Saturday, February 22, 2014

Moving Days.....The Exumas!

We made it to the Exuma Islands and they are as beautiful as everyone has been saying. Internet and all regular life luxuries are non existent in most places. The stores are small houses with limited items on the shelf and most items are bought up within hours of the once a week arrival of the mail boat that brings the items from Nassau. When the item you want is there the price is much more than you can imagine. It makes you wonder how the local folks who live here can afford them. A small box of cereal is over $10. A case of beer is $62. If you buy 10 items you will shell out at least $100. Its all worth it to experience the many islands and beaches and snorkeling on the reefs and into the caves. Every place we stop has something to offer that makes it memorable.

We are currently at Black Point Settlement which is a typical small Bahamian town that is very friendly to cruisers. The highlight is that it has the best laundromat within a hundred miles. I think its the only laundromat! So after several weeks we finally get to wash our clothes for real as well as access the internet at the same time. Needless to say this is a popular place that has a harbor full of anchored cruiser boats.

We joke about the fact that our boat is our home so every day we move is moving day. We have lived at Rose Island, Highbourne Cay, Norman's Cay, Warderick Wells Cay, Cambridge Cay,Shroud Cay, Hawksbill Cay, Staniel Cay and Black Point as well as some locations in between since we left Nassau. Every place as beautiful as the last. Life is spent snorkeling, hiking, swimming, dinghy touring, fishing, meeting other fun cruisers from many different countries. Randomly running into old friends from last year or a month or week ago. Every day is an adventure.

Before you think its all so perfect, I leave the parts out of the discussion about fixing toilets and plumbing, choosing which shirt is least dirty to put on for a cruisers sunset get together on the beach, always on the search for food and water and fuel. It certainly is a lifestyle you need to be ready to enjoy. Its best explained as a glorified camping trip but you also need to watch the weather to avoid being anchored in the wrong place when the wind and waves whip up.

One the highlights and treats was being in the isolated Exuma National Park and getting invited to a Super Bowl Party at the staff house. Who would have thought that in the middle of nowhere we got to see the game on a big screen TV and meeting two people there who grew up in towns next to where Gayleen grew up in rural Northeast Connecticut.

It has been a long time since the last blog post and I could go on and on but the last couple of months are best described by a few pictures so here goes....

Evan and Ashley came to spend a week with us in Nassau. We had a great time seeing the sights in the city, spending two days at the Atlantis Resort Marina with an all access pass to the water parks, sailing to Rose Island and anchoring for two days spending time kayaking, beach combing, snorkeling and swimming. The week went by too quickly.

Unique storm clouds over Atlantis Resort

Leaving Nassau

Checking out the many Iguanas that inhabit Allen's Cay

The view in our back yard at Highbourne Cay

Beaches and magrove rivers at Shroud Cay

Snorkeling on a plane wreck at Norman's Cay

I'm sure we weren't the first to lay claim to this small island that comes complete with one palm tree

Relaxation time

One of the most picturesque anchorages it at the headquarters of the Exuma National Park. The current carves out a deep narrow crescent shaped channel that has mooring placed in it. The moorings are surrounded by shallow sand bars of clean, white sand. Pearl is right in the center of the picture

Hiking to the top of the hill at Hawksbill Cay to find the ruins of the Loyalist houses.

And just when you thought you have seen everything, there is a place called Pig Beach on Big Major Cay that has a number of pigs living on it in the wild. That may not seem to unusual but when they swim out to greet you looking for food it can be a bit unnerving...swimming big pigs oh my!

Since the cruisers and tourists bring food they start your way as soon as they see you heading their way. From afar they look kind of cute

As they get closer you realize how big they are

Then you start admiring them as you get up close and personal

Until......they get upset at you for not throwing them ffod and they start nose butting your dinghy will lots of force!

We escaped unharmed and the big guy headed back to the smaller pigs and piglets on the beach

Nurse sharks at Staniel Cay

Snorkeling at the "Aquarium" at Cambridge Cay

Hiking to the beach at Compass Cay

More to come....when we next find internet.

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