Bahamas - Exuma Islands - 2008/03/12 - Long Cay



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A walk through the mangroves leads to a another great camp on a nice beach.




Day 7




The next morning the sun came up from behind some clouds sending rays of light up into the early blue sky. Once again we sat out on the little point trying to survive the damn bugs.
We headed south over the wonderful waters and into the mangroves lay to the southeast of our camp. After being stopped in one of the leads Susan and I went around the outside of the islands and tried to enter from the other side. The entrance was very difficult to find, requiring us to push through the heart of one of the mangrove trees. After paddling a couple of hundred yards into the mangroves we could see the others walking their boats through the shallows. We shouted and waved our paddles but got no indication that we had been seen or heard.




We continued pressing into the mangroves and finally got close enough to be heard. The others had turned back having been unable to figure how to get through the maze of mangroves. We had simply followed the current into the large pool where they had lost the trail. Turning around they followed us back out of the mangroves.
In the mangroves we came across all types of juvenile trees some twisted into strange shapes. One looked like a stork.



Guiding the boat through the maze




From the mangroves we paddled along the west side of the Brigantine Cay. There are several ponds on the north edge of the cay. J.D. of Starfish had told us about how the ponds were connected by little submerged tunnels of 3, 4 and 10 meters that led into the ponds. We kept our eye out for these but didn't see them. At the end of the ponds we pulled into a little opening in the otherwise continuous coral shore and exited the kayaks. Scrambling over the iron shore we looked into the last of the string of little ponds.



In the lee of the cays, the clear flat water was really fantastic. ( Water 1 Water 2 Water 3 Windows Movie ). I pulled over onto the beach for a break and some reworking of the tape on my foot as the others paddled by. I caught up to them a little further along.
Susan, Sandra and I decided to head through the cut between Long Cay and Cluffs Cay while Mary and Steve wanted to see the mangroves on Jimmy Cay further down the Brigantine Cays. We turned into the cut and were soon beset by a strong current. Paddling as hard as we could the group was just barely making passage. After thirty minutes of hard stroking we finally cleared the 200 meters and rounded the point to see an idyllic beach camp site with swaying palms and a little grass shack. Dilapidated it certainly was but we were so happy to be on a nice sunny warm beach that it was like a palace to us. We posed for our tradition of Three Amigos pictures with a substitute for the missing Julio. The wind was strong from the southeast blowing straight onto the beach. This would keep the bugs down.




With a few camp chores done, Sandra decided it was time for her to have a whcak at opening a cocnut. In fact she had quite a few whacks at it - not all in the same place. But finally we got it open and everyone enjoyed another cocunut snack.

We were further treated with a great sunset which kept getting better as the evening progressed. Cameras clicked away and a subtle competition for the best palm and sunset picture was underway. Here's mine.


Super sunset


I walked out onto the low tide flats where the mangrove roots provided an interesting form for the sunset behind them. As the sun continued down the sun glistened off the remaining puddles of salt water on the exposed bottom. What a close to a great evening!
On to Day 8 ..........


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