Cambridge Cay

We dropped our mooring at Emerald Rock on Thursday morning and made a short 12 mile cruise to Cambridge Cay, joining some of the Selene fleet already there. Mystic Moon followed us, and took the northern route into the anchorage, we chose the southern route. Each route has its unique challenges, but we arrived almost bow to bow from opposite directions. So no time advantage one way or the other. There are 14 mooring balls, all were taken, so we dropped the hook. Deep sand produced a quick and secure set, we confirmed the set with our “lookie bucket”.

The “lookie bucket” is a most useful tool for cruising the Bahamas. It’s simply a common 5-gallon bucket with the bottom cut out and a piece of clear lexan attached to the bottom. Since the water is so clear, it’s a snap to check the anchor. Drop the hook, back down, drop the dink, then scoot over to the anchor chain in the dink. Follow the anchor chain to the end and plop the bucket into the water. Look through the bottom of the bucket, and wa-la! A perfect view of the anchor! We’ll occasionally find a bottom that’s a bit grassy or hard where the anchor won’t bite, but most of the time, our Rocna will take a bite and set within 3 feet of hitting the bottom. Best piece of gear on the boat!

Cambridge Cay is part of the Exuma Land & Sea Park, so it is a wonderful unspoiled area. The dogs are not permitted on the islands, only the beach, but there is a small island that is mostly beach and is a perfect spot to land the dogs. At low tide, a bar is awash and makes a wonderful place for the pups to run off-lead and still comply with park rules. Our weather was perfect for snorkeling with light winds and bright sun, so we geared up and headed to the “Sea Aquarium”, a 10 minute dinghy ride to the north. It’s a protected basin where a large variety of fish hang out, and some coral heads in about 12 feet of water make for a perfect snorkel spot. To the south of the anchorage is the Rocky Dundas where two caves are located. The caves can be visited by snorkeling into the mouth of the opening during calm weather, so we visited both. One has a domed interior with a skylight of sorts that allows light to flood into the interior of the cave where hues of red and muted orange decorate the waterline. It’s quite an impressive sight. The second, more southerly cave is also accessible by a short snorkel, but is subject to a surge from the ocean and can make for some challenging footing! The yellowish formations on the inside of the cave, high on the walls create an illusion that there are alien forms watching the activities in the cave below. Almost spooky! But very interesting and fun to snorkel.

Friday turned out to be too windy for much snorkeling, so we enjoyed some time on the beach and did some boat chores in preparation for our guests who would arrive on Sunday. Saturday we hauled anchor and headed for Big Majors Spot, the meeting place for the start of the Selene Rendezvous and just a short dinghy hop to Staniel Cay where we would pick up Andrea and David. The anticipation was becoming palpable!

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