In our last blog we indicated that we were departing for Highborne Cay and that is exactly what we did. The water in the Exuma chain is crystal clear so we did a lot of snorkeling and dinghy excursions. We loved the coral field "Octopus Garden" with every different color of coral as well as seeing an 8-foot turtle swimming along.
When we finally got back to our boat that evening we were worn out and went to bed shortly after enjoying another spectacular Bahama sunset. The next day was a short but exciting sail over to Shroud Cay which Michael agreed to even though he said he was denied shore leave at Highbourne Cay the day before. There really isn’t much to see on Highbourne Cay anyway and most areas are private so on to Shroud Cay. Shroud Cay is the northern border of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park where there is no fishing or shelling because it is an underwater preserve.
Shroud Cay is uninhabited with tons of mangroves and divided by Sanctuary Creek that starts on the west side of the island and ends on the east side at Driftwood Beach. In the 1980’s drug agents camped there spying on the dealers flying onto Norman’s Cay. The creek’s title current moved along is some places about at 3 knots. You didn’t really have to motor back, just steer. The angelfish on this island were beautiful.
|Driftwood Beach Shroud Cay|
From Shroud Cay we sailed south to our bucket list destination, Warderick Wells Cay the headquarters for the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. There isn’t any gas, water or really anything but wild life on this island and other boaters of course.
The island is beautiful beyond words. The coral is as colorful and as diverse as we have ever seen anywhere in our travels and the lobsters we saw were as big as we have ever seen. They are protected so they live to a ripe old age. And they know they are protected because they literally strut along the sea bottom right in front of you with no fear of being speared.
|Warderick Wells Cay|
Along with the good always comes some bad. It’s the way the world works in God’s mysterious plan. We encountered a few electrical problems, main sail problems and auto pilot hiccups in Warderick Cay and after evaluating it with all our fellow boater friends over many many cocktails we decided that we needed to return to Nassua to do some repairs. After getting some “Bahama” estimates we decided to return to Florida where we have trusted professionals to fix our issues. That’s where we currently are.
For those of you who played sports you can relate to half time. That is when you revisit your game plan, repaired your equipment and prepare for the second half.
Well Cherie and I are at the first quarter break in the cruising game. We arrived back in the USA via Fort Lauderdale with our new French Canadian friends following along the way. So far we have stuck to the game plan with a few adjustments along the way. We reached our goal destination of Warderick Wells Cay in the Exumas, we didn’t starve, we didn’t run out of water or fuel and we survived what Mother Nature decided to throw at us even a 60 mile an hour squall. We did learn a lot about our boat and ourselves.
We learned that everyday was going to bring something new and you have no idea what that will be. Maybe a close encounter with a 12-foot Hammer Head shark, being teased by a 4 foot lobster because he knows he is in a protected reserve and can’t be touched, or discovering a remote beach that few people have landed on. Plus there is the expected: Everyday a beautiful sunrise, crystal blue water, an underwater wonderland, a spectacular sunset and a cool breeze and something always breaking on your boat. Your time is balanced between exploring the beauty of the Bahamas and repairing and replacing the broken systems on the boat.
Like your land home, something always needs your attention. But many days we just said “not today” and went out to the sand bar to enjoy the company of many other cruisers we have met along the way.
We also discovered that they became our neighbors no matter what island we visited or harbor we landed in. If you need something they were all there to help. One day we had 3 fellow sailors on our boat going thru the electric system with Michael. Sometimes we had other cruisers giving us live bait to catch fish or just pouring us a cocktail. The cruising community is something special.
We are looking forward to the next quarter.