Bahamas - Exuma Islands - 2008/03/10 - Norman's Pond Cay - 6 miles



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Continuing south on Day 5 we return to Norman's Pond Cay to a buggy evening on the nice beach there.




Day 5




The next morning was again overcast. The winds were still in the norheast. We continued our paddle south stopping at Neighbor Cay for a break and a walk on the beautiful shore of the coconut plantation there. I was hobbling around with two very sore feet. My Mion sandals were rubbing under my ankles. With the constant immersion in the salt water, the scabs formed each night floated off each day and I was developing a deep red infected hole on each foot. I was reluctant to wlak very far with the sores and reluctant to chance taking off the shoes to walk the beach because of the possibility of further damaged from stepping on something sharp. But I took off the shoes all walked into the interiort a little to retrieve two fallen cocnuts. We strapped one onto the back of one kayak and kept the other one in the cockpit.


Bar jack


For the past several days I had been trolling a small feather lure as I passed the openings to the ocean without success. But after leaving Neighbor Cay the shock corded carabiner started dancing on my foredeck. I pulled up the line to find I had caught a bar jack. Sandra helped me retrieve the cottom bag I had stuffed behind my seat. I brought it just for the purpose of containing the catch I might land. As I had not caught anything the first three days, I had let the bad mifgrate to the bottom of the pile in back of my seat from where I was unable to retrieve it myself. With the jack firmly wrapped in the bag and under the bungies of my foredeck we continued on south through the harbor of Bock Cay we had avoided on the way up. With a following sea and a higher tide the shallow water at the south end of the narrow cut was no problem.
From Bock Cay we headed right across the open water about 1.5 nautical miles to the north end on Norman's Pond Cay. there was a very strong current coming down along the beach and headed out the cut. The bottom here was covered in strange formations called tumps. Where the grass held the sand secure, there were large mounds over which the water rapidly flowed. In between were much deeper pools of water over bare sand. The current swirled around scouring out and perhaps deepening the frequent deep areas. It took some strong paddling to cross the current lane and gain the peace of the smooth water near the beach. We landed between numerous juvenile (illegal) conch and walked the beach looking for camp possibilities. There would not be much beach left at high tide and there were bugs aplenty here. Leaving half the group to look for a pond / blue hole on the north end of the island, the other half paddled down to the other end of Norman's Pond Cay to the point where we had camped the first night. The others soon joined us as they were unable to locate the trail to the pond.




A glimmering of sun through the clouds held out hope that the next days forecasted improved weather would in fact prove accurate. In the mean time I set about opening a cocunut that we had taken from Neighbor Cay. Anyone who has tried to open a ripe coconut knows that it is not easy. But soon we were sampling the bright white cocunut meat from two perfectly severed bowls and remarking how well the tropical taste went with the last of the gin and rum.

After filleting the bar jack I cooked it up in our one pot and there was enough for everyone to have a small taste. Nothing is better than fresh caught fish, even if the jack is exactly the best eating fish in these waters.

As evening came we found the bugs intolerable and we retreated to the comparative comfort of our tents.

On to Day 6 .............


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