Thursday, January 6, 2011

Highbourne Cay

Sunday 2 January – Wednesday 5 January

We are heading out East of Nassau Harbour by 9:30 Sunday morning, light winds and calm seas. By 10:30 we are sailing between yellow bank & white bank, still having to watch for coral heads but not as many if we had taken the yellow bank route. According to one of the dive boat operators with a 6' draft he said 98% of the time with a 6' draft in yellow bank you should have no problems. Since we are 6'3” and new to navigating around coral heads we chose the slightly longer route between the banks and only had to alter course once to avoid a coral head. It's a beautiful day on the water, by 12:30 we turn east and have to roll up the genoa. By 3 we are approaching the Island, not hard to see where the anchorage is, as there are quite a few boats already there and along with us about 6 more coming in over yellow bank. By 4 we are anchored along with 23 other boats at Highborne Cay. Of the flags we could see 12 were Canadian, Steve said he felt like we landed in a flock of Canadian Geese. We had been told the water in the Exuma's is even clearer then the Abaco's and Nassau, we are amazed how true this is. They say the water is “gin” clear and if you have ever seen a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin then that is what the water in the Exuma's looks like. It is a little hard to tell the depth as we are getting ready to anchor I am wondering if we are going to run aground first as it looks like we are in 5' of water when we are actually in 15'. There are two beaches right by the anchorage and they are packed with boaters to watch the sun set. At 9 that night we hear fireworks, so go up on deck and the power boat behind us is shooting off fireworks from his swim platform. These are not bottle rockets and sparklers but “real” fireworks that go up, make loud booms you can feel, and wide displays. He does 3 sets and everyone hoots & hollers & claps after each set. Afterward we take some time to enjoy the incredible stars lighting the sky. Highborne Cay is a private Island, with a marina so a few people who run the marina live on the Island, they limit access to that part of the Island to marina guests only, boats at anchor are allowed to use the beaches by the anchorage and can go into the marina for supplies, which we do on Monday morning. On the way here our transmission leak got worse, so Steve wanted to see if there was anyone on another Island that might be able to do the work or would we need to return to Nassau. Picked up a couple of bottles of transmission fluid just in case. Back to the boat to pick up wet suits & snorkel gear and we head over to Leaf Cay & SW Allan's Cay to see the Rock Iguanas. You are not supposed to feed them but the guide books say everyone does so when you land your dinghy they all rush the beach to see if you have food. What a sight, they won't get too close just come to see if you brought them any food. On the way back we stop at a reef called Octopus Garden. We anchor the dinghy and jump in, even with wet suits the water is still cold. We swim up a ways then let the current bring us back. There are a lot of reefs in the area and many of the boaters come out to snorkel. Tuesday a lot of boats left, only 7 left in the anchorage. We have both picked up something and are having sinus problems and not feeling well. So we spend the day taking it easy enjoying the beautiful scenery watching boats come and go. Go to the beach late afternoon to stretch & walk around, deciding that going back to Nassau will be the better option to get the boat fixed. So Wednesday morning we leave this beautiful remote island to go back to the “city” of Nassau to have the boat work done. Looking forward to coming back here in a few days without having to worry about a leaky transmission.

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