Passage South. Betsy Bay to Booby Cay

 

Day 1 George Town to Long Island

 

Day 2 Long Island to Crooked Island

 

Day 3 Crooked Island to Aclins

 

Day 4 Aclins to Mayaguana

 

Passage South Map

Passage South Map

 

Day 5 Mayaguana West Side to Booby Cay

Thursday, March 13

From Betsy Bay we sail east along the south coast of Mayaguana Island. The cruising guides advise to stop at Abraham Bay, an anchorage only 6 mi east from Betsy Bay, with a settlement nearby, the only all-weather anchorage in Mayaguana. But we decide to keep sailing for 18 more miles to the easternmost point thus shortening the distance for our next passage to Turks and Caicos with 18 miles.

We are doing 7 knots and get to the easternmost point of Mayaguana in the early afternoon where an anchorage is indicated on our charts between the main island and a small cay, surrounded by reefs from all sides.

“There are places where in settled conditions you can work your way in through cuts in the reef due south of Booby Cay, but we think you’d be crazy to attempt it.”

I am quoting from The Bahamas Cruising Guide, page 264. So, according to the cruising guide we are crazy to attempt anchoring near Booby Cay! Well, according to us, they are liars. Getting through the cut in the reef on the south side of Booby Cay is no problem at all. It is a wide deep (18-20 feet) cut, no current and no swell. We slowly and carefully sail through it (no engines), terrified for no other reason but the cruising guide’s warnings.

Once through it, the anchorage is huge and calm, gradually becoming shallower as we sail closer to land, but is sand everywhere with few coral heads which are well indicated on the charts and visible in day light. Holding is excellent. Mayauana to the west, Booby Cay to the north and a massive reef all around to west and south like a fence make it a delightful place to wait for a weather window (unless a hurricane hits, I guess). It can get a bit wavy in south and west winds, but nothing unbearable. One thing is true, though: there is nothing here, no fuel, no freshwater, no public laundry, no shops. The nearest civilization is 18 miles away. But guess what, we don’t need fuel, we produce our solar electricity and fresh water, and we have a fridge full of tuna. We don’t need no civilization!

Booby Cay in Mayaguana is the wildest place we have been to in the Bahamas, our last Bahamian stop, and our favorite anchorage where we spend 6 unforgettable days. Mainly, because of the recently wrecked boat we found there from which we salvaged a bunch of useful things, as well as the hundreds flamingos nesting in the shallow waters near the beach this time of the year.

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Passage South. Aclins to Mayaguana

Day 1 George Town to Long Island

Day 2 Long Island to Crooked Island

Day 3 Crooked island to Aclins

Passage South Map

Passage South Map

Day 4 Aclins to Mayaguana

Wednesday, March 12

We sail east from Aklins Island to Mayaguana, passing the Plana Cays on the north side and doing one big tack inside the Myaguana Passage. The current here is about 1 kt against us. We are getting southeast winds, very light, no big waves, the boat is happy, doing about 4 kts, no stress, no banging. Yes, we will get to destination, Betsy Bay on the west coast of Mayaguana, in the middle of the night again, but who cares?

In the Mayaguana Passage one of the fishing poles we are trolling behind the boat hooks something big. It is just after sunset. It takes Evo quite some time to bring the fish up after a fight of epic proportions. I try to slow down the boat pointing into the wind, as the speed, about 6 kts now, makes it harder to bring the fish.

It is a big-eye tuna, 30 pounds of light-red flesh, the biggest fish we ever caught.

Evo with tuna

Evo with tuna

Once on board, it feels like we have a visitor, someone we don’t know. The fish, lying on his side, trembling, one eye looking at us, is frightened.  We feel guilty, ask Neptune for forgiveness and mercy on our souls. A great big fish is dying on us. We respect him and love him. He is our brother, and we will eat him.

30-pound tuna

30-pound tuna

It is the best tasting fish the first time we eat from it, but after a week of tuna-sushi, tuna in tomato sauce, grilled tuna-fillet with lemon and pepper, we feel we have overdosed on tuna and just want to eat chicken again…

Tuna chops

Tuna chops

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