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Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Shrew In The Grotto

Ayrton and I returned to Thunder Ball to take some more photos a couple days after our first adventure.  When we arrived we anchored the dinghy next to the side entrance because we expected the current to turn on before we left.  The only other dinghy there was boarding to leave as we entered the water.  As we entered there was a very slight outgoing current.  The amount of water flowing through Thunderball Bay during a current swing is amazing.  Baots that actually use the moorings at thunderball see a river flow beneath them.

Nearing the end of our dive we moved over to the side entrance to photo the fish that hand out in the eddies created by the cave walls and fallen rock.  As we snorkeled over to the eddies we passed the incoming group from Staniel Cay.  (Staniel Cay Divers or someone runs a daily grotto and pig trip)  I paused to allow the last of their group enter the cathedral domed grotto.  His eyes were as large as his mask and you could tell the fear of swift water (the tide had turned on) and entering a dark hole by swimming under the surface of the water were places he did not want to go.  He remained on the outside.  We continued on the the eddies.

This is where I became aware of the shrew.  We were minding our own business feeding the fish with a packet of tuna to keep them even closer.  I could hear a continuous babeling of the “Charlie Brown Teacher Sound”.   “Waa  Whaa wa wa?  Blaa Bla bla.”  I raised my head out of the water to find someones grandmother rambling on and on.  I could see the deck and from here tourist boat standing on the rock behind me so I tuned her out and continued to let the GoPro do it's thing.

After about 5 minutes or a little longer I could still hear the “Charlie Brown Teacher Sound”.  I was thinking how the hell does anyone put up with this. By now my curiosity was up and I surfaced long enough to find out what was going on.  Seems she hated me and I was invading her space.  Perhaps all those “Waa Wha, Blaa blas” filled with expletives and swears were directed at me.  Either way, as I stared at her through the mask not caring to ruin my day by engaging in the issue,  she made it very clear that she was talking to me.  Out came the index finger aimed directly at me and more undecerable words as I still didn't care about as a picture of the Nassau Groper was more important than her.

Then I could hear her clear as a bell for the first time.  “What the F#@% is wrong with you?”  “Do you not speak F#@% English?”  Really?  A bigoted hateful old white lady in the cruising community?  Did she really think that with all my freckles and Irish skin tones not speak English?  This was just too much I couldn't resist a simple “What's your problem lady?” as I returned to the fish.

Once we were done we swam over to the dinghy as the terrified teenager (the one that wouldn't go into Thunderball) drifted by toward Exuma Sound.  Once aboard we were about to retrieve him before he had a seizure or panic attack but the group boat was now making headway toward the young snorkeler. As they passed the shrew gave us the double middle finger salute.  I gave a cute little parade wave and blew them a kiss.  Their lost teen was picked up just past the first moored boat we our of site of the entry to Thunderball.  Hope their trip doesn't scar him  life.

Later Ayrton who had taken a seat  out of harms way to watch the show she was putting on filled me in on the details I had missed.  First it was HER spot and we needed to leave.  She and her grand children, teens like Ayrton, couldn't handle the fast current and she expected everyone else to vacate the Grotto for her.  She did use an ample amount of expletives and single middle finger salutes.  She ran out of bread to feed the fish and the crew told her to board the boat.  She yelled at the captain and crew on the boat because she didn't get enough time.

To highlight the day we watched To Kill A Mocking Bird.

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