I awoke just before sunrise and went out on deck to watch the sun rise and enjoy the pleasurable serenity of the early morning. There was barely a breeze and just a few ripples on the water. I put some Chet Baker on the iPad and delighted in this idyllic location. After having sat on the deck for a few minutes, a graceful spotted eagle ray swam beneath the boat with elegance and beauty. As I sat on the front deck, I could not help but feel thankful for our position – thankful that we have been favored by our gracious God to be here in the Bahamas, sitting atop our own 15-foot-deep aquarium with gin clear waters, watching all sorts of aquatic creatures play and swim beneath our boat. And, any time the mood strikes I can jump into these unclouded seas and become a part of their world, watching and enjoying their every move.
After prayer, Shakespeare, and a little reading, I started the watermaker to make some water. That thing is priceless. What a luxury to have your own desalinator/water maker to replenish your supply as needed. We still try to be frugal with our water, but it is nice to know that we can make more when we need it. Our water consumption goes up the more we get into the water around us since we need to wash the salt water off our equipment, clothing, and selves. We also use more water when we eat on board more frequently since that entails doing dishes.
After turning on the water maker, we both slipped into our wet suits, climbed into Dalí and took off for the Malabar Cays, a cluster of small islands about a mile and a half south of our anchorage. We found a patch of coral and slid into the water to snorkel for a while. We again saw numerous fish and a fairly large barracuda patrolling the reef. It is hard to be disappointed with water so clear. Everywhere we find coral, we find abundant sea life.
We returned to Beatitude shortly after noon for a tasty lunch consisting of chicken salad sandwiches. After finishing up making water, we hopped into our dinghy and went over to the park headquarters again for wifi. After a thirty-minute exercise in near futility (although I was was able to publish a blog post I had already prepared), we went on a hike to the top of Boo Boo Hill. This hill is so named because of the ghosts which are linked to it. Many years ago, the legend goes, a ship wrecked just off shore in a severe storm. The story goes that, upon the arrival of the full moon, one can hear the ghosts of those on board singing hymns from atop this hill. Their is a cairn at the top of the hill where pieces of driftwood are placed by cruisers and visitors to the island. We, having not brought our own piece of driftwood, inscribed a remembrance of our own visitation on the back of an already existing piece of wood.
Not far from the cairn are a couple of blow holes from which, when the sea is large, water shoots high into the sky as waves enter caves at the water line and sea water is forced up and out of these holes high above. The seas were calm on the day of our visitation, so there was no water being blown upwards through the holes. There was, however, a brisk blast of air up from these holes every time the waves entered the cave. Cindy