Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shroud Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas

Simple Life on a screaming reach
 The sail from Nassau beyond the dreaded Yellow Banks sprinkled with coral heads the size of 56' Chevys was nothing less than exhilarating. The swift passage over the Banks came with a recommendation to transit the area at high noon in order to have maximum visibility of the ominous dark splotches of coral heads that mar this notorious section of the journey. They were easy enough to spot from the bow although with wind speeds in the range of 20-25 knots and above along with wave action at times hindered our visibility. The good new was that we didn't hit any and the 40 mile fast reach was a great ride. Almost akin to our passage over the Great Bahama Banks only quicker with speeds of seven knots and above accompanied by four to five foot seas on the beam.
Joe speeding through the mangroves in the dinghy.


     Our friends aboard Kismet recommended a stop at Shroud Cay in the Exuma Chain rather than our original plan for an overnight anchorage at nearby Norman's Cay. Shroud Cay offered a wonderful serpentine dinghy ride through black mangroves with varying water depths emptying into Exuma Sound. We along with Jim and Laurie from Kismet packed a picnic lunch for an arrival at the idyllic setting on a deserted beach overlooking the multi-colored
watercolor vista of Exuma Sound.
Jim and Joe securing the dinghies before a walk on the beach

     This section of the Exuma Islands is remote. There is no Internet, TV, phone, water, stores, food or people other than cruisers. When cruising in this area one needs to be fully prepared with water and provisions. I was astonished at the lack of ambient noise pollution. The melodic song of a Bahamian mocking bird in the shoreline bush, a random fly buzzing by, lapping water against the hull, the hum of the wind generator, an occasional dinghy engine off in the distance and sounds of laughter carried over water from cruiser get togethers at sunset. When darkness descended over the anchorage stars filled the night sky. There was no light pollution in this outback and from Simple Life's bow we marveled at nature's night time spectacle. The Bahamas is truly a cruisers' paradise. One that we are fortunate enough to enjoy and one of the most pristine places on the planet.
Gin clear waters of Exuma Sound

I just want my followers to know that I will share posts as often as possible. Internet service in the Exuma Islands is  expensive and sporadic at best. Hopefully, service will improve as we make our way down island. Please stay tuned.