After leaving our little iguana friends behind, our next stop was a short motor sail away to Shroud Cay in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, a beautiful island with several creeks running from the banks side clear though to the ocean. There were a few mooring balls available here for $20 per night, but there was plenty of room to anchor, so we decided to save ourselves a few bucks and do just that. As we set the anchor, the winds were light and the water was pretty still….still enough that we could easily watch the shark that was swimming through the anchorage. Oh my. I have got to get used to these sharks!
Unfortunately, as forecast, and pretty much right on schedule, the wind picked up and it got extremely bumpy at anchor. The boat was pointing into the wind, but the waves/swell must have been wrapping around the island and were hitting us right on the beam (side of the boat). It was quite uncomfortable, so we got in the dinghy and headed to shore to spend the rest of the afternoon on solid ground. We weren’t the only ones with this idea, and soon it was a regular old party on the beach. We made some new friends as everyone prolonged going back to their boats, including a young couple from Denver (on S/V Kairos) who had recently bought a boat in Florida and along with their two big dogs had sailed it to the Bahamas. They were anchored in front of us and I was so worried watching them try to get their dogs back on board! It was so lumpy out that it was hard enough for us to get ourselves back on the boat…I sure wouldn’t have wanted to have to lift two big dogs onto the boat in conditions like that. Fortunately all made it safely back onto Kairos!
Check out this video to get a glimpse of how rough it was sitting here at anchor the day we arrived! Also, a bit of underwater footage, which is not very clear since the water had been so disturbed. Jim had gone in the next day to check our anchor, which fortunately had not budged and was still set quite well. The lines in the sand however, show the movement of our anchor chain as we had swung over 90 degrees due to the shifting winds. We were also now much better protected from the winds, which were still very strong, and it was much more comfortable sitting at anchor.
We spent several days on Shroud because we were having such a fun time exploring all of the creeks (and the wind was still howling out of the east)! Tides dictated when and where we could go though… Once we anchored our dinghy along one of the creeks (using two anchors to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere!) and then walked until we found a nice little spot in the tidal flats to lay out our beach blanket for a couple of hours. We enjoyed a snack and a glass of wine and then just laid down to rest and enjoy the beautiful sunny day. Those that know me well know that I’m not very good at just lying still though, so after a short while I got up and started playing in the sand. Before long I was making a pretty unsuccessful attempt at a mermaid sand sculpture…an artist I am not! Anyhow, upon returning to our dinghy, we found it quite high and dry due to the dropping tide, and ended up having to carry/drag it quite a ways just to get it to the water, and then had to walk it out quite a bit further to get into water deep enough so that we could get in without bottoming out!
This video gives you a better idea of what this cool little island was really like. Looks like I’ve got some room for improvement in my videography skills though…
Another day, another creek! This time we were exploring an area that had uncovered when the tide went out and it seemed that there were small starfish everywhere. They were all sitting just below the surface of the sand and I thought they were stranded, so I relocated a couple of them to the water. However, after watching them for a bit, I soon realized that this must just be part of their daily routine! From what I observed, it appears that they bury themselves in the sand before the tide goes out, hang out in the sand just barely exposed for several hours, and then when the tide comes back in and uncovers them the rest of the way, they make their move and head to wherever it is that starfish head!
And because I’m in a YouTube video kind of mood…here’s one more! In this one you’ll see a little sting ray swim by, one of the remoras that we found hanging out under the boat and then finally watch as a star fish completely buries himself in the sand, which was really quite fascinating to watch live!
After spending five nights on Shroud, we finally pulled ourselves away and headed to our next destination, which I’ll tell you about in my next post, but first some more pictures from our time on Shroud Cay!
And of course the mandatory sunrise and sunset pictures!
Til next time!