Shroud Cay

We finally left the anchorage at Norman’s Cay on Sunday morning and headed just five miles south to Shroud Cay under sunny skies and light winds. The front has passed and the winds are blown out. Wind directions are now from the prevailing SE, and have settled down to a nice 10-15 kt breeze. The prediction is for the trend to continue for the next 4-5 days. Delightful!

Aries Too arrived within an hour of our arrival, and Mystic Moon came Monday. We met up with them at Camp Driftwood as we explored by dinghy the cut that runs to the ocean side of the cay. The beach there is beautiful, curving gently around the large bay protected by the reef just off the shore. Shroud Cay marks the northern border of the Exuma Cay Land & Sea park, established in the 60’s as one of first protected area that encompasses both land area as well as the seabed within its boundaries. The entire park is protected, no fishing, taking of any form of wildlife within the boundaries. Wildlife is undisturbed and in more abundance than elsewhere. For us with the dogs, the protection includes a prohibition on external wildlife, so dogs are restricted to leash and are allowed only on beaches. At Warderick Wells, the main park center, they are not allowed ashore, so shore leave is restricted to the sand bars that bare at low tide where they are technically not on a beach. So lots of exercise the day prior to arrival at Warderick so they are content to snooze while we go ashore!

Some of the wildlife that we see is right under our hull here at Shroud Cay. We have taken a mooring, and two locals have taken up residence it seems, in the shadow of our hull. A barracuda and shark. The ‘cuda is about 4 ft, and the shark somewhat smaller. The shark is unique, later identified as a “tennis head”, a moniker derived from the unusual gills on the top of the head that strangely resembles a tennis shoe print! The ‘cuda is unmistakeable. Intimidating, they are generally not agressive, and our size is intimidation enough to them, however we’re not so sure of the dogs. So we’re taking no chances, and Molly’s much-anticipated frequent swims from the swim platform have been nixed until we relocate. Just not worth risking potential calamity. We landed a smaller cousin fishing, we do not want to tangle with those nasty teeth! The shark seems to be hanging out for the morning poop disposal routine. The delicacies from the foredeck never make it to the bottom, as the shark scoops them up as soon as they hit the water. Yum!

Our plan is to move to Warderick Wells Tuesday, and take a mooring at Emerald Rock, the mooring field just south of park HQ. The weather promises calm conditions and perhaps we’ll get some snorkeling opportunities.

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