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West Andros - Outpost Liveaboard 10-16-2004

We've written a lot about the Outpost liveaboard yacht and our experiences on the unfished West Side of Andros in the Bahamas. If you're interested in these details, click the Outpost story from the "recent adventures" page for a complete report. This boat offers one of the most exciting angling experiences available anywhere in the Bahamas. We are completely sold on these trips and hope you will seriously look at joining us aboard the Outpost this year...

Someone once asked me what a typical day is like aboard the Outpost. Almost immediately, I drifted off mulling, however briefly, my vast collection of fond Outpost memories... Memories of fish and food, friends and fun... but eventually I came around and tried to answer the question accurately and succinctly.

I told him that after a couple days, everything blends into a schedule you can easily live with. It's a schedule that eases tension, builds memories, heals stress and subtly conspires to bring you back again. I told him that after the initial one or two days, you've worked out all the bugs and you realize just how happy you are to be aboard. At this point, the pressures of civilization seem to fade away and an enchanting sense of relaxation overtakes the angler. Days 2-6 go fast, too fast. It is then that the Outpost schedule does its best and most rejuvenating work. So with that in mind, here is what a typical day was like for me aboard the Outpost on our last trip October 16-23, 2004:

I wake up at 6:00 a.m., but my feet never hit the floor until 6:15 a.m. It is still dark. The stars are out, but a band of thunderstorms lingers on a horizon that is just beginning to brighten creating a pale rose patina. After a quick stretch to bend muscles intent on speaking their mind concerning yesterday's wading activities, I put vet tape over line cuts and blisters and slather on some industrial grade sunscreen to nose and neck. I can smell coffee from the galley and hear Penny laughing with the guides, Stanford and Percy. I quickly dress and carry my gear to the aft deck before I grab my first cup of joe.

I leisurely stare at the cumulus clouds now blushed a pale orange by the sun. Eventually, I enter the salon. I give a quick good morning to Penny, who smiling, has just placed a platter of steaming banana bread next to the coffee. I offer a quick hello to Percy and Stanford, who are already huddled over their cups and are, like me, eyeing the banana bread.

After a quick breakfast of French toast and eggs and a few more gulps of hot coffee, it's time to put wet wading shoes back on and load rods and gear into the skiffs. We're off at 7:30 a.m. just as a big orange sun rises behind that line of thunderstorms far off to the east.

For the rest of the day, it's fish, wade, fish, move, laugh, solve world problems, fish, reminisce, fish, make the guide duck and otherwise do those things that seep a salubrious sanity into a mind and body too conditioned to the realities of business and contemporary life. Some days the fishing is good, some days the fishing is great and at least one day, the fishing is poor to just mediocre... but even that's OK given my new-found attitude. My type A has morphed into Type O... as in outdoors, obsession, ocean... as in Outpost. Lunch is taken quickly between casts or taken more leisurely if a big cloud is passing between my sandwich and the sun.

Time passes quickly... too quickly. Mornings give way to the heat of mid-day and the noonish low tide suddenly becomes a late afternoon high tide. It is then, usually around 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., that weary arms, sweaty necks, bloodshot eyes and tired legs are traded in on refreshing dips off the back of the Outpost followed by hot showers and cold cocktails. If you're feeling really ambitious (and there is no guarantee that you will be), perhaps you'll rig some gear or tie a fly before dinner. If not, just grab another cocktail and go stare at the sunset.

After you've seen to it that the sun sets correctly, Penny will ring the bell for dinner. Tonight it is chicken enchiladas, last night it was a succulent garlic rosemary pork loin and the night before it was Grouper Marquesa (which was the best grouper I have ever wrapped a lip around. Penny made me promise I wouldn't divulge the recipe in my trip report, but you can bet I'm gonna to try it at home). Tomorrow night it is supposedly fettuchine al fredo or as we have already dubbed it "Al FREDo" in honor of our captain and Penny's husband, Fred Wheeler.

After dinner it is usually port and cigars under the stars. But tonight, it's game 7 of the ALCS series between the Yankees and Red Sox. Last night we watched a movie and played a rousing game of dominoes with the guides. But it is hard to stay up much past ten. Long days pull tired bodies to their berths early and eventually you give in and retire. The A/C feels great and sleep comes quickly. And the best part of this day is tomorrow, you get to do it all again.

Written by Scott Heywood








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