We only stayed one day at Hawksbill Cay as there really was not a whole lot for Joy to do. The climbing and diving were off limits to her, and the dinghy exploring only took a few minutes, so we decided to sail north to Shroud Cay. We might have passed Shroud without stopping had it not been for a friend and neighbor who said we really shouldn’t miss it as the island offered dinghy exploring that was hard to beat. Not only that, but I noticed the island offered an anchorage with excellent protection from the prevailing winds which were forecast to climb well into the 20’s over the next few days making it an ideal choice. We decided to make our way through some of the smaller islands that would require careful piloting and navigation, but the wandering shaved a bunch of miles and offered some fantastic scenery.
So, up anchor and off we go, meandering between Little Pigeon Cay and a rock outcropping just to the east of Elbow Cay, a pass about a half mile wide with a shoal area fairly easily seen. Little Pigeon Cay above is apparently a privately owned cay where the owners have built a seawall and private boat basin to complement their beautiful island retreat. What must it be like to own this piece of paradise. As we passed north of Little Pigeon I noticed what first appeared to be an extremely large catamaran off to the northwest just a bit, but as we drew closer, I wasn’t quite sure what I was seeing. Only when we started to pull across the vessel’s bow did we realize that we were looking at two mega yachts rafted up together and hanging on the larger yacht’s anchor. Now that truly was a first.
Shroud Cay is largely a mangrove island pierced with a labyrinth of small creeks into the interior. The northernmost creek can be explored by motorized dinghy, and this creek wanders all the way from the banks to Exuma Sound. We invite you to jump aboard our small dinghy as we explore this creek and try to find Camp Driftwood, a 1960’s sailor’s hide away on the eastern shore of the island and a camp used by drug agents to spy on Carlos Lehder’ s drug operations on Norman’s Cay. Off to the right you see the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park sign marking the banks side entrance to the creek, a very shallow entrance best entered on a rising tide to be sure you can get back out.
Switchback curves and depths ranging from a few inches to as much as 20 feet in a few of the holes mark the interior of this creek. We found many small fish, crabs, bird life and beautiful scenery from one side of the island to the other. Smaller tributaries wander off the main creek here and there, and it takes a sense of direction to continue on towards the eastern side of the island. We stopped and changed course a few times before we finally found Exuma Sound, and even at that point I wasn’t quite certain we were there until we saw another Sea Park sign marking the Camp. We looked up the hill but chose to bypass the hike as it was hot and a little buggy, and we were having a good time in the dinghy.
It’s really tough deciding which photos to post about our trip this time. We took around 1200 photographs, and almost every one of them is worth including, but that’s obviously impossible, so we have to make choices. As Joy and I paddled into one of the lower creeks, those being off-limits to motorized vessels, we looked out over the coral rocks at Ocean Angel lying peacefully to her anchor. I took 12 different angles of this shot, and each one is simply gorgeous, each one a little different. This view struck Joy and me the same way; we had to share it with you.