Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rum Cay, Far Bahamas

The trip to Rum Cay from the Exumas was a pleasant, if moonless overnight passage. We arrived late morning and threaded our way into the harbor. We were expecting a cold front to arrive on our heals so we decided on staying in the marina rather than in the anchorage, which we expected to be rolly and uncomfortable during the frontal passage.

The harbor entrance is exceptionally well marked by Bahamas standards. It is a good thing since it is a twisty route through many coral heads which brush the surface. On arrival we topped off our fuel and found our slip in the marina. It is a very small and quiet marina, which is fitting for such a remote island. Water was unavailable and power was very expensive, so we stayed in "anchorage mode" keeping our power and water use low and did not hook up to shore water or power.

The island itself is small and only has sixty or so inhabitants. It sports two groceries, one the size of a two car garage and one the size of a modest walk-in closet. Provisioning was not much of an option however, as the mail boat did not bring any food so the shelves were mostly bare with the exception of some canned goods and staples.

The day after our arrival the marina filled up with other boats hiding from the cold front and the owners decided on hosting a pizza party. The pizzas were home made and cooked in a wood oven. Very tasty, and it was fun chatting with the other cruisers.

The next morning, we took a long walk to the north east side of the cay for a tour of part of the old salt flats where they used to harvest salt. On the return trip we took the beach route back. Jen found some interesting sea glass and Quinn found several very nice shells. I found an intact plastic garbage bin with a sticker declaring it was the property of a town in Martinique. It had drifted hundreds of miles up the equatorial current to wind up on the beach of Rum Cay. It'll probably stay there until the next storm and continue it's journey north.

Quinn caught his first fish while we were in Rum Cay. It was a 10" Jack, and would have been good eating had we not returned it to the sea. Jen already had dinner in the works when he caught it. He was quite proud. He caught it on a little 24" toy fishing rod that was bent double while he reeled in the fish. We'll have to find him something more suitable now that he's graduated from toy fishies to the real thing!

Rum Cay is a very pleasant and quiet destination, but we have friends waiting in the Turks and Caicos, so we stayed only as long as needed to let the front pass and the winds and waves settle. We left the marina the day before our departure from Rum Cay to stage ourselves in the anchorage. We planned a midnight departure and did not want to thread the coral heads in the dark. This was our first night time departure from an anchorage, and we had no moon or lights from shore so it was a little disorienting in the pitch black night. All went well, and we were off the Turks and Caicos.