5th March to 7th March 2015
At sunrise of the 5th March (Thursday) we left from Provo (Turks & Caicos) for Mayaguana. Our first Bahamain island.
Facts of Bahamas:
“The Bahama Islands are a low-lying limestone archipelago in the North Atlantic southeast of Florida and north of Cuba, covering 150,000 square miles of tropical sea with approximately 5,000 square miles of land. Of the 700 islands and many more rocks and small cays, some 25 are inhabited with communities. Many more have private homes and some whole islands are privately owned.
Very deep off-sounding trenches and shallow banks make the area an interesting cruising ground. Much navigation is by "eyeball" as, in good light and using polaroid sunglasses, depth is easily read by colour through the crystal clear water. Several new publications are now available to assist with safe navigation. Coral reefs provide excellent snorkelling and diving.
Most islands and cays are low lying and flat, with ridges that rise no more than 15 to 20 meters (50-60 feet) above sea level. Most are covered in dense scrubby bush amidst and surrounded by shallow reefs and sandbars, forming mangrove forests in between. The highest point of the Bahamas can be found on the eastern side on Cat Island, Mount Alvernia or Como Hill with an altitude of 63 m (210 ft).
In the last decade, since a change of government in 1992, much development has occurred throughout The Bahamas, bringing better facilities to many islands and the advent of GPS has encouraged many more yachts to visit the area.
The Bahamian society is a laid-back one. Enjoying life is the most important rule. On Sundays they go to church and the overwhelming majority of Bahamian people are Christians”
Map of Mayguana:
Facts of Mayaguana
“Of all the Out Islands, this is the most "out" as well as the least developed and visited. It lies half way between South Florida and Puerto Rico, approximately 450 nautical miles southeast of Palm Beach. This eastern-most island boasts large stands of lignum vitae and other hardwoods. There are three settlements; Pirate's Well on the north coast, Abraham's Bay on the south coast, and Betsy's Bay on the west coast.”
Just before three in the afternoon we set anchor in Abram Bay. It was a challenge navigating in shallow water to the dinghy dock. At the dock Scully was waiting for us. Zack arranged with him to be his guide for bone fishing on Saturday.
At customs they were out of cruising permit books and we had to return when the plane fly in. That will only happen on Friday.
Mayaguana island is an outpost island. The streets were gravel roads and look like a few era’s back. It had some resemblance of the “Kaprivie”. Regie owned the local supermarket and restaurant. We managed to get a few tomatos, apples and fresh baked coconut bread.
He served us fried chicken and fries and water at the restaurant that was part of his home. A real local meal with friendly people coming to visit Regie and then only realize he is in business mode with some guests.
Friday we snorkel at the coral reef. Zack caught our dinner, a big lobster. We didn't see that the anchor rope tied our dinghy got loose and it was blown away in a 15 to 20 knot wind. Zack managed to swim and caught up to the dingy after about a kilometer. On Vagabund we seldom have a dull moment.
After we got our cruising permit we carefully navigate out of the East entrance, sailed around the island to the Northwest point of the island just outside Pirate Well Cut. We anchored in four meters of water and enjoyed being the only boat in the anchorage.
At 8h30 Saturday morning Scully was waiting for us at the beach inside Pirates Well Cut. Zack and Scully waded the whole bay looking for Bonefish.
The next morning we used the dingy to access pirates well and meted up with Scully to walk the bay in search of bonefish or permit. At Blackwood Point we saw a flock of residential flamingoes were at the reef.