Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bahamas Again

Sand Cay, Exumas
24 20.4N 76 35.6W

The West Indies are stunning, huge mountainous islands, volcanoes, rain forests, great people, culture, history and don't get us wrong some fabulous beaches and snorkeling. But the whole time we were there we felt that the water, sand and coral elements didn't compare well to our memories of the Bahamas - so we were fascinated to see if it was just grass is always greener syndrome or if our memory was accurate.

Well, the memory isn't going yet, simply stunning. "The water is clear" just doesn't do justice to it, we've all seen lovely clear water, Bahamian water is totally transparent. For example on a calm day you motor along in 30' of water looking at conch and shells on the bottom, when you drop the anchor you see it dig into the sand as you back down on the chain even though you are above the surface and 30m away. Snorkeling you see fish on the next bommy while looking at this one, the underwater photos are incredible because of the light. Take a look at this one of a conch taken 5m below the surface!

The sand is white, not a bit white, white white, and tiny powdery grains that don't stick to you. Small coral cays everywhere, hundreds of calm anchorages and of course in season (which sadly we are not) lobster to hunt.

So we have passed a fabulous week cruising up the Exumas, revisiting old haunts and getting excited a bout a full season here next winter. Georgetown had 280 boats in it last time we were here, this time it was about 20 as the snow birds have migrated north.

We played in the shallows of the mangroves with turtles, did some incredible snorkeling with sharks, rays and huge Jack, climbed to 50' peaks (no volcanoes here) for stunning views, back to Thunderball Cave, back to the Exuma Park, back to the iguanas at Allens Cay and now finally on to Rose Island.

The Bahamas charge $300 to clear in, we have had 10 days here and it was worth every cent!

Tomorrow we are off north, back across the gulf stream to the USA and points north, we hope to be back in Chesapeake bay by the end of May, and then off to the UK for summer in June, we have already sailed 900 miles this month and have about the same again to do, but at least we are well rested after our "holiday" in the Bahamas!
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