We moved to the east side of the Berry Islands on Feb 10th, hoping to find more civilization and maybe a restaurant where we could enjoy some Bahamian cooking. We tried for Little Harbor Cay but the anchorage was not right for the wind so we settled for White Cay, 2 miles north of Little Harbor. We were drawn to the area by a note in the cursing guide and a comment from a sailor a few weeks earlier: "If you go to the Berrys, be sure and stop by Flo's". More on that part later...
We found the White Cay anchorage to be beautiful. It was also deserted. Aside from two lounge chairs sitting on White Cay beach, there was no evidence of civilization. Strong winds were forecast for the next few days so we took advantage of the calm sunny morning to explore.
The guide described a blue hole on Hoffmans Cay to the north that looked very interesting. We read over the directions on how to get there and hopped in the dingy. The guide said "Go to the beach at the middle of the island with the tree on it." This seemed to imply that there was only one beach on the island with a tree on it. That was not the case. We picked the beach that looked the most likely and there was a trail. We figured we had guessed right. After walking back and forth across the island and finding no blue hole, we gave up and went back to the boat for the GPS.
Our next trip was more productive - we found a beach with a tree and the trail looked more like the one described in the guide. We climbed the ridge and we were soon looking down into a very deep and clear lake.
We were not brave enough to dive off the 25 foot ledge so we navigated to the edge of the blue hole and jumped in from there. The salt water pond is at least 600 feet deep and is filled from the ocean through caves in the porous stone and coral.
We saw fairly large grouper swimming around the edge of the pond but we're not sure if they came into the pond that size or as minnows. Hopefully nothing larger with teeth was lurking in the deep water!
We had a nice swim in the blue hole and before heading back to the boat we visited Robinson Crusoe beach.
The tiny island is called Big Gaulding Cay but the nickname for the beach is very appropriate. Landing on the beach we saw a makeshift table and bench, a hammock, a few shady palm trees and a television. Yep, sitting on the table was the picture tube from a small TV.
We enjoyed our sandwiches and lemonade in the shade of the palm trees but finally had to escape back to the dingy when the mosquitos and other biting insects discovered us.
We stopped by another boat in the anchorage, "Aries Too", to say hello - Douglas and Linda invited us over for drinks later. Drinks turned into a delicious meal (Linda is an amazing cook) and we spent a number of hours on their boat swapping stories and enjoying their company.
After a few really windy and cloudy 'do nothing' days the sun came back out. We took the dingy over to our closest beach on White Cay and explored. Linda and Douglas came over later with drinks and snacks and we sat on the beach in the lounge chairs some kind sailors had left behind.
The next morning we went on a dingy field trip with Linda and Douglas a few miles south to Little Harbor Cay. We had yet to visit "Flo's"!
Chester met us there and we asked him how things were going. He said things had been pretty quiet and told us that his Mom, the famous Flo, had passed away a few months earlier at the age of 80. She was quite a figure in the islands and Chester told us they had services in the Berry Islands AND Nassau so all of her friends could pay their respect. Chester plans to keep the outpost and restaurant going (he was the one who originally built the the place and he brought his Mom in as parter later on). He said he could not do lunch for us because he had to leave but invited us to walk around the island and visit the beach on the ocean side. We had a great time exploring the windward side of the island and found all sorts of interesting things washed in by the waves and weather.
The winds had finally eased up and we were out of bread and milk, so we decided to sail away from White Cay in search of civilization. Our next destination was 75 miles away on the island of Eleuthera. We pulled up anchor at 2 am under a 2/3 moon and headed across North Providence Channel.
Little Bear (a rescue from the last anchorage) will be watching out for coral and sand bars along the way...
View all photos here: White Cay Anchorage