Shroud Cay- Pipe Creek-Big Majors/ Staniel Cay, Central Exumas, Bahamas

 

Mar 12-15

We decided to bypass the main sea park island (Warderick Wells) because we now have a deadline. Mark flies back to Colorado at the end of the month and we have to get south to George Town, on Great Exuma Island. However, we can still have a few days in the Central Exuma area.

Catamaran with a funky sail
Catamaran with a funky sail

The only word Angie could think of for THIS move was “violent” due to the hull slam again. It was a long day and finding a good anchorage seemed a task as sunset was moving in. At Pipe Creek, there were other boats in the area already that we had picked out. When we were setting anchor, pointed into the wind, the boat was swinging around due to the current. The boat was not behaving like it normally does while anchoring and Angie did not feel comfortable with all of the other issues. There were boats very close on one side, very shallow areas surrounding us, and hard rock/land very close as well. Putting out 65 feet of chain was going to make us swing very close to those. If we dragged, it was not going to be pretty, any way we went. So, we up anchored and tried our hand at Big Majors Cay.

Big Majors Anchorage
Big Majors Anchorage

The first anchor drop at Big Majors did not go well either. Again, Angie vetoed that spot, and Mark was not too happy. First, there were over 60 boats in the anchorage.   Mark picked a spot to drop anchor right in the middle of it all, and next to a boat that, well, had an “au natural” man hanging out on it, which Mark failed to notice.   Also, winds were supposed to pick up and due to the close proximity of the other boats, we were going with a much shorter scope (40 feet) on the anchor chain. Usually, you want to put out more than normal for heavy winds. (Normal for us is usually 65 feet.) We finally settled at the back of the “pack” and at least got the anchor down before sunset. However, we were too far away from the protection of the land masses and the boat rocked and slapped with the waves and current.

While the winds escalated above 25 knots, we did boat work (Angie was cooking up a storm in the galley) and we watched the activities going on in the anchorage from afar. This is the anchorage with the official “swimming pig” beach. There is also another beach that has a structure and campfire ring on it that the cruisers have set up, to watch the sunsets. Also, dinghies were zipping back and forth over to Staniel Cay. There is a cave/grotto there where a James Bond movie was filmed that is supposed to have spectacular fish viewing. There are numerous HUGE pleasure cruising boats around as well as a gazillion tourists cycling through the pig beach. Oh, and party boats full of college kids.

After a couple of days, some boats cleared out and we moved closer to get out of the surge, and had a jet prop sea plane land infront of us, to offload 8 people onto the pig beach.

Jet propelled sea plane
Jet propelled sea plane

We did all of the touristy stuff (The grotto is definitely worth the wait for all of the tourists to exit and go in by yourselves) and we saw the Green Flash from the cruisers beach (Angie’s forced socialization for the week, to hang out with strangers and try to be sociable. She is not one to just go up to a stranger and start conversations, so Mark helps her with this.)

Snorkel Ready
Snorkel Ready
Grotto Opening
Grotto Opening
Inside Grotto
Inside Grotto
Fish inside Grotto - Photo does not do it justice
Fish inside Grotto – Photo does not do it justice
Yellow spotted sting ray outside grotto
Yellow spotted sting ray outside grotto

The pigs are picky as far as the food that they will eat. It seems they prefer lobster and not the cabbage that Angie brought.

Swimming piggy
Swimming piggy
Pig Beach
Pig Beach
Sting Ray hanging out around pigs
Sting Ray hanging out around pigs

We also drift snorkeled the cut North of Big Major. Not as good as Shroud, but still decent, and we had a shark hang out around our boat at dusk one night. We had an interesting trip depositing our trash at the local landfill. We first went to deposit it at Staniel Yacht club and they wanted $12 per bag. So, we motored down to the abandoned thunderball marina, beached the dinghy, and walked across the street the land fill. We also had a wonderful lobster and rib bbq meal at Staniel Cay’s park, while checking out the local grocery stores in town.

Staniel Cay foliage
Staniel Cay foliage
Little Bird
Little Bird
Pretty walk around town
Pretty walk around town
Local BBQ
Local BBQ

Also, of great importance is the fact that Angie finally figured out how to make the Monkey Fist knot, and Nice Kitty has a new play toy.

Nice Kitty with the Monkey Fist
Nice Kitty with the Monkey Fist

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