Saturday 29 January – Monday 31 January
We left Cambridge Cay at 10, out the north channel into the Sound to go around the Island and back in another channel to the south to enter the banks (the deeper draft route). Sunny day with light winds but since we are not going far we enjoy a lovely sail the whole way. We are anchored off the island called Big Major's Spot, just around the “corner” from Staniel Cay. It is one of the bigger, beautiful, & popular (with NO west wind) anchorages around and has about 30 other boats anchored here. Shallower draft boats can anchor closer into Staniel Cay, & even we could get closer at high tide, but it is a short dinghy ride and this anchorage is not subject to the strong currents along the channel next to Staniel Cay. We load up the extra gas cans for the dinghy motor and head into “town” for gas & a late lunch / early dinner. The hamburgers at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club are HUGE and one of the best tasting we have had anywhere in the Bahamas maybe even including Texas. Staniel Cay is a cruising headquarters for the central Exumas, with an airport & daily flights from Nassau & Ft. Lauderdale making it a great spot for cruisers to receive & or drop off visiting guests. Also the 1st place since Nassau to be able to get gas or diesel and also has 3 Grocery “stores” (or a shed or rooms off someones house) to get some provisions. So we take a walk around to see what is where. Sunday morning not realizing it is Sunday we go back to get some groceries, but of course they are closed. Back to the boat and since it is low tide we change into our wet suits and get our gear in the dinghy and head over to Thunderball Cave. This is the actual cave they used to shoot the underwater cave scene in the James Bond movie Thunderball. Our timing is great when we get there, one boat is leaving and just one there. Water still cold, but going into these caves is such a neat experience you soon forget how cold you are. These fish are even more used to being fed so swim right up to you looking for food. We are once again amazed at the number of fish and the beautiful coral we get to see. Swim thru the cave & out the other side to swim back around the rock along the outer reef. By this time a lot more dinghies are showing up, so glad we got to swim thru before it got too crowded. We hang out visiting with other snorkelers for a short time then take the long way back to the boat seeing more of Staniel Cay and the east side of Big Major's Spot. Back on board rinse off gear and into dry clothes and heat up some lunch. Looking forward to warmer days when we will be cooling off as we rinse our wetsuits. Monday morning we head over to the “bigger” store thinking we will pick up a few things. Well Monday is not a good day for shopping either, the mail / delivery boat comes on Wednesday so they had a very limited amount of choices. Not sure how much better it would be even after the delivery, but we are pretty well stocked just always want to see what is available. We pick up a few things noting this is our smallest provision run ever. We will head down to Black Point Settlement on Great Guana Cay Monday afternoon.
link to pictures; http://picasaweb.google.com/103931849054358791487/StanielCay?feat=directlink