DAY 1 – GREAT ISAAC CAY
This morning we woke up and immediately prepped Tanda Malaika to set sail. We stowed items we’d taken out while being at the dock, filled the water tanks, I mapped out our course for navigation, and we said our good byes to our wonderful friends. We have made new friends, and as always it’s tough saying ‘see you later’, but we realize that chances are we’ll cross paths once again – most likely when we least expect it.
The color of the water as we exited Bimini was an endless blue of beauty.
Just as we left Bimini, Chad set the fishing lines and announced that it’s going to be a good fishing day, and not long after that he caught a small fish and a lure. As the day progressed he caught 3 more fish – all barracuda, and one of them was humongous! Later Chad told me he hopes that all the barracuda aren’t going to gang up on him now…but we did set them free, so maybe not.
It’s about a 20 nautical mile sail from Bimini to Great Isaac Cay, where a tall 150ft eerie looking lighthouse stands proudly over the ocean. As I’ve mentioned before, people here believe that the island and lighthouse are haunted, and that a woman in a white dress is often heard wailing on the island. The caretakers of the lighthouse suspiciously disappeared in the 60’s and have never been found. The creatures sat out on the bow as we approached Great Isaac Cay, some of them with worried looks on their faces.
When we approached to anchor, the anchor absolutely would not set. Jude and Chad were at the anchor chain and could feel it moving along the bottom and then stop, the the boat would spin 180 degrees and the anchor would drag more. The boat would also not point into the wind as they do at anchor, but instead sat with her beam to the wind and waves. I finally dove in to see what was going on, and was surprised to feel a swift current moving east, and the wind was blowing west – which explained why the boat was sitting sideways. After several failed attempts at anchoring I told all the crew to raise the failing anchor then load into the dinghy and go ashore to explore, and I would man the boat.
Once they reached land I watched them walk up the hill from the ocean to the buildings surrounding the lighthouse. Many birds circled in the air above the island, and I spotted large dark crabs making their way around the rocky ledges close to shore. They made their way clear to the top of the light house and shared these pictures with me.
I decided to make good use of time and begin preparing dinner as I made my way back and forth between the helm and the galley. I put rice on to boil and prepared good old South African chicken coconut curry to serve over it.
After a while I peaked out from the galley and saw them making their way back to me in the dinghy. They were all excited to tell me about their adventure. None of them heard any wailing!
We continued on in the direction of the Berry Islands, which are 74 nm from Bimini. We knew we wouldn’t make it all the way today, and watched for a good place to anchor for the night. Just as the sun was setting we anchored in the middle of absolute nowhere in 22ft of water, over a large boomerang shaped sand patch. Tonight we will be gently rocked to sleep and then carry on to the Berry Islands tomorrow.
Day 2 – GREAT HARBOUR CAY
This morning i woke at 6am and knew i should get out of bed and set sail since we still had 62 nm to go, but it took me half an hour to do it! Chad, Jude, Mycah and Aidan helped raise the anchor as a gorgeous sunrise spread across the sky.
Chad once again set the fishing lines and caught 4 or 5 barracuda through the course of the day. Sometimes normal things happen when we are on the boat, like Mycah playing her ukulele and singing with her beautiful voice,
and sometime Glade and Aidan do what’s normal to them…
We pulled into Great Harbour Cay this afternoon after a beautiful sail, and set anchor in green water. A storm had come through and all the water from the waterway which is lined with mangroves that leads up into the island, has settled in the bay. It’ll clear up in a day or two. The creatures took off to explore while I called my Sweetheart who I haven’t been able to talk to for a day and a half. It was fun to catch up. Only about 1 more week till he returns. Chad and Marci went for a swim to shore and then a romantic stroll along the beach. I swam and explored all around looking for sea life. Sierra gave me this photos to post…the water was clearer where they went exploring.
When everyone returned we threw some chicken on the braai while the creatures sorted shells and began making some jewelry.
They showed me this interesting find. I messaged a friend of mine who knows far more about marine biology than I do, and we determined that it is most likely some sort of egg casing.
Inside each section is a layer of tiny shells.
Sierra found these beauties too:
Tomorrow morning we will see if we can find a store for some fruit, then set sail for Hoffman’s Cay, which is one of my favorite places. Life is good and we LOVE having the Nell family with us!