It was with heavy heart that I left my new friends @smallhopebay. Friends and memories that will last a very long time and when you have that unique an experience on a short break vacation it’s truly good and rewarding. In the interests of international investigation I strode on to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no mole has gone before.
My heart, not to mention my stomach, felt even heavier when, in the face of storm force winds, I discovered the next mode of transport to take me to South Andros. A very very small plane, that after a quick reconnaissance seemed one berth short, was sat waiting at the end of the runway.
I sat in the back on top of the luggage behind the pilot but once in the air the spirit of adventure took hold again as the views of Andros at close quarters continued to stun and we headed south to Congo Town airport.
Upon landing and entering the terminal, which is the size of my Dad’s green house, a stranger approached me and uttered the words "Bonefish run strong on the flats". Fair enough, and with that I was whisked off in a vehicle that looked suspiciously like a CIA white Ford to the quayside where an open topped speed boat traversed the open ‘Bight’ water at a million knots per hour for 15 minutes (and yes it was till blowing a Hooley).
At this point the temperature had marginally dropped below 25 degrees Celsius and the locals were cold. This meant a bobble hat or two.
I was met on the other side by Big Harry. "Welcome to our Island Mr Bond," he said, or maybe I misheard? "Schouth Androsch scheems schunny if a little windy," I replied.
Harry drove us to Swains Cay Lodge where the Bonefish do indeed run strong, the food is good and the accommodation is very comfortable.
"Would you like a drink?" asked our host "Yesch a dry martin…" - a knee in the groin brings tears to my eyes and me to my senses.
South Andros is a haven of beauty virtually untouched by human hand. Like its northern cousin it has a series of blue holes for diving and swimming. A newly-developed nature trail leads you to one of the largest and most attractive of all that I witnessed with huge sweeping rock faces and even a shallow end for beginners.
The major attraction for South Andros and the thing that brings people from all over the world to its shores is the bone fish. From an angling perspective it is one of the most exciting, accessible and challenging of all fish. They line in the flats i.e. shallow waters that surround the island on the Atlantic side. You can catch them from either shallow hulled boats or wading (as per Swains cay ) and most interestingly they are caught by fly.
A skill that is honed over the years and I was introduced to one of the world’s experts known locally as Schine. As you can imagine he was a laid back cool dude confident in his skill sets and experience. Schine tells me: "Once hooked the fish run like scalded aqua cats and the fight that ensues between fish and fisherman, man and beast can bring you back day after day, year after year."
So, I ask Schine "Do you expect me to Fish?".
"No Mr Bond I expect you to fly," he replies.
Graham stayed at :-
Monday, February 6, 2012