25 February 2022: A Perfect Sail in…NO WIND?
25 February 2022
Shroud Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
Thunderball Grotto, Exumas, Bahamas
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
Handyman extraordinaire from Indiana here to lend a hand between Nassau and George Town!!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
Not a cloud in sight!
Clear blue sky and sunshine
Dry, thank goodness!
When in Rome, as they say.
Given Micah had returned to Nassau to help me out with some boat projects (especially now I knew his true feelings towards the actual sailing aspects of living aboard), the least I could do was make sure he enjoyed his visit. And one of the spots he had missed on this last trip through the Bahamas was the Thunderball Grotto. So off we went!
It also (selfishly) helped that my trip to the Thunderball Grotto the last time I was in Staniel Cay was a 30 second swim through and photo before leaving Staniel Cay after picking up a new membrane for the watermaker. So, I felt like I had hardly seen it as well.
The sail was much, much smoother than our trip across the banks to the Exumas. However, regardless of the sea state and weather conditions – Micah resumed his position and techniques to stay calm below deck. It was strange being a solo sailor while having someone onboard.
The only drama was that the wind indicator was acting up. It would flicker on and off, say wind speeds of ‘0’ when it was clearly not zero. The direction arrow was totally wonky. But it was a problem to fix at anchor and was not necessary to address while sailing.
As we pulled into the anchorage at Staniel Cay, Micah popped his head up from below to drop the anchor. Not because I required help, as I have been doing this for a while on my own now, but because I think it helps him to sleep easier and stay more relaxed while at anchor to see it done himself.
We anchored quite close to the Grotto, but the currents there are incredibly strong. So initially thinking maybe we would just swim the 100 meters to the cave, but once your feet were on the swim ladder and your calves wet – it was very clear how strong the current actually was. So we jumped in the dinghy!
Exploring the caves was interesting as it was
packed with tourists (as always). But there was some very healthy coral outside the entrance and a few fun swim throughs in the caves. It was worth the stop but also confirmed that one day in Staniel Cay was plenty!
On the way back, Micah drifted in the dinghy (watching over me with all the boat traffic) so that I could swim back to the boat. The help of the current meant it was not a great work out but it sure was a nice change to get a little more exercise after our short snorkel.
Back at the boat and we figured we would check out the shore the next day, including the famous Staniel Cay Yacht Club, and then prepared to depart for Black Point further south.
“The ocean is everything I want to be. Beautiful, mysterious, wild and free.”
I have always disliked the over-run touristy places and have always tried to avoid them when possible. That being said, somethings are worth the effort and the photos show that this was probably one of them, especially as the first visit left you wanting.
The entrance to this cave definitely had some of the healthier corals I had seen in a while. It is still a 20 minute visit kind of place, but was happy I went back! Other than returning to take new visitors someday, I’d be set to not go back again 🙂