Since there are so many cruisers in George Town, there are lots of events that are organized and announced in the morning on the Crusiers Net. I am not the best at remembering to turn on the VHF right at 8am to listen to the net so last week I was very lucky our friends on SV SAVA heard the announcement for a conch horn class at 10 am. As soon as we found out we quickly woke the kids up and we got ready to head to the beach for class. Yes, you read that right. The class was at the beach!
It is a tradition in the islands to blow the conch horn at sunset to say good bye to the sun and give thanks for a great day. Every evening you will hear somebody blowing a conch in the anchorage.
We arrived at the Chat N Chill beach and found a pretty big group of people trying to pick the perfect conch. The Chat N Chill serves conch salad daily so there were plenty of conch shells for everyone. We were told to pick out a conch with the smallest harvest hole and to meet everyone over at the table.
|Emma working on picking out a great conch.|
|Emma and Sam found their conch. Jack brought a beautiful white one that he found a few weeks ago.|
Holly from SV Another Adventure was there to show us how to make the horn. Holly was really awesome! She was so patient with everyone and really tried to explain what she was doing so you actually learned the reasons why you cut the shell at a certain spot or how to be very careful when you chisel out the center of the shell.
|Holly explains to us where to cut the tip of then shell.|
|Time for the cutting demonstration.|
|Sam making sure he sees exactly where to cut the shell.|
Photo Credit: Josie
|Now it is time to cut our shells. I was in charge of getting them all cut since it required a very sharp rotary cutter.|
Photo Credit: Josie
|Here is Jack's small white conch shell that he found at one of our first anchorages in the Abacos.|
|Next it was time to carefully chisel out the center of the shell with a flat head screwdriver and a hammer.|
|Sometimes we had to ask Holly to help us get the final piece chiseled out.|
|You definitely want to wash your horn before you try it.|
|Finally you give it a try. Jack won the prize for the world's smallest conch horn.|
It was really funny to hear all of the conch horns blowing as people started finishing their horns. We learned that making the horn is one thing and learning how to blow it is a skill that will needs to be practiced. We had so much fun making our conch horns and chatting with other cruisers that we didn’t realize it was 12:30 before we left to go back to the boat. We came back home with four new horns so we are fully prepared to start a conch horn band! Performances can be heard daily at sunset.
Photography Note: You may notice that some of these pictures are really good. Well….these are not my photos. Another cruiser was taking pictures throughout the morning and was very kind to share them with us. Her name is Josie on SV Talisman. She also has a very cool story about how she was able to retire at a very young age. Click here to read it on her blog Moonshine Penguin.