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Abaco Run

Old 07-09-2014, 06:19 PM
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Just finished cleaning the 61 after a week of bouncing around the islands. Our run started in Stuart while under tropical storm warning for marine interests . We cleared the inlet and ran south along the beach to Jupiter to clear the "zone" before crossing. It got a little bumpy but nothing bad going to West End.
We cleared customs and intended to try the south route to get to the Abacos as reports were bad from up north closer to the storm. Even the shallower draft boats that crossed the flats talked of eight foot and beat butts. We slipped out and throttled up but on reaching the channel the 20+ knots coming from the southwest stacked up 6-8' and about three seconds. I know the boss wanted to go but its my job to not break the boat or the guests... I pulled the plug. Guests enjoyed the facilities/ Even managed to scrape together enough conch and fish for a nice dinner.

First light the next day had us trying the north run. It was quartering. I got soaked on my lonely perch on the bridge while the guests slept for the first fifty miles. The second fifty was on the stern and the last was nice. We decided to drag baits from Spanish down to Green Turtle and had to head deep to get away from milky green water running off the banks. Looked good but no love.
Next day I took the gang diving, spearing, bar hopping and spent hours getting the boat cleaned up.
Next day was early go looking for fish. Found skippies on birds but saw individual busts a mile or so south. Turned out to be tuna! Each pass I shrunk baits and adjusted the spread til BINGO! Four yellows and three blackfins found the ice and Guana Cay had earned our respect. Back inside we added some grouper and a hogfish to the meat list for a mixed fare of sushi, tataki, fried and grilled fish.
The next morning we had to dodge a beast of a thunderstorm getting out. We trolled to Spanish Cay, our next home. Got nailed by another storm near the cut and hand to bow into the 50 knots til it cleared enough to dodge the heads getting in.
Place was swarming with the biggest lemon sharks I have seen in years. As big as Bimini's bulls! Loads of full grown snapper and even a grouper were to be had in the near shore attack we launched. Solid fish dinner again. Good thing we had them cause the restaurant was closed...

Last morning depart was again first light. Had to duck a load of waterspouts along the path but it was clear by the time we reached Grand/ Walker's area... Time was going to be short but a green to purple color change loaded with weeds and a couple frigate birds just screamed we had to try... Picked a dolphin quick. Banged it hard and had a white drill both rigger baits in a matter of seconds. Never came tight. I wanted to cry that our time was so short and we had to leave but its part of the job.

Ride home we saw a free flopping blue, sail and cruising hammerhead... All in all a good time was had by the guests and me alike.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:23 PM
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Sounds like quite an adventure. What kind of depth did you find the bottom dwellers? Shallow in the sea or inshore of the reefs?
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:07 AM
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Bottom critters were all shallow stuff...
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:14 AM
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nice report !
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