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Thursday, June 26, 2014

BAM! Storm Hideout in Quirky Compass Cay

anchoring, cruising destinations

Notice that faint beige-y stripe?  It’s a sandbar we were forced to hit.
After a couple idyllic days crashing Carnival’s cruise ship island of Little San Salvador (click here for to read about that), we found ourselves jockeying for safe anchorage storm cover back in the Exumas.    We chose Compass Cay, where jockeying required choosing which barrier was the softest to crash.

Entering Compass Cay is a tricky affair in the best of conditions; threading through a plethora of closely spaced sandbars.  Our wind-filled sails and the prevailing current put us on a nice trajectory for a narrow, sand-free anchoring spot.  We readied our anchor….  

cruising destinations
Dredging to enlarge Compass Cay.
Good idea!
Then a big power cruiser, turned down from Compass Cay's tiny marina, shot out from behind a rock, and promptly anchored right where we were about to.   Our only alternative besides crashing into them was to smack into a sandbar, far softer than their boat.  The offending cruiser was puzzled by our behavior, clueless that they were the cause of it.

Before the blow, there was time to explore ashore.  We played with the sharkies (click here for more about that),

cruising life, cruising destinations
Cruiser memento at Compass Cay.
An hour or so later, to our chagrin, they left for another anchoring spot.  We were not so secretly pleased their alternative anchor spot was rougher.  We took advantage of the opening to move, as our neighbor got the word out via VHF that we’d swung a bit close to their boat.  Fortunately there was no harm done and an apologetic offering of home-made hummus was a good start to a new friendship.

cruiser destinations, cruiser activities
Surprise!  Truly fresh egg option at
Exuma’s quirky Compass Cay.
 
  
We returned the next day for a long, leisurely hike.  We were tickled from the get-go with our first encounter with the delightful cruiser mementos (there’s got to be a specific name for these and if anyone knows please chime in) – creative “found” sculptures emblazoned with cruiser boat‘s names and arrival year. 

We wove through the branching trails to a sweet little crescent beach, visited the dilapidated cliffside “Hesters House,” with its Pebbles and Bam-Bam-like “gym,” ambled across a low-tide landing strip, and were pleasantly surprised to see a veggie garden thriving and the cluck-cluck source for farm fresh eggs.

cruiser destinations, cruising life, hiking
Sweet little crescent beach at Compass Cay.
What a refreshing spot!  Especially after our first Exumas stop this year, at high-falutin’ “non-marina / resort guests are not allowed to walk on [sully?] our island or use our internet” Highborne Cay.

All in all, Compass Cay a good place to weather a blow, a fun spot to wander once its settled, and worth a repeat and further exploration, from what we heard from other cruisers.  Just watch out for those sandbars!

Location Location

cruising life, cruising destinations, hiking
Captain and studmeister Wayne
weightlifting at Hester’s House,
Compass Cay. Yeah, Baby!
June 26, 2014 BAHAMAS (retrospective), Compass Cay (N24.15.273 W76.30.825).  Currently in Jacksonville FL, working to restore our cruising kitty over hurricane season.  Once my hard drive images are restored (soon!) watch for more retrospectives of the cool places we visited earlier this year.  Meanwhile, we just moved our boat onto the hard at Green Cove Springs, Florida until November.  Then, it’s off to The South Pacific!