Oyster Cay-Shroud Cay, Central Exumas, Bahamas

 

Mar 9-11

Well, it was another “slamming” ride again. Angie is seriously thinking this will not work for the next 5-10,000 miles or so. Uno Mas sounds, feels, and looks like it is going to fall apart with the hull hammering. Considering this is our home, this is very disconcerting. Mark reassures her that the boat can handle it. It has sailed already across oceans. The structural value is all in the top arches of the boat, not from the bottom. This is hard for Angie to grasp, since an Engineer, she is not. However, it is slightly reassuring.

Then, the concern is tucked away in the back of the mind, once we arrive at Shroud Cay, in the northern part of the Land and Sea Park. The views are unbelievable.

Shroud Cay
Shroud Cay
Uno Mas at Shroud
Uno Mas at Shroud

It is breathtaking with the water colors. You can see rays swimming around the anchorage and the longtailed white tropical seabirds are flitting around, performing acrobatics in the air above us. One cannot tell if their undersides are turquoise or if it is the reflection from the water below. Either way, it was mesmerizing, which made it hard to concentrate on anchoring.

The dinghy and kayaking through the mangroves did not provide the fish life or shelling we have become accustomed to, which was a bit disappointing.

Mark in Kayak
Mark in Kayak
Little Crab
Little Crab
Beached Kayak
Beached Kayak

And, again, we seemed to have missed the “reef” that was marked on the charts. Since you cannot take shells or sand or souvenirs from the park anyways, it was not much of a reason to leave. We moved from the south anchorage to the north anchorage to get away from the boat rolling around at night from current and waves from the cuts.

More Kayaking
More Kayaking
A little hiking
A little hiking

The views still made it worthwhile. At the north anchorage, you can dinghy or kayak through to the Atlantic side. Again, another spectacular view.

Land and Sea Park Signage
Land and Sea Park Signage
Coming up on Atlantic Side of Mangrove Area
Coming up on Atlantic Side of Mangrove Area
Atlantic Beach
Atlantic Beach

While walking the Atlantic beach we stumbled across our first monohull cruisers that had a verbal dislike for catamarans. The distain was palatable, to the point that they had to change anchorages because of all of the cats showing up next to them. They needed to “change the litter box” and relocate. They didn’t even try to backtrack when they found out we were on a catamaran. It really is fascinating the vehemence some people have with the argument regarding whether being on a monohull is better than being on a multihull.   However, we found common ground, and decided to bash on the “rental cats.” Because, well, they just cannot set their anchor properly and they park right next to you, and they party way too late, like after sunset. (Somethings we have actually found with all types of boats, not just whether they have one hull or multiple or whether they are a rental or are cruising.) It was actually amusing at the end. The sarcasm was thick from our side of the conversation.

Just assume from now on, that every time we stop for more than a day, that we are making water, doing laundry, and boat maintenance. However, as far as a big maintenance issue this time, Mark thinks the bearings in our wind generator are failing, so it has been tied down until we decide to either rebuild or replace it. Either way, that will not be happening until next sailing season.

New Helm VHF and wiring
New Helm VHF and wiring
New Anchor Bouy
New Anchor Bouy
New Dinghy Cooler Seat and Handle Attachment
New Dinghy Cooler Seat and Handle Attachment

We found some fish around the rock islands behind us in the North anchorage and on the dark spots (ie: coral heads) scattered throughout the anchorage area. This got Angie excited and she had to whip out the Fish Bible – Reef Fish Identification – Florida Caribbean Bahamas by Paul Humann. She has to find out what type of fish are lurking around. Barracuda are easy to spot, and they grow LARGE in a marine sanctuary where no fishing is allowed. Of interest also, were 8 very large atlantic spadefish, schools of snappers, queen angelfish, a southern stingray, a red hind and a lesser electric ray besides many other colorful tropicals that you can find at fish stores in the salt water tanks. (Right now our underwater camera is not functioning 😦

We finally found a reef to write about! We drift snorkeled, riding the current, with the dinghy tethered to us, in Wax Cay Cut, and it was fabulous!! This is what Angie has been looking for since we bought the boat. In 10-15 feet of water, the colors of coral and fans and fish were just amazing. Also, off to the right was a wall that went down only 30 feet to a sand bottom, so it was a short wall, but it was a wall none the less, and it was loaded with the same beauty.

Kitties hanging out
Kitties hanging out
Boats in the anchorage
Boats in the anchorage

We are excited to see what the rest of the Land and Sea Park has to offer. So far, it is a very good start!

 

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