Time to Leave
14 March 2016
We departed Cat Island on March 13 and sailed to Little San Salvador. The island is owned by the Holland America Cruise Line and is used to give the passengers on their cruise ships an “island experience”. The island itself is lovely, and the waters pristine. We could see the bottom in 60 feet of water as we approached. However, the setting is more Disney than authentic. We hoped to spend a day here in between cruise ships and in the absence of the thousands of passengers disgorged onto the beaches (and jet skis). Our arrival was perfect – the Westerdam was picking up anchor as we arrived, so we thought we would have the island to ourselves (aside from the work crew left behind to prepare for the next shipload). On March 14, however, as we were sitting down to enjoy our breakfast, not one, but two cruiseships came around the north end of the island. One headed to Eleuthera, but the other came right to Little San Salvador and dropped the hook. We finished breakfast and madly made preparations to pull up our anchor and get underway before the madding crowd was ferried ashore. (After the quiet of the Jumentos and Ragged Islands, the thought of 1000+ people on shore, with 50 of them on jet skis was not out idea of fun!) At least we gave the passengers a bit more of the island experience as we hoisted our sails and headed west toward Highbourne Cay in the Exumas.
Shortly after departing Little San Salvador, we set a fishing line with a rigged bally-hoo for bait and, in about 15 minutes we had hooked and landed a 40” Mahi Mahi. Van filleted that as we approached the cut into Highbourne and we had fresh grilled Mahi-Mahi for dinner. Even Thumbelina liked it!
We spent the following day (March 15) snorkeling some of the coral heads as this will be our last chance to do so this season. We found some beautiful corals with lots of little fish (but no big ones and no lobster for spearing) on the north and west sides of Highborne. We hauled the dingy up before dinner and prepared to set sail toward Nassau the next day.