Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ahhhhhh...the Exumas!

After leaving Rum Cay, we sailed to Conception Island, which is where we caught turtles that needed to be tagged last year. I could spend weeks on this little, uninhabited island snorkeling and laying out on the pristine beach, but our schedule only allowed one night.

As we were making dinner, we noticed another boat pull in, and to our surprise it was Snorre and Ingunn on Spinnvill, who we met at Rum Cay and who are a fun, awesome couple our age. We knew they would be following in our footsteps to George Town, but they had planned on staying at Rum for another night. They hailed us on the radio and asked us to join them on their boat for drinks. It was fun getting to know them and hearing about their life in Norway. They have a great website about their sailing adventures so check it out!

The next morning we pulled up the anchor before the sun came up and headed to George Town, which would be the start of our trip back through the Exumas. The Exumas are an island chain in the Bahamas and are hands-down my favorite sailing ground. We were excited to arrive in George Town since we had been in outer civilization since leaving St. Thomas. We would be able to replenish our groceries, go out to eat, use WiFi, and be around lots of other cruisers. Being secluded in beautiful anchorages is what cruising is all about, but it's nice to be able to connect with people every once in a while. Plus, there is a beach where a couple of rays will swim right up to you hoping you'll have a piece of conch to offer as a tasty bite (see below video).

After spending a few days in GT, we left for Musha Cay with Spinnvill trailing us. They were heading to Staniel Cay to pick up a package and decided to buddy boat with us for a few days. Going into Exuma Sound from the protected waters of the harbor was a little rough due to big waves and current, but once we made it past the channel entrance, it was easy sailing. We dropped the hook around 3 p.m., jumped in the frigid waters to cool down a bit, and then did a little light house-cleaning before Snorre and Ingunn came over for an appetizer and drinks.

Musha Cay is owned by David Copperfield, and the island/villa can be rented for a cool $39,000 a night. That is way too steep for the likes of us, but we got to enjoy the surrounding area for free on our boat! There is a stainless steel sunken piano sculpture near where we anchored so in the morning, we went via dinghy to check it out. It's about 15 feet underwater, and as much as I wanted to snorkel down to it and take a picture, it was just too deep for my underwater breathing abilities. David got a good video of it though. After that we hopped back in the dinghy, explored some caves, swam with eagle rays, looked for but did not find the famous two mile ringed sandbar, and went back to the boat to get ready to sail a few miles to White Point.




At White Point, we got in a couple of hours of beach time and then had game night on Spinnvill. It was a little different playing a game with cards in Norwegian, but we had a handy dandy translation sheet that Ingunn wrote up. David ended up winning, much to the consternation of Ingunn!!


Me pulling down the main sail



The next day we sailed to Staniel Cay, where the Pig Beach and Thunderball Grotto are. Snorre and Ingunn were going to save both outings for the following day since it would be a great way to celebrate her birthday so David and I went solo to the Grotto to snorkel since we had loved it the prior year. We planned on leaving the next day, but after being invited to join the birthday celebration on Spinnvill, we put off leaving for a day. And what a great celebration it was! We joined them for dinner aboard and had salad with foie gras, steak au poivre, eggplant, potatoes, and dessert. That was followed up by some rum punch, Bahamian erotic rum and great conversation.


Sadly we had to say our (slightly hungover) goodbyes the next morning with promises to visit Norway/Texas, and David and I left for Cambridge Cay where the seaquarium and wrecked plane awaited us.



We spent a few more days in the Exumas where I tried to commit every single beautiful detail to memory. The beaches, water, and snorkeling are superb in this part of the world....the best I have ever experienced and I'll miss it!!

Rescued a conch from being stranded on a sand bar