One of our guide books shares this sentiment on the Exumas: “possibly the best cruising grounds in the western hemisphere.” Oh baby, we are ready to embrace that and enjoy an even better taste of The Bahamas. And by golly those sails will get a work out even if we have to putz along at 3kts! Sailing along at 4-5kts has the benefit of enabling a fishing line to trail off the stern; which we did with no beginners luck.
Our first Exumas anchorage is the first stop for many entering the Exumas; Allen’s Cay. The Cay triumvirate is composed of Allen’s, Leaf and SW Allen’s Cay. The big attraction is the iguanas that live on Leaf and SW Allen’s Cay. According to the sign they are rock iguanas found nowhere else in the world – see, getting better already!
To balance the better aspects, there is of course the not better. Anchoring in a place with moderate to strong current has moved up to the top three things we prefer to avoid in The Bahamas. Couple that with a boat who anchors too close and voila! Bumper boats- well nearly. Take a moderately hard sandy bottom, a tide that changes every 6 hours and an anchor with chain… what do you get? Chain wrapped around the anchor ready to rip out with the next switch around. Russ dove in to unwrap it- remember we can see in the crystal clear water and then swam over to Me Gusta to warn them that things would get interesting at the evening tide change, hoping they’d get the hint and move. At one point our boats were 15 ft apart. We never hit but around 6am I heard a voice and a light; they must have dragged and were attempting to re-anchor. Four tries and although they ended up a bit ahead of us, they were closer in and worse yet close to our anchor.
Sunday we headed out by 9 a.m. and for once Russ took the wheel while I directed the anchor raising. My part wasn’t difficult as the anchor comes up clean with no rinsing needed and just in case we ended up too close to Me Gusta Lagoon Cat I wanted Russ at the helm.