From White sound in Green Turtle Cay, we went to Manjack Cay. The cruising info we have shows it as being uninhabited. Apparently someone has move in. Fresh laundry hung on the clotheslines near a house there.
We expected to find two or three boats sharing the anchorage. The final count for was around two dozen.
Someone has marked a maintained trail across the island to the beach on the Atlantic side. They’ve made creative “native mask” signs and others to mark the trail. We enjoyed the hike to a beautiful pink/white sand beach. One boater referred to a particular beach as so wonderful it was “to die for”. All the beaches here seem “to die for”.
Except for plastic. Anything floating can be washed ashore, and it appears everything plastic floats. Some things degrade fairly rapidly and disappear. Not the plastic: ropes of every size and color, fishing nets, drinking water bottles, crates, motor oil bottles, flipflops and tennis shoes, garbage bags, barrels and buckets and lids of all sizes, Frosty the Snowman(really!), and on the list goes. Past storms have carried some of it deep into the undergrowth. Everyone everywhere uses plastic but it appears almost no one disposes of it properly or cleans it up. Beaches “to die for”? Yes, except for plastic.
There was discussion of staying at Manjack, but wind was supposed to build from an unfavorable direction, so the next day we had a nice sail to anchor off Coopers Town. We had no reason to go into town, so spent a quiet evening aboard with Barbara giving me more Cribbage lessons (and him giving me lessons in humility). We enjoyed an incredible “light show” accompanied with rolls of thunder. The storm skirted us, so no rain to wash the boat.
Next day, we made the short crossing to Powell Cay. We had the island to ourselves for most of the day. Two trips ashore included walking beaches along both sides of the island and a short hike up the Bluff “trail”. This trail is unmaintained and barely passable, but the view was great. The walks were great as was wading along the beaches. We were going to swim on the Atlantic side but noticed the splashing of our wading was attracting a light colored barracuda looking fish. Most of them were in the one foot long range, but one over three feet stalked us for a long ways. Reggie calmly said, “Barbara, look at that.” I saw a three foot ‘snaky fish swimming right toward us and chose to run to the shore. The other problem with the Atlantic side was the sand, which became very soft and gooey when we were about knee deep out into the waves. Swimming was delayed until we were back at the boat, anchored in 7 feet of water. No barracuda, no sand between our toes.
One spot on a beach had signs indicating off the grid campers had stayed there for varying amounts of time. Real signs. Tied in the low trees. Of course, I forgot the camera. If they are to be believed, a small group of folks spent 3 months there last year. Another group could have been there longer several years ago. It made me wonder about doing such a thing. You would have to bring everything you needed. We’ve seen nothing edible growing anywhere wild except the very occasional coconut. There is no fresh water source on these little islands, so you would have to bring lots and rely on rain. We’ve been rained on twice since we arrived here, which isn’t much. You would have to catch a lot. Now where did I see that plastic bucket?
Our stay was a delightful day, dinner and cocktails in the cockpit and a quiet night at anchor.
We are currently back on a mooring ball in Black Sound. There is supposed to be a storm of sorts building today, Thursday the 4th of April, through tonight and Friday and perhaps into Saturday. Winds on Friday are predicted to be 25-30 miles per hour with gusts up near 35, so we’ve chosen to hide in this protected harbor for a couple days, find some internet to catch up on work and post reports, and maybe stretch our legs walking New Plymouth, rain or shine.
We have started our discussions of “what next?” so our time here must be coming to an end. We expect to work our way to a ‘jumping off’ or crossing over spot after this stormy weather has passed. We hope to stop at a couple more uninhabited islands along the way.