Bitter Guana Cay

No words.

Some parts of the Bahamas are so stunningly, dramatically, stupefyingly gorgeous that words completely fail me. I prefer to let the camera do the talking.

We’ve enjoyed three incredible days here in Bitter Guana Cay, an uninhabited island located between two popular cruiser hangouts – Staniel Cay and Black Point Settlement. Anchored near a sandy beach in the lee of bone white cliffs, we had the place all to ourselves (save for an army of iguanas) on the day we arrived. We hiked the cliff to take in the placid turquoise of the bank and deep blue cresting waves to the east. As the sun intensified, we escaped in the dinghy and explored a nearby cut, hoping to find lobster. We came back empty handed, but got quite the workout swimming upstream, watching sea turtles and massive schools of colorful fish take a joy ride on the current, an expressway to the sea. A day of perfect sailing, followed by hiking and snorkeling. It was the stuff of dreams.

The next morning, we headed out with renewed focus to catch our dinner. We snorked a rocky coral field that seemed ideal for lobster, but after an hour of swimming, we saw not so much as one tentacle (the fishermen from nearby Staniel and Black Point have most likely cleaned them out). Then Brian spotted a conch and dove down to retrieve it. We flipped the shell upside down to confirm that it wasn’t a dead shell, and three spiny legs came darting out – whoops! Hermit crab. Just as I was getting cranky (my mask has sprung a big leak), Brian discovered another large conch shell, this time with the conch inside. Dinner is served.

On our way back to Nightingale Tune, I noticed a familiar boat in the anchorage – s/v Cookie, hailing from Bangor, Maine. We’d seen them for only a brief moment in ICW, but I never forget a Maine boat. The couple living aboard, Barbara and Dave, joined us later that evening for sundowners and conch fritters chez Nightingale Tune. We found lots of common ground and had a really nice time. They left us with a fantastic parting gift – excess mahi that they’d caught out in the sound. Such a treat. We’re looking forward to the next time our path crosses theirs.


Anchored beside these dramatic cliffs. No other boats in sight.


Nightingale Tune, alone on Bitter Guana Cay




Cliffs facing the sound



We set ourselves up on this rock to sharpen knives and clean the conch we’d found for dinner. Suddenly, this tiny dinosaur appeared out of nowhere. We retreated to the dinghy to wait until he’d moved on.



Not pleased to learn we only have conch. (only sea creature he doesn’t eat so far)

BitterGuana (100 of 1)

The cliffs at sunset

fish fry (102 of 3)

Fish fry aboard Nightingale Tune – battered mahi from our friends on s/v Cookie, with fries and my signature boat sauce. All from scratch, of course.

sunset (100 of 2)

Staring me down until I give him more mahi scraps.

sunset (101 of 2)

0 of 2 moms approve of this beard.


The weather curdled a bit for our final day here, but we welcomed an excuse to be lazy. We had fresh mahi in the fridge, so we enjoyed a gluttonous lunch of fried fish and beer, followed by naps. Alone in the galley cooking lunch, the VHF crackled “Nightingale Tune, Nightingale Tune, Selah”. Allison and Bo have arrived in the Exhumas! We’re planning to rendezvous in Little Farmer’s Cay for the Farmer’s First Friday of February Festival (aka, the 5 F’s) at the end of the week. I’m so excited to see them again! In the meantime, we’ll sail on, taking our time, exploring more spots off the beaten path.