“Miss Adventure” and the WalMart of the sea

Hurricane Matthew stirred up everything in it’s wake, from the Southern Bahamas all the way to my son’s location on his boat “Miss Adventure”.  Jono rode out the storm in a shelter at Charleston South Carolina. You can follow him and his and his cat’s adventure as they head to the Bahamas and beyond.  Jonathon just bought his first sailboat, a 33′ Irwin.

He is carrying my spot device, so you can click on “Where is SYL” on this site to see where he is, and if he’s moving.  On Facebook he is Jonathon Sitton.  Jono is a professional photographer so you’ll find lots of cool pictures and a millennial’s take on cruising.  His boat is his home so check that out.  He is currently staging in Florida for the fall Gulfstream crossing.

Jono and I enjoyed remote beach plundering last year when he was with me on SYL in the Exumas.  While hurricanes are never a good experience they do have somewhat of a redeeming value.  Jono is so excited to see what the hurricane dredged up along the 100 miles of remote island beaches in the Exumas he can hardly stand it.  Anytime there is a significant weather event, the beach gets a whole new load of sea fodder, so the WalMart of the Bahamas has brand new stock!

While cruising does bring a few beach combers to the remote places we go, there are still many truly un-trampled beaches to explore, if you don’t mind the hike over the peaks and through the brambles, the scratchy shrubs atop most of the islands.  Over my 16 years or so of Bahamas cruising I have carted home quite a plethora of flotsam.  I think my most prized objects are shipwreck wood.  I have quite a collection of wood boat parts and planking.  My favorite pieces are some 14′ long hand hewn 4 x 4’s that were once supporting the deck of a handmade ship.  I suspect it was Hatian, I found them sticking out of an extremely remote oceanfront rockslide that happened many many years ago, so the boat had to have been lost in that location long before the rock slide.  The ends are notched where they sat on the gunnels with rust in the old nail holes… the metal of the nails long gone.  Whatever kind of wood it is must be awesome, they are as strong as a brand new board.

Another treasure we covet is fishing float balls that are lost at sea, normally they come from the far east.  They ride the currents of the Indian Ocean for years, the ones that make it to our stomping grounds make their way around the horn of South Africa and up through the South Atlantic.  I like the aluminum balls that were pre-WW2.  It’s estimated that there are 100’s of thousands of these floats at sea right now.  Some are glass, they can range in age all the way back to the mid 1800’s.  Suffice it to say, the Exumas ocean side beaches have a brand new stock and Jono can’t wait to go walk them again.  What’s cool is big storms can wash up shipwreck debris from the ocean bottom as well.  During Katrina, they found doors and hatches from sunken ships along the Mississippi gulf coast.  The block of wood below is no telling how old, probably started as a sapling more than 300 years ago, maybe much longer than that!  It’s some part of an old ship.. you can see the rust stains where it was once fastened in place.  The blue hull section looks to be from a wrecked Bahamian racing sloop.  I found parts of it strewn for a mile along the ocean side coast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA float-balls

I’m still looking for that first load of gold doubloons… ships bells or cannon balls!

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