Great Harbor Cay

Picture Post: The Berry Islands

February 6, 2014 – February 10, 2014

Map of Bimini to Great Harbor Cay in The Berry Islands.

Map of The Berry Islands with respect to Bimini.

Our overnight brought us to The Berry Islands.  Although not penciled in our original itinerary, the overnight and the prospect of sailing (not bashing) made “The Berrys” an attractive diversion on our way to Nassau.  This was our first taste of uninhabited islands and no connection to the outside world.  It was a beautiful respite and we enjoyed the isolated, sandy beaches and the company we found here.  Here’s a map of the places we anchored and a bunch of pics.

1 - Bullocks Harbor, Great Harbor Cay  2 - west of White Cay  3 - west of Alders Cay

1 – Bullocks Harbor, Great Harbor Cay 2 – west of White Cay 3 – west of Alders Cay

1. Bullocks Harbor, Great Harbor Cay

We anchored here the morning after our lovely night sail.  There were a few other boats in the anchorage and I read that there was a place to tie up the dink not too far away.  After a nice long nap, we headed over and walked around the town.  It was not a touristy place at all.  It was a small town, with courteous folks, but not much for us to see.  I thought their church was beautiful and cursed all of the roosters that cock-a-doodle-dooed ’cause I could hear them from the boat!  We walked to the end of a street and found the cut that leads you to the only marina here.  It was rocky and daunting.  We met 2 little girls that were walking home from school.  They want to be a teacher and a nurse when they grow up, and the kept calling me ma’am.  It was a nice town.

Visited the town in Great Harbor Cay.  A quiet, little town but nothing for tourists like us. We were OK with that.  It was a friendly place, nonetheless.

The pretty church.

The cut heading into Great Harbor Cay Marina.

The cut heading into Great Harbor Cay Marina.

2. White Cay (we anchored west of it)

We traveled up and around the islands to get to White Cay.  At the northern tip are the cruise ship islands and the cruise ship anchorage.  I enjoyed waving to the little tiny people on the big giant cruise ship and our little sailboat buzzed right passed!  We almost didn’t anchor here because our friends on Sea Major had a bit of a time with this cut.  I’m guessing the weather was more of an issue for them because we did OK and I’m really glad we went.  We spent 2 nights here and I would have been OK with another 2.  It was the most beautiful anchorage I have seen so far, and although there was another boat near us, it was very secluded.  It was the first anchorage where we were able to dive on the anchor to make sure it set.  We dinghied over to Hoffman Cay one day and searched for a blue hole that we had read about.  After beaching the dink, we found a path that led us right there!  It’s a round, saltwater hole in the middle of the rocky island, about the size of a baseball infield.  We read that it connects to the ocean near the bottom of its 600-foot depth and was explored by Jacques Cousteau.  We also read that it is believed to have been formed either by a meteorite strike or some other natural cataclysm.  Pretty cool, huh?  The path continued and took us to another secluded beach where we spent a few hours swimming and chasing sting rays.  The next night we met the folks from the other boat anchored near us and joined them for a camp fire and drinks on the beach.  They were a fascinating couple from Austria with tons of cruising experience and are pretty serious divers.  So much so that they have a dive compressor on their beautiful Lagoon 42, Shangrila, to charge their own air tanks.  They have a great story as to how they started cruising, ask us about it next time we see ya ;)  Click the first pic for a slide show and more ramblings :)

3. Alders Cay (we anchored south west of it)

Alders Cay is “private” which means someone owns it and you can’t go and play on it!  That’s OK though because we spent most of the day in White Cay and headed over to Alders in the afternoon just to get a little closer and a little better angle to Nassau.  We had a beautiful evening there and even did some snorkeling.

Sunset during our short visit to Alders Cay.

Sunset during our short visit to Alders Cay.

Leaving Alders Cay.  Do you notice anything about the bottom of these clouds!?

Leaving Alders Cay. Do you notice anything about the bottom of these clouds!?

Overall, Leo enjoyed The Berry Islands <3

Leo found The Berrys quite comfortable.

Leo found The Berrys quite comfortable.