Wednesday 12 Feb, BHS day 44: Upwind sail to Musha Cay, anchor with a postcard view, hair salon take-three, dinghy trip to check our new surroundings and evening drinks onboard Mahina.
Great sleep and thankfully no hangover. Maybe that rum wasn’t as strong as we suspected.
We are ready to go immediately after breakfast, and the plan was to leave by 9am to make it all the way to Musha on the rising tide.
Ian comes over in dinghy, they contemplate remaining here for another day. It would be nice to have another lazy day, but we really need to start heading south if we actually want to leave the Bahamas before the end of the season. So Ian heads back with an incentive for Michelle: Oana will give her a haircut in the next anchorage, and we will serve them the magical Nespresso coffee while at it. The idea seemed to have worked, as 15 minutes later they radio in to confirm they will also leave.
So anchors go up and we say our farewells to this pretty anchorage. No wonder it’s so popular. Beautiful turquoise water, very sheltered, lots of very good dinghy docks, launderette, bars and restaurants, happy hours, reasonable prices, garbage disposal, etc. These three days we were here, there were constantly above 40 boats anchored here. Sounds like a lot, but somehow it didn’t bother us at all.
As soon as we round the corner of Black Point, the sea state increases. Good thing we didn’t leave yesterday, in even stronger winds. It’s just 15-18 kts now. Sails are unfurled and we start a very comfortable upwind sail for the next 10 miles. Mahina follows us, as it took them a while to hoist their mainsail. There is a good angle to the sun on the aft deck so Oana takes the opportunity to sunbathe. Although she needs to brace herself as she keeps sliding off the mattress as the gusts heal Cloudy over.
As we are going upwind we manage to keep right on the edge of the shallow section with 36deg apparent wind. This has Cloudy ploughing along at 7-8kts in the brightest blue water, just 3-4m deep.
When we reach Galliot Cut we furl away the sails and turn the motor on, because the cut orientation is directly upwind. We then let Mahina over take us and we follow her in through the shallows. It’s high tide but still, better to follow a shallower draft boat when we can. Once into the deeper water of the main cut we turn south again between Little and Big Galliot Cays then pass down the west side of Cave Cay towards Musha Cay.
After navigating the narrow passage, we anchor right behind Musha Cay, which is quite spectacular. Beautiful blue water and a nice white sand beach with large palm trees and thatched buildings right in front of us. Another one of those picture perfect anchorages. This island is one of David Copperfield’s properties, and one can rent the island and the accommodation on it for $38,000/night (so we’ve read). We’ll just admire from the distance, while we relax in the cockpit. Though we had thought to enquire just how many seconds we could rent the island for just $10?!
We’ve heard stories of cruisers who anchored here and they were asked to leave, either because there were guests on the island who were keen to have full privacy, or because they didn’t want to have to look at jelopies. And cruisers were offered cases of fine wine to persuade them to upanchor and move. Well, nobody offered us any wine. So either there are no guests or they don’t mind the look of our boats 🙂 Pitty, we would’ve accepted some pizza from the wood fired oven they have in-between the palm trees on this beautiful beach!
Once settled, we call Mahina on the VHF and do a spoof announcement (mimicking what the local restaurants do): “today’s special at Cloudy Bay’s hair salon will be a free Nespresso coffee with every hair cut”. Twenty minutes later, Ian and Michelle arrive and after their free coffee Oana sets to trim Michelle’s hair (which is also free by the way!). Luckily, she practiced on mine first so Michelle can see Oana is actually pretty good with her scissors! Anyway, there were no screams or complaints and after a shower Michelle comes up 40 minutes later all smiling. Hmmm maybe we could have a business going here!
Coffee, cuts and chats over, we head off for a dinghy ride around the shallow sand banks that dominate this side of Musha Cay. On the way we see lots of very large sting rays, some eagle rays and several sharks, and of course lots of shallow sand banks. There is one particularly elegant sand bar right next to our anchorage. Google images shows it out the water in a perfect crescent shape, but even at low tide today it’s not quite out of the water. Shame, we would like to have seen it the way Google did.
Lastly, we head over to see the small marina in Cave Cay. We go in through a narrow entrance into a small and perfectly sheltered logoon surrounded by high coral limestone. At one end is the marina, which is totally deserted except for one sports fisher boat. From a distance it looks perfectly neat and tidy with (unusual for Bahamas) floating pontoons. But as we get near and tie up the dinghies we see that it’s actually very run down. Some of the floating pontoons are tied together with ropes which in places are shredded to pieces. And we wonder what happened here? Another bankrupt resort? Another Caribbean investment that didn’t make it? Whatever, it’s sad to see.
We spend a very pleasant sunset and early evening on Mahina for sundowners and snacks. And Oana gets the tour of their boat. Like Pearl, she has a pretty big and sociable aft cockpit for her size (43ft). Cloudy’s seems quite small by comparison. The other great thing that lots of American boats have, is a bimini that has an adjoining piece of canvas to the spray dodger. Meaning they get total shelter from wind and rain. When we have our bimini up, we can still get quite wet through that gap.
As we return to Cloudy it’s absolutely pitch black dark. And we are very sticky due to the evening humidity. So nice hot showers are very welcome once on board. We always have very hot water after motoring. The electric Emerson heater just doesn’t seem to do the same.
While relaxing in the cockpit with a pina colada tea (yes, tea, not the cocktail) we see some movement ashore. Probably security guards checking the grounds. Maybe it was a good thing we had Mahina’s company and didn’t attempt any trespassing today.
Before we know it, the evening is over and we are in bed. But not before the tide swings back to an ebb at 11pm. The flood tide was putting Cloudy’s stern to the waves, which were banging on the hull like a drum! We don’t sleep well to stern drum beats! The bouncy motion is still there, but that should help us sleep (unless it gets us seasick!).