Off the Sandbar and On To Shroud!

Trip Start Mar 09, 2009
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Trip End May 26, 2009


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Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9, 2009  - Friday - Leaving Norman Pond to Shroud
 
N 24 32.055  W 76 47.913
 
At 7:30 AM we pulled anchor and prayed we'd get out of the pond.  High tide was 8:30 so we wanted to be going on the rising tide.  I was on the bow with the headset and Dave was calling the depths.  We started out OK, but making that turn around the point, we came to rest, once again, on a sandbar.  Fortunately a large open fisherman was coming into the pond and asked if we needed help.  He was just off our port in 8' of water, so we threw him a line and they pulled us off the sandbar.  Thank God!  I thought we'd be spending yet another day at The Pond!  Coming out of the Pond was dicey but we made it through and headed for the south anchorage.
 
Lots of boats anchored in the south anchorage.  Even some catamarans which would not have  had a huge problem getting into the pond.  We decided to keep going since the day was beautiful so we headed down to Shroud Cay.  The Bank is fairly flat with east winds 5.5 kts.  We traveled to Shroud Cay in 15-17' of crystal clear water.  Took us about an hour from the south anchorage to the Shroud Cay anchorage.
 
We are now in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park which stretches 22 miles with an average width of 8 miles covering 176 square miles total.  It is a protected area similar to the Dry Tortugas Park.  Shroud Cay is located three cays down - Norman, Wax Cay, Little Wax Cay then Shroud.   Coming into the anchorage was easy and the anchor held well in sand in 10' of water.

 We released the dinghy and put the engine on.  We were going to head over to a creek that flows through the island and see if we could get to Camp Driftwood.  However, heading in that direction, the engine had problems and the tide was going out.  We could end up walking back with the dinghy then swimming it back to the boat so turned around and headed for The Well.  Hopefully on our way back up through here we can get into the area of Camp Driftwood.
 
The Well There is a fresh water well on the island. It is a natural well, one of the best in the Bahamas, providing good water to visitors for more than a century and was a popular spot for sponging boats which worked the area in the early 1900's.   We dinghied over to the beautiful beach and climbed the limestone path to reach The Well.  Dave had originally suggested we drag up some 6 gal jerry jugs but decided to scope it out before hauling the jugs up.  Once we got to the well, we were glad we weren't hauling the jugs and didn't even want to go back down and get the two gallon bottles I brought in the dinghy.  Dave said, and I quote, "I'll pay the 50 cents a gallon for water".  Never thought I'd hear him say it!  Figured we'd be using rainwater by the time we left the Bahamas....if it ever rained!

        

 
There are these delightful birds call Tropic Birds or Bos'un Birds.  They are flying all over the anchorage and have a squeaky little chirp which you can hear inside the boat.  Their tail is 17" long and they are graceful in flight.  They mate in the air.  Not too bad coordination!       

Tomorrow we're heading for Waderick Cay which is the headquarters for the Park Service.  They have us on a list for a mooring ball so hopefully something will open up tomorrow.  Otherwise we'll anchor in the south anchorage and wait for a mooring to open up.
 
Right now we are rocking gently in our anchorage enjoying all that there is .  We are surrounded by 80' and up yachts attached to the mooring balls the park has available for the "big guys".  There are about 6 mini-cruise liners and 4 sailboats here.  When the sun set two of the sailboats had conch shells and blew the conch heralding the end of the day.
 
As we sit here under our 12 volt light (one to conserve energy) the surrounding yachts are lit up like drilling platforms.  Each has it's own set of toys ranging from jet skis, dinghies, and underwater propulsion devices that make the rider look like something out of a James Bond movie!  This is Easter weekend so there are a lot of kids out here with their families - not a bad Easter break!
 
The horizon is multiple shades of orange and yellow and we can hear the waves splashing up against the limestone ledges of Shroud Cay.  It is truly beautiful here.
 
Life is good! 
 
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Where I stayed
N 24 32.055 W 76 47.913

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