Friday, July 22, 2016

Day 34 - 41, Shroud Cay, Exumas Land and Sea Park

What a great anchorage - very little weeble wobbling - thank goodness!  Lots of things to do - deserted beaches all to ourselves, mermaids to make, snorkeling and drift "free diving", kayaking up creeks and of course beautiful sunsets!  Drift "free diving" is when one person jumps out of the dink and snorkels in about 20 feet of water.  We just learned how to do it and are still learning.  You can dive down to look at things, holding your breath as long as you can, and then resurfacing.  We saw big barracuda, unbelievably beautiful coral heads, some unusual trumpet fish and what I call moon fish - all of which were of very good size.  But we were still in the park, so no take, just Go Pro pictures which we'll have to post at a later date with wifi.
Entrance to one of the creeks - check out the gin clear water!

I think he's getting tired of me taking his picture!


Rock formations and beautiful water

It's so hard to get a picture of a turtle from the surface...we have seen so many...I finally got one!

Too many glorious sunsets to count!

Here's a sunrise

Check it out - full rainbow!

Kayaking to a deserted beach

Leave only footprints in the sand

Stylin' and profilin' his sweaty self

She is laying up on the rock formation

Sunset with our mermaid freezer on the flybridge

Wow, I just don't know what to say here

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 30 - 33, Warderick Wells Cay, Exumas Land and Sea Park

Day 30 - 33, Warderick Wells Cay - great place!  You must take a mooring, which means the park has "permanent anchor balls" that you tie your boat up to - kind of like a hitching post.  They are very secure and it's nice knowing that your anchor isn't going to drag or someone else's is either.  The island had lots of great trails, beaches, snorkeling spots (lots of Go Pro videos will be posted when we get to free wifi - probably back in the states), and such friendly park ranger staff!  The entire park is a "no take zone".  So any shells, critters, rocks, sand - dead or alive - you are to leave alone.  Take only pictures and leave only footprints!

Greeted by a nurse shark arriving in the mooring field

Another gorgeous sunset

Sometimes the sunsets are even more beautiful after she's gone down

Hiking Trail on Warderick

Cool beach and cove on Warderick

For my Tampa family and friends - the name of a trail on Warderick

We've seen lots of rock piles marking trails and where people have been... George decided to leave a mermaid rock pile!

Mapping the trails on the island

Climbing up Boo Boo Hill...a place where cruisers leave something organic behind to commemorate their visit.

Top of Boo Boo - I seem to always be putting on sunscreen and lip protection, but isn't it beautiful behind me!

Whale skeleton on the beach

Andy and Byron, park rangers and wonderful hosts - great cookout for cruisers!

Boo Boo Hill signage

George decorated a coconut to place on Boo Boo Hill - notice Christina Sea on a mooring in the background - too cool!

I haven't tired yet of all the beautiful views

Yes, we actually swam with the nurse shark - videos for that later.  But each night he would come to visit.

I'm getting awfully fond of sharks - at least the nurse shark variety

George and his buddies - Andy and Byron were both former military, so everyone had lots of stories to share!

Day 25 - 29, Pipe Cay and Compass Cay

Day 25 -29, Pipe Cay and Compass Cay - after experiencing lots of rollers from the surge at our anchorage at BlackPoint, we searched long and hard to find some peace and calm water.  We did, just outside the entrance to Compass Cay marina on the north end of Pipe Cay.  It's also the first time we put out a stern anchor.  We did that because it was a small area tucked in against rocks on the back side of the island, and sand bars on the other side.  It worked out great and we had a beautiful tide rush in and out everyday.  It was also a central spot to get to lots of things. So, each day we jumped in the dink and went exploring...lots of snorkeling, some boat chores, beautiful wildlife - and Outward Bound!

My Captain, my Love

The artist at work

Finished mermaid on beach leading to Rachael's Bath, Compass Cay - July 4th

The wall we watched the Eagle Ray from - an old British Naval communications station

Spotted Eagle Ray - Unbelievable!  The most majestic and gorgeous animal!  Will post video when we get back to states and free wifi.

Water is just so beautiful - George is swimming out to check the anchor

Those two big dark spots are Baracuda - seen on a dink ride

Getting some exercise and snorkeling at the same time!

In college, I did a three week Outward Bound course in NC - it was so cool to see them here!

Yet another gorgeous sunset!

Rachel's bath - it's a tidal pool area where the water, at high tide, splashes up from the ocean - fun and beautiful.

George and Pamela - they gave us great information and we had fun beaching and snorkeling together

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Staniel Cay, Guana Cay's BlackPoint Settlement - pigs, sharks, iguanas, snorkling

We left Normans Cay and went straight to Staniel Cay, skipping the Land and Sea Park for now and will spend time there on our way back north.  We wanted to meet up with friends from Riviera Dunes back in Palmetto to experience the pigs and snorkeling the Grotto.  Remember the James Bond movie, Thunderball - the cave diving scene was shot there.  So, we did all of that and more!  Chris, Cynthia, and their two young boys were lots of fun and it was so cool to spend time with people you know from the states - it's a small world!

Cruisers beach at Big Majors anchorage - everyone leaves a little something to remember

George drew a mermaid on the cruisers beach.

Beautiful cave at low tide and blow hole at hide tide - the pic doesn't due justice.

Beautiful rock formations

Bitter Guana Cay behind me

I'm up on the flybridge, getting ready to raise the dink and notice this nurse shark following George like a puppy!

Chris, Cynthia, Conner, Carson

Lots of mega yachts - this one had all their toys behind them!

Shake the ziploc bag that you brought your food in and they all come swimming out to your boat!

It's over there!

The little piglet was chasing George, but he didn't know it until he turned around!

They were quite large!

At Staniel Cay Marina - the nurse sharks line up along the steps.

There were sooooo many of them - waiting for fish scraps!

After a couple of days at Staniel, we moved on just 6 miles south to Guana Cay and the Bahamian settlement called BlackPoint.  The population is less than 100 and they are the nicest people!  We stayed four days here in this anchorage - hiking around the island, kayaking, eating meals and enjoying land for a bit.  The winds have been strong 15 - 20 knots always out of the east and southeast which makes for no fun out in the ocean and kinda swelly with rolling waves coming into the cove - so it was nice getting off the boat.  We met some fellow cruisers and invited them on board for a gathering - 10 people all together - lots of fun making new contacts and sharing information - we have so much to learn!

Sunset - first night at BlackPoint - love the whispies!

Stingray at the dock waiting for fish scraps

More beautiful beaches we found!

...and we have Iguanas - bigger than small dogs!

Gorgeous views on our hikes!

We were on one of the highest points of the island

Christina Sea is way back there - out in the anchorage.

Found a rare sea bean here - such cool rock formations

This is a beach on the Atlantic side

Sand on the Atlantic side is not quiet as pretty and the bank side - but still beautiful

We hope to come back here one day - family and friends can stay in these cottages on the island.

We came back from dinner one night and the bi-weekly supply boat was just leaving the dock - our very small dinghy is right in front of it!

I don't know what these trees are, but the orange color is gorgeous!

Garden of Eden - interesting driftwood sculptures from the imagination of an older gentleman, Willie.  He's been making them for years, but his aging health is keeping him inside these days.

Don't know the story here, but very interesting - just popped up out of no where.

The sand at this beach was like powder!

Powdery sand makes for great mermaid scultping, by George

Life is great!

BLT and the Big C (Bonnie, Lynn, Tom and Curtis)

Marise and Dave

Pamela and the "other Captain George" - sorry it was late and didn't realize we can't see the other George

Wonderful time making new friends!