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Nightingale Tune at anchor in Allen’s Cay

I cannot count the different shades of blue surrounding Nightingale Tune here in Allen’s Cay, the northernmost anchorage in a string of islands called The Exhumas. Drinking in layer upon layer of navies, turquoises, and royals spanning out to the horizon, I am plumb dumbstruck by the beauty of it all.

We’ve been out here for three nights and have encountered a mixed bag of conditions; big chop when we arrived, dead calm the following morning, and currently, a vortex of waves pushed by wind from one direction and current from the other. We’ve been exploring the pleasures of this beautiful and secluded place, unique for the protective islands surrounding it on (almost) all sides and it’s iguana infested beaches.

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The wind was light and directly on the nose, perfect for sailing wing on wing (a sail point where the head sail goes one way and the main goes the other to maximize the force of the wind).

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Monitoring the boom as we sailed wing on wing

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We waited for the right moment to crack this very special bottle

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The beach at Allen’s Cay is infested with iguanas. The beach belongs to them and there’s no possible way to hang out there, but it’s quite the tourist attraction.

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Our boat was anchored 50 feet from the iguana beach. We had more fun watching visitors interact with the lizards than we did going to the beach ourselves. Here, one tourist is using a selfie stick to get a close up.

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A chartered sea plane landed right behind our boat just as I was dropping anchor (they were there to see the iguanas). Brian had to shout to get my attention, as I hadn’t even looked up, assuming it was just another asshole power boat (like all of the ones we encountered in Florida) running up our stern and gunning its engines.

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Exploring Highbourne Cay, a private island nearby

 

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At first we didn’t see the sign on the dock that reads “Caution: Please beware of the sharks”, and we accidentally drove our dinghy right over them. They were MASSIVE.

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Brian using our outdoor shower to hose off. We’ve been bathing outside more frequently to conserve water. Also, the forward (showering) head is currently filled with provisions.

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For our last night in Allen’s Cay, we moved up to a even more secluded spot that only holds two boats at a time. Our neighbors had the most adorable little boat, the Willie Dawes, crewed by Cathy and Dan, from Camden, Maine. Dan’s Maine accent reminded me of my late grandfather’s.

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So many blues

To slow down and enjoy our new surroundings, we’ve imposed a week-long moratorium on significant projects. Instead, we’ve been snorkeling each day, exploring nearby islands in the dinghy, cooking good food, and losing ourselves in books and photography. Tomorrow we’ll sail upwind to Normans Cay, just six miles south. We’ve heard that there’s a wrecked plane to snorkel, as well as beaches that you can visit without being swarmed by tiny dinosaurs. We’re pretty excited to see it for ourselves. (1/7/16 – 1/10/16)