Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back to Lee Stocking Island

We stopped at Lee Stocking on the way south to hide from some weather and we found ourselves heading back there from George Town to do the same again. On the way there we were lucky enough to catch a Wahoo which gave Dirk quiet the fight. We actually had two fish hooked and as I took the line just trying to keep him from pulling all the line out Dirk was fighting one that managed to get off and he was able to come rescue me and take over. Gee those things have some fight in them.

Wahoo steaks ready to freeze
We got him on board and made tracks for the inlet receiving a radio call from our friends on s/v Last Star wondering where we were. As we rounded the corner we answered their question and saw they were on a ball where we were headed. They said they would come out and help us with the lines as it’s a pain to get the line through these small eyes and the ball has a very short scope. So we took the last free mooring and took a couple minutes playing catch up with Hank & Patricia later giving them a Wahoo steak to have for dinner. We settled in and had a quiet evening relaxing. The following day s/v Triumph showed up and we gathered on Last Star to catch up since it had been a week since we were all together and it would probably be the last time we saw each other this season as everyone was going their own directions. The last time we were here Dirk and I didn’t get off the boat to explore the island but we decided to take the time and do so. This island was a Marine Science Center but has been abandoned and the island is for sale. Just wish I had the few million I’m sure they are asking for it to buy it. As Dirk and I were walking around we were dreaming of what we would do with this and that and how cool would it be to have our own private island to do what we pleased with. Ah to dream…….
All the abandoned buildings

Renegade from the shore

The old research ponds

We made our way across the air strip and followed the path to the crescent shaped beach on the ocean side.

Here we poked through more plastics and sea weed coming up with one sea bean until Dirk came up to me saying he thinks he found something cool. Cool it was in fact. He had actually found a Mary’s bean or a Crucifixion bean as it’s called. They are rare and they say that only one in every 200 beans you find is one of these.
Below is a good web site about sea beans.....

The Elusive Mary’s Bean
Statistically, only one out of every 200 sea-beans you find will be a Mary's Bean
Statistically, only one out of every 200 sea-beans you find will be a Mary’s Bean.
One of the most remarkable sea-beans is the Mary’s bean (Merremia discoidesperma). In addition to its unique appearance, it holds the record for the longest recorded drift: 15,000 miles.

It comes from a little-known beach vine in the morning-glory family (Convolvulaceae) growing in a small area of Central America, parts of Mexico, Guatemala and Hispanola. Named after the Virgin Mary, it is also called the crucifixion bean because of a cross etched on one side of the seed. This scarcity, combined with the cross, led to it being used as a talisman and many superstitions and legends are connected with it.

Historically, people have used Mary’s beans as good luck charms and to ward off evil spirits. A woman in labor was assured an easy delivery if she clenched a Mary’s bean in her hand, and the seeds were handed down from mother to daughter as treasured keepsakes. They have also been used as an antidote for snake bites in Nicaragua and as a cure for hemorrhoids in Mexico. The hemorrhoidal treatment requires the sufferer to carry a “male” and a “female” seed in their back pocket. Apparently the sex of a seed is determined by whether they float or sink in water. Those that sink in water are called “hembras” (female) and those that float are “macho” (male). Mary’s beans are sometimes sold by street vendors in Mexico as Marine Tomatoes and are known for their curative properties.

The Mary’s bean is a rare find among drift material anywhere in the world and highly prized by drift seed collectors. In northern Europe the Mary’s bean was a special find to pious beach-combers. The seed had obviously survived the ocean and they felt it would extend its protection to anyone lucky enough to own one.
I was excited and held tightly to it so as not to lose it. We ran into Bill and Elaine from Triumph on another beach doing the same bean hunting and showed Dirks find to them. They weren’t sure if it was one but after getting back to the boat and looking it up I know it is. We continued our walk collecting 3 more heart beans, 1 hamburger and a star nut.
Afterwards we headed back through town on the other side, Dirk collecting coconuts from the abundant trees carrying as many as he could.
I need a shopping cart, too many to carry

As we got back to the dingy Patricia & Hank were just pulling up and we were able to say our goodbyes as we would be pulling out in a few minutes to head up to Gallot Cay for the night where we had the entire anchorage to ourselves. The following morning we headed up to Blackpoint and set the hook close to the Laundromat. We saw some friends anchored in front of us and later we met up with them on board their boat s/v Insatiable for a couple drinks before heading off to Lorraine’s CafĂ© for her Sunday buffet. What a great meal it was, Cracked lobster, fried grouper, chicken, pizza, peas & rice, mac & cheese, cole slaw and dessert. Afterwards we waddled back to the dinghy and returned back to Renegade for an early evening. Sharon on Insatiable had a loaf of hot baked bread fresh out of the oven while we were there and passed a plate around with melted butter on top. I have been looking for a great tasting bread recipe since we began cruising. I think I found it……It’s so easy and if I can do it anyone can. I am putting the recipe in my galley section along with a wonderful scone recipe that my sister gave to me. I made them up the other day and they were delicious also. So if you want the recipes just click on the From the Galley tab at the top.

White Chocolate & Cherry scone

Bread loaf with Dill

The next morning I needed to do laundry and since they are closed on Sunday everyone says to get there early on Mondays as they are busy. As soon as I saw the back door open we headed in and I was one of the first people there and grabbed 3 washers. I had not done laundry since we left Emerald Bay and it was time. A couple hours later I was done and radioed Dirk to come retrieve me and the laundry. He had been doing maintenance so he had a few items to finish up then we upped anchor and made the hour and a half hour trip up to Staniel Cay and pulled into Big Majors where I would have a day to do the last minute items before our guest arrived on the 10th. And this is where I leave you till next time……

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