Farmer’s Cay

We heard from Luc aboard Innu as we raised anchor and decided to meet up with him and Helene close to Oven Rock. We made a stopover last year and enjoyed the cave nearby, and decided to visit it again. The four spelunkers took a dip in the calm waters of the cave, not quite intrepid enough to snorkel the more remote reaches of the cave, which had undergone some changes since our last visit. Later conversations with JR at Little Farmers confirmed our suspicions that Irene was responsible for some of the changes, some were the result of vandals. Several areas of the opening and elsewhere in the cave had collapsed, but most of the interior was recognizable from our visit the previous year. The semi-transparent shrimp that occupy the darkened waters of the cave seem eager to visit with intruders, nibbling on exposed legs and feet. They seem especially drawn to any fresh meat- scratches or bites not quite healed seem to be a magnet for their interest. Sort of creepy to have some creature chawing away on your legs as you feel your way along the uneven bottom in chest-deep water!

Winds relented a bit, allowing for a night of roll-free comfort! We decided to visit Little Farmers Cay the following day, a mile or so dinghy ride across the sand bars between our anchorage and the settlement. As we approached the settlement, we observed some activity around a sailboat that seemed to be out of the channel that runs past the cay. The current in the channel can be quite swift, and reverses on the tide change. As we suspected as we grew closer, the s/v was out of the channel, and the activity we saw was the effort to free him. Luc had reached them ahead of us, and there was another larger center console boat on the bow. Luc was positioned abeam and was connected to a halyard in an attempt to heel the boat. Since his dink is a jet drive, it has very little pulling torque, so we added our longest line to his and also added our additional 15 horsepower to heel the boat even more. After a few cooperative attempts by the three small boats, we were able to free Corsair from the bottom, and they came around to retrieve their mooring, a tedious task made more difficult by the current keeping the attachment pendant and float just below the surface. We stood station on the float in the dinghy as Corsair approached against the current, and assisted in making their line up to the mooring. As we approached the settlement, we observed another s/v in their 3rd go-round at another mooring, and stood station on that one to assist in getting a line attached. Our good deed(s) for the day, building cruiser karma! We saw the crew of Corsair later as we walked the streets of the settlement, and enjoyed a stroll and some cruiser updates.

We were greeted as we landed at the public dock on Little Farmer’s Cay by J.R., a local wood carver and self-appointed island ambassador, was on hand to take a line and then take us in tow on a walking tour that oddly, ended up at his carving shop adjacent to his home. As we strolled, we learned about some of the local plant life. J R’s property has a variety of plants, some of which are the only remaining on the island. He pointed out his abundant growth of aloe, and extolled the medicinal virtues of that and many other plants. We sampled some tamarind, some tiny peppers that were unbelievably HOT, some sapodilla or “dilly” fruit- a semi-sweet sort of mushy granular texture unique in its consistency; and saw some of the local birds, among which were some hummingbirds, a presence we’d not seen previously. Our tour ended up at his carving shop where we saw examples of his great hand carvings in tamarind wood, and also some conch horns, which he creates from undamaged shells by removing the critter without breaking open the shell. We hope he retrieved it all! We ended up leaving with one. The one we selected was chosen not so much for its appearance as its sound. Producing a deeper and more mellow tone than the others, it “spoke” more easily than the others, and produced a better range of tone with the minimal amount of air. A skill set throwback to those hours and hours spent on the euphonium!

After completing our tour, we left with our freshly engraved conch horn, and made our way to Ocean Cabin, a well-known local restaurant and bar, where we enjoyed a Kalik and signed the guest book there. The rafters of the bar are decorated with worn pennants and flags from vessels from around the world. An interesting spot! The evening menu was to feature grouper, which we found odd since it’s out of season, but who’s to question the local practices? We took a small side trip on our return to the boat, visiting an abandoned project across from Little Farmer’s. Nearly complete, construction stopped dead when the bottom dropped out of the real estate market, as with so many other projects. It’s the Bahamas way!

There is a cut to the ocean at Little Farmers, often used but not the most desirable in other than settled weather. With the typical prevailing east winds, as the tide ebbs and current flows out of the cut, As one cruiser reported, his transit of the cut was “eye-opening”! Our choice was to use Galliot Cut to the south the following morning, an early departure with Georgetown the destination.

One Response to “Farmer’s Cay”

  1. Myla and Dan on 27 Mar 2012 at 7:23 PM #

    It was awfully nice of you to come to the aid of blow-boaters, but then again, I think that’s how we met! You fished one of our rogue fenders out of the Norfolk harbor for us. Good karma, indeed!