The Berry Islands....our last group of secluded beauty, perfect bliss and no tourists before heading back to the US. We wanted nothing more than to savor every single instant and wish on fallen stars that we could stay aboard Anything Goes forever. The end was near and though it was inevitable, we didn't want to be reminded of what 'home' would look like. We spent our last 2 weeks of this glorious trip in the Berry Islands.
The Berry's are a small collection of islands in the northwestern "out islands" of the Bahamas. They are surrounded by gaping ocean waters on the south and east where the tongue of the ocean begins. And, on the western side are miles and miles of crystal clear, shallow turquoise water stretching from top to bottom. This was by far, the shallowest waters we had encountered so far. These islands are so remote in fact, that there are only 2 out of the 30 islands that have any sort of facilities, like a marina, fuel and even groceries. They are both very popular with the sport fisherman crowd because the fishing is spectacular in the Berry Islands. What more could we ask for? Islands all to ourselves and plenty of fish to go around! Nevertheless, the islands are small, mostly flat, with next to no vegetation and very shallow with narrow cuts in between and lots of of open water. Definitely not a place you want to be in bad weather. With that in mind, we ideally wanted a good weather window to feel comfortable. Consequently, we had plans to spend another week in the Abaco Islands, but that said weather window presented itself and we decided to take off the following morning! Plans, schman's, that's life living on a sailboat.
Smooth sailing in the shallow, protected waters of the Abaco Islands, heading south to go out the cut and sail to the Berry Islands.
Waves splash the windows in the North Cut
This is the best dolphin photo yet, don't you agree?!
Approaching Frazer's Hog Cay
Craig and Maggie were up on duty the next morning and brought in the sails as we approached Frazer's Hog Cay, our first stop in the Berry Islands. It almost never failed that after a bad fishing day, we'd hook a fish at the exact moment when it was most inconvenient. And that was when we were winding down, getting ready to enter an anchorage and drop the hook. You see, we have to turn our boat around, into the wind in order to drop the sails. It's a much bigger production than say a boat with a furling system in which you only need to be off the wind slightly (still going the same direction). We do realize that beggars can't be choosers, so we never complained but it was bad timing, I have to admit. As they brought in the sails that morning, we caught a huge Mahi or something but it shook the hook free. Darn! Then, just like clockwork, they caught a Cero as we had to navigate the shallow and narrow entrance to Frazer's Hog Cay! A happy but stressful arrival.
Our one and only fish of this passage. Again, not complaining but it wasn't anywhere near the Hole in the wall (just saying')
Grilled to perfection with lemons, garlic, butter and a splash of white wine
The acclaimed "Yacht Club"
I can tell you that this was no yacht club, just a building with a bar and a few tables. The help didn't speak english and didn't seem to understand english either, even though she nodded her head as if she knew exactly what we were talking about. Whatever. We did spend a rainy afternoon here talking with 3 young people that were traveling on a small sailboat. Rachel, from Australia, joined the two young gentlemen on their journey to Nassau. I guess you could say they were modern day gypsy's of sorts. Their boat was falling apart and frankly, I was worried about them making it in one piece.
Olivia catches another fish off the back of our boat, this time a remora!
s/v Cascadura was waiting for us in Devil's Cay.
We stayed one day longer at Frazer's Hog Cay due to weather and were excited to meander around the corner to Devil's Cay. Our friends and fellow kid boat, s/v Cascadura were waiting for us. But wait, where is Patronus going and why are they not moving....????
Our room with a view
Kids will be kids, playing tirelessly
Liv stakes her spot in the hammock on Cascadura
Shannon (mom on Cascadura) pulls out her jewelry making supplies....have you ever seen so many beads?
Girl Power - busy making bracelets
Horsing around on the swing
Reese, Kate, Katie and Maggie
Another view from our room
Anchor's away in the crystal clear water
Olivia catches a Rock Hind off the back of the boat
Reese supervises while Olivia butcher's her fish
Having a good time on Cascadura. We eventually threw some food on the table for a cruiser style potluck.
The boys fished earlier that morning and caught some fish and gathered some whelks and clams. They were excited to build a bon fire to cook their catch, Liv included.
Prepping the clams and whelks (snails) to be cooked over an open fire. Don't tell the kids, but they tasted like old seaweed. Yuck. But I give them an "A" for effort.
More sailing fun with Cascadura and Patronus