Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Staniel Cay, Bahamas - Day Three

We awoke again to another beautiful morning in paradise. Breakfast was great and we were quickly loaded up and underway to see what we could find in the Exumas today! The last major item on the tourist "punch list" was Compass Cay to the north so we decided to head all the way up there first and then work our way back towards Staniel.

After 45 minutes of cruising in the boat, we finally arrived at the Compass Cay Marina. The attraction here is to be able to see and swim with the semi-tame nurse sharks. I was really looking forward to getting some good shark pictures for my daughter. Unfortunately this turned out to be the only disappointment we experienced on our trip. As we approached the docks we noticed signs stating it was $8 PER PERSON to land there! You have got to be kidding me! In the boat we had lunch, rum punch, snorkel & beach gear, water, gas, an emergency radio, and flares. Why would I need to bring any money?!?!?! Needless to say, we promptly turned around and proceeded back out into the mesmerizing blue waters of the Exumas and found better places to see. I'm sure it would have been an experience, but if you ask me, save your money and explore elsewhere. There are plenty of nurse sharks swimming around the docks and cottages of the Staniel Cay Yacht Club; you can enjoy them there.

We cruised down the west side of Pipe Cay and then back inside where we found a sand bar on the east side of Little Pipe Cay. We just happened to find this at low tide in an effort to find an area my Dad could look for shells. We hit the mother load! There were conch shells, sand dollars, starfish, and sea biscuits everywhere. Most of the shells still had live animals in them which we tossed back into the water. We did find quite a few nice shells with nothing in them and they were coming back with us! My dad was really excited about finding a lot of Milk Conch. We also found a few Helmet shells. As we searched along we came by a tiny octopus scooting across the dry area in search of water. We picked it up and took it to the open water where we watched it happily swim away. Well, at least I think we made it happy! We spent quite awhile on the sand bar before heading out. This became Dad's favorite spot.

Our next stop was a short ride across to Thomas Cay where we had lunch. We didn't explore too much, but you could tell this was one of many spots where they harvest conch. The cracked and emptied shells were all over the upper part of the beach. As always, the views were amazing.

After lunch we cruised down to Sampson Cay. Just past the marina we had to get out and walk the boat through the shallows till we were clear on the south side. We then went by Major Spot again, where the pigs are, and marveled at the mega-yachts anchored in the area.

From there we stopped at Thunderball Grotto again before heading back to the dock and calling it a day. Dinner was wonderful again, but we decided to try something different. We both ordered the steak. Boy I thought the lobster was huge. The steaks were just as big, tender, and perfectly cooked. We sure are getting spoiled!

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