Picture Post: The Northern Exumas

Monday, February 17, 2014 – Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oh how beautiful the Exuma Islands are!  Not a whole lot of stuff here, per se, but so much to do and see!  Each island has its own little “highlight” and it has been fun seeing places that I’ve read so much about on other blogs :)  The snorkeling is AMAZING and the reefs are documented pretty well on the charts and in the Exuma book David and Peg gave to us.  Our new afternoon treat is to look at the charts, find some coral, dink on over and go snorkeling for a few hours!  It’s awesome and JR has been taking some really great underwater pics.  So far we’ve hit up Allen’s Cay, Highborne Cay, and Norman’s Cay (Cay is pronounced “key”, who knew!?). Here are some pics to get you acquainted with each stop :)

A map of New Providence Island (Nassau) and the Exuma Cays.

A map of New Providence Island (Nassau) and the Exuma Cays.

Our sail over the Yellow Banks was wonderfully tilty.

Captain JR and Journey getting' her heel on.

Captain JR and Journey getting’ her heel on.

For the first time, we had to keep watch for coral heads near the surface!  There’s one right there, a dark black patch.

Watch out!

Watch out!

Allen’s Cay

Map of Allen's Cay.  Sailboat=Anchorage Fish=Snorkeling Spot

Map of Allen’s Cay. Sailboat=Anchorage Fish=Snorkeling Spot

Allen’s Cay has iguanas.  They are hungry!  You are not supposed to feed them, but I’m pretty sure these tour boats do.  We came all this way for some uninhabited beaches, and here comes a giant power boat dumping a ton of tourists on Allen’s Cay!  Oh the irony.  We went over when the tour boat was NOT there.

"Iguana Island" and the tourists.

“Iguana Island” and the tourists.

Allen’s had a beautiful secluded anchorage and great snorkeling.  Click the first pic for a slideshow, but don’t forget to keep reading after the slideshow, K?

Highborne Cay

Highborne Cay Map

Highborne Cay Map

Highborne Cay has a marina (that’s a big deal!) and it’s where we learned how rich folk really live.  Only marina “guests” are allowed on the island because it is private.  Well, unless you roll up on one of these babies.

The real 1%

The real 1%

This boat was anchored here when we arrived.  The next day a seaplane dropped off its residents.  First we watched the marina folks set up a tent on the beach for these people.  Then we watched as the crew unloaded, oh about 8 sea toys (using a crane off the back of the boat, of course) including jet skis for 1, jet skis for 2, a couple of dinghies (one was the size of a small fishing boat) and a few other motorized water toys. They buzzed around the anchorage for a bit, then buzzed on over to the private beach on their respective water toys.  Later, they pulled out their kiteboard, of course.  Once they got bored, they went home and the crew got to load all the stuff back on the boat for the night.  Sorry no pics, my dropped jaw was in the way.  Seriously, I thought Ft. Lauderdale was the 1%.  What I learned is that being thankful that we even have a job and finally being able to buy that single family home is making someone in Highborne Cay very rich.  The freaking American Dream!?  We are brainwashed.  Dang.  My soap box ends here.  We did some great snorkeling at Highborne, luckily the reefs weren’t reserved for “guests of the marina only.” :)  Click the first pic for a slideshow, but don’t forget to keep reading after the slideshow…

Norman’s Cay

Map of Norman's Cay.  Sailboat=Anchorage and you can see the plane wreck in the middleish.  Also look for One Tree Cay :)

Map of Norman’s Cay. Sailboat=Anchorage and you can see the plane wreck in the middleish. Also look for One Tree Cay :)

Norman’s Cay is famous for the airplane crash (and the drug smuggling) in the 80’s.  Perhaps you’ve heard of Carlos Lehder?  Well, he’s a Columbian dude that bought up Norman’s Cay and ran a ton of coke and mary jane through that little airstrip, right on into NC and GA.  Pretty interesting story and I do believe the movie “Blow” was loosely based on the mess in Norman’s.  Anyway, he’s in jail and all is well on Norman’s Cay.  It seems as if someone has taken interest in the place, as there was lots of work being done when we visited.

Workin' at Norman's.

Workin’ at Norman’s.

We also got lucky and were able to have a couple of Kaliks at the famous MacDuff’s Bar and Grille.  It is just re-opening and it was ADORABLE.  Very Ocracoke-y.  So far, these islands are empty and not touristy, which is great and it’s what we expected.  If people live on them, they live a simple and humble life, not dependent on the crazy cruisers that stop in a walk their streets at random times.  This restaurant was the touristy-ist thing we’ve seen, like ever (Nassau doesn’t count).  We stopped in at about 2:30 and they kicked us out at 3. When we asked about dinner, buddy had no idea if they had enough food and asked if he could call us later to let us know… We declined ‘cause our 2nd Bahamian phone was rained on as well…

McDuffs.  Adorablesville.

MacDuff’s. Adorablesville.

We dinghied over to the C-46 Curtis Commando that crashed during the drug smuggling days and on our way there I found my favorite island cay so far.  It’s called One Tree Cay :)  I want it and I’ll probably install a PayPal link on the blog so that you guys can give us money to buy it, OK?

plane front


plane back


One Tree Cay <3

One Tree Cay <3


ot cay2


Us at One Tree Cay.

Us at One Tree Cay.

Next up, we entered the Exumas Land and Sea Park for JR’s 36th birthday!  It’s kinda’ like a National Park, only of land and water!  Thanks for reading!


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