Alan is enjoying his sailing adventure on Moondance. He’s fun to have on board (especially helping me pick up mooring lines!) On Thursday (4/1) we sailed north to Shroud Cay and picked up a mooring. Shroud Cay is part of the Exuma Land and Sea Park and is known for its canals through mangrove trees. The canals are very shallow or dry at low tide so you have to time your trip across the island so you don’t get stuck on the other side. It was a beautiful evening for grilling lobster on Moondance and watching the sunset. Mike and Angie came for dinner and we drank painkillers and played Farkle into the warm night.
Friday morning we got a lazy start. Alan is catching up on his Zzzzs. We followed Mike and Angie in our dinghies into the canals that cross the island. We hit a few shallow spots but Skip managed to lift the motor and get us through. The center of the island is inhabited mostly with healthy mangrove trees. We saw a few tropic birds, the native birds that nest on the island. They look like sea gulls with a long white tail. The beach on the Exuma Sound side is spectacular with white sand and calm seas. We ate lunch, swam and explored the shoreline before heading back. As we approached the other side we could see that the winds were picking up and it would be a wet ride back. We stopped on a little beach and enjoyed the calm water and sun before heading back to the rocky anchorage. As we came around the point and headed into waves our engine stopped—oh no!! I waved to Mike and they came back to tow us to the boat. Skip and Alan paddled with the oars as we plowed through the waves and got soaking wet. Thank goodness their outboard was strong enough to get us back. I didn’t even have a radio with us (a bad move) so we could have been floating out to sea!
Morning couldn’t come fast enough for me. I finally fell asleep for a little while. We decided to head out early for Warderick Wells. No point in staying there and being uncomfortable! We motored into the waves and wind until turning off towards the North anchorage of the park. We haven’t done much pounding into wind and waves on this trip and I don’t miss it at all!! We turned off the wind and we motor-sailed with the headsail out. It was much more comfortable.
Ahhhh, the North anchorage in Warderick Wells is beautifully familiar and calm. Our mooring assignment was on the other side of the lagoon so we have a different view than before. The water is crystal clear and we can see the shadow of the boat on the sand below us. We enjoyed a lovely dinner on Lady of Lorien. Angie served one of the best lasagnas I’ve ever had! After dinner, they taught us how to play Quibbler – a fun word game using cards. The night was perfect for sleeping. It was wonderfully calm and quiet. We all slept in to make up for the previous night.
On Saturday morning, Skip took Alan, Angie and I over to the park while he and Mike worked on our outboard motor. We hike over to the Exuma Sound side and I was amazed how calm the water was. What a difference—no crashing waves! I was glad to see that our sign is still hanging on Boo Boo hill. We ate lunch on the hill where there was a little breeze and then checked out the blow hole. I didn’t think anything was happening until we stuck our heads over the hole and were greeted with a whoosh of air from deep below the rocks.
A swim on the beach was really refreshing after our hike. Mike came over to pick us up as I couldn’t get Skip on the radio (he later told me that he was talking to Ed.) Alan and I swam around the boat and over to the sand bar to walk around. We went back to the beach and borrowed some kayaks to explore the lagoon. Alan and I checked out the area above the reef. As we kayaked around a stingray leaped out of the water close to me and startled me. Alan didn’t see it and thought I fell overboard! Our arms were getting tired as we headed back to shore against the strong current.
At 5:30 the cruisers gathered on the beach for happy hour. We took Bailey along so he could enjoy a little ‘land’ time. It’s finally hot and I’m not complaining! Alan and I played another round of Scrabble. Skip doesn’t like to play so I’m loving it! I haven’t spent this much time with my brother in a long time. He’s an easy guest–very low maintenance. I’m enjoying hearing about his life and job. I see some of our Dad in him which I hadn’t ever noticed before and it’s very comforting.
We had another warm, calm night and are planning to do some snorkeling today. Tomorrow, we’ll head south to stay at the Sampson Cay marina. A front is coming through on Tuesday and we need to be in a place where Alan can catch his flight on Wednesday morning. We found out that the marina provides transportation to the airport on Staniel Cay. We’ll just have to put in for a few days and struggle along with the pool, beach, restaurant and other luxuries—darn!!