Island Hopping our Way South

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 4/11/2021 – 4/18/2021

Last Sunday we spent the day at home (still nursing my ankle that I sprained last week), but Monday afternoon we ventured out to the local grocery store to pick up a few more fresh fruits and veggies for our trip to the Raggeds. The grocery store in Long Island is decent and WAY cheaper than provisioning in George Town, we’ll definitely stop back there on our way North! 

We left around 7am Tuesday morning. 

We raised our main and brought out our jib the second we could, and sailed through the bluest water for a few hours right off the bat! The wind started to pick up after a while, so we threw in a reef and kept moving. ⛵️

Unfortunately though, we lost our wind a few hours later. We attempted to keep our speed up by putting the jib out onto a barber hauler, but by the time Ray got it set up, we were down to 3kn of wind. So, we dropped our sails, and started an engine.

We motored for a bit before deciding to drop anchor for the night in Water Cay. We pulled into an empty anchorage off the uninhabited island, and were immediately approached by three guys on a small fishing boat. They said they were in need of some cooking oil, rice, and lime juice. We were the only other boat for miles, and there certainly wasn’t a store anywhere nearby for these men. By the looks of it, they seemed to be camping on the beach- presumably for the fishing season- and just wanted to make a nice meal for themselves! So, we finished setting our anchor and tossed them some supplies (plus a few beers, of course). They happily threw us some fresh caught fish in return, and welcomed us to re-anchor closer to their beach if the swell got too bad for us.

***Side note: doesn’t the water here look like CGI or something?! I’ve seen clear, blue water before, but never this much of it! This picture was taken in ~25ft of water and it’s still that clear?! Wild. 

Anyway, we had lost cell service that morning, so we sat on the sugar scoop, drank some beer, and admired the empty anchorage and crystal clear water for a while before making some fresh seafood curry for dinner and settling in for the night.

The next morning we decided to make a short trip to Flamingo Cay. The wind wasn’t quite right, so we motored the whole way, but it was only a couple hour’s trip! We dropped anchor near what looked like a cave and a ship wreck, so we put the dinghy in the water to check things out. 

Once we got back to the boat, I took a nap on the bow in the sunshine and woke up just in time to make some dinner, watch a movie, and go to sleep. What a life! 

We continued our trip South on Thursday, heading down to Buena Vista Cay. The trip took us about 4hrs, and we had to motorsail the entire way (the wind was coming from the exact opposite direction that it was forecasted to). But what an absolute treat it was to pull into an empty anchorage, facing a mile long beach.

Rumor has it, a 78 year old man named Edward tried to live on this island, which is otherwise completely uninhabited. He built a house and had some animals, and everything was just peachy until hurricane Irma hit. Some say he had no idea it was coming (a down side of living completely off-grid), others say he was supposed to have been picked up and relocated before the storm but no one ever came. He ended up tying himself to a tree to keep from getting swept away by the wind or sea… Can you imagine dreaming of living in paradise, finally making it happen with your own two hands, then watching everything you built get torn apart… all while being tied to a tree? Supposedly Edward has now relocated to Nassau, but the remains of his house are still here, so we dinghied to shore and walked through his old home. 

I was surprised to see some random household things- like mustard, vegetable oil, and pill bottles- all a reminder that this wasn’t that long ago, and this was a real person’s life we were wondering through, not a tourist attraction. 

Apparently one of Edward’s peacocks and a few goats still live on the island today. We heard some strange noises but never saw anything. Our friends saw the peacock on the beach though a week prior! 

We decided to stay a while- after all, we had the entire anchorage and island to ourselves, and it was gorgeous. We spent the next two days swimming, reading, and relaxing in complete seclusion. It was paradise.

Saturday afternoon we decided we were ready for a change of scenery, and it was SO hot outside, making the idea of moving the boat all the more appealing. The wind wasn’t in our favor, and it wasn’t forecasted to be for a few more days, so we decided to make a short (5NM) hop South to Raccoon Cay.

We were pleasantly surprised when we dropped anchor in what appeared to be a swimming pool.

I jumped in for a swim but was promptly told to get out of the water. Turns out the second I jumped in a fishing boat nearby called us on the radio and said they had just cleaned a bunch of fish, so tons of bull sharks were swimming around the anchorage. I didn’t see any, but you best believe I got out of the water. I had already had a shark encounter Friday afternoon and wasn’t interested in testing my luck again!

I climbed back on board, only to realize that we had WiFi! I’m surprised that the 5 miles closer we had moved towards Duncan Town (the only real town down here) was enough to give us slow, but fairly reliable cell phone reception (the first we’ve had in nearly a week). All in all, I didn’t miss my phone. Being connected has become far less important to me since moving aboard… I’ve lost contact with most of my friends, gotten used to chatting with my family once a week(ish), and I’ve come to terms with the fact that social media isn’t real, so not being able to use my phone was surprisingly easy for me. However, the perk of having service is that I’m finally able to search online for music for this week’s video! 

As of yesterday, I have 16mins of edited footage with untouched audio. I think before future off grid adventures I’ll preemptively download some options, but for now I’m just a bit delayed… unless you want to hear 16mins of wind noise. Hopefully the video will go up sometime tomorrow or the next day- make sure you have your post notifications (the bell icon on our YouTube Channel) on so you don’t miss it!

Leave a Reply