Closing the circle: Our Caribbean Circumnavigation is complete!!!

On Saturday, April 22nd, we "closed the circle", completing our Caribbean Circumnavigation, as we crossed our outbound track from Miami to the Bahamas. We were on our way north in the gulf stream headed for the northern Abacos. It was a fast trip and we caught a Mahi Mahi. We'd heard that Double Breasted Cays was a good spot from our friends on Aquilla, so we headed straight there. The entrance into the protected anchorage is tricky and shallow, we bumped trying to get in so we decided to wait until the high tide the next day to attempt it. It was calm so we just anchored in the lee of one of the cays. It turned out to be a good decision! We anchored near some isolated coral heads and jumped in for a snorkel. The water was rather murky but the fishing was excellent! Hogfish and grouper and snapper galore!!! Spearfishing with a spear-gun is illegal in the Bahamas, so Neil used his trusty pole spear. Fresh fish for dinner again!

We were having such a good time in that spot that we decided to stay there for another night. We had a hunch that the night fishing would be excellent, since there were about a dozen isolated coral heads scattered around the boat. That evening, we were all excited to try out the new fishing techniques we'd learned from our dorky Florida Fisherman "Grouper and Snapper" book and video we had purchased in Florida. We mixed up some chum and began to attract fish. Liv tossed her bait in the water and started hauling in the Yellowtail snapper!! She caught several good-sized ones before they wised up and stopped biting. Neil kept trying for grouper and big bottom snapper, but something kept taking the bait and hooks and all! Later, we caught a lemon shark about 3 feet long. Maybe he'd stolen the baits, or maybe it was one of the big grouper we'd seen out there... It was a lot of fun, just exactly what we were hoping for in the Bahamas!

The weather forecast was calling for another "norther" so we finally made our way into the protected inner anchorage. It was a bit of a project, involving sounding out the route in the dinghy first, then waiting for high slack tide so we'd have enough depth and avoid the roaring tidal current through the cuts. Inside, we anchored on a Bahamian moor (two anchors) in a narrow tidal cut between a typical Bahamian rough-limestone cay and a picture-perfect white sand island. It was lovely!

It blew hard for several days, but Neil and I were always able to find enough lee around the islands to dinghy to for fishing, and Liv had lots of shelling opportunities on Sand Island. We were worried because we thought we were running out of propane, but Neil dinghied across to the hurricane-ravaged town on Grand Cay and was loaned a propane tank by a kind Bahamian gentleman. They had no groceries, though, and although we had lots of fresh fish we had no other fresh food after a while! We spent a fabulous week and a half at Double Breasted Cays, and had exactly the relaxed, tropical-vacation experience we were hoping for. Our last fling before returning to "real life"... it was fabulous...

Next: Homeward bound.....