Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Places, Old Years and Mermaids

I want to be their CAT in my next life...
We left Black Point in hopes of sailing some down to Rudder Cay.  I know I sound like a broken record but the winds ARE supposed to moderate... nevertheless... we should be in protected waters from the ESE winds forecast today.  We motored out of the anchorage and raised a reefed mainsail and turned into the wind with the water maker humming.

There ARE crab traps in the Bahamas!
The ride wasn't too bad actually.  The waves were small and not the big-boat-stopping waves we've become accustomed to...  We enjoyed the cool breeze and the view as we ambled down the banks in familiar territory.

Calm Galliot Cut
We approached Galliot Cut and motored in between these small cays.  The waters are beautiful in all shades of blue and green.  Last time we were here the conditions were a bit rough... this time we would not go out through the cut, but continue on into new waters.  Our excitement built as the views became breathtaking.

Private Musha Cay
We are much more brave this time... our last time in the Bahamas we barely deviated from the well travelled pathways and stayed in the "easy" anchorages.  A little bit of confidence goes a long way here and the payoff is an anchorage with fewer boats and views that few ever see.

This is where you go when you want to buy your own private island.  Many of the small islands and Cays here are either private resorts, or even more private homes of the rich and famous.

The route through from Galliot Cut to Rudder Cay Cut winds through some very shallow spots on the Exuma Banks.  From Galliot Cut south is pretty much a VPR (visual piloting rules) area and much of it is too shallow for our 5'3" draft at low tide.  But with the help of an extra 2.5 ft., we were able to coast our way through it easily.

Well... maybe "easily" is the wrong word.  I had some tense moments with Bruce on the bow and depths that told me we would NOT be traveling this route at low tide...  But the reward was an anchorage that looked like something out of a movie!

Complete with caves and a mermaid!!!

I couldn't wait until tomorrow when we would go out and explore this beautiful spot by dinghy!

We sat on the deck and enjoyed the changing view as the sun set and darkness fell.

I can't describe in words or pictures the profound beauty of the night sky here.  We are worlds away from any city  The stars seem like our closest link to civilization. Velvet and starshine.  Cool moist breezes and gently lapping water.  Perfection.

Morning. Our last of the year.  I can't say that I can think of another way I would like better to spend it than in this place with my husband.

The day stretches out before us to spend as we like.  No boat chores, just a bit of exploring in the dinghy and maybe a swim... if it warms up enough.

A sea plane brings a family to their island...

We took off for a dinghy tour of the area.  The first order of business was to explore the caves more closely.  There is one just off our stern and another around this point of land.  Upon closer inspection, the caves did not extend very far back into the rock... a little bit of a disappointment but still cool.  Many small tour boats arrived and took a look at this cave... we got to do it for free!

Cheesie selfie from inside...

The second cave
This place would be absolutely perfect if not for the fact that this island is private.  The beach is gorgeous and just begs to be walked upon... but we are not those people who flout the rules, even when nobody is around to object.

I'm sure the owners spent more in signage than in any correction of damages by past trespassers... but Oh well... I guess they've earned their right to privacy.  There were signs on every beach and solar powered security cameras on the hills.  There was rumor of a crazed dog guarding the beach near the cave but we never saw a dog... but then we never tried to step foot on the beach either.

We zoomed along the coast downwind as far as we dared without refueling... then turned and zoomed back upwind to see if we could find the famous Mermaid and Piano commissioned by David Copperfield.

I had entered the coordinates into my Garmin App and was happy to find that they took us right there.


It was still a bit chilly with the winds blowing and lots of cloud cover.  It is best to try and snorkel here during slack tide.  I took some pictures from above in 14 ft depths.  Our plans to return with the afternoon slack tide were precluded by a nap that ran over a bit.  By the time we got up, the tide had already turned.

Oh well... I can't get down 14 feet anyway and I think we got a really good look at the sculpture.  It was smaller than I thought it would be, but no less awesome.  It amazes me what some people would do with their money.  So few people will ever get to enjoy this work of very obscure art.

Friends on Mañana arrive
Our last day of 2015 slipped quietly away with the setting sun...  It has been a very good year and we look eagerly forward to what the new year will bring us.

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