(Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas)
We spent last night anchored at Warderick Wells Cay which is home to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The Land and Sea Park is 22 miles long along the Exuma chain and extends 4 miles on either side of land. The whole 176-square-mile area is a NO TAKE zone. Which translates to us not staying long. Unable to kill fish, Greg’s interest in an area seriously wanes. We did go for a quick dive. The first, and I’m sure last, dive I’ve been on with Greg where he doesn’t have a spear in hand.
The sail to Staniel Cay was interesting and definitely educational. We had less than 20 miles to cover, but we went through no less than 3 mini squalls. We had double reefed the main and the jib and simply just watched the black lines as they approached. As they closed in and the winds started to pick up we turned closer to the wind and waited out the downpour. To come out the other side never took longer than 10 minutes, but it was a pretty cool and enlightening experience. Watching a wall of black that has a definitive line that you can literally watch close in on your boat – your life -and be unsure what it holds is experience that brings a mixture of awe and fright.
We’ve been hopping along the leeward side of the Exumas so I’ve been keen to map out the waypoints on the iPad to be sure we avoid all reefs and shifting sand bars.
Once anchored up in Staniel Cay we found ourselves just off Thunderball Grotto. Famous for being in a couple James Bond movies. Well we’ve now been there, and then we watched all 130 minutes of the now humourous fight scenes and technological advances of James Bond: Thunderball, and we can say that they are not two in the same. Regardless, it was beautiful for diving and the cathedral dome was stunning.
In the bottom picture the last “rock” to the left is Thunderball Grotto, where fishing is not allowed. Two rocks down, where we were anchored, the same rules were not in place. Therefore Greg took to riding the current around the rock on the paddle board scoping out all that moved.
After Greg did enough circles to break my paddle we made our way into the bar for a drink. And Amanda, I’m happy to report I’ve graduated from my biking to the bar days, to paddle boarding to bar. An upgrade I’m pretty happy about. Even though I had to use the incredibly shorter dinghy paddle to get there…