Norman’s Cay Anchorage

Back on the boat once again and relaxing before the big weather arrives. Isn’t the scene here just about as peaceful as can be? Of the six days we’ve spent anchored at Norman’s, all but one has looked just like this. Since our cruising guides and charts indicated Norman’s Cay anchorage is pretty well protected, we weren’t too concerned about the coming wind, and as I mentioned earlier, we knew we could pick up and run south just a few miles to Shroud Cay if the need arose. We had the anchor well set in clear sand, and we were floating in nearly 20 feet of water, so we would sit tight, get a good night’s sleep, then wait and see what the morning would bring. 

Anchored in Normans Cay Channel
Anchored in Normans Cay Channel

As we looked east out over Exuma Sound, the water was flat, the winds a mere zephyr, the scene one from a story book. But a peek to the right edge of the photo shows the devastated buildings on Wax Cay and serves as a reminder that we should never take the weather for granted. When we downloaded the most recent GRIB files, we saw even more wind was in store, and it now was predicted to come howling straight over those tiny little islands in this photo. So, just how well protected was this spot going to be? I wondered.

Looking towards Exuma Sound
Looking towards Exuma Sound

Morning came and just before our 10:30 ritual coffee break, the wind began to whistle. Waves rapidly built up slamming into the bow and rocking the boat. Joy came on deck, took a look at the sound, and said, “I don’t like this very much”. I agreed, put on my deck shoes, and within 10 minutes we were underway heading out the channel to the southwest. A couple of other boats had already left. By the time we reached the open banks water, winds were approaching 30 knots, and as we turned nearly due south, waves started exploding over the port side drenching the boat from bow to stern in short order. But, once we reached Shroud Cay we tucked close in to shore and we found ourselves in perfectly flat water even though the wind was screaming through the rigging. This anchorage clearly was a well thought contingency plan.

Tranquil - Right?
Tranquil – Right?

Notice how we never manage to have photos of all the really exciting moments? Ever wonder why?

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