Friday, June 19, 2015

Goodbye Abacos - Hello Berrys!

Before we even got into the deep water leaving Sandy Point, we were fishing.  The day was gorgeous with light winds and benign seas.  We were just settling in when the fishing pole went ZZZZZzzzz!  Too bad it was a stupid barracuda!  

Well it was an exciting start anyway to an otherwise uneventful crossing.  We tried putting up the jib but it hung like a rag… so we just rolled it back in and motored on.  I’m not even sure that the cats would have known we were under way if we hadn’t chased them out of our bedroom…  They slept the entire way.  I think I even got in a short snooze. 

Suddenly it was LAND HO!  We could see Stirrup Cay and found ourselves in the land of giants!  We approached the cruise ship anchorage and there was a big one parked there.  I wondered if they would try to shoot us if we got too close like they do back in the US when they’re in port.  I figured that this was the Bahamas and we could go wherever we wanted… then I though maybe… this is the Bahamas and they can shoot us whenever they want.  

We motored on, unchallenged,  right between the ship and their shore facility with no interruption… other than the catching of these two bar jacks!  We weren’t sure what they were but decided to keep them and figure it out later.  Bruce filleted them up while I motored us towards the anchorage outside of Great Harbour Marina basin.

The best part about the place is the entrance is cut through the rock.  
I must say that we were disappointed with Great Harbour.  We anchored off of the Bullocks Bay settlement and motored our dinghy into the very well protected basin where we visited friends who were staying at the marina there.  The water was a nasty looking green.  We had hoped we were leaving that behind in the Abacos.  There was really nothing here.  We had expected a bit more.  
The harbor basin is protected 360°

We took a quick look at the settlement and decided not to even go ashore…  The next morning, we went in to buy some fuel and we were outta there!

We sailed off our anchor and set off to retrace our path back around the north end of the island to the east side.  The winds were very light and we were having fun trying to trim the boat to move,  but making only 3.5 to 4.5 knots… We decided there was no need to get anywhere so why not just enjoy the slow and easy sail?

This does not suck...
It was sublime.  We ghosted along and relaxed, weaving in and out between two giant cruise ships.  

We caught another bar jack in about the same place as we had caught one on our trip in…  Bruce filleted it and we added it to the others.  

The blue water was here again and we were joyous!  The beauty of our surroundings was too much for us to process.  There are just no words and the photos pale in comparison to the shimmering and iridescent colors of the water.  The clouds make a dramatic backdrop and reflect off of the water adding another dimension that is even more indescribably.  I know, I know… there are clouds everywhere.  But with the way the blue green water reflects and colors the some cloud bottoms in contrast to the other colors it is just different… better…

We arrived to our next planned anchorage N25°46.150 W077°51.190)  by mid afternoon.  We are getting pretty good at finding our own spot and no longer depending upon the Active Captain icon to show us the way.  We can read the water, watch the depth sounder and do the math depending upon where we are in the tide range to find our perfect spot.  Dropping the anchor in sand was a no brainer here.  There was a mile of it to choose from and we were the only boat around.  

A small sailboat with a colorful sail came by and it’s captain waived a greeting.  They must be from one of the nearby homes lining the white sandy beach.  

Great Harbour had been a disappointment… but that was the marina…  While we are still anchored off of Great Harbour Cay, this is a world away.

Morning came and we were excited to be up and off the boat to explore.  I had heard that there were caves on Sugar Beach and wanted to find them.  We dinghied to the beach at it’s nearest point and then turned to motor along taking a close look at everything around us.  

These homes are just perfect.  They were each very unique and their place on this beautiful beach make me feel sorry for those Posers in Ft. Lauderdale who THINK they’ve got something…  Not even close..  We gawked at one after another of these places and wondered about the lives of the people who own them.  Must be nice…

We found what I think must be the caves… Not sure.  But they look kind of like what I saw in the internet search I did…  Unfortunately, even with the light winds there was a little too much surge for us to land the dinghy safely.

I really don’t think Bruce was into it anyway, so we took off across the Bay to check out Petite Cay.

Petite Cay was a treasure.  If the rest of the Berrys are like this, we may never leave.  Bruce and I both fell in love with this beach… private and even more perfect than the last.  We relaxed and spent I don’t know how long just futzing around doin’… just STUFF.  I’ll let the pictures tell it...

Bruce found a lounger in the shade

Lizzards everywhere...

Someone else's collection

Tiny Palms with big shadows

Gracefully waving Sea Oats

Finding Sea Biscuits like finding easter eggs

Creating art out of nothing

I wonder what tiny creature is creating all of these sand tunnels

Time to get into the water

Very salty water creates awesome bouyancy


to do...

and all day...

to do it!

Birds stake ownership of this beach by dive-bombing Bruce

A girl loves a fan

Fan Toss!

Falling shell

Fallen shell

No pockets

Favorite mode of transportation

Bruce - rare shadow selfie

My stash
With the obvious entertainments of this Cay finally exhausted, we sped over to Little Petite Cay to see if we could find a snorkel spot.  

We kept our eye on the thunder-boomers looming in the distance, but it didn't look like we were in their pathway as we approached the tiny beach.

What had appeared to be a great place to snorkel from a distance, turned out to be less inviting upon closer inspection.  I set to beach combing and found this cay to be one of the most shell-laden we've found in the entire Bahamas.  

So while Bruce scoped out the water... I collected shells and marveled at the other wonders hiding on this tiny cay.

Oyster Catchers chirped at us


Tidepool creatures

Strange formations

Crab races... not a photo finish!
We found some movers and shakers of the crab community and put them to the test.  We drew a circle in the sand and had an impromptu crab race.  I chose my crab when she won!  

Watch the excitement LIVE!

After all of that adrenaline, the snorkeling fell a little short, but we took a swim around the corner and found a few things of interest under-the-sea.

This is a nursery where tiny fishes of all sorts were found. 

They didn't know whether to be curious or frightened

Most interesting find was the Flamingo Tongue
Well, after the unexpectedly civilized Abacos... the Berrys are turning out to be everything we had expected the Bahamas to be... remote beaches, unspoiled beauty and fascinating creatures.  We are really feeling the finality of being here.  After this, it's back to the US.  We plan to stretch it out for as long as the calendar will allow.  


  1. Oh so love your posts and updates.

    1. Oh Richard, I think you're our biggest fan! It's nice to have you out there along for the ride!