Exumas: Georgetown to Norman’s Pond Cay and back.
The Grasso’s of Boerne visited us for a few days over Easter. We Chatted and Chilled near the Chat ‘n Chill on Stocking Island, headed to Norman’s Pond Cay for a night and then returned to Georgetown before some strong winds arrived.
Some smart stingrays like to hang out by the Chat ‘n Chill for the conch scraps.
Norman Pond Cay is an uninhabited island just over 20 miles north of Georgetown. The uninhabited part isn’t as exotic as it might sound. Most of the islands up there look uninhabited. Often they are small, but Norman’s Pond Cay was quite large. We had a nice sail up though we couldn’t entice any Mahi to join us for dinner. We mistimed the tides at Adderly cut which is the pass from Exuma Sound to Norman’s Pond Cay and ran through as the tides were ebbing against the wind and had a ride that was a bit like motoring in a washing machine. Nothing too crazy, but an easy lesson to learn to time the tides better. Check. We can add mistiming the tides at a cut to the list of running aground at anchor, catching a lobster pot line, anchoring in a Bahamian front in a spot not protected from the North and other missteps. Let’s not do that again.
We anchored off the NW tip of the island after passing over some 6.5ft shallow spots. The bottom didn’t have a lot of sand and the holding wasn’t as good as we would have liked. Still, Roxy held firm even though the current held us beam onto the winds which built to 20 kts.
As you might guess, there is a large pond on Norman’s Pond Cay that was used for harvesting salt back in the day. There is a canal that leads into the pond, but as it was low tide, there was no way to get the dinghy into the pond. No worries, we walked. Inside the island, the mangrove-lined channel opened up to a series of beautiful ponds. Of course, the fish and birds loved the place. So did we.
The next morning, we checked out a swimming hole that is really a fissure in the limestone. On one side, there is a gash that leads into a cave that reportedly goes down 86 meters. No, we didn’t explore that part, but we did have a great time diving and swimming in the pool. See the map here.
And, of course, who can just stay on the boat when the water is so clear. The current was strong enough that we streamed lines astern to hold onto.
We timed the tides much better on the way out and had a calm exit from Adderly Cut. We do learn these lessons sometimes…
Back in Georgetown, we played and hunted Easter eggs on Sand Dollar beach and visited the beaches on the Atlantic side of Stocking Island.
We haven’t been to Georgetown before, but it seems much less crowded than the stories of 400 boats in the harbor and adult summer camp on Stocking Island. We like the relaxed pace and will stay a couple of more days to provision and prepare for more time in the Bahamas.