Buena Vista Cay

Buena Vista Cay, our next stop on our southern hopscotch tour,lies some 35 miles to the south, With conditions about as good as one could ask for cruising, we were at liberty to choose any destination and route. Light winds, flat water, and good visibility. It just doesn’t get a whole lot better than the conditions we’ve had since we departed Georgetown.

We chose to take the ocean route in order to do some fishing. Fishing on the banks usually produces some hits, mostly barracuda, no thanks! They hit pretty hard, but after the hookup, it’s akin to reeling in an old boot. Lots of drag, short on excitement. Ocean side fishing usually yields some mahi, perhaps a mackerel, but generally fish we can have for dinner. So far this year, we’ve come up empty on the dinner plate. We did hook up with a nice mahi about an hour out of Galliot Cut further north, but the mahi shot out of the water in one direction, the lure went in the other direction. Crap! The one that got away! I digress. The outside run from Flamingo Cay was again unproductive with the exception of a large ‘cuda. Ah, we gotta big one! But no fight, bet it’s a ‘cuda. Yep! Now once the ‘cuda is close up, things change a bit. (Pic of the cuda) Those teeth… fortunately, once out of the water, they’re not real active, so the hook can be gingerly removed with a pair of channel locks. The remarkable thing about our ocean side run was being able to discern shapes on the bottom at 60 ft of depth! In 25 feet, it’s easy to spot fish on the bottom, and easily make out details of coral heads below!

As we headed into Buena Vista Cay, we spotted two catamarans along the beach, and a local structure on the beach near the ruins of an old house. We briefly met Edward, the resident, evidently the whole of the population of Buena Vista (pop.1). He was returning to his home in his row boat after visiting with the cruisers aboard the cats. He welcomed us to the island and offered his assistance if we needed anything.

We took the dinghy to the ocean side and explored the cut between Buena Vista and Low Water Harbor Cay to the east. With the calm winds, the water was very clear, the bottom plainly visible as we scooted along in about 20 ft of water. The sensation is very unique in calm conditions, it could almost be described as a magic carpet ride as your eye tends to focus on the bottom rather than the surface of the water, giving the illusion that you are suspended above the eye’s interpretation of “ground level”. The clarity of the water here is simply amazing. The water in the Exumas is gin-clear, the water here in the Jumentos and Raggeds is clearer yet! We did a bit of beach combing on the ocean side, although there’s not much “beach” per se, most of the shore line is rugged “ironshore”, the jagged limestone that most of the cays are made up of- with some sandy spots scattered along the shore. The shore line is, as is every east-facing shoreline in the Bahamas, littered with trash. Piles of plastic of every description. At first blush, the trash is, well, it’s trashy. But it’s inevitable, with everything that is carried by wind and current on the surface of the water traveling hundreds of miles before it finally washes up onto the shore of some cay or reef. We didn’t discover any treasures, but did find some interesting shells, coral, and the plentiful sea beans and hamburger beans that are common on the beaches both ocean and bank sides.

We spent a pleasant albeit warm night at anchor, and planned to move south again the following day (Tuesday), after some maintenance. Time for an oil change on the main engine, and since cruising is defined as working on your boat in exotic places, this place is exotic enough! The main won’t need the next maintenance until we return stateside, the genset perhaps two or more as its maintenance interval is half the 200 hour span of the main engine.

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