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  • Katharine Hesmer

Bahamas | Take 2 | January 6, 2023

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Highbourne Cay to Shroud Cay, Exuma Cays, Bahamas

KORKZcrew is the blue dot on the map

Yesterday we moved from Highbourne Cay to a nearby anchorage further south where we'd stayed last spring. It's a beautiful protected spot, with a funky house nearby which Ron particularly likes, so if you're looking for birthday ideas for him in April, keep that in mind 😂. You can see said funky house / birthday gift idea in these drone videos and see if you're interested. 😜

The water is so crazy clear that it makes it look like the dinghy is suspended in air.

I took Steve to the beach to stretch his legs and roll around in the sand. What else. 🙄

KORKZcrew set out today for Norman's Cay where we'd thought about stopping for lunch, but it was such calm weather and nice conditions that we decided to keep making progress on our way south.

Boats anchored at Norman's Cay

Canadian buddy boaters at Norman's

We anchored at Shroud Cay which is an uninhabited island, and one of several owned by the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.

From the website:

"Established in 1958, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the first marine reserve in The Bahamas and the wider Caribbean. Covering 112,640 acres of land and sea, it is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, species biodiversity, secluded beaches, amazing views and safe anchorages. Throughout the park you can explore the underwater magnificence of coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses, stroll along pristine beaches, traverse several hiking trails, and observe tons of wildlife including birds, fish, turtles and iguanas.

Today the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the most visited national park in The Bahamas. Its breathtaking beauty and safe anchorages made it a very popular boating spot in The Bahamas, welcoming thousands of boaters every year. Its healthy ecosystems and proper fisheries management made it an ideal spot for researchers and scientists to conduct various types of research. Whether you’re a boater, a scientist, a ‘thalassophile’, a filmmaker, a beachgoer, or just someone on vacation, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is one of the most superb places on the planet and a model for national parks everywhere."

I have a hairy crush on the Land and Sea Park, and great admiration for the foresight of those who made the decision to preserve and protect this stunning area. The protected area extends from Shroud Cay in the north to Bell Cay in the south.

I'd read about a so-called "lazy river" on Shroud Cay where you travel via dinghy along a winding route, and can access an idyllic spot known by locals as the Washing Machine. Apparently, if you jump into the current on one side of the point, it will zip you around to the other side, hence its name. I've also read that if you go scuba diving here, you can literally get tumbled around much like clothes in a washing machine We didn't jump into the current but we DID soak up that spectacular scenery. The only regret I had about this adventure was not taking my drone along with us.

You can see KORKZcrew anchored at Shroud in the video below, with the lazy river winding around just to our right. At about the 10 second mark, you can see the little bay at the top of your screen where the Washing Machine is located. It was absolutely spectacular, with the most gorgeous water and white sand the consistency of very fine sugar.

Winding along the lazy river

Steve looking for fish ❤️

Arriving at the inlet

On our way back to KORKZcrew, we decided to keep going around the "river" instead of retracing our steps, and got a bit lost, but when you're literally lost in paradise, who cares. The other mistake we made was going at low tide. Some areas were impassable because they were so shallow, and Ron would have to walk the dinghy back to deeper spots so we could keep going. But again, who cares. It was an amazing afternoon.

Once we returned to the boat, I had the grand plan to try and get drone video of that little inlet, but chickened out when I realized just how far away it really was from our anchorage. Still, the view from where we were was pretty spectacular.

Night night, KORKZcrew!

1.5 hours underway; 9 nautical miles traveled

Follow our adventures on Instagram!

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