After a leisurely, unhurried morning at Bitter Guana Cay, we got underway at 10:40 am and headed for Staniel Cay, a short distance of only about 8 miles. This was another of the places we had been forced to skip on the way south (due to the weather), and were now catching on the way back north.
Our first stop was at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club fuel dock to get gasoline and water. We had not had an opportunity to get either since we left Georgetown some 9 days earlier. The Staniel Cay Yacht Club docks are clearly designed for mega yachts. The dock was a good 10 feet above us, and they had to pass down the hoses for fuel and water. Conditions were rough, and we were pounding against the pilings the whole time despite the fenders we deployed. Most unpleasant. If this weren't the only fuel choice around, I wouldn't recommend coming here.
Our main tank was down to just under half, and we took on 16 gallons of gas. Surprisingly, our water tank was down only 11 gallons, and between that and the drinking water jerry jugs, we took on a total of 19 gallons of water.
Once done with the dock, we cast off and anchored out on sand bar just 300 feet East of Thunderball Grotto, of James Bond fame. The location was well sheltered all around, but experienced some surge from the nearby cut. Snorkeling in the grotto is supposed to be excellent, with lots of fish, but you need to wait for low slack tide for the entrance to be exposed and have no current to fight. Since the next low tide wasn't until after dark, we figured we'd get to it tomorrow, around 9:30 am.
|Thunderball Grotto is hidden under this nondescript lump of rock|
|Staniel Cay Yacht Club|
|Chamberlain Cottage Rentals|
|The "Blue" Market|
|The "Pink" Market|
|Unknown Fruit on the Roadside|
|Another Strange Fruit|
Once our legs gave out, we retired back to the YC bar, and enjoyed drinks and conversation with other cruisers until the rang the dinner bell (literally!) at 6:30 for the first seating. Dinner out was a treat, with really good food and service in an elegant setting.
We dinghy'd back to Dolce Vita in the dark, thankful that I'd remembered to leave the anchor light on. It is DARK out there!
Monday, March 20, 2017
We got up early, intending to snorkel Thunderball Grotto at the 9:30-10:00 am low tide, but the day dawned cold and gray, with occasional light rain-showers. We both decided that we didn't want to see it THAT much, so we wimped out and stayed warm and dry aboard. After all, we had already snorkeled in the two excellent grottos at Rocky Dundas, so it wasn't like we hadn't seen a grotto yet. At least that's what we told ourselves.
Tomorrow, we would get up early and head for O'Brien Cay, just North of Cambridge Cay in the Exuma Land Sea Park, in order to snorkel at the "Sea Aquarium", another place we had missed on the way south.
Life is good.