Swing Set

Jul 16, 201310:07 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Rum Cay

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On the northern tip of Long Island is Cape Santa Maria and Calabash Bay. We pulled into Calabash Bay, sheltered from the prevailing easterly winds, and lined with some nice homes, a first-rate resort and a fine white beach. We dropped the dinghy in and went exploring.

A creek that leads inland caught my eye, and we entered a narrow spot in the reef that guards the entrance to a shallow bay that eventually narrows down to a creek that runs down to Joe Sound and then back into the southern end of Calabash Bay. Had the tide been up, we could have taken the dinghy around Galliot Cay, but we were only able to cruise around in the deeper water of the bay, but we saw sting rays and one nurse shark.

We ran along the beach that fronts the Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort, where there were a handful of summer tourists taking advantage of a sunny day. One such tourist was a lone female wearing a skimpy bikini. I felt it necessary to ask her a few questions about the resort.

Dana, as she introduced herself, was on vacation with her husband. It was the second time they had visited the resort and they really like it. Her accent sounded familiar, so I asked her where she was from, and she said her and her husband lived in Springfield, Missouri, practically next door neighbors from where we used to live if you consider our current location. We learned some things about the resort and were getting the impression it was a quiet, family-type resort, and a bit upscale. Not really a place we are attracted to. We're from a different part of Missouri.

We went back to the boat and made a nice dinner, with plans to stay in Calabash Bay for a couple more days, but while looking at the charts the next morning, I suggested to Rosie that we take advantage of some calmer weather and head east to Rum Cay and then on to San Salvador. Rosie liked the idea, and our second cup of coffee was taken at the helm, on our way around Cape Santa Maria, the northern tip of Long Island.

We were soon out in the Atlantic Ocean, hitting three footers head-on until we arrived on the lee side of Rum Cay, three hours later. It was a fairly rough ride, but we kept our speed down to lessen the impact with the waves, so our movement was more see-saw than side to side.

Like many of the islands east of the Exumas and Long Island, Rum Cay doesn't have many protected anchorages. We were headed to the only marina on the island, Sumner Point Marina, on the southeastern end of Rum Cay at the town of Port Nelson. The southern route along Rum Cay is shallow and lined with reefs. Coral heads are numerous, but a zigzag course is marked into the small entrance to Sumner Point Marina.

I hailed the marina on the radio and got no response, not really unexpected because it was a Sunday after all, and the marina is not officially open for business. In fact, there is no charge for slips, water is free when they have it, but there is no electricity. Unfortunately, the place is also a major dump.

There were a handful of boats tied up, mostly in disrepair, but there were two very expensive sport fishing boats, offering some optimism to the situation. We circled around to the back end of the marina basin, where there was one nicer home with another big sport fishing boat at a dock out front. The front drive also was home to some dump trucks, two bulldozers and an earth moving machine. A nice view if your appreciation is only what equipment like that costs.

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