Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Allen's Cay, Shroud Cay and Warwick Wells Cay

It feels like the cruising has finally begun! The cays of the Exumas are breathtaking. Each new one is even more beautiful than the last. Small little white sand beaches and clear blue water with mangroves and other short but green vegetation along the shore. This is what we’ve been dreaming about.

Allen's Cay Iguana

We left Nassau early in the morning and had a perfect six hour sail over the Bahama Banks to Allen’s Cay. We set our anchor and dropped the dinghy to head over to Leaf Cay to see the iguanas that we had heard about. Tourists in “go fast” boats (think Boardwalk Beast) are brought over from Nassau each day and the iguanas are used to handouts. They come out on the beach and will run right up to you if they think you have food. We stayed at Allen’s Cay for two nights and spent the days exploring the surrounding cays by dinghy. The water was still a little too cold for swimming and snorkeling. The second night brought a tightly packed anchorage. Both Kaleo and Anchor Management had to move their boats. Between the strong wind and an opposing current no one got much sleep and we were all ready to move on the next morning.

Next on the chart was Shroud Cay. Shroud is part of the Exumas Land and Sea Park. The motto is take only photographs and leave only footprints. We had another great sail and were happy to see that the park had installed mooring balls. We were all glad to pick up a ball so that we could get a decent nights sleep. We were amazed at the beautiful clear water with a deep sandy bottom.

On the way to Shroud we heard our friends Rene and Stacy on s/v Pipe muh Bligh on the radio. They were our dock neighbors at Watergate in Kemah and we were planning to find them since we knew they were cruising in the Exumas. Luckily they were just over at the neighboring cay and they came over to join us at Shroud.
 We had a great reunion with them and then we all took an awesome dinghy ride through the mangroves of the park and all the way to the other side of the cay where we hiked a small hill and got some great shots of the water. That evening we enjoyed happy hour on Pipe muh Bligh with Rene and Stacy, Steve from Anchor Management, Matt and Christie from Kaleo and L.A. and Susan from Genesis. Good thing Rene and Stacy have such a big boat! We spent the next day at Shroud exploring by kayak and hanging out on the beach. This is the life!

Storyville from the top of Boo Boo Hill
We were on a waiting list to get a mooring ball at Warwick Wells Cay where the Exuma Land and Sea Park headquarter is located. Our sail over was picture perfect and once we arrived we just could not believe that a place could be so beautiful. We are planning to stay here for several days because there is so much to see and do. All of our buddy boats are here right now, Anchor Management, Kaleo, Pipe muh Bligh and Genesis.

Troy with a bananaquit

We made a hike up Boo Boo Hill where the views are absolutely breathtaking and we got some great shots of our boats out on the mooring field. Boo Boo Hill is a hilltop where cruisers make signs out of driftwood with their boat names on them and leave them on a cairn there. We made our signs and hiked back up to leave them this morning. It sort of feels like a right of passage as a cruiser to leave our sign up there.

Adding our Sign on Boo Boo Hill
We found some tiny little birds here called bananaquits. The love to eat sugar and will sit right on your hand to eat it or to drink water. We had fun feeding the bananaquits on Boo Boo Hill!

This afternoon we finally got to do some snorkeling. We snorkeled a small reef and saw many beautiful fish and coral. I even saw a school of squid that changed color as they moved from the coral to the sand. After the snorkel trip we all went back to Storyville to swim and play on the little sand beach that appears each day behind our boat at low tide. While we were there a sting ray and a nurse shark both swam right under our boat.

I still cannot be believe how beautiful it is here. We are loving every minute of this so far. I apologize if I am overusing words like amazing, breathtaking, awesome, but I really don’t know how else to describe the things that I am seeing!

We have very limited bandwith here so I will not be able to post all of my pictures. I will get them posted with a link on the blog as soon as possible.

The ocean looks like a blue rainbow! ~Stacy Foree


Al and Kay Waghorne said...

What a great adventure! Look at that bird!!!! Wow!!! I know you guys are living the dream... Hey, Don't worry about using the same descriptive words over and over! If the fit.... they fit!!!

Tammy Bowman said...

Deana, it all sounds so wonderful! I am so happy you and Troy are "living the life"!!! Enjoy every day together. Y'all take care of each other, and know we all love ya lots!

sheryl said...

Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us. I am so glad it is everything you and Troy dreamed it would be. When I read your blog I hear your charming southern accent inside my head, Deana. I miss you and wish you happy sailing.

kjlewis said...

Sounds like yall are having a blast. Things are picking up here and it just doesn't feel right not putting your name on a contract.

We'll miss you at cookoff! Be safe!!!

Donna Lee said...

Storyville never looked are awesome....and you both look amazingly happy :-)

froach said...

Troy & Deana

Finally tuned in to see how the exceptional few live. I am really glad for you guys. Your post are great and we've added you to our favorites, so we'll keep up with THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES SEARCHING FOR A SALTY PIECE OF LAND. So ya'll enjoy and hopefully we'll catch up with you on one particular harbor.

Fred & Angie