Hoffman’s Cay

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The sail to Hoffman’s was a little rough with swollen seas and whitecaps in random directions. I love how safe we feel on Tanda Malaika. She handles the waves crashing into her hulls so gracefully and carries us safely over them, ready to greet the next one.

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Hoffman’s Cay forms a beautiful circular bay, almost like a caldera, and in that bay the water is calm and clear – protected from the chaotic seas just over the hill on the windward side. It’s an interesting feeling to sail in rough ocean, then turn a slight corner and be in a lake like calmness.

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We anchored in about 8 feet of turquoise water, lowered the dinghy and broke out the paddle boards, while some swam to shore. The creatures excitedly ran up the sandy and sandstone slope covered in a variety of small bushes, and disappeared over the crest. Periodically while walking up, a lizard with a big curl in its tail would scurry into the bushes and hermit crabs slowly crossed back and forth across the path like drunkin sailors. The view from the top was so beautiful. White sand meeting light blue water which gradually darkened into bright turquoise then deep blue. Brown patches of seagrass in linear and swirling patterns could also be seen, like one giant gorgeous aquarium.

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Danny flew his drone overhead in search of the famous Hoffman’s Blue Hole, while the rest of us cooled off in the water. He has recorded some amazing drone footage of our adventure in the Bahamas thus far, including that of spotted eagle rays dancing below the paddle boards. A young couple from Canada on a monohaul anchored in shallow water and forgot to account for the tide change, and found themselves tipped over this morning. They will have to wait 6 hours till high tide before their home is upright once again. Thanks to the sandy bottom, it appeared that no damage had been done to the hull or rudder.

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Once Danny had located the blue hole we all loaded into the dinghy and motored through water that looked like blue koolaid, past rays and beautifully contoured sand, and pulled up on a small beach where the trail began.

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After a short walk we found ourselves looking over a blue hole about the size of a baseball field, a 600ft deep vertical cave explored by Jacques Cousteau and possibly created by a meteorite strike.

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I grabbed my mask and GoPro and pushed off from the 25ft ledge, wanting to be the first to jump to make sure it was safe for the creatures. The cool salt water was a refreshing treat and I watched as one by one, Danny and the creatures jumped in, swam around and climbed back out.

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I swam the circumference of the hole, stopping to take pictures periodically. Thousands of tiny blue wrasse swam in synchronized schools and minute snails and crabs moved slowly through bright green fuzz ball alga. Thick heavy walls of mussels hung down along the sides in 8-10ft wide sections and then dropped off into the abyss below.

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A fascinating place in the middle of dense foliage, with only the sky above to reflect down into it. This is one adventure this tribe will be reflecting on for some time.

 

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