Mar 30-Apr 1, 2017
In the morning we dinked around Water Cay and checked out some of the beaches. Little Water Cay smelled like decomp, where something big had died on it many days ago. In Moxey’s Harbor (a potential hurricane hole in this exposed area of the Bahamas??) we saw a turtle in the overgrowth. We found a Honeycomb Pufferfish skeleton that was intriguing. So, we brought it back and are trying to figure out a name for our new boat mascot. Pretty soon we will be talking to it and blaming odors on it. It already talks back and swears like a sailor, in a South Park, Cartman-esque voice. Yes, we must make our own entertainment.
The beach combing produced sponges and welks that were awash, and interesting and different terrain.
Water Cay has stunning sand dunes with cuts washing through them.
Around 1:30PM we decided to head towards Flamingo Cay. This should give us enough time to maneuver through all of the coral heads in the area and still get anchored by sunset. We are now in unsurveyed and uncharted waters (Our Garmin charts show “reduced detail in this area.”) Steering by sight and being able to read the water color changes for depth and hull crunching coral heads or rocks is extremely important.
The sail took us about 3.5 hours. We had one close call while passing an oncoming sailboat through a narrow cut through the coral. Angie freaked a bit, being at the bow on look out. The boat was heading right at us. She kept looking back at Mark who was at the helm, said a few things, resaid a few things, gestured a few times, regestured a few times, and at the last minute, we passed port to port with 10 feet between us. Angie was ready for a sunset cocktail after it was all said and done.
Flamingo Cay had one boat already anchored in the middle of the cove and a couple of local fishing boats hanging further back. We motored around, looking for a spot that would satisfy both Mark and Angie for staying put for a few days. Mark prefers close to shore to keep out of the current, surge, tidal changes, and ocean swells, for comfort. Angie prefers anchoring further out, to stay away from the rocks, coral, and other boats, for safety. If we end up swinging around, she can sleep better at night, not worrying, unless, of course, there is too much surge! We seem to have this clash of opinions quite often. Someday we will find a mutual compromise!
We ended up further out. Again, around 5 pm, the sharks showed up, feeding off the carcasses the fishing boats were tossing in the water.
Flamingo Cay is Beautiful and has much to offer. The maps show 2 palm trees on shore. However, the last hurricane probably made them now look like one chopstick jutting from the beach. We saw and heard Osprey in the trees around the anchorage.
There are good shelling beaches, a cool “pink” interior pond with flocks of birds. Mark enjoyed fishing (he caught a mutton snapper and a garbage bag) and snorkeling around the cove. Mark plucked 3 conch off the anchorage bottom, so conch fritters are back on the menu.
We hiked to the Atlantic side and found a beautiful crescent beach with a small airplane wreck, a carved rustic “tiki” head, and interior ponds full of baby lobsters. There are supposed to be interior caves and ruins to explore, but we never found them. However, we did dink into a water cave at low tide. The colors inside were beautiful!
We took the dink to islands just NW of Flamingo. We found small sand dollars and sea biscuits on shore, then anchored the dink out and snorkeled a few coral heads. The elkhorn coral field was covered in sand and dead. However, we had some good fish sightings – a school of 6 large barracuda, large parrotfish, schools of surgeon fish, blue chromis, a few Nassau groupers, large yellow snappers, a sting ray, and finally, a black tip reef shark that did a few drive-bys. It was time to get back in the dinghy once its curiosity didn’t subside. Angie is trying this new way of entering the dink – by doing a reverse backflip over the side. Needs a bit of work, but fun to do.
We did end up swinging around in the anchorage with wind changes, and one of us was glad we anchored further out. However, the anchorage was roley poley and Mark didn’t sleep. The boat was moving quite a bit.
We saw our first Green Flash (more like a dot) for this sailing season!
We have sailed/motored over 2000 nautical miles so far this year, averaging 7 knots. Life is Good!