Normans Cay, Bahamas
Week 2 of cruising the Bahamas, and we find ourselves in the Caribbean dream that is Norman’s Cay. It is absolutely beautiful here… not a bad place to hole up for a few days to wait out a strong Northerly wind that’s supposed to come thru towards the end of the week. This is the place that was once owned by a Columbian drug runner during the drug trade era of the 70’s & 80‘s. The drug running has since stopped, but the remnants of the island’s shady past are forever immortalized by the remains of a sunken C46 plane just north of the channel – it’s 40’ wing span clearly visible in the shallow water.
We saw this little spit of land just across the channel from where we anchored and could practically hear it begging us to come spend the afternoon on it’s deserted shores. I’m not sure if it actually has a proper name or not, but it was renamed Little Conch Shell Cay by us due to the hundreds of baby conch shells we found in the water along the beaches.
We spelled our boat name with a few of them, but had to keep readjusting to get a good picture because the big ones would get up and start walking away.
Matt had a great time exploring the water with his looky bucket – basically a five gallon bucket with a clear plastic bottom – that allows you to see underwater perfectly. I was able to get in some uninterrupted reading time, which was heaven. He was joined by Ken, who we met in Bimini, and the two set off exploring the coral ledge in search of lobsters.
All was going good until they saw a shadow dart out from the channel and head straight towards them. Bull shark. Matt was out of the water in about two seconds flat. I didn’t see this happen, but Ken said that he’s never seen anyone move so quick. Great. Matt’s never going to want to get in the water again after seeing that! And here I thought I was the one afraid of these things!
Speaking of the water, it is amazing. I’ve really never seen water this beautiful before. The colors range from navy blue to aqua to gin clear in a span of 20 feet.
Had a storm come through (the same one we were hanging out and waiting for) which was pretty intense. In about 15 minutes the sky went from sunny and clear to a huge wall of dark clouds rolling in. Winds picked up quickly and a few gusts read at 40+ knots. You could literally see the front coming in, it was pretty cool.
Week two of cruising the Bahamas and I put a pair of shorts on that I haven’t worn in forever, and noticed they were much looser than I remember. It seems that we’ve both lost a few pounds since we left Key West. It’s not that we’re eating less or working out more, but I guess our bodies have become used to living on a boat in motion. Just to use the bathroom while under sail – maneuvering the steps, the hallway and door frame all without falling or hitting your head is a workout in itself – sometimes reminding me of a Cirque de Soleil routine. Cooking & washing dishes while taking waves on the side of the boat requires some major core work just to keep your balance. Tightening sails, raising the main sail… Cranking, cranking, cranking. And let’s not get into how much effort it takes to pull in the genoa sail when there’s still a little bit of wind in it. It’s a crossfit workout on the high seas!
We’re really enjoying ourselves on this trip so far. This boat has become our sanctuary, our most favorite spot in the world. It’s our home, and I miss it when we’re gone from her for too long, even if only for a few hours. It brings us equal amounts of frustration and joy, often one right after the other. She’s proven herself to be a reliable boat and we’ve proven ourselves to be competent sailors. We’ve been doing this whole gypsy lifestyle for a little over three months now and I feel like were finally getting into our groove. I’m wondering how we’ll ever go back to a “normal” life after this? Even now, the thought of living on land in Key West – something that not too long ago seemed so exciting and exotic – seems so ordinary compared to what we’re doing now. Total honesty here: the thought of living on land again has been pretty comforting at times when this whole sailing thing gets me nervous – like staying up to keep vigil during a windy night and praying your anchor holds. Or watching your depth finder read levels that you thought for sure would have put the bottom of the boat kissing the sand below. Don’t have to worry about stuff like that on land. Guess we’ll be back soon enough. Might as well continue to enjoy it while we can.
Next stop: Staniel Cay where the wild pigs are. There’s also a restaurant where we’re really looking forward to overpriced burgers and beers. Matt really wants to enjoy a Cheeseburger in Paradise, even if he does have to pay a small fortune for it. Until then, we’re enjoying these cute little baby bananas we found in Nassau. Perfect little snack!