We arrived at Normans with great expectations of cracked conch and sweet pepper sauce. However the reality soon cam in the afternoon. Ayrton wanted to look for helmet conch shells around the island so the conch hunt just had to wait. Off we went to a known hunting ground of ours with Ayrton having Helmet Conch on the brain. So much so that even when I pointed a location of a speckled hind he kept on going for helmets. What? He passed up a chance to spear something? Over the side of the dinghy I went with spear in hand to where I saw the hind enter a hole. To my surprise I found myself face to face with a red grouper. He made his way to the dinghy riding on my pole spear. I could never find the hind but on the second dive I found a small moray eel in the same hole the grouper was in.
A couple hundred yards south I found a huge helmet conch and teased Ayrton that is was mine, all mine!
After chasing a couple of Nassau Grouper around the areas without success we went to check on Liberty. With Ayrton pretending he found the helmet conch due to his challenge with Daren we finally offered it to them as a souvenir. They turned it down due to the chips on its lip. After dropping it down under the hull to return it to the sea a dark mass appeared under the dinghy. Using the glass bottom bucket we could see it was a huge eagle ray checking out the conch. We watched as first the eagle ray turned the conch over a couple times then fit the huge conch completely in it's mouth and swam away. Could this be the reason we didn't find any queen conch in our previous spot that filled our limits several times over?
On day two we took a journey to Normans Pond. Normans Pond is an understatement for it is larger than Boot Key Harbor. We went in near low tide with only 3.3 feet at the entrance. If you use this for a hurricane hole expect it to be rough and hope that the entrance does not close up.
Day three was camping on the boat as it danced in the current and the NW winds approaching 27 knts.