Friday, April 8, 2016

Five-Star Exumas

Great Guana Cay to Roberts Cay
March 15 – April 3

The islands of the Exumas have quite a few five-star destinations written up in all the guidebooks. We’d already hit most of the highlights where cruisers and, increasingly, tour groups and mega yachts stop. This year, we tried to sail farther off the beaten path and anchor in places we’d never been before—less publicized locations every bit as much worth a visit.
Pelican off the beaten path
Do you see the white horse?
A day so calm the horizon disappeared
Cave on Great Guana Cay
We swam in the pool in the cave
Extra excitement! An extra-big wave almost washes Keith out to sea
Beautiful and powerful
For a few days we traveled with Kim and Cathy from Quiescence. We’d first met them in South Carolina two years ago and had kept in touch ever since. Keith loved having a dive buddy for spearing lobster…and species unknown.
This was a first! A Clinging Channel Crab,
aka King Crab -- delicious!
Kim and Cathy
Our paths keep crossing with people we've met before. We ran into friends from previous years and made new ones.
A familiar boat showed up in a secluded anchorage
At Little Darby Cay it was time to reverse our heading and go north, with a first stop at Cave Cay Marina to sit out a storm. They maintain beautiful gardens there; last year vine-ripened tomatoes were at their peak. But the island's generator burned up almost a year ago and they weren't able to desalinate enough water for the gardens, so the plants died out.
This banana tree survived
Beach on Cave Cay
A conch shell, intricately and
wonderfully made on the inside
Next stop, Little Farmers Cay and Ty's Sunset Bar and Grill
A Haitian vessel that washed ashore (see "Easter Greetings" post below)
Easter Sunday we celebrated the hope found in Jesus’ resurrection at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church on Staniel Cay. It’s the only church in town, and a number of cruisers joined the local congregation for an exuberant service with lots of singing.

A little farther north at Big Majors Spot, the swimming pigs are definitely on the beaten path and well fed.
Are you kidding?! You brought me veggies??
Well, okay, maybe some cabbage
Lobster season was set to end March 31 to give the crawfish privacy while they make babies. Before then, we scurried to the northern Exumas, Keith’s favorite hunting grounds. On the way there, he caught a mahi mahi. The next day he speared a lobster. What a great way to end our month in the Exumas: enjoying five-star dinners in the cockpit in a first-rate chain of islands.
Several delicious dinners
One fabulous meal

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