Monday, March 19, 2018

The Exumas and Weather

By Kathy

On February 27th we had a beautiful weather window to make the crossing to the Exumas. The Exumas is the next set of islands in the Bahamas that consists of 90 miles of small islands. It is hard to believe that we are still in the same country since our arrival in December. I didn’t realize that the Bahamas had this many islands. Take a look at a map of this area. It is so narrow you might  have to zoom in to see it. Nassau will be west of the Exumas and Cat Island and Long Island will be to the east. The Exumas are known to have some of prettiest islands full of natural beauty so we were very excited to explore them. The natural beauty is due to the fact that a lot of the islands are not developed so we knew it was going to be our longest stretch of time before we reached resources such as grocery stores, gas, internet, and restaurants. We are now entering the “glamping” part of our trip. Luckily, our provisioning skills have improved over the last few months so we knew we had  plenty for the next few weeks.

The crossing over was enjoyable and easy. The only unfortunate thing that happened was that we did not catch any fish!

We arrived at Highborne Cay and we were immediately amazed at the beautiful scenery. We anchored in north Highborne Cay and had lunch and a cool swim. There was also a very cool snorkeling spot called Octopus Garden that was amazing. One of the big things around these small islands is the current or surge. It can be pretty swift with the tides and can make it hard to swim in a snorkel spot.  Dan had to tow us behind the dinghy to make it around the garden! 

Here are a few pictures from our lunch swim: 

A little rope and buoy behind the boat to help with the current. 

Sam is ready to go!

Jack taking a break. 

They had some fun with the current. They would jump off the front and float down the side of the boat. 

Or they would float between the hulls of the boat. 

We spent the night anchored on the west side of Highborne since the wind would be out of the N/NE. Well this was our first lesson of the wrap around waves that happen around the islands. We woke up to some rocky waves around the boat. The Exuma islands are so narrow that we realized we would have to pay close attention to the weather and we would need to find a few hidey holes when the winter fronts come through. The small islands are pretty exposed from the west and they do not have  a lot harbors like the Abacos and Eleuthera. When the fronts come through we get wind that clocks around over the course of the front so you will need protection 360 degrees. This year has been particularly heavy with fronts. The fronts have been occurring back to back with about 1-2 days in between.  They do not necessarily bring a lot of rain but they do bring a lot of wind. Enough that you do not want to be out in it.  We had a few days before the next front so we made the most of it before heading to our hole. The next post we will fill you in on a very cool island that we found on our 2nd day in the Exumas.

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