Sunday, 31 May 2015

Mayaguana to Staniel Cay, Bahamas

  We had light winds on the overnight sail to Mayaguana, so it was a slow sail with the screecher out. Around 10am we pulled into Abraham's Bay and dropped anchor behind the reef that separates the bay from the ocean. We had a looong dingy ride into town where, fortunately, we were able to check in, all legal in the Bahamas ( we had heard conflicting reports as to wether there would be a customs agent available here).

    Welcome to the Bahamas!  Ian walked in on a dusty dirt road to check in with customs ( in the local post office)  I stayed with the dingy, although there was no one around.    The water here, as we had heard, is amazingly crystal clear and the different colours are stunning.

Our next two stops were Plana Cay and Atwood Harbour on Acklins Island. The anchorages were deserted, we had the long beautiful beaches all to ourselves, pretty sweet!

At Plana Cay, just as the sun was going down, Ian noticed a large moving shadow in the water. Our first sighting of a Nurse Shark. We put on our underwater lights and were treated to the sight of four sharks slowly swimming and resting right under our boat, it was really amazing.

Look who's turning 60!   Yikes, i"m married to an old man!!!  but a good one.   Happy Birthday honeybun.

After another overnighter our next stop was Georgetown in the Exuma's. Apparently, during the cruising season, this anchorage is packed with hundreds of boats. Now, nearing the end of April, most  have headed back North. The anchorage ( Elizabeth Harbour) covers a large area affording plenty of room for swinging boats. Georgetown itself is a pleasant little town with a few gift shops and restaurants and a well stocked grocery store right beside the dingy dock, perfect.

Across from Georgetown, Grand Exuma runs Stocking Island with it's many anchorages. With the weather forecast  of high Easterly winds coming we moved the boat over to Monument Beach at Stocking Island for protection from the wind. We actually ended up with two days of no sunshine AT ALL, cloudy and lots of rain. Unheard of for us, we couldn't remember our last day without sun. Stocking Island has beaches on both sides. Lovely calm protected ones on the west side and wild rocky beaches on the East side. It also has a system of well cut trails along the elevated centre of the Island so all in all a very pleasant place to go walking.

Ian, admiring the view on the East side of Stocking Island  

 Looking down the centre of Stocking Island with the boats anchored at Georgetown far right.


Ian on one of the pathways and the largest termite nest we have seen yet on our travels.  

After several days enjoying the walking paths and beaches here we headed back over to Georgetown in order to stock up again on fresh fruit/veggies, etc before continuing up the Exuma Island chain.  After spending one night at Rat Cay, a private Island so we didn't go ashore ( although we think you can use the beach?), we arrived the next day at Little Farmers Cay. 

 We dingyed in to the settlement, not too much going on here. We did see a police car and the all ages school, the grocery store was closed. There were very few people around but we did speak to one local fellow who informed us the Island has a population of 50! 

In for dinner at Ty's Sunset Grill. Behind the restaurant was the Island airport runway.  Our next stop over was a short distance up the coast off of a long white sandy beach, Jacks Bay. Again, we had the anchorage  and beach all to ourselves. It's going to be tough having to put a swimsuit on when we get back to civilization!!!!  

Crystal clear waters and amazing colours.

Our own private beach.

Ian enjoying the shade on the foredeck.   

Next stop, Staniel Cay. 

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