Sunday, February 20, 2011


 Bell Island, Exumas 24º18.141N | 76º33.773W

This trek south has taken a brief intermission to head north again. We, with Jessie Marie, decided to have a look at Bell Island and the surrounding area, ten miles north of Sampson Cay.

With guests on board for the last two weeks and places to be, we had not yet been able to choose travel days that coincided with good sailing weather. Those days are gone now. For the hop to Bell, we chose a day with glorious winds -- 15 knots in the correct direction -- all sails flying.

Beautiful Jessie Marie flying in a favorable Bahamian breeze.
Bell Island is one of many islands along this part of the Exumas that is privately owned, and one of the privately owned variety that doesn't allow "trespassing." It did however provide some good elevation to protect us from a little blow from the north and close proximity to Rocky Dundas, two tiny cays approachable only by dinghy, surrounded by reef and home to two caves with stalactite and stalagmite formations. These cays are within the protected Exuma Park area and not as highly travelled as some of the other reefs and caves (like Thunderball).

Karen and Dale leading the way to Rocky Dundas.
We had to make a long slog in the dinghies, across Conch Cut to reach Rocky Dundas.  It was my first attempt at snorkeling on this trip, since I had been lending out my gear to Casey (happily). I donned the whole chic outfit and jumped in.

The undeniable glamour of snorkel gear.
My first "breath" through the snorkel was pure salt water. I hacked and coughed and finally got back in the dinghy (happily) to watch the others swim in the caves and around the reef. They reported it to be beautiful and verified that with some great photos.

Cave at Rocky Dundas.  Photo by Karen Thomas
Underwater fan near Rocky Dundas.  Photo by Chip
On the return trip, we discovered that our own little cove at the anchorage housed a lively reef free of swell and waves breaking on rocks, my kind of snorkeling spot, where Chip got my snorkel gear cleared and flowing with air rather than seawater.

Gorgeous ray walking his remora in our anchorage.
As if the Bahamian grandeur above the water is not enough, what lies beneath matches and sometimes surpasses it.

Nature's beauty is the ultimate elixir, ironing out jangled nerves and rejuvenating world weary senses. I just want to drink it up, um, the beauty, not the seawater.

Elvis? Oh, no, that's just Dale.
Sundowner and a smile.
How to wile away a stormy day.

Uninterrupted sunset over Exuma Bank.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Boy, I am back on vacation!

    Your news is a big relief on a normal day, but with earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis & exploding nuclear power plants all over the TV & internet, I was in need of a momentary vaca.

    I am expecting (praying for) lots of back blogging.

    Thanks! Now back to Japan watching.