Sunday, April 30, 2017

Allen's Cay, Exumas

Allen's Cay


We are anchored in Exuma's beautiful water at Allen's Cay. We will be here for a few days exploring and waiting out some weather. The winds went up to 15-25 knots with strong gusts which prompted a small craft advisory for this area. The waves outside are now 5-8' which is definitely more than we like to sail in. Allen's Cay has a very strong tidal current that just rips through the entire anchorage. Even with winds in the 20-25 knot range the boats still lie with the current. So Wrinkles will be at anchor perpendicular to the wind most of the day. The only time the wind takes control and moves Wrinkles bow to wind is during slack tides. When we side tie our dinghy to a boat we sit and marvel at the wake coming off Ernie T's stern. It looks like Ernie T is powering along at 4-5 knots.

Wrinkles and Island Tyme in background

The area is protected enough that we we take dinghy rides to the beautiful beaches and of course visit the iguanas this spot is famous for.

Iguana coming out for food

We pack a simple picnic and some cold beverages in insulated coolers, slather on the sunblock, grab the cameras and off we go. We beach our dinghies (we take two dinghies in case one outboard fails) on clean soft sand and then go shelling, swimming and lounging on the beach. The water is so clear you can see starfish 15' below very easily. The iguanas are abundant here and they are used to being fed by any visitors. You are discouraged from feeding them, but it appears nearly everyone does. When a large tour boat comes rumbling in to disembark about 50 people who paid to see the iguanas up close, the iguana come out of the shade in droves. They know the sound of that big boat and anticipate a great lunch. We are respecting the request not to feed them, but the iguanas still come out to greet us hoping for a snack every time. Don seems to enjoy acting as our Iguana Herder as he wields a dinghy oar to discourage the pesky little lizards.

The water is still surprisingly cool for this time of year. We really expected to be swimming in much warmer waters by now. As long as you stay in the shallower waters near the beaches the sun does warm it up a bit. So far we haven't really found good snorkeling for coral or fish. The better reefs are outside the bays, but it has been too rough to be snorkeling there right now. We hope that changes soon.

There are three really nice soft beaches and another 3-4 smaller ones that are usable, but a bit rocky. Our favorite seems to be the beautiful cove beach on Southwest Allen's Cay. It is protected from the strong winds and we are usually the only people on it.

Brenda at our favorite beach
View from Southwest Allen's Cay

So even though we are "stuck" in Allen's Cay, we are still having a ball.


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