After a few days at Salt Pond we were ready for some new scenery and headed north to anchor at Hog Cay.
This tiny private island has a gorgeous beach with a huge 3-story octagonal home, several outbuildings and even an airstrip. It’s owned by Peter Graham, CMG, who is well known here as a former Bahamian MP and for trying to re-establish the West Indian Whistling Duck into the islands.
Since it’s a private island, we only explored along the beach and the reefs. As we approached the anchorage, John was at helm with me anxiously watching the depth finder to ensure we weren’t getting in too shallow water when I shrieked “John!”, leaped to my feet and started running to the front of the boat as I yelled “Dolphin”. I saw this friendly guy swim alongside the boat and was thrilled to have such a special visitor.
He swam with us for about 5 mins staying at the surface, moving side to side between our bows and looking up at me! John on the other hand was still reeling from my initial shriek, thinking we were about to hit something, but then recovered in time to quickly think to grab the camera and get a couple pics. Someone once said that dolphins love to look at human faces, so now whenever I see one I try to watch closely and make eye contact. This guy really seemed to be trying to look up at me at each pass between our bows. He had a distinctive white spot on his forehead which is visible in the first pic. Super cool!
We got safely anchored with our 2 buddy boats and no one else…our own private island since no one was around at the beach home, except for an osprey in a massive nest on the rooftop. The next morning, the ladies headed to walk the beach and the guys went out to the reefs to search for lobsters. We were amazed as the osprey flew over our heads with a trumpet fish in its talons, heading back to her nest to feed the chicks. The sand was powdery soft and when the sun decided to appear, we saw this huge stingray swimming about 10 ft away.
The ladies can both cut hair so they gave each other a quick trim while I enjoyed the views, and quickly learned it’s better to stand upwind of a haircut. You can see the beach house on the left, along the treeline.
We had a nice stroll and at the end of the beach, discovered a shallow bay called “Joe’s Sound“, where a catamaran had come in to anchor along with a couple mono hulls and a pontoon houseboat. It looked impossible to get a boat into such a shallow area.
The guys also had a great time on the reef where they used snorkels to free-dive to find rock lobster, and arrived looking like they just came off a James Bond movie set. The rock lobster don’t have claws, which is different than Atlantic lobster that we’re used to. There were 8 total at the end of the day. The ladies got down to the business of cleaning the catch in preparation for lobster mac & cheese. Dinner was as delicious as it sounds!
Later in the day, we all hopped in our dinghy and went to explore Joe’s Sound. The cut to get into this shallow anchorage was a mere 25′ wide, with sharp coral skirting each side. With our 24′ width at beam, we definitely wouldn’t try to get Low Flite into this anchorage! I was nervous just taking our little dinghy through the cut. The friendly houseboat boat owner, “Pat” from NY (and self-proclaimed Mayor of Joe’s Sound), told us that around the corner was a yellow beach house formerly owned by Elizabeth Taylor. Of course, we all wanted to check it out. The property was in good condition and we wondered who was now using it. Since the swell made the shoreline unfriendly, we decided to admire it from a safe distance. It looked like there was a Canadian flag flying, but we couldn’t make it out in the wind.
Weather did not cooperate the following day with lots of rain, wind and generally crappy conditions. We passed the afternoon playing Charlie’s version of “Mexican train” dominoes and there may have been a few drinks involved…we never did get all the rules sorted but definitely a great way to spend a rainy day. The approaching thunderstorm looked pretty fierce and John actually saw lightning strike a nearby reef.
The next day, the sun tried to peak through the clouds and created some pretty dramatic colours for our friend’s boat, and a beautiful sunset.
When it was calm with no winds, we couldn’t get over the crystal clear water, especially at night with the boat’s underwater lights. We watched fish swim by, and crabs and starfish crawling along the rippled sand bottom. Here’s a picture of the ocean floor under our boat in about 10 ft of water…yes, it was spectacular.