Friday, 25 May 2012

Bahamas Part 3 - Nth Exumas

Hi from Clare,                                                                    Thursday 24th May 2012

Well it has been a mixed week. The weather has wavered from perfect to appalling. We are currently anchored in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, sitting out a low pressure system and sheltering from torrential rain; so it's not always perfect!

We have sailed a number of short hops this week from Warderick Wells to Shroud Cay to Highbourne Cay to Allens Cay and then finally Nassau. The total distance is around 65 NM.

The seven of us from 'Norna' 'Tactical Directions' 'Innamorata' and 'Eye Candy' took three dinghies and travelled from one side of the island to the other exploring the mangrove creeks. What a peaceful contrast with glassy, clear water and birds chirping. We came out the other side onto a gorgeous ocean beach and walked the short distance to the hilltop for some photos. It was unfortunate that it was overcast as the full impact of the aqua water was diminished.

Shroud Cay in the Mangroves and on the ocean side

This was the best time of the week as we went diving on two consecutive days. We left in the mornings and Tony took his catamaran out to the ocean side of the Exuma Bank. The weather each morning was perfect; the ocean was flat calm. In fact so calm, it was hard to imagine that we had left the Bank at all. We had two fabulous dives seeing black tip reef sharks, turtles, lobsters, abundant tropical fish and colourful corals. We dived on the wall which drops away to thousands of feet. We swam from the about 18 metres into a blue abyss. We all loved it and agreed the second dive was one out of the box. Good thing we went in the morning as both days deteriorated after lunch.

More Shroud Cay and Diving

We had an overnight stop to see the Iguanas. They are an endangered species and live on only one small island. They are small, scaly and ugly with only a few inches ground clearance. The public is asked not to feed them but they run to the beach with every arriving dinghy. It's either for food or they like having their photo taken; I'll go with the food theory!

Searching for the Dive site and the Iguanas
Although we have been here for two nights, we haven't seen anything of Nassua yet. We have experienced rain and more rain and high wind.
We have a tarpaulin tied low on the bow covering the three hatches. We can keep these opened a few inches for air circulation in the boat. We have another large tarpaulin tied securely over the dodger and bimini in an attempt to keep part of the cockpit dry. The rain has been constant and the humidity is high; not much fun.

Dismal scenes from Nassau anchorage with Norna astern

We have kept ourselves occupied catching up on boat chores, cooking, surfing the net and drying things out. Fortunately we haven't found any fresh water leaks in the boat.

We have all taken turns at having dinner guests or playing Rummy; most nights we are together. Andrew has started an informal radio net at 6pm to talk to other known cruisers either underway or stuck at anchor. The effects of the low pressure system are wide-spread and so we are all in the same boat; what a horrible thought?

When the weather clears, we will have a look around Nassau and then head for the Abaco Islands. We are looking forward to having a walk and seeing the sights we missed when here in 2004.

Love Candy xx

At 1:23 PM23/05/2012 (utc) our position was 25°04.71'N 077°19.68'W

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