We hear the loud reggae beats as we slowly maneuver our dinghy up to the dock. The sound of machete's slapping down on the filet table with samurai precision punctuate the tempo. Three local fisherman are purposefully and methodically cleaning their catch of conch and grouper and a strong stench of putrid sea life hangs in the air. The purr of an outboard enters the scene as a local boat drops off a few men from, presumably, another island where perhaps they've been working. They get off the boat, offer us a smile and friendly wave and are on their way. A handful of adorable local children are on the docks as well and eyeball us bashfully as we approach. They are fishing with hand lines and teasing one another playfully as we slowly pass by, checking it all out. Looking down into the turquoise knee-deep water under the cleaning station, three or four large stingrays and a nurse shark have gathered and hurriedly vacuum up whatever scraps escape the table.
It's a slice of perfectly Bahamian life here in Little Farmers Cay. So many sites, colors, smells and sounds to tease the senses. Just absorbing it all makes me happy. I am always taking stock of moments like these; trying to freeze them in my mind's eye like a tableau when my novice photography skills won't do them justice.
We treated ourselves to an early dinner ashore at Ocean Cabin. We'd met the charming proprietor, Terry, earlier in the day and heard stories of his famous sea captain grandfather and, being the father of three girls himself, he was particularly fond of Isla. We made arrangements to come in later for dinner which is when we happened upon the little scene depicted above. When we approached the restaurant, Terry - who was playing dominoes with some friends - saw us coming and yelled, "Isla!...Bring her over here!" (You could hear the smile in his voice) "Her name means 'island'" he proudly told his friends. "Take a picture of her on the table here with us". So we did. What a lucky girl. Terry's lovely wife, Ernestine, prepared us a delicious meal of fresh fish and cracked conch and we were back on the boat by 5:45. A perfectly, laid-back Bahamian evening.