When our friends came to visit us in the Bahamas for a week they surely didn’t imagine that so many crazy things can happen in just a few days. Ivan, one of our best friends ever, his 16-year-old daughter Nanny, and 18-year-old son Nikola who is also Viktor’s best friend (the mastermind behind Viktor’s Achievement List), landed in George Town and survived a week aboard Fata Morgana sailing in good weather and in bad weather complete with a 35-knot squall and huge waves, entering through a narrow cut between rocks and breakers at night with the current against the boat and both the skipper and the helmsman (Evo and Mira) panicking, discovering a magical island and its enchanted inhabitant, spearfishing in barracuda-infested waters, snorkeling with stingrays and starfishes, swimming with sharks and mermaids, kayaking in a small grotto at night where the only light is from the photoluminescence in the water, almost burning down a palm tree, feeding coconuts to a man-eating dog, and eating barracudas every day.
About 35 miles north of George Town is Rudder Cay. It is a private island with a few remote beaches and beautiful rocks with a small cave owned by the famous illusionist David Copperfield.
We were told that there are video cameras surveying the shores and a man-eating dog guarding the island’s secrets, so better don’t go ashore, you don’t want to mess with a magician and his rabid dog.
As we get to the island, first thing’s first, we go ashore. Some of us swim, some of us pile on the kayak and we are all on the private beach in two minutes. We can’t wait to meet David Copperfield; he would be the first famous person we meet in the Bahamas.
We roam the island, collect coconuts, and explore the cave, but no sign of the magician.
Then suddenly, as we are peacefully chopping coconuts on the beach, a dark hungry creature emerges from of the bush. Is it David Copperfield? Is it Robinson Crusoe? Is it Tom Hanks? Is it the man-eating dog? We are seven people. Three say it’s a dog, four say it’s David Copperfield. Finally we agree it is the illusionist who, after a magic-trick-gone-wrong, turned himself into a dog.
Poor David Copperfield, his fur matted and smelly, his nails overgrown, marooned on his island with no company, no food, and no freshwater.
He avidly eats about four coconuts, and from then on becomes our good island-friend and guide. We call him David for short.
The next day, while Ivan and Evo go spearfishing in the reefs, the kids, David, and I go to the other side of the island where we discover another secret beach. We bring leftover chicken bones and give them one by one to David. We have lots of fun. Everyone is happy.
Back on the boat, we organize a jumping competition.
In the evening, we go back to shore with a huge bone we promised David and we make a huge bonfire on the beach with driftwood and dry palm leafs.
Evo, the pyromaniac, is having lots of fun that evening.
The next day, we discover another of this enchanted place’ secrets: a mermaid playing a grand piano underwater.
The life-size sculpture commissioned by Copperfield made of stainless steel is submerged in about ten feet of water, and the trick is to find where exactly it is.
Best time to see it is at low tide, when the current is not too strong.
We are all sad leaving the island after a couple of days, especially leaving David behind, alone again. Nanny really wants to adopt him.
Please, if anyone ever goes there, bring some food and freshwater to the dog who is not dangerous and is completely abandoned. He survives on spiders and lizards, and drinks seawater… We all thought abandoning a dog alone on an island (to guard the private property from trespassers) is an example of animal cruelty, and whether David Copperfield or someone else is responsible for this, it is not an honorable thing to do.
Next, we spend a few more days sailing from one island to another, spearfishing, snorkeling, exploring, swimming, jumping, and kayaking some more. Everyone has a blast. We even eat the barracudas Ivan catches all the time. People say you can get ciguatera poisoning from barracudas: a bacteria found in big predators who eat smaller fishes who eat corral, but Ivan has come to the Bahamas to fish and eat fish, and nothing could stop him from eating barracudas! Still, we take precautions: we only keep the smaller barracudas which are safer than the bigger ones and we let our guest taste a little piece of the fish first. Then we wait about an hour to see if something unusual will happen to our friend. If he is still alive after an hour, means the barracuda is safe to eat, and we stuff ourselves with the white tender filets. It is one of the best tasting fish we ever had, and is the easiest fish to catch. Yum!
Thus, a week passes way too fast, and when our friends leave it is hard to get used to the boat without them… We surely miss them.