Mystic Star Points South

Mystic Star Sailing Adventures in the Bahamas

11 February 2019 | Little Bay - Great Guana Cay
22 January 2019 | Rock Sound, Eleuthera
12 January 2019 | Spanish Wells
30 December 2018 | Key Biscayne, Outside Noname Harbor
23 November 2018 | Isle of Palms Marina
09 May 2017 | Rock Hall Harbor
02 May 2017
17 April 2017 | Cumberland Island
05 April 2017 | White Sound, Green Turtle Cay
17 March 2017 | Royal Island
05 March 2017 | Davis Harbour Marina, Eleuthera
21 February 2017 | Salt Pond, Long Island
03 February 2017 | Georgetown, Great Exuma
23 January 2017 | Emerald Bay Marina
05 January 2017 | Pipe Cay
20 December 2016 | Wardrick Wells
12 December 2016 | Big Majors
07 December 2016 | Little Farmers Cay
29 November 2016 | Red Shanks
21 November 2016 | Sand Dollar Beach. Elizabeth Harbour

Exuma Land & Sea Park

20 December 2016 | Wardrick Wells
Dec 13-20 Tuesday we stayed put at Big Majors and did some more fiddling with the generator and internet research. We took a long dinghy ride to the islets and shallows NW of our anchorage here and explored the beach at the west end of Fowl Cay. It was a beautiful light air evening with a brilliant full moon high overhead by late night. Wednesday we sailed downwind to the southern end of Exuma Land and Sea Park and anchored in an unlikely NE facing cove on Chicken Cay--only because the conditions were unusually calm and not expected to change for awhile. We chose this spot because it is close to the rocky islets known as Rocky Dundas, which we arrived at by dinghy at low tide. It was perfect conditions to access the two caves by snorkeling, something not really possible in the normal strong easterly winds as these entrances are on the windward side of the islets. Inside the first one was a large cavern lit by holes in the ceiling far above. One could climb out on the dry ledges and look around a bit. At the innermost point was a small beach exposed at low tide only...a perfect spot for a buried treasure chest I'd say. In the second opening, the cavern was accessed under a low overhang then opened to an immense chamber, again lit from above. It contained an amazing array of limestone formations, stalagmites and the like. Some of them almost give the appearance of carved saints and angels as if it were an ancient cathedral. Later on, back to the boat found us just touching bottom in the soft sand...I had pushed my luck a bit too far on entering the cozy cove there, so we had to wait a few hours uniil later in the afternoon to move a few yards to deeper water for overnight.
Thursday we picked up and moved on to the NW to the center of activity and headquarters at the Exuma Park Reserve (see link: http://www.exumapark.org/ExumaParkHome/tabid/36/Default.aspx) They have a very organized call in procedure for getting on the list for a mooring ball, not really a reservation, but seems to work quite well. At this spot at Wardrick Wells there is a horseshoe shaped mooring field that has twenty or so moorings along a deep narrow channel with dramatic sand bars that nearly dry or completely dry at low water. Upon approach we received our assigned mooring around the far side of the horseshoe, starting out all by ourselves, but later joined by 4 others. The current rips through here on the ebb and flood, so we were thankful to be on a solid mooring which were regularly maintained by the park. It was fun to dinghy over the short distance to the sand bars at low tide and walk around in the inch deep waters. Later we dinghied to nearby dinghy moorings that were positioned over a great snorkeling area, but normally exposed to a lot of current. There's about 30-45 min at slack tide to be able to do this and we were glad to take advantage on the calmer of the days of our stay here. We saw a great variety of reef fish including a "high hat" and a school of squid.
We made a plan to stay here for four nights to explore as well as escape the regular weekly high wind periods that we seem to be experiencing. One day I tackled the generator problem once again since I realized that I would be quite disappointed if we made the trip to Florida to have work done and it turned out to be something simple that didn't require removal of the whole thing from the boat. So I tore into it further than I had gone previously and found a small broken bolt end that was jammed in a place where the injector pump plunger fits--sure seemed like it could be the source of the problem. Resolution will have to wait until we return to phone & data connectivity next week, but we were encouraged. Donna also baked bread for the first time on the trip and it turned out quite well.
By Saturday we were in need of a good walkabout so headed for shore to explore the extensive trails indicated in the Park information. However, we learned that at the extreme high tides we were having that day, many of the trails were too flooded to make any progress, so we dinghied over to another beach to more easily access trails to the hills and blow holes on the rugged windward side of the cay. That night the park staff had organized an appetizer pot luck at their main beach and it was fun to meet with fellow cruisers that had collected here in the park this weekend. We were a bit surprised to find that nearly all of the boats there at the time were from Canada, in fact in many of the anchorages in these parts in recent days the Canadians were often in the majority. The next day we again beached the dinghy and went for a long hike along the park trails that went through some pretty rough terrain. Good shoes are a must as we learned the hard way. The hike took us over some quite jagged rocky areas amidst dense growth where in parts it was uncertain where the trail led. We persisted and completed the loop trail and were glad to have a swim at the beach.
Monday we left our mooring in the Park and headed out for the banks side and around to the southeast where we had come from last week. We had a great sail close hauled in 15-20 knots and made the 20nm trip back to Big Majors Spot in less than 3 hours. By now here there were nearly 30 boats at anchor, but room for many more. Once back in good cell range I made some more calls and got another order for generator parts placed. Much hope is riding on this attempt...we'll see!
Comments
Vessel Name: Mystic Star
Vessel Make/Model: Outbound 46
Hailing Port: Rock Hall MD
Crew: Bill & Donna
About:
Sailing the Chesapeake for 33 years and the east coast of the US and Canada for the last 7 years. We've sailed on "OPBs" to Bermuda, and to most of the Eastern Caribbean islands from the BVIs to Grenada. [...]
Extra:
2016: The planned trip south in Nov 2016 will involve an offshore passage direct from the Chesapeake to a port of entry in the Bahama Islands. Crew for this trip includes experienced ocean sailors Randy, John & Richard. 2018: We are making the trip south this time with just the two of us so [...]
Mystic Star's Photos - Main
Northern Exumas - Shroud Cay, Warderick Wells, Cambridge Cay
15 Photos
Created 11 February 2019
Alabaster Bay to Rock Sound
11 Photos
Created 22 January 2019
11 Photos
Created 13 January 2019
Trip from Charleston SC to Miami FL, Dec 11 to Dec 30. ICW and offshore legs
10 Photos
Created 30 December 2018
Trip South from Rock Hall MD to Florida 2018
3 Photos
Created 1 December 2018
ICW in South Carolina and on to North Carolina
11 Photos
Created 31 May 2017
Arrival in St Augustine and trip to Fernandina Beach & Cumberland Island Georgia
10 Photos
Created 31 May 2017
Last of the trip through Virginia & Maryland
3 Photos
Created 9 May 2017
Touring the Abacos by boat, car, bike, golf cart and on foot
30 Photos
Created 5 April 2017
Eleuthera touring by car & boat, then Spanish Wells and Harbor Island by fast ferry.
30 Photos
Created 28 March 2017
Touring Cat Island, on the beach at Little San Salvador aka Half Moon Cay, Marina at Davis Harbour, Eleuthera
17 Photos
Created 5 March 2017
Photos from our stay at Monument Beach, Georgetown then car tour of Long Island
18 Photos
Created 22 February 2017
Photos of places we visited in the Exumas, Dec 2016 - Jan 2017
8 Photos
Created 23 January 2017
Georgetown Bahamas area, Nov 2016
7 Photos
Created 27 November 2016