would be like my dads. It was good but very hot.
We later made it back to the hotel where our rooms were still not ready so we all changed into our swimsuits and took a swim in the pool and hot tub. It felt nice to finally be able to swim in a pool outside again. I got tried of sitting around so i went lizard hunting. I was able to ketch a one. I have done this before when I went to FL for Christmas one year. No one thought I could do it.
Our rooms were finally ready at 8:00 that night and after waiting 8 hours for our room to be ready it felt nice to take a shower and go to bed. We had a big day tomorrow and i had to be up before 9:00 to get ready to take the charter plain to the Bahamas.
The next morning was crazy. I woke up at 8:30 to get my bags reorganized and ready to go. I got a text from group me at 8:50 saying that the flight for 9:30 has been moved to 9:00 so get down stairs A.S.A.P. So i woke up my bedroom partner and helped her get her stuff ready and ran down stairs. We got down there 8:55 hoping to grab breakfast but that didn’t happen so an apple would have to do for the day.
We took another shuttle bus to a smaller airport and ended up waiting 3 and half hours before we could even get on the plain. We were hungry and somewhere pretty crabby (me). When our pilot finally showed up we were ready to get out of there. We went through the airport and out on to the loading area. The pilot loaded our bags into the nose and wings of the 8-seated plain. I was very nervous I have been in a large plain before but never a small one. We took off a little shaking but we were fine. The plain was very loud and there was nothing to do. We looked out the window and could see only blue or sometime just the white of the clouds. About an hour later we started to go for a landing. The run way was very small and had some pot holes in it but we touched down as smooth as we could.
We showed up and had to go through customs. We looked around and all we saw were very dark color skin people with one or two white people. Were where in a completely different world. The people were very nice. They helped load our bags (went they wanted too... we were in Bahamian time now). We then took taxis to this little area on the beach called fort Forfar. It was a nice little place. Coconut trees everywhere, with a very nice view of the beach. They fed us sandwiches and fruit and what felt like the last of the "good water".
We later went back out to go try out our snorkel gear. I just walked on the beach and in the water. i didn’t go swimming yet. My brother found a dead reef shark trapped on some rocks so i got to see my first shark in the ocean there. I also learned the hard way that rocks are slippery. I ended up slipping and my foot went right into a hole where my poor toe was cut. Its a good things that shark was dead.
Our group got it good. We showed up early enough to go to the "tourist shops" which was shacks that you walk to. It was like two blocks down the road. You would walk right in and just look around. It was a very small room with a window or two that would be open for a breeze to come in... As well as the Doctor flies. We were the only group that was able to go there that day. We went back to Fort Forfar, some of us sent to sleep and others went our and played basketball with some of the kids. It was fun to inter act with them.
The next group finally made it to Fort Forfar and we got into taxis once again to head to the area where the sailboats were. We got to see there school and church on the way there. We had a screaming baby in the back seat with me so the ride down just seemed like it took forever.
No seems.... The worse thing ever! Those are sand flies and you can't really see. They come out at night and early morning other then that they don’t bother you. Our boat had air conditioning and a net set up so they couldn't get into our boat but one of the other boats didn't have it that good. My brother was on a boat with no air conditioning so they had the windows and door open so they ended up being eaten alive by the no seems. They called it the Bahamama pocks.
The next morning we all woke up ready to go. The only problem with that was the weather didn't agree. The wind was blowing at 40miles an hour and the captons new that if we set out to sail that day then they would have a lot of seasick students. So instead of sailing that day we waited until the next day but it wasn’t all bad. We got onto out dingy and went someplace close by. I was very nervous my first dive. I was ready for a shark to pop up or for something to hurt me. But the only thing that happened was a mouth for of nasty seawater.
I have never swum in the ocean before. I have only walked in it. I had no idea that the water would be so salty! It hurt my eyes and made my mouth dry. I don’t understand how fish can survive in it.
On our first dive that day we went out into the open 15-foot waters and jumped in. It was warmish water and very clear. I would easily look down from the boat and see fish and coral all around me. I saw large groups of fish. I say lots of sergeant major’s and pirate fish. The fish would swim by and not even care that you were so close. Some would even get real close just to see what the heck you were.
Later that day we also went up this bay and to another spot. This one was where we saw our first and only jellyfish. They were only upside down jellies but a jellyfish nonetheless. I jumped in the water first and as soon as I did I realized it was only 5 foot deep. I kicked up so much settlement from the bottom. I ended up being stung all over. My legs hurt and itched like crazy. I found an interesting bottle and some shells in that area though.
We later went back to the boats and Mrs.Nash and I made steer fry. It tasted amazing after a long day of swimming.
Day 4 wasn’t very much fun. We ended up sailing for 14 hours. We got up at 10 and took off to the first place. The two boys were the ones who ad to set the sails and pull the anchors. They became true men in training the day they stepped on the boats.
As we were sailing the winds picked up and so did the waves. The boat just rocked all day long. Up and down, up and down. Two of the girls on out boat got sick and I almost did. They slept the whole time and I stayed on top with the captain and Mrs. Nash. She ended up reading all day and I tried to do some Sudoku then desisted to lay down in the sun. I ended up falling asleep and burning my face and chest. I ended up swelling up and getting a heat rash all over my body. I was miserable for the rest of the trip.
Before everyone fell asleep we set up two fishing lines. One at 25ft. and another at 100ft. We ended up caching two dolphin fish. They were so pretty when you first pull them out of the water. They had a yellow stomach and had some blue in various places. We ended up eater them that night for supper. We cooked them with rice crisps. I never knew you could do that. This was the best tasting fish I have ever eaten!!!
We are still making our way south. I fell asleep and the next thing I new the captain was yelling 10mins until snorkel time. We were all rushing around trying to get ready. Today we were going to jump off the big boat and go look at a sunken plain. We jumped in and it was COLD! We were in 25 foot water and I was scared to death that a big shark was going to be ready to eat me. Turns out the only thing there was a scary BARICODA. It just stared at us and watched us as we attempted to swim to the plain. The water wasn’t wavy but it was moving very fast.
I was able to see the plain and tried to take some pictures of it and that wasn’t going to happen very easily. We also saw a sea turtle and tried to swim it down. They can move much faster then us in water. By the time I took a picture and looked up I was about 30ft away from my group. I looked behind me and saw Jason even farther away. I tried to swim back to the group but gave up. I just couldn’t keep up.
So the capton came to pick us up and then took us all to another place. I was a cute little place with coral and brightly colored fish all around. Some girls were there feeding crackers to the fish there and then they jumped in with them. It was like a fish frenzy. It swam around them and it tickled. One of the guys one their boat when under me and opened his bag and the crackers floated up and the fish started in, It was so much fun.
Later on I went looking around. I found some more pretty shells and some pretty interesting things. I saw a cleaning shrimp and a sea cucumber.
The next day we start out sailing again. It felt like a long time but I fell asleep and next thing I know the captain was yelling 10mins until snorkel time. We jumped on the dingy with our gear and we head to a cave. We were trying to get there at low tide so that we could easily swim through a cave. We could look down and swim around but when the people started showing up it wasn’t as easy. I went until to look at something and came back up and hit my head. I also found a mask that someone lost. That was a fun dive. Some of us even circled the cave.
When we got back and had a joy bath so we could go to the store in style. We even had dingy butt! I was even able to buy some coca cola and juice. It was the best thing I have ever tasted!!!!
The next days went by in a blur I remember sailing all the next day just so we could get back. We didn’t have any time to snorkel. I remember the captain and the boys waking up at 6 in the morning so we could set sail. Once we started going I fell back to sleep only to be awoken by being tossed out of bed by having my bed cushions sliding off because the boat was sailing on its side. When I say on its side I mean its side. I could keep the bed together so I gave but and went to go see what was happening. It was crazy scary. We were going super fast on our side trying to get back to the docks early. We wanted to be able to go to a shop that would be closed at 4pm. Our boat made it in time but the other 2 didn’t I got so many cools things like a wood carving of a head for my dad, a purse for my sister, some hair scrunches.
We got to see they cloths they make too. They take white cloth and with sea sponges cut out in the shapes of sea animals, they dip the sea sponges into a wax then spot the cloth. Once the wax is set they die the cloth in a verity of pretty colors. They then warm up the cloth so the wax will meet off. They then cut out and make cloths to sell.
Later that night went out to eat. Everyone took a shower in the men’s room. The woman’s was still broken. We all got dressed up and walked though town to a small little shake where we could eat. We ended up eating out on this dock. It was cute but cold. There was a mess up with out food and the drinks casted more then what they told us. I only got appetizers of lobster and conk but the way they passed out the food was wrong. They put all the conk orders on one plate and set it in the middle of my table and then the other half or the order at one end. Well the one end of people didn’t even order the conk so everyone who did order it didn’t even get any. They had to pay and everyone was made.
In the end we all got fed. Had a nice walk home to a nice warm bed. It had been a long boring day and know a nice long night of packing.
The next day we had to have out bags packed, boats cleaned, card and tip for the captain ready to go. Some how we did it. Mrs. Nash volunteered to clean the head. Which no one wanted to do! It needed to be cleaned pretty badly. The three girls vacuumed and clean the inside of the boat, while the boys cleaned the deck, it went by fairly quickly.
Once the clean and the good buys were made we went back to Fort Forfar to wait… wait…. And wait some more until it was time to get on the plain and head home. Once we got on to the little plain I fell asleep and woke up as we were landing.
Then we went right to the next airport. We got home faster then we got there I feel. On the way home I sat next to a kid about my brother age. They had also just back from the Bahamas’s and they had a lot of fun too. He was telling of his stories and I told home mine. Then I started playing on my phone and so I got him to play with me and he kicked my but at most of the games.
We finally made it to the airport and I was ready to be home. I was tired, burnt, and ready for bed. I'm glad I went to the Bahamas it was a great experience for me. I was also finally able to go see another country even if it was an island.
If I could I would definitely go back someday. It was a great time but one thing you need if you go down there is patience.