Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Sampson Cay, Exumas 24º12.5N | 76º28.5W
Unnavigable cut with tidal rapids running through it.
Our southward progress has resumed, sort of. We have landed back in Sampson Cay with their irresistible $2 Tuesday offering $2 apps and $2.50 beer, not to mention "locals," aka transplants, willing to take our money in dice games. (Actually, thanks to Karen's skills, aka luck, we split two games with them.)

But not before another dinghy adventure to Pipe Creek, a spot on chart I had been ogling with lots of reefs, rock formations and islands, with magical names like "The Mice" and "Rat Cay."

We made the long dinghy pass around Sampson Cay and across OverYonder Cut to find a big lagoon as promised. There was indeed a reef down the middle but the missing element on the chart was the amount of traffic through the lagoon, both in the form of swift current and the roaring human kind via dinghies, small boats and even a few jet skis. We weren't comfortable staying underwater in heavy traffic so we moved on, searching unsuccessfully for lobster but seeing some inexplicably beautiful rock formations jutting up around the cut. I suffered through a day of watching over my Canon 40D on the dinghy to get some good shots, but once again, nature proves herself better suited to the human experience than taming by a lens, at least one in my amateur hands.

Rocks. Really big ones.
Thomas Cay along the eastern edge of Pipe Creek, shares a name with Dale and Karen, so we felt it necessary to explore it thoroughly, finding it entirely uninhabited but for some long-departed conch.

Blackened conch.
And what we were sure was a lost road of Atlantis but later learned is a less mystical yet equally ancient swath of limestone, the blacker the older.

Road to Atlantis or ancient limestone?
We also found more recent signs of human visitation in the form of the Pipe Creek Yacht Club, the first club where we have applied for membership.

Volunteer maintenance at the clubhouse.
Let's hope they have a good reciprocation program.

Dale engaged in high speed snorkeling.
The Thomases claiming their island.

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