After listening to a long night of a very angry version of hide the sausage, I was running on 8 hours less than a full night of sleep. Rob had just announced that we had two hours to get ready and head to the boat. I kindly introduced myself to the sleeping strangers next to me, we joked about the neighbors and their shenanigans, and went about our packing for a long day on the water.
The wind picked up overnight so I knew we were in for a rough ride and it didn’t disappoint. There were times when the swell literally threw me off my feet and I was lucky to be holding on tight to console. Lucky for us the sun was out all day so once we got into shallower water, a kaleidoscope of turquoise hues glistened as far as one could see. I know I repeat myself when I talk about the water but I’ll say it again….it is THE most beautiful water you will every lay eyes on. It’s like Fiji right in our backyard but without the million dollar flight.
The northern end of the Exuma Cays proved much calmer which allowed for several amazing stops on the way to Staniel Cay, our final destination for the day. We snorkeled the sunken drug plane, swam in a gorgeous cove where an old US Navy Base use to reside, and briefly explored the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Listen people, this park is UNREAL. Pulling into the cove at the headquarters is like walking into a dream world. I was waiting for unicorns to appear from the bushes and fish to climb into the boat for a beer. You just can’t imagine the sandbars and the color variations the different depths of the water create. It’s like a natural paint pallet of blue and white in every direction. Several dozen boats are sprinkled throughout the harbour providing the perfect location to hang out for a few days. I’ve added an extended stay here to my bucket list. A trail from the headquarters beach leads you to the most spectacular view I’ve ever seen in the Exumas. The Exumas are extremely flat islands with little to no elevation so commanding views from above are hard to find. Boo Boo Trail is quite rocky so I recommend taking shoes and don’t forget water. The top of the Boo Boo Hill is nothing less than breathtaking. It is a 360 degree view of water, water, and more water. Also at the top was an enormous heap of wooden directional signs of all colors, shapes, sizes and with varying words and messages. A graveyard of sorts. A wooden bench sits just past the graveyard overlooking the water and is the perfect spot to reflect on anything that your mind will allow you to ponder. I could sit there for hours, days even. If you find yourself traveling to Exuma via boat, a stop at the park is a MUST. Visit their website here for details on snorkeling, mooring, trail guides, etc.
We meandered in and out of the cays as we proceeded along our boat tour to Staniel Cay. David Copperfield, famed magician and owner of several stunning islands in the Exumas, commissioned an artist to create and install the underwater piano and mermaid statue you’ve probably seen in several photos online. There is no sign or mooring or any sort of indication that it exists….you just have to know its coordinates. I just so happen to be a guest on the boat of someone who knows exactly where it is so that was our next stop.
The current was ripping through the area so we had to strategically anchor so the line was crossing directly over the statue to give us something to hold on to. After several attempts to position ourselves correctly, we succeeded and all took turns posing for photos with the statue. It was a quick but really neat stop.
There was one more stop that was absolutely necessary before we tied up for the night. A trip to Staniel Cay isn’t complete without stopping to feed the, now famous, swimming pigs on Big Majors Cay. Unfortunately, they weren’t “in the mood” and refused to leave the comfort of their feet on the sand. However, they sure as heck wouldn’t turn down food so they gladly ate the carrots we offered but there was definitely no swimming taking place. Clearly, their bellies were content. Lame. So I was more excited about the nurse sharks circling for food and was chasing them to try to get them on my go pro.
We headed to the dock at Staniel Cay to check into our room at Isles Inn and called it a day. A very good day indeed.