Wind Gods

There’s a Facebook group I’ve recently joined – the Bahamas Sailing and Cruising Group. I don’t know why I joined – we haven’t been to the Bahamas, and have no immediate plans to go. I just like it.

I’ve discovered through joining that it might be windy in Martinique, but it is doubly so right now in the Bahamas. A big circulating North Atlantic low is making itself felt. It’s battering the East coast of the US – the usual wintry conditions since it’s winter right now. I’m on meteorological fire 🔥.

There have been an increasing number of posts asking when this strong wind is likely to abate. People are getting sick of it. Some have newly arrived in the Bahamas, taken shelter and can’t lift their dinghies off their foredeck even to go to shore. The Facebook group drama is riveting. Helps too that these people like to talk.

I particularly enjoyed reading the post about whether there should be a shark cull in the Bahamas. Gulp. Learned a lot. This is one of the reasons we’re a little reticent about going there. The other reason is the exorbitant price of toilet roll.

I’ve been so taken with reading the threads – and yes, we will be buying anti-shark protection devices if and when we do go to the Bahamas (I didn’t realise there were that many sharks), I accidentally posted my own blog on the group’s page.

I only realised after I received a comment from someone from the group. ‘I don’t think you’ll get similar services like that in the Bahamas,’ he posted wryly. This was in reply to my blog about Martinique’s high level of European-style infrastructure.

Oops. I quickly deleted the post. Don’t know why that felt so embarrassing. I guess I’m enjoying being a stalker on the Bahamas rather than a contributor. Meanwhile, it’s about a 50/50 split right now whether people think sharks should start being culled.

The ecologists say no. They say that overall shark numbers are not showing an increase, especially when you take into account the mass killing of sharks in surroundings waters. Sharks are using the Bahamas as a refuge.

Sharks eat lionfish too. Lionfish are an invasive species in the Caribbean, decimating fish populations – and sharks are their only viable predators. For this reason ecologists don’t want a cull.

But talk to the fishermen. Apparently it’s getting harder and harder to reel a fish in or bring it in via speargun – without getting hassled by the ‘tax men’. The surfers are concerned too. A number commented they wont be returning to the Bahamas’ surf breaks.

Then there were two attacks last year. One was fatal. Jordan Lindsey, 21, was snorkelling with her family near Nassau when she was approached by three tiger sharks. Poor, poor girl. I know there are sharks in Caribbean waters but you hardly ever see them down here – not close to shore anyhow. The Bahamas is a different story. While it’s windy, I’m still reading.

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