Swing Set

Jun 12, 201307:05 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Allen's Cay To Staniel Cay

(page 3 of 4)

The tide was going out, leaving sand bars exposed on our bow and stern. Some other boaters had taken their dinghies over to play on the sand, so we took ours, too, in order to meet some folks and let Holly play. Sand that had been covered with water won't have sand fleas on it, or much else to cause concern, but we did see some small sharks winnowing around in the shallows. We kept a sharp eye on Holly. She succeeded in not only getting her eyes full of sand, but she later got another ear infection. We think Holly's beachcombing days are over.

When we checked in, Jen, the park attendant, told us about a happy hour being held that evening on the beach. "Bring what you drink and an hors d'oeuvre to share." Maybe some of the nearby yachts carry supplies for fancy snacks and hors d'oeuvres, but a bag of chips does not hors d'oeuvres make, plus what would go with a sandwich at lunchtime if we run out of Doritos?

Later, I got creative and made some hors d'oeuvres with some Triscuits, ravioli and cheddar cheese, sprinkled with parsley to make it fancy. We packed a cooler and our beach chairs and dinghied over to the beach. I set the plate on one of the picnic tables as we were the first ones there, but the lizards were taking too much interest in the vittles, so I put the tray back in the big cooler in the dinghy that I use as a seat, and we waited for the other guests to show up.

About an hour later, nearly at dark, another couple finally came up to the beach. This was to be our happy hour party. It was not without benefit, however, as we learned that the other couple had been traveling in their Grand Banks for quite some time, but were heading back to the US after visiting all points south, including the Dominican Republic. I liked the fuel and water capacities on his boat, and he liked the fact that we had a watermaker on our boat, plus the fact that we could go faster than his 7 mph if we had too. But he also had stabilizers. Each boat had its advantages. They were from Cape Coral like our friends Gary and Judy. They also like the area but visit the Bahamas quite often.

It got darker, and the mosquitoes really came out. We were offered some spray but decided to get back to the boat, where our buddy Holly was waiting. We played cards and ate our fancy hors d'oeuvres for dinner. It was the tough luck of the others that they didn't show up.

On Sunday, we had plans to do some snorkeling, an activity that everyone seems to want to do, but I can't figure out when they do it. Where we were anchored, the wind was too stiff, or the current was too strong for swimming. We decided to wait for slack tide when the currents would subside. Right about the time we were going to get our gear together, Rosie spotted a shark swimming around the boat. End of story. She wasn't going anywhere near the water.

"You can go if you want to", she tells me. I surveyed the increase of the wind and decided to hold off on the lone snorkeling. This is my story and I'm sticking to it. We decided to take a hike instead.

The tallest point on Wardrick Wells Cay is Boo Boo Hill, a short hike from the mooring field. Our boat can be seen near the middle of the harbor at low tide. Looks more like a huge beach from where we were.

This cairn comprised of driftwood decorated with the names of boats and crew members that have hiked to the summit of Boo Boo Hill is the only thing that humans are allowed to leave on Wardrick Wells Cay. We left a small sign with our names and the name of Swing Set, too. A RiverBills sticker was used for a photo op and then taken back down with us. The view is spectacular, not so much for the visual appeal, but for me it was a realization of how far we have come and how far we are from our friends and family. To be honest about it, the experience left me a little sad.

On Monday morning, we headed out. We put the dinghy on the davit, because our route was going to take us through some open water on the Exuma Bank. With the wind, it was sure to be a bumpy ride.

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