Thursday, 3 March 2016

February 16-17, 2016 Thunder Ball Cave .. Staniel Cay … Bitter Guana Cay

our anchorage for a few days

fish cleaning station with a lot of nurse sharks

there must of been 20 at least

our neighbour for the night

heading to Thunder Ball Grotto with Andrew

the entrance

heading in side, there was a bit of current
even at slack tide

holes in the top of the grotto

there was a lot of fish also

outside more and more dinghies arrived to snorkel

walking the streets of Staniel Cay

the pink grocery store

the blue grocery store

nurse shark, the one that wanted to swim with me at the boat

3 nights spent here.. maybe our favourite anchorage

rock iguanas

the white limestone cliffs

Joe blowing the conch at sun set

Tuesday  February 16, 2016

We went to shore to find "Beef" at our agreed meeting place, he wasn't there.  I went to Lorraine's Restaurant to work on posting the blog, and Joe went to the Police Station to inquire about Beef and the RIB.  This officer knew all about it.  The dinghy was found on another island about a year ago and the finder was in the process of making it his through the salvage laws.  The officer had Beef's phone number in his phone and he called him for us.  We whereto call Beef later  and we did but there was no answer.
So of we went to Staniel Cay about 9 miles away for fuel and water.
We anchored in Big Majors and dinghied about one mile to the fuel dock.
The docks are so high even at high tide, the attendant lowers the hoses down to you and the dinghy.  When I went to pay for the fuel some fishermen where cleaning their catch and throwing the scraps to the rays and nurse sharks .. see pictures.
Back on the boat it was now too late to do another trip for fuel, so I decided to have a swim and wash my hair.  The water felt so good after 3 days of not being able to go in the water.  I got myself all lathered up and to my shock a shark came swimming towards me from under the boat, and a Remora was following the shark.
You have never seen anyone jump on the swim ladder so fast and get out of the water.  The shark stayed for about 5 minutes waiting for me to enter the water.  I did manage the courage to get back in and rinse the shampoo from my hair.  Now Joe on the other had a cockpit solar bag shower.

Stanley Cay is actually 2 cays separated by a mangrove creek up to 100 ft in places.  It is about 1 1/2 miles long and about 1/2 mile wide and there is a 15 acre salt pond at the north end.

Wednesday  February 17, 2016
Thunderball Cave
Low slack tide was around 9am and we dinghied to Thunderball Cave.  This cave is the site of movies such as Thunderball and Splash. (we will need to rent these when we get home this summer).
The interior of the cave is like a small grotto with a large opening at the top where the sun shines through creating a dazzling effect on the water.
(one cruiser told us that when they where there, local children where jumping through the top opening into the grotto).  There is a strong current running through the cave and it is full of small fish.  This for sure was a highlight for Joe and I.  Another thing crossed off our Bucket List.

We went back into Staniel Cay to go to the 2 out of the 3 grocery stores , one is the Pink building and one the Blue building.  The freighter had not come in so not much fresh food.  I bought 6 bottles of beer and it cost me $24.  Back to the marina and we got 10 gal of water 40 cents a gal.

For the next few days and high winds we motored  to Bitter Guana Cay, which is 1 1/2 miles long and less than 1/4 mile wide. It is named 
after the Iguana population that was once here and now these are on the endangered list.  It is now a protected
Iguana Preserve, these are a subspecies of the Northern Bahamian Rock Iguana and can grow to 3 feet.  It's coloration is dark grey to black, with white on orange tinged scales on the head and snout.  They eat leaves, flowers, berries and fruits. There is said to be only 1,300 Rock Iguanas in the wild.
On a sad note, there was a disaster here, a boat carrying Haitian refugees was wrecked just off Bitter Guana Cay.  It's crew and passengers who all lost their lives, were buried here in a mass grave.  The residents of Black Point had this job.

We went to shore and about 10 Iguana's came rushing to the water, wanting food.  They won't go in the water, so that is where we stayed …
are we chicken or what  ???
The cliffs here are very impressive, all very soft limestone.

Joe is getting better at conch blowing, practice makes perfect I guess.

The wind is picking up and we are very well sheltered from the N-NE-N

Only one more sail boat is here with us ..

another day in paradise

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