An only in the islands moment…
The construction boys have been working hard all week, so my husband and I decided to treat them to an afternoon on the boat so they could get in the water and do some spearfishing. We stopped at numerous coral heads and they would jump in and immediately come up with snapper, grouper, grunts, crawfish, reef crabs, and anything else they deemed worth eating. At one point, someone spotted the Royal Bahamas Defense Force boat (the Bahamian version of the Coast Guard) rapidly approaching with its lights flashing.
My husband and I immediately panicked, as one tends to do when getting pulled over by the authorities. Had we ventured too far and ended up in the Marine Park (no-take zone)? Did we have the boat registration on board? Did anyone have drugs on them? The wrong, or undersized fish (quite possible)?
As the boat got closer, the boys started yelling and carrying on ‘Bey, we jis sightseeing!’ Oh dear lord, I thought, now we’re sure to be arrested. The serious-looking boat crew, with rigid uniforms, bright orange life vests and machine guns, didn’t crack a smile. They drifted closer and it was quickly evident that one of the guys on our boat knew one or some of the officers and he heckled them even further. The Defense Force paused for a moment, gave us all a good once-over without saying a word, then nodded and sped away. My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief. I have no idea what that subliminal interaction was, but it certainly reinforced the fact that in this country, who you know is everything. All I know is that I’m thankful we weren’t boarded, searched, and requested to provide a handsome ‘tip’ for their services in defending the country.
I’m also thankful for Frankie spearing this fantastically delicious crawfish (Caribbean spiny lobster) which ended up on our plates later that evening.