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Lil T's Blog

The Weekend Warriors

Two weekends ago I landed in Marsh Harbour and was underwater at my first lobster trap less than an hour later. The lobsters and snapper wished we had stayed in that day, but luckily for them the weather turned a little sour before we could do too much damage. No worries; I was happy to be home and had the whole weekend ahead of me. Friday morning we hopped in the boat for a full day on the water. As we went from each lobster hiding hole to the next we caught a glimpse of something gigantic in the water. Right in front of us was, at minimum, a 500 lb turtle making his way to the surface. Amazing! It was a once in a lifetime experience and magnificent to watch. We snapped a few pictures and were back to fishing … I mean catching! The cooler quickly filled up and was overflowing with lobsters, fish, and conch by the time we docked the boat that evening. Our bellies were mighty full after dinner that night! Saturday morning we relaxed and after a late lunch we headed out for some snapper fishing. It was a successful day on the water and we were able to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in awhile. No matter where my travels take me there is no place like my home. It is the place that grounds me and reminds me of exactly who I am.

Let the adventure begin, friends. This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting two amazing couples who I’m pretty sure will tell you they had an awesome time in Marsh Harbour during their weekend getaway at Dolphin Way. They landed Wednesday afternoon and after clearing customs headed to Boat Harbour for a quick bite to eat, then the grocery and liquor store to stock up for the next few days. (We had to head back a few more times to restock the supply!) After the crew settled in and got their bearings, we headed to Snappas for a relaxing dinner to celebrate the crew’s very first night in Marsh Harbour.

Thursday morning we were all up bright and early ready to get a start on the day. We left Marsh Harbour and headed to Hopetown to spend some time with Gary at Harbour Lodge. Everyone enjoyed the beach and perfect view. We attempted snorkeling at Sandy Cay, but the water was a little too murky to really enjoy the underwater view. I guess we’ll have to thank the rough water offshore for pushing that murkiness our way. Not to worry because I always have a backup plan. Off to Tilloo Bank we went to lounge in the gorgeous water and sip on the cold Kaliks sitting on ice for us. As we floated on noodles in the four feet deep crystal clear water we were surprised by a six foot reef shark that was about twenty feet away from us. He didn’t pay us any attention; he had his own agenda for the day. But, it did keep us on our toes.

The next day we headed out first thing in the morning to get a little snapper fishing started. We fished on light 8-10 lb test tackle which treated us pretty well. Everyone had a great time, but decided it was time to step it up and get a shark on the line. Unfortunately our success at hooking that shark was thwarted since there was a diver in the spot I wanted to fish. The other area we moved too was not as active and we happened to miss the tide. No shark for us that day. After our fishing adventure we headed over to Bakers Bay to enjoy a few drinks and to delicious lunch. As always it was great time. On our way back we stopped at Fowl Cay where we hung out the rest of the day soaking up the warm sun while floating in the water and tipping back a few ice cold beers. What’s better than that!

Their last full day in Marsh Harbour came way too fast, as it usually does. Snapper fishing was on the agenda for the day and we were pretty successful. I jumped in the water and grabbed a 15 lb mutton snapper who unfortunately for him crossed paths with me and my spear. We decided to celebrate our successful fishing expedition by having a few drinks at Nippers. The scenery is always perfect and the drinks are always cold. We even picked up a few Cuban cigars too. We couldn’t let the day end there so we headed to Cistern Beach and Fowl Cay to wrap our day in the sun. Dinner that night was a family fish fry consisting of fresh fish and cracked conch that was out of this world. It was on the same playing field as that other amazing food we ate that week - fresh lobster, unbelievable pork, and delicious chicken. To me, even though the food was incredible, the best part of the evening was hanging out with these amazing people. David and Tracie Cason, Steve Adkins, and Katie Gonos I had an amazing, adventure-filled weekend with you guys! You were a blast to be with and I was honestly sad to see you guys leave on Sunday. Come back my way soon and I promise we’ll go on some more awesome Bahamian adventures.
 
 
 

Tales, Scales, & Cocktails

One year ago, this month, I launched www.errolthurstonbahamas.com with the intention of growing my business and having a means to share my passion with you, my friends and family.  You guys are everywhere!  The website data shows that it's has been viewed worldwide; from Marsh Harbour all the way to Russia. It is unbelievable to me.  When the website was created, I could never have dreamed how successful it would be.  The bottom line is this - my success is because of you. From my local champions at Yeh Bey and Cruise Abaco, to my Georgia families who have sent an incredible amount of business my way this year, and to all my fans all across the globe. All of you who have signed the guest book, clicked on a photo, or shared in my adventures through the blogs are the reason errolthurstonbahamas has found incredible success over the last year. We've had well over 10,000 visitors and 20,000 page views since September 2011 and are continuing to grow. Not only has this year been very fruitful for my business, but my family has grown as well. My sister, Raquel Thurston, welcomed a handsome baby boy, Trevian, into this world August 7. He loves food and boobs, but ironically this boy doesn’t seem to like water. Well, Capt. Tre, we gotta change that! As the business and family continues to grow I will continue to share my adventures with you and will forever be tremendously grateful for your love and support. THANK YOU!

