12 April 2007

Staniel Cay, Exumas

April 12, 2007

We've arrived in Staniel Cay in the Exumas after a week or so traveling from Nassau. Hans' parents are due here from Sweden on Saturday and we're eagerly awaiting their arrival. Staniel Cay is home to the Thunderball Grotto, an underwater cave made famous in the James Bond movie: Thunderball.

We'll have access to internet for a couple weeks, so expect some more frequent blog updates!

Hawksbill Cay

April 9, 2007

In an attempt to avoid the mega-yachts with their jet-skis, other cruisers and day-trippers from Nassau, we sailed down to Hawksbill Cay, the next island south from Shroud Cay. Snowday reported that Hawksbill Cay was one of their favorite stops in the Exumas and it’s easy for us to see why. The Cay is very hilly and filled with lush vegetation. There are ruins at the hill closest to our anchorage which reportedly date back to the days of the Loyalist settlers (late 1700s). There is also a great trail to the beach, which, like our anchorage, we had to ourselves—a great relief after sharing so many anchorages with lots of boats, most twice our size and some almost 6 times our size!

Whisper at anchor

The weather has gotten much warmer and has become more settled in the past week. We are hoping that this is a taste of what is to come.

Hmmm... Beach or ruins?

Here's the beach!

Some ruins

More ruins

Shroud Cay

April 8, 2007

Shroud Cay is a large, low-lying cay south of Norman’s Cay and is the northernmost cay in the Exumas Land and Sea Park. The Park is a protected area for both sea and land life. At Shroud Cay, the main attraction is the waterways that wind through the mangroves in the center of the island. We explored these canals in Ding Ding III although were a little disappointed at the lack of fish and birds that we thought we would see. On the other hand, throngs of tourists made up for the lack of wildlife once we arrived at the ocean side and provided for some interesting people-watching.

Looking east over the Exuma Sound from Shroud Cay

Looking west towards the Exuma Banks from the same location. The water snaking through the picture is the very shallow mangrove "river" that we dinghied through to get here.

A slew of tourists at OUR discovered beach! The audacity...

We had our first attempt at BBQ pizza for dinner. It came out really well, except it was rather scorched on the bottom. Next time we need to try a lower heat and perhaps a heat diffuser (aluminum foil?). We also made a small batch of cinnamon buns in the pressure cooker, which turned out great!

Pizza, Pizza!