02 Feb 2007 – Shroud & Little Pigeon Cays

Now this is what cruising is supposed to be!
More shades of blue than anywhere on the planet
These palms are just my size!
Dwarfs among the dwarf palms
Hurdling mangroves
Snails the size of rice
Finn "driving with his throttle"
Who's steering this thing anyway?
Going fast through the mangroves
Natural channels all through the island's mangroves
Miss February - Avon Dinghy Calendar
Finn calls this a Hat party

The day starts with another cruising life adventure… burning trash.  Finn and I dinghy to shore and find an out of the way spot to dig a pit and burn our trash.  He explores the nearby mangroves while I undertake the seemingly endless task of burning diapers… bake dry then burn… ahhh the glamour of the cruising life.

Then its back to the boat where we grab a quick PB&J lunch so we can get underway.  We have about 5 miles to go today… a little different from the 50-70 mile days we left behind on the ICW.

We arrive at Shroud Cay.  Hands down this is the coolest place we’ve been so far!  Shroud Cay is surrounded by shallow sandy-bottomed water that is pristine – no grass, no coral heads, just amazing ribbons of every shade of blue water.  The island itself is craggy ironstone with small trees.  It is laced with channels of blue water that connect a forest of mangroves that make for excellent dinghy exploration.

We anchor just off Little Pigeon Cay, a private island next to Shroud.  Finding sand for the anchor is no problem.  Finding deep enough water is another story.  We circle around sounding the depth and drop the hook in water that will leave barely a foot beneath our keel at low tide.  We don’t need much wind protection tonight and the small island will break any swells coming across the Exuma Banks.  The water around us is indescribable.  It radiates blue.  As far as one can see the water is about six feet deep with only white sand below.  It looks like Grace is anchored in a surreal painting of some fantasy paradise.  This can’t be real.

Megan immediately volunteers to don her bathing suit and dive the anchor to make sure it is set.  For her to volunteer to jump into the water immediately, well… we must be in paradise.  Megan enjoys her swim, the boys nap, and I set about the chore of trying to inject spray foam insulation around our refrigerator box to try to improve its efficiency.  It seems to be running way too much now that we’re in warmer climates and consuming too many precious amps.

Earlier on our way past the upper part of Shroud we spotted a catamaran that might be Spoony, a really nice family with three daughters on board that we met in St. Augustine.  We hoped we’d see them again but they were off the Abacos and we were headed for the Exumas.  After anchoring we dinghy back to find out that it is Spoony!  Now that we’re back in the same paths, we’ll probably see a lot more of them.  After catching up with them, we head off to a beach in a protected cove near Grace.  The boys enjoy playing among the miniature palms and mangroves that line the shore.  We head back to the boat to rinse off under the sunshower.  With no other boats around as far as the eye can see, the sunshowers are au naturel.

After everyone goes to sleep I go up on deck.  It’s a full moon, the water is glowing blue, we are alone in this amazing place.  I am overwhelmed to be standing here on the deck of our boat.  I wonder if this can be real.  It must be a fantasy. 

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