25 February, 2016
It’s the beginning of day 4 at Cambridge Cay. We’ll be hanging here until tomorrow (Friday), when the wind moves from its’ current west component. It’s been interesting for the last couple of days, listening to the VHF radio, as cruisers scramble to find spots to anchor/moor in the west wind, as there are very few of these locations in the Bahamas. Warderick Wells went from about 30% to fully occupied with 20 on the waiting list. Our anchorage, Cambridge, went from 4 boats to 17, with half a dozen anchored up north of us. After checking to the weather a few days ago, we opted to stay put. It’s not like we’re stuck, however. We might stay for a week even in settled weather, it’s so pretty here.
The day before yesterday, a 120 footer, “Carte Blanche” came in, she’s moored about a half mile south of us. They have all the toys-jetskis, a 27’ center console, and a 16’ bonefishing skiff, as well as a couple of R.I.B. tenders. Yesterday, they were dwarfed when the 160’, “Mustang Sally” crept in. Both are charters-I wonder what the nickel is on one of these for a week of fun in the sun. I guess if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
So let’s back up. Tuesday was another absolutely gorgeous day. The seas were favorable, so we dinghied over to Rocky Dundas, and the grottos at low tide. It was a fun snork. The waves washed in and out of the caves, so it was kinda surgey, and once in, it was like a wash machine on the “heavy soil” setting. Inside, it was shallow enough to stand and check out the stalactites hanging from the roof, as the hole overhead admitted shafts of sunlight. There were two such caves with some pretty nice corals and fish to visit on the swim between. We’ll be back with our guests. Next, we motored over to Compass Cay, where we anchored on a sand spit and hiked overland to “Rachel’s Bubble”. This is a large pool separated from the sea by a low dam of dead coral, bordered on both sides by high outcroppings. When big waves hit the ocean side of this dam, the water comes frothing and jetting over the top and into the pool. Standing in the pool, you get the bubbles, and once in a while, the top of a really big wave. The water color is a milky blue due to all of the bubbles, and has a strange odor, much like the bubbles coming out of an ozonator in a hot tub. We giggled there for 45 minutes. Back home, it was Cuban coffee and hammock time. We had an early dinner, then went over to Lynn and Larry’s with Ken and Grace for our first foray into the complex world of “Mexican Train Dominoes”. Well, it wasn’t exactly complex, we learned quickly, but I still managed to get my butt handed to me by the more experienced players (and Suzanne). After fun ‘n games, we peered into the water off of “Seaquel’s” stern, where the underwater lights had been on since sundown. There, we spotted a 4’ barracuda swimming amongst the schooling Mullet. An ominous shadow was visible from time to time, swimming just out of the lights’ halo. Then it wasn’t in the shadows. An 8’ (Bull Shark?) swam right through the light and under the boat. For the next 10 minutes or so, we all watched in fascination as he crisscrossed through the light. Time to go home, we all got into the tender very carefully.
Wednesday morning, Ken and Grace left for their sail up to Eleuthera, while we headed up to Pasture Cay to do some beach cleanup with Lynn & Larry. Three hours, and 4 huge trash bags later, the protected iguana sanctuary looked molto bene. There, we saw what must have been the father of all iguanas, only to be surpassed 20 minutes later by one who must have been the grandfather. Mission accomplished, we headed back to The Girl for lunch, with plans to do a drift dive out on the coral heads southwest of the anchorage in the afternoon. When we got out to the reef, it was slack tide, so there was no current. We found a sand patch, and tossed the hook over the side. Until the rising current made the snorkin’ too tough, we were treated to the sights that go hand in hand with a healthy coral reef. Too bad we were still in the boundaries of the park (a no-take zone), as we saw many, many potential Grouper sandwiches swimming along, begging to be speared. We then pulled up anchor and let the tender drift, holding on to lines trailing from its’ stern, viewing the scenery rolling beneath us. On the way home, we diverted to an Elkhorn coral garden, where, among other things, we spotted a Nurse Shark under a rocky overhang. Nearing the boats, Lynn, Larry and Suzanne just had to get wet one more time, and went over the side near a little coral islet. Their reward came in the shape of a small Hawksbill Turtle swimming lazily along the weed line. That kinda brings us full circle back to the morning of the 25th. Still hoping for enough “bars” to shoot this into space.