"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

March 20, 2015

Mar. 19 – Hope Town, Elbow Cay

Hope Town Inn & Marina Mooring Field

“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.” –Hafez

What a great day it was in paradise. The Sea of Abaco was calm so we took the dinghy out to a reef and did some snorkeling. On the way we stopped and dove for conch. The little reef we stopped at was covered with sea biscuits just waiting to be collected and the sandy area just in front of the reef was full of thousands of live biscuits. They were everywhere. We had an incredible morning on the water.

We took our lunch with us, but decided to come back to the boat instead since we were full of treasures. As we came back to the boat our friends invited us to go to lunch with them at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge...a beautiful hotel that over looks the harbor and the ocean. If I wasn't here on a boat this is the place I'd like to stay. It was absolutely beautiful.

Conch Info: Conch shelling on Abaco began before Columbus arrived in the Bahamas, the native Lucayan Indians used the Queen Conch for food, tools, decoration, building material and jewelry, and 500 years later the current natives continue the process. Not only do folks here consume huge quantities of conch salad, conch fritters, conch burgers and cracked conch, they also make and wear conch jewelry, landscape and decorate their homes with conch shells, create conch art and sell conch souvenirs. In fact, nothing in the Abaco has stood the test of time quite like the slow-moving, algae-eating, easy-to-catch, hard-to-clean mollusk shellfish known as the conch.

They’ve been around the Caribbean for 65 million years. Officially known as Strombus Gigas, Queen Conch (pronounced KONK) can be found from Brazil northward through the West Indies, Florida Keys and as far north as Bermuda. Their numbers have been depleted in the Caribbean and the Americas, and only exist in large numbers in the Bahamas, where they are not only a traditional food staple, but also a national symbol. It’s estimated that half million pounds are consumed each year in the Bahamas.

Playing on the water
This is only picture I took this morning under water...I was too busy picking up sea biscuits
Stan has the hang of this now. Here's a Youtube video that shows just how to do it.
Lunch with friends...we had a fantastic view and the ocean breeze felt wonderful
We had the ocean on one side and the pool on the other...a real tropical paradise
The beach in front of the lodge
One of the bungalows at the lodge. This is the one I'd like to stay in
A view of the harbor from the hill
Hope Town is beauitul

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