Halcottsville Expeditionary Force lands in the Exumas

Wed 24 Feb 2010 14:09

We arrived at Allen's Cay about 9:30 last night, entering the harbor by moonlight and GPS (also known as "by guess and by golly"). The passage from Morgan's Bluff went perfectly -- smooth water and good boat speed. I want to thank our little Nissan 9.8 HP outboard, which has done such good work so far -- never missing a lick.

There are about a half dozen other cruising boats in the main harbor -- a couple of large sailing catamarans, a trawler, and a few monohulls. But aside from them, there is no sign of civilization here. No marina, no bar, no roads, no trash. The islands are uninhabited, and covered with low scrub and a few palm trees. Most of the shore is "ironshore" -- hard rock to the water's edge -- but a few small beaches appear here and there. We feel that we've entered cruising paradise. Low rocky islands form a ring around the main anchoring basin, with passes through to Exuma Sound and the Banks visible among them.

There's a strong current that runs through the main harbor, so in the morning, after rubbing our eyes and marveling at the wild splendor of this place, we moved the boat about 1/4 mile south to a small harbor on Southwest Allen's Cay (one of the three main islands in the ring), which has a sandy beach, shallow water, no current, and good protection from nearly all winds. It's perfect. The sandy bottom is alive with dozens of conch crawling along on their conch business. Lilly and the girls just went for a wade and a swim before breakfast. The water is brilliant clear turquoise. The three main islands all have a rare species of iguana living on them and we have just seen our first specimen. Rose says "They look like dragons and they run funny."

We'll definitely stay here for a day or two.