Shark Week, You Ain't Got Nothing On Us


Rob & Heidi Ferdinand and Alan & Gina Collins vacationed in Elbow Cay a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky enough to spend two days with this crew and it was blast. The first day we decided to visit some lobster holes, but getting those bugs in the boat was tough. Lobster season was 8 days in and some of those honey holes were sparse. Good news is, we made the best of it. After some lobstering, Rob and I decided to check out a few of the usual Snapper spots. Rob got down and shot a Hogfish, but somehow that sucker managed to pull away. In pursuit of him, we began closing the gap, but right as we were making progress we saw a five foot reef shark headed our way. At that point, it seemed like a mighty good plan to abandon the chase and let the shark have a little Hogfish for lunch. Off to the next spot, Alan towed Rob and I behind the boat. The water was about 30 feet deep and slightly cloudy; you could barely see the bottom. Off to the left of me I noticed a 8 foot shark moving closer to us. Out of the water we went and picked up our underwater adventures the next day. At our first spot we dove down to a wreck that was about 8 feet deep. We noticed a small shark, about 4-5 feet, swimming nearby. Since he was just curious and never made an attempt to make his way toward us we decided to see what we could get. We shot 2 Triggerfish and headed back to the boat. Our curious little creature decided to get a little too close when he came straight up to Alan. In order to protect himself, Alan had to poke him and luckily the shark swam off. We left there and headed to another lobster spot that I usually do pretty well at. We decided to keep shark week stories on the Discovery Channel! We made some stops visiting the sails shop in Man-O-War, checking out the new Hopetown Inn and Marina, and cooling off at Tahiti Beach. The day came to a close with a fabulous dinner with lots of great food and conversation.
 
 
 
 
 
I want to give a huge shout out to another one of my favorite crews to visit the Abacos - Paul and Jenny Eddy and Kayla Collier. Kayla always wanted to get a lobster and we made that happen during her time in the Bahamas. Congrats on shooting your first lobster aboard the Megan Nicole.
 
 
 
 
 

Tales and Scales

Ladies, sometimes the guys just gotta get away and fish. Not all guys weekends end like The Hangover. Most are filled with beer, shooting the breeze, and of course fishing. And, we head back home with smiles on our faces ready to see our better halves. Billy Lewis and the Georgia boys headed over to Marsh Harbour for a long weekend full of awesome adventures and coolers full of lobsters and fish. The weekend at Dolphin Way started off with a little rain, but we just headed indoors to Snappa’s for some cocktails and a late lunch. With the rain still beating down pretty hard after lunch, we opted to head back to the house to crack open some beers and play a mean ping pong tournament. The rain refused to let up, so we jumped in the boat and threw back a few drinks at Captain Jack’s in Hopetown and then made our way over to Cracker P’s for the full moon party. What else is there to do on a nasty, rainy evening, but drink and party with the locals? The morning came pretty quick, but we were up bright and early. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. The wind was up, with the seas slightly choppy at 4-6 feet. We decided to do a little offshore trolling down sea for a smoother ride. We got a double hookup about an hour into it. A nice wahoo survived another day, but a good looking blackfin tuna found its way right into the cooler. After an awesome time trolling, we headed to Baker’s Bay for a quick bite to eat. It was a good time as always. Those lobsters were calling our names after lunch, so we hit a few spots and harvested about a dozen lobsters for dinner that night. After dinner we were feeling a bit antsy so we decided to head offshore again. The wind died down and our evening trip was well worth it. After two deep drops we brought up a bunch of Silky Snappers. We noticed some birds leaving land and heading offshore. Thanks to the radar we found where the birds were working in about five minutes and within three minutes of getting the lines in the water fish were hooked up and them Georgia boys were reeling them in. The birds were moving fast, but we stayed on them hooking up doubles and triples each time. Long story short, folks, we had thirteen Tuna in one hour. After a long day’s work we headed in to rest up for the next day’s adventure. We spent the next morning harboring conch and picking up a few more lobsters.  We headed in to grab a quick bite to eat and then headed over to Nippers to spend the last afternoon enjoying that good ol’ Nippers scenery.  (Hey, it was a guys weekend after all!)  We tried to finish up the day with another evening fishing adventure, but the weather turned out to be too nasty.  But, as you can imagine us boys found plenty to do back on land.  Plans for the next weekend fishing trip are already in motion and we sure are looking forward to it!
 

150 Lobsters ... Not To Shabby

The sun started to creep up over the horizon August 1st and the Luther crew and I were headed out to hit some of the best lobster honey holes in the Abacos. Boats were everywhere hoping to find the biggest and best lobsters so their own tales of the days adventures would be better than ours. Let me tell you, that’s not possible! By 10AM we had our fair share of the lobsters and decided to do a little offshore fishing. We immediately found birds working some spots and started to hook up on a ton of Skipjacks. The average Skipjack was about 20lbs and, buddy, they were chewing! At one point we had a triple header hooked up. It was fun reeling those bad boys in the boat. After a few hours of offshore fishing we decided to hit a few more lobster holes as we were making our way back home.

Even though I had a blast with the Luther crew, my day wasn’t done. I still had a few more lobsters to bring home. My dad and brother hopped in the boat and we headed out to harvest some lobsters. We were able to pick up about 150 bugs in some deep water spots. It was a lot of fun and something we haven’t done in a while. Nothing like being out on the water with your family.

The next morning I met up with Dr. Ed Murray and gang. The day started nice and early and we were ready to load up on some bugs. Some really nice ones made their way in the boat, but boy did we have to work super hard to get them. We’re not as young as we once were, friends. Free diving for lobsters in 35-37 feet of water is definitely a task for the young ones. But, I’ll tell ya what, if the Murray gang wants to do, it again next year I’m game. One thing I know for sure is that our annual adventures on the water are a blast and I can’t wait til next time!
 
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