I would be remiss if I didn’t share my story about Conching! But, first I need to tell you about how we met Joe!
Arriving back in Hopetown having spent a couple of nights on Green Turtle Cay, we were backing into our slip when we heard a gentleman with a friendly and very southern voice greeting us enthusiastically! It was the owner of the boat in the slip next to us. We hadn’t met him yet because he and his wife had gone back to their home in Charleston just before we first arrived. As soon as we were tied up, Joe was introducing himself and handing us fresh caught snapper!!! Jeff invited him over for cocktails and fried up some of the snapper for appetizers.
Remember when I said earlier how friendly the people here were? I was referring to the locals, but Joe and his wife Margaret were some of the friendliest and most down to earth neighbors we’ve ever had!
As we were leaving the next day, Joe offered to keep an eye on our boat while we were gone and he did a great job! ……
Now, back to the story at hand. Joe and Margaret invited me to go Conching with them. What exactly IS Conching you ask? Well….. We went out in Joe’s tender…aptly named the “Honky Conch Woman”. The name alone tells you this guy has a great sense of humor right! About a mile off Elbow Cay in the Sea of Abaco in about 8′ of water, I donned my snorkel gear. Margaret threw out a rope that was tied to the back and I jumped in and held on while Joe slowly cruised the area as I held on…looking much like one big piece of trolling bait! My job was to look for conch and when spotted, let go of the rope, dive down and bring it up. They would circle back, pick up the conch and then repeat. We did this for awhile…I’m not really sure how long, but after we had four nice size conch, we were done. It took a while before we spotted any conch but I didn’t care because there were Sea Biscuits EVERYWHERE and I collected several! Now, you may ask why I was the only one Conching? It turns out that a couple of months earlier, Margaret was Conching …in the same area I might add… and they had spotted a large shark! Margaret had not garnered the courage to re-enter the water yet, but, hey… ” You go right ahead Mary” LOL!!! I actually felt pretty safe as I had two sets of eyes watching out for me.
Anyway, after we had finished, we put out some fishing lines and trolled for awhile. It was a beautiful day to be on the water and we actually caught a couple of Snapper before finally heading back. Now THAT was a very good day!
When we got back to the dock, Joe showed me how to clean the conch. 😊
To Joe and Margaret: We can’t thank you enough for your kindness and look forward to seeing. You in Charleston!