Further Exploration- Jan 11

Wednesday- ah another beautiful day in paradise. Weather’s been great the entire week; don’t worry another front is on its way.  Winter temps are cooler; very pleasant highs of 79 with nighttime lows around 68 are not hard to take. Cold fronts or “northers” are very predictable. Ahead of the front the wind moderates to less than 5kts, then when the front arrives (we can see the line on the chart plotter) can pick up to 18-25 kts for a solid two days , gusts can be more.

Our morning hike took us about a mile dinghy ride to the mid-south eastern shore. There, we pulled Bunting up to Beryl’s Beach and headed up Beryl’s Trail which leads to the Davis Ruins Trail and crosses over to the rocky eastern shore following along a 3ft high stone wall.

Stone wall crosses the entire cay

The Loyalists ran off in the late 1770s and attempted to establish a plantation of sorts.  The remains of three buildings dating to 1780 consist of rock and conch shell mortar walls. The stone wall which ran across the island from shore to shore was likely constructed to contain livestock; where it came from I can’t imagine. At some point bad blood between the Loyalists and the local pirates either forced their departure or got them killed.

Crumbled wall- conch shell mortar

Mr Bashful Hutia

Our trek along the hutia trail the other day produced not a single sighting of one of these rabbit-sized brown rodents. Today we had better luck as my eagle eyes spied one scurrying into a rocky nook was we approached. Too bashful to come out, he bravely stuck his face out enough for us to see, but the photo doesn’t show him as well as we could see. Hutia have pudgy bodies, stubby necks, short ears and tails and resemble guinea pigs although they are related to the porcupine. Usually when we’d hear the rustling of leaves it meant lizards, but along this trail when the sounds were louder we knew hutia were nearby.

Minutes later we saw a bird we couldn’t identify and a brown racer (snake), our first snake sighting in The Bahamas. Only four species of snakes live in The Bahamas and none are poisonous. The brown racer is the most common and enjoys an easy diet of lizards and insects. None of that worry about when the supply boat is coming.

In the arid climate with mostly limestone rock for soil, plants grow wherever they can.

A tree grows in a natural well

As we stood at the clearing by the ruins I noticed several boats heading in to the Emerald Rock mooring field. One was notable in that it looked like a monohull without a mast or rigging; the graphic near the bow looked familiar. We often joked that some sailing vessels should remove their mast and cut off most of their keel; if they don’t sail,
why have the baggage? A closer look as we dinghied past revealed a puzzler; this was a monohull with no mast and rigging; we knew the boat and last time we saw it (late Oct) it could sail. No one was on board to help satisfy our curiosity. Perhaps a “bad” bridge mishap resulted in chuckin’ it all overboard.

Overlooking Emerald Rock field and the naked boat

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