We continue our journey back north with son David, his
wife Karen and their daughter Jacq. It is a good trip for them: lots
of snorkeling and things to do along the way. We spend a day or so at each
island, then move on. We left Staniel Cay, stopped at Sampson Cay for a
little diesel fuel. Cost? $5.72 per gallon for diesle, $6.20 a
gallon for dinghy gas. Next we went to Bell Island and anchored. The
best holding was near the development there. Rumors abound and most say
the island was purchased by an Arabian Sheik. There were bull dozers and
heavy equipment running. But we stopped there to be near two
attractions. Rocky Dundas is a grotto to snorkel into. Inside the
rocky cay is a huge high ceilinged room. The Sea Aquarium is a
natural coal reef in a cove inhabited by thousands of fish. Inside the
Exuma Land and Sea Park boundaries, there is no fishing allowed. After
snorkeling to our heart's content, we pulled anchor and continued north another
11 miles to Hawksbill Cay. We set up chairs on the beach and
enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. Next morning we continued on 11 more miles
to Norman's Cay. There we could go ashore and walk, explore the drug era
ruins, revisit the sunken airplane, and enjoy a conch lunch at McDuff's.
It is said that the mahi are "jumping in the boats," so we hope to refill our
fish supply. David and Valt took the dinghy out the cut into Exuma Sound
to try their luck and the girls stay home for a relaxation day.
Their reward? A big mahi! It made a great dinner with
meals to spare.
There are fewer boats everywhere we go. The
winter cruisers are mostly gone, the summer cruisers from Florida have not
arrived yet. The ratio of power boats to sailboats is about even
now. Normally the sailboats outnumber us.
That night at Norman's Cay we stayed anchored on the
western shore. A slight SE swell rocked us a bit, but we decided it was too late
to move. The swell increased all night and by sunrise, it was
intolerable. We pulled anchor and motored thru the cut to the Exuma Sound,
hoping it would be calmer. Oddly, the swell followed us. Heading
north, the swell was behind us, so was the most comfortable, or least
uncomfortable ride. We decided to continue on to Rose Island
today, we needed to be near Nassau on Wednesday.