Exploring the Central Exumas


We have spent the last couple of weeks bouncing around the central portion of the Exuma chain. We decided this year not to go as far south as Georgetown as we liked the central and northern islands better. 

Below is where we have been as of late – 

Highborne to Hawksbill (Land & Sea Park) 20 miles 2 nights

Hawksbill to Wardrick Wells (Land & Sea Park) 17 miles 3 nights 

Wardrick Wells to Big Majors/Staniel Cay 23 miles 1 night 

Big Majors to Blackpoint 9 miles 2 nights  

Blackpoint to Cambridge Cay (Land & Sea Park) 23 miles 4 nights

One of the primary reasons for moving around so much and going to places we have already been is weather related. Hide from the wind is the goal. Another reason is that we know what we like and while there are a lot of places to anchor they get narrowed down to just a handful when we add in wind direction + our criteria of good swimming, long beach for walking, nearby snorkeling and the option for hiking. Guess we are pretty high maintenance.  

A few highlights  – 

Happiness is a dingy that can get you to shore. Or in this case gets you to shore for a short hike and then to have a BBQ lunch on the beautiful long beach at Hawksbill. 

Hiking at Hawksbill to the Russell Ruins. The story I found explains that the Russell family were Loyalists who were given a grant to settle on the Cay in 1785 and the family occupied the area until 1900. 

We found several walls still standing as well as this oven which was likely used to incinerate the conch shells for mortar. You can see a large pile of charred conch shells still laying around it. 

Bob (Hemisphere) leading us on a hike at Wardrick Wells. We all did not bring enough water and it was HOT. Kent says he knows now what heat exhaustion feels like. 

While on our hike at Wardrick Wells we saw several Hutia (pic from Wikipedia because they are fast and I never did get a good pic of one). Hutia are rodents (but kind of cute) and are the only land mammal native to The Bahamas.

Blue, red and white boats in a line – Scaliwag, Heartbeat and Hemisphere in Wardrick Wells north mooring field. 

Video – We had been seeing these large rays (4-5’ from wing to wing) each day near our boat. On our last day at Wardrick Wells I stayed in the dingy but put my hand with the GoPro in the water and was surprised to capture some good footage. 

Another successful snorkel outing to The Grotto cave near Staniel Cay. While the visibility was not as great as our first trip the pictures of fish and the light from the hole at the top of the cave turned out to make for neat snorkeling. 

Bright purple coral fans seemed to stand out more than ever in the waters on this particular day. 

Video – We’ve seen a lot more sharks this year. Some fairly aggressive species like bull and reef sharks have kept us out of the water in a few anchorages. This video from Meghan (Hemisphere) is of a nurse shark (which tend not to be aggressive) coming by their boat to investigate. 

Video – The Aquarium snorkel site. We have visited a couple of times this season and it is never a disappointment. 

Happy hour with Hemisphere and Scaliwag at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. 

Navigating Blackpoint. I always find this sign funny since most everything is found on one road that is at most a mile long. 

More hiking. This is a classic view of the mooring field and anchorage at Cambridge. Exuma Sound (ocean) is on the left, Exuma Banks (shallow/protected from the traditional East wind) is on the right. 


Guess who opted not to hike one of the many hiking days while at Cambridge? Kent and Parker. As you can tell they were working hard at watching the water go out as low tide approached.

Our daily sunset viewing tradition. 

Sand bar at Cambridge, our favorite spot in the Exumas to watch the sunset. Last year and this year we every evening from this same spot. It is always just us (and sometimes a buddy boat) and makes for a nice way to end the day. 

On more of the domestic side of things we are constantly trying to get the salt off the boat, keep the sand out of the boat, keep up with laundry and cook some great meals with all the food we brought down here with us. 

The upside to eating through the frozen fish, chicken and ground turkey we brought is we now have more room for cold beverages.

The Aero Garden lettuce is coming in strong and it is nice to add it to sandwiches or make a small salad each day. The basil is struggling to get the light under the lettuce jungle but it will be giving us some leaves soon enough. 

Laundry day. The goal (besides cleaner clothes) is to ensure nothing is lost overboard in the wind. 

For those dog lovers out there know that Penny continues to get spoiled when we travel with Leslie on Scaliwag. Last dog cookie delivery was 80 or so homemade treats. Not a typo – 80 dog treats makes for a very happy dog. 


Penny showing off her “leave it” skills with 2 of Leslie’s homemade doggie treats on her paws. 

Our time in the Bahamas is starting to dwindle. We parted ways with Hemisphere when at Cambridge knowing we would see all four of them again. Good cruising friends will always figure out a way to meet up with each other either on water or on land. 

 We have several more weeks down here but we have shifted from talking as if we have a ton of time to see everything to what can we squeeze in. We know weather will always win on dictating where we can go but we have a few more places in mind we would like to explore before we need to start set up for a crossing back to Florida. Until then we are trying to just enjoy each day here, even if sometimes it is windier than we would like and we are a bit "stuck" in a spot until the weather offers a reprieve. Such are the trade offs when exploring the Bahamas so early in the season.