We have been sailing up thru the islands in the Exuma Chain for the last 10 days, stopping at some of our favorites along the way. We have already spent months exploring this area and love it. But sadly, we do not have as much time here as in years past. So instead, we did a “best of” tour and focused the time we had on the islands we love most. Of course the top of the list for us is Staniel Cay and the surrounding anchorages. So when we left Georgetown, we sailed straight there. It was a great trip, calms seas and enough of a breeze to fill our sails and push us along. And better yet, we caught a mahi-mahi along the way. Nice! It was a struggle to land this big fish and we were a bit out of practice, seeing that the fishing down in the Caribbean is not as good as in the Bahamas. In fact, we haven’t even caught a single fish in the last couple of months that we have been traveling. But as soon as we reached the Bahamas, we knew our luck would change. And we were so excited to have
Chillin' at the beach.
caught a mahi-mahi. There really is nothing like catching your own dinner and having fresh fish after a long day of sailing.
There have been lots of new development on Staniel Cay, but for the most part not much has changed. It is still a lovely little island. We anchored off Big Major’s, which is unofficially named pig beach because of the swimming pigs that live here. It is so cute, they come running out to the water whenever they hear a passing dinghy, hopeful for scraps from the galley. Talk about entertainment! And we spent most of our time just hanging out at the beach or in the hammocks, relaxing a bit from all of our travels. Kona could not be happier with all the beach days, sloshing around in the shallow waters and chasing the little fish around- fun! And of course we would dinghy over to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, which is the hub for the island, for a little cracked conch and a cold Kalik and to catch up on the island gossip. Everyone goes here to just hang out. It truly is a great bar and restaurant, one of our favorite haunts in
Now that is one happy dog- he just loves the beach!
the islands. In fact, Jimmy Buffet rated it as one of the top ten bars and we couldn’t agree more.
After a few days at Staniel Cay we decided to continue on our trek north. Our next stop was Compass Cay, a quiet little island with all kinds of fun things to do. First we went over to the Bubble Bath, which is a big tidal pool that bubbles up as the waves come crashing in- perfect for a swim. And then we took a quick hike to the windward side of the island to visit one of our favorite beaches in the Exumas, lovely lovely. Last but not least, we went swimming with the sharks at the marina. I know, I know… why on earth would we willingly jump in and swim with sharks?!?! Well these are nurse sharks, tame sharks, downright friendly sharks who are accustomed to people. In previous years we would come here to feed and pet the sharks, but never had the nerve to jump in. And we figured that this might be our last chance and we wanted to overcome our fear of sharks once and for all. So we mustered up all
Staniel Cay Yacht Club
It sure is good to be back in Staniel Cay!
our courage, put on our snorkel gear and dived in with these amazing sharks. It was awesome!!! We were swimming around with about 15-20 nurse sharks, ranging in size from 4 to 8 feet long. Talk about majestic animals. And we got some great video footage, so check it out. It was definitely the highlight of our visit at Compass Cay and an experience we will never forget.
We would have liked to have more time in the Exumas, but the weather was shifting and hurricane season is rapidly approaching (which we were reminded of as the first tropical low was starting to form just south of us- yikes!) So we had to continue to push north. We sailed up to the Exuma Land and Sea Park and anchored for the night at Shroud Cay. We wanted to be sure and stop here for some kayak exploration. The cool thing about Shroud Cay is that the entire interior is made up of mangrove creeks and at high tide you can go all the way across the island to the other side by kayak- fun! Little did we know that it was going to be a 4 hour excursion though-
Just love watching the swimming pigs at Big Majors.
holy cow were our arms tired by the end of the day. And it was just our luck that we had to paddle against the current most of the way. But it was well worth it and the excursion was a success. The mangroves are teaming with all kinds of wildlife; tropic birds and fish and sharks and conch. So we were completely entertained as we worked our way across the island. And the beach on the other side is fantastic. All in all, it was another great day in the Bahamas and we only wish we could spend more time here.
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