Can it Get Any Better Than This???
01 March 2016 | Exumas Park, Bahamas
We would ask each other on a frequent basis.... only to find out that, yes, it could! Shroud Cay offered a lovely anchorage for just the two boats, at the mouth of a creek that promised a wandering pa ththrough mangrove swamps out to the Exuma Sound (eastern) side of the island. The mangroves were short and thick, not nearly as tall as the ones in the Florida Keys. We were surprised to see few birds or fish along the way. The water was incredibly clear over pale sand turned golden by the sun overhead. A few spots were pretty thin but we managed to push through until we could just about see the Sound. The creek opened up into a pond...a pond a high tide, that was now a large sand box at low tide. And the sand blocked our way out into the beaches on the Sound so we had to turn back. Next time we need to look at a tide table before we start the adventure.
Only a short motorsail away, the next day we found Hawksbill Cay anchorage, a part of the Exumas Park system. Mooring balls were available, but with the perfect weather, we anchored between them and the beach. We had the company of about eight other boats, so we all got together on the sugar-sand beach for cocktails and sunset. Meeting other cruisers, exchanging stories, recommending anchorages, is one of the best parts of the cruising life. Finding out who knows who in common is remarkable. For example, Polly and David from New Bern, NC, belong to the same sailing club as my 'Sailor Bandido' racing buddy, Brian Dodds. Linda and Maris from Oxford MD, bought their Island Packet 420 from Steve Paulson at Racine Riverside. What an amazing coincidence!
Continuing on in the Park, we took mooring balls at Warderick Wells, probably the most photographed spot in the Exumas. The color of the water is unbelievable! There is a coral garden a few boat lengths from our ball. We saw a huge manta ray jump out of the water in the middle of the anchorage. We staid three days to enjoy the awesome scenery, the fantastic snorkeling and the great dinghy explorations. There are minimal services there... ice, a small gift shop, and WIFI for a fee. The Park protects the environment, so there is no fishing nor shelling allowed. It is camping-on-a-boat at it's best.
Can it get any better?