We motored out of Nassau ,buddy boating with “Nemo” and were granted permission to leave via the West entrance and soon had a comfortable sail going with all three sails deployed. We were maintaining a 4.5 kt sail close hauled in E8 kts of wind. We could see the bottom about 12 ft below us go by with an occasional black Manta Ray, or brown coral head dotting the otherwise white sandy bottom.
We arrived and anchored about 500 yards off a beautiful white sandy beach and had a relaxing dinner and star gazing evening. The next day we dink’d ashore and explored the beach. To Adrien’s delight Nemo’s crew loves to forage as he does. It wasn’t long before treasures worth bringing back to the boat were discovered, a piece of line, a heavy duty stainless steel ratcheted tie down in mint condition, a plastic container for bailing, someone’s cash of live conch. ….( I insisted we leave those where we found them!).
We walked the runway that Carlos Lehder laid to foster his drug trafficking activities in the late 70’s. and his abandon home overlooking the harbor and other aluminum building left untouched for many years. Despite the building being stripped of windows, doors, fixtures etc. the foil and floral wallpapers in each room were still in tack! As interesting as it is to explore ruins of time gone by it was sad to see all the garbage left behind. Old vehicles, rusted machinery, air conditioners, steel drums, stacks and stacks of beer bottle in boxes, plastic containers….. There was litter everywhere. It appears that when folks leave, because of storm destruction or in Mr. Lehder’s case, to go to jail (BTW, he’s still there) they literally walk away from everything. Anything of value is taken out but the garbage remains….then gets blown around with the wind. Evidence suggest even cruisers are leaving their garbage behind. Very sad. Nassau was similar. There just doesn’t seem to be any pride in preserving the beauty of this area by the locals and some disrespectful cruising guests. Is it lack of education, the cost of keeping it clean, or a place to dispose of the trash…… We’re just not sure.
We’d anticipated have a juicy Burger at The Beach Club but learned that Hurricane Sandy took it down and the reopen will not be til June. Darn, I thought sure I could smell burgers on the grill!
We dink’d to a small pristine sandy island with one Coconut tree, dove on the wreck of a DC 10, also remnents of Mr Lehder, and saw some spectacular marine life under the fuselage and wings.
From there we dink’d across to Way Cay, where greeted by Geoffery, a caretaker from Haiti , who offered to take us on a tour of the facility. They began construction on this island 11 years ago. They imported homes from Bali that had been disassembled and then reassembled as they are today in this resort. They feature beautiful carved beams, thatched roofs, marble floors and beveled glass windows. Just beautiful! Each one bdrm unit had its own private sun deck, path to their own private beach, out door showers and incredible views! They have a dining building with first class kitchen and chef brought in to cook meals, although each unit has its own stocked kitchen, and a social/ room. If you are looking for a getaway, check this one out!
That night on board “Nemo” we created some delicious Piña Coladas , using frozen pineapple instead of ice and enjoyed another relaxing, delicious dinner on board.
The next day we took a 4 mile dink ride to Shroud Cay and rode up a scenic, winding, shallow, sandy bottomed river that eventually brought us to a beautiful beach on the eastern shore. We walked the beach, climbed a hill and took in some great views. low tied offered a beautiful sandy beach, and a perfect snorkeling opportunity. On our dink ride back to the boat we hugged the shore of north of Way Cay Cut and picked up several mature Conch to open. The next morning Adrien and Don went to shore to open 5 conch and after Nina gave a demonstration on cleaning them we lifted anchor and continues south the Wardwick Wells.
Finally crossing to the Exumas!
Our 4 mile route to Shoud Cay took us through several cuts between islands. These areas were pretty rough with chop from conflicting currents and winds. It was a wet ride! Then there were areas of shallow water. Adrien had to get out and walk the dinghy til the water got deeper. I felt like Cleopatra on the Nile!
The North River is one of three rivers to explore. This is the only one that allows a motorized boat. The river is only a few feet deep, in some areas just a few inches deep at low tide, lined on both sides by Mangroves.