Bahama Tales - Diving and Swimming

I am finally running out of Bahamas memories to write about. These thoughts are not consecutive, just random thoughts.

Diving for Conchs

When we lived on Green Turtle Cay, my parents borrowed a motorboat and went diving for conchs. Jonathan wasn't born yet. Philip and I had life jackets on and waited for my parents on the boat while watching them gather the shells beneath us. They say it was only about 8 feet deep. I know I could see the shells on the bottom. Philip wanted to swim, too, and kept climbing over the side. He'd splash in the water and my mother would swim to him and push him back in the boat. I miss fresh conch. (much like clams) We ate them raw in conch salad, with onions and tomatoes and cucumbers, or chopped fine and put into fritters.

The Creek

There was a creek on Cat Island that flowed to the ocean. The tide flowed in and out, creating a strong current. We liked to swim there because it was a nice change from the regular beach at the dock. I say "swim", but we younger children were watched very carefully because of the current. I remember my brother Jonathan being swept out a ways in his life jacket. It probably wasn't far, but to me it was a very scary thing.

Swimming at the Docks

The pictures of the waters in the Caribbean are true. The waters are that blue and warm as bath water. The sand is powdery soft, and the waves form ripples on the bottom. Philip was a natural swimmer and could even dive by the time he was five years old. I could hold my breath and paddle. My cousin Susan and I would wear a mask and watch the other one swimming underwater. We pretended we were mermaids. It was common to see angel fish and other brightly colored fish. My mother tells of watching a stingray glide within reach. When a storm came through, we liked to swim in the waves, jumping and letting them push you toward the beach. I remember getting an inflatable swim-ring that looked like a turtle for my 6th birthday. Susan liked playing with it so much, that I gave it to her for her 6th birthday the next year.

The Ekstoms

An elderly couple came to Cat Island. Mr. Ekstom built a little house down near the Creek. I remember that it was right next to a cemetary and the Bahamians didn't like to be near there. Mr. Ekstrom was a jolly man, always laughing and teasing. He rode his bike back and forth to Uncle Roy's house. I remember Mrs. Ekstrom as having gray braids wrapped around her head and arthritis in her knees, barely able to walk. I still own a sewing machine that she sold to my mother.

The Well

I must tell the story of Uncle Roy's well. He did have the cistern that caught rain water, but one time he dug a well. I remember Susan and David and Philip and I were looking at the hole in the ground. It wasn't finished, so it wasn't covered yet. There was a plank across the top of the 6-8" foot hole, with about two feet of water in the bottom. Philip was on the plank with a stick, seeing how deep the water was, when he fell in. When brought home all dripping wet, he told her he swam around in the new well. My mother asked if it got muddy. He said, "Well, you couldn't see the bottom anymore."

I thought I might finish my series today, but I've thought of a few more things. I'll leave them for next time.

After I finish my Bahamas memories, I think I'll continue to when we moved to New York and then later to Maine. That should take weeks, months, maybe years!

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Blessings, andrea


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