Beaches ‘n’ Cream

By: American Sailing Association, Flotillas

Continuing “Trekking by Sail: Exuma Islands”

Having spent a second (drier) night on Farmer’s Cay, we were well-rested and ready to spend the day sailing. The wind was head-on–not a great direction for the Sea Pearls that prefer to run or reach–but it was fresh and the waves teasing.

The days that followed almost roll into one in my memory. The trip until that point had been so beautiful, but what followed was so pristine it continually left me speechless. We beat upwind to aptly named White Point, and in the evening let roasty bbq chicken melt in our mouths after showering on shore under a fierce orange sunset. We were progressing further and further into the remote silence of the Exumas, and slept soundly on the edge of the lapping bay.

Exuma Land and Sea park was the next day’s destination, so before the heat of midmorning we sailed around the next bend and began threading our way through a string of tiny islands. The beaches kept getting whiter and finer in each bight. After a quick stop to feed the friendly prehistoric iguanas on Guana Cay, we skimmed up to Sandy Cay for lunch. The spit of sand looked like a cliche ad for a travel brochure, but here we were, devouring hot dogs on it for lunch!

What followed was some amazing sailing across series of wide bays and into the Land and Sea Park for our night camp. I keep failing in my attempts to draft a description of the feeling, but we all know how it is, especially in little boats. The warm fresh breeze tugged filled sails strongly with regular gusts, forcing us to assume the fluid dance of hiking way out, leaning in as it eased, anticipating the ruffle on the water with a perfectly timed hike, and relaxing with ease again. It’s the dance of the sailing sport, felt so acutely in small boats, and it never fails to quicken my pulse to the most pleasurable degree.

When we dropped anchor on Cambridge Cay, I jumped into the waist-deep water that was clean as a pool. The sand was soft like cream of tartar between my toes, and there was not a single growth of anything marring it’s perfect white ripples. Small schools of flashing silver angelfish darted by, and I saw one small purple starfish relaxing in the shallows, but that was it. I asked Ian about the sand–I couldn’t stop talking about it–and he confirmed that he knew of nothing like it anywhere else.

I only wish I could post a texture on this blog. But I urge you not to take my word for it: Go sink your own toes in Exuma’s “beaches ‘n’ cream.”