Now that we aren't meeting Richard at Staniel Cay, we are reworking our Exumas trip. We have until mid-June to explore the Exumas. My friend Meliza is coming to visit us in Nassau (yay!) and we'll be staying in Atlantis. From there, we don't know if we'll return to the Exumas or head north to the Abacos. We're planning a loose itinerary, an outline, for the next several weeks, all dependent upon weather, anchorage conditions, what there is to do and how much we like where we are. I've poured over Steve Pavlidis's chart books, the Skipper Bob guide, Lena Bea's blog and several Bahamian guide books. It seems most cruisers follow a similar path - going to the best anchorages and seeing the main attractions at each cay. We're only planning as far south as the first inhabited island with a small community - Staniel Cay. If we have time, we may explore further south. This is (approximately) what we'll be up to over the next 6 weeks. We may not stop at all these stops - some can be accessed by dinghy from other cays, but these are the main attractions...
1. Allan's Cay (3 days) - anchoring, iguana and snorkeling
2. Highborne Cay (2 days) - marina, hiking, biking and snorkeling
3. Norman's Cay (~1-2 day) - anchoring, snorkeling a plane wreck, island exploring and lunch on the island
4. Shroud Cay (?) - anchoring or mooring, creek to explore by dinghy, hiking on island
5. Hawsbill Cay (?) - mooring, gorgeous island
6. Warderick Wells (at least few days) - mooring and/or anchoring, Land and See Park Headquarters - hiking and snorkeling
7. Compass Cay (?) - marina, beautiful hiking and walking trails
8. Sampson Cay (1 day) - marina is well protected - check it out
9. Big Major Cay (?) - anchoring, feral pig colony
10. Stanial Cay (~ few+ days) - marina and/or anchoring, inhabited island with restaurant and bar. Lots of snorkeling sites accessible from here.
(For our non-boating friends: "mooring" means there is a "mooring ball" floating in the water attached to the bottom that you tie the boat to. It means you won't hurt the coral or sea grass below and that you won't drag your anchor. There's usually a small fee but it's much cheaper than a marina. All the moorings above are in the Land and Sea Park to protect the environment there.)