George Town, Great Exuma — 01•27•22
After provisioning up at George Town with cash, food, fuel, and propane, I headed back to Thompson Bay, Long Island to wait out the next blow before heading south down the Jumentos. My hope was to spearfish and lobster every day. Little did I know what was waiting for me in Barracuda Alley.
Thompson Bay, Long Island — 01•27•22
The wind was pretty light and on the nose, so motoring was in order for the trip. Trouble was run in my ECO mode (one engine on at a time in low rpm). Trolling a fishing line I caught a giant barracuda. I got him on deck and carefully removed the lure from his big teeth. When to grab a camera, he of course flopped off the deck before I could get a photo.
Dolphins came and followed me briefly, which is always a good sign of a far passage. As I pulled into Thompson Bay I saw a cat anchor off in the distance away from the main anchorage. Pulling out the binoculars I saw that it was the famous YouTubers “Sailing La Vagabonde“. I guess they’ve been bumming around the Bahamas this season.
Of course, another Northerly Front is coming through so I hunkered down to wait it out. I’ve been at this anchorage before through these fronts, and it’s mostly protected except for the west winds, which don’t last long before the strong north winds hit. The anchorage was filling up as all the protected anchorages do before these front hits.
Trouble was in a good spot and good holding throughout the winds. A bit of lighting which is rare down here was a little unsettling. The winds didn’t get too crazy and Trouble and I survived another front without any drama.
Flamingo Cay, Jumentos — 01•30•22
The front had passed and it was time to get going down the Jumentos chain of islands. It was still a bit chilly so I had a long sleeve shirt on which is rare. Full sails went up with the wind aft of the beam at 19knots. It was a fast run across the Comer Channel, which is a narrow shallow channel to get to the Great Bahama Bank where the Jumentos chain starts.
Trouble was averaging 8 knots through the channel and was hailed by a boat in front of us. They were headed to Flamingo Cay also for the night. Trouble passed them after a couple of hours and lead us into Coconut Bay at Flamingo Cay. The wind had not swung around east as much as I had hoped so I had to get close to shore to abate the swells still coming into the bay. I left a bit of room for the other boat which showed up an hour later.
Hog Cay, Jumentos (Raggeds) — 01•31•22
After a bumpy night, I was up and underway by 7 am. The other boat had left already. They had said they were headed to Nurse Cay. I was off the Hog Cay. I had full sails up, but it was pretty much dead downwind which can get a bit tricky as you don’t want to “Jibe” the boat unexpectedly.
It was an easy sail down to Hog Cay and had the anchor down at 1415 (2:15 pm). I ended up anchoring in the north bay with 3 other Catanas (Crazy Love, Our White Magic & Carlettas Promise).
I headed into the famous Tiki Hut for sundowners, with the other cruisers. Hog Cay was more crowded than I had expected, and a lot of familiar boats were down here.
The other Catanas cleared out once the wind shifted a few days later. They had been down here for a couple of weeks already.
Hog Cay, Raggeds — 02•11•22
Woke this morning with the US Coast Gaurd circling Trouble, after three passes they moved on to another bay. Of course, they only gave them one circle.
Today was the day to do some spearfishing. I’m a little more cautious when I’m by myself, as it’s hard to watch my back from barracudas and sharks. While they are mostly harmless, they tend to get excited when you spear something and are curious, and sometimes get a bit too close for my comfort.
I Found Barracuda Alley
I struck out on the first few reefs I tried. Moving on to another reef that looked perfect, I got in the water and started swimming towards a good rock with lots of fish. Turning around to check my back I saw a school of Barracudas following me. This freaked me out too much, and I had never seen that many barracudas together before. After naming this reef “Barracuda Alley”, I swam back to the dinghy a little dejected.
One last dive, before I head back to Trouble for lunch. Getting in the water I scanned around and saw one barracuda. I swam away from him towards a nice rock outcrop. He didn’t seem to follow me so that was good.
Spotting the antenna of a lobster I dove down to check out his hole. It looked like an easy shot. I went back down and tried to hit him, but I was a little too eager and took the shot too soon, and it shot off his antenna. Bummed I went back to try again but he had wedged himself way back in the hole. I Swam around to the other side of the rock. The shot angle was bad, so I stuck my spear in the hole to get him to go out the way. I went back to the main hole with a good shot and he was standing there looking at me confused, with one missing antenna. This time the hit was good. I had my first lobster here in Jumentos.
Hog Cay, Raggeds — Februaries
The next couple of weeks were a blur of limited success spearfishing, relaxing, and waiting out more Northerly fonts coming through. I was running out of snacks, lunch meats & cheese, fresh veggies, and gas for the dinghy. I wanted to hang out till the 19th for the famous Valentine’s Day party, Maxine from Duncan Town, Ragged Is, puts on for the cruisers at the Tiki hut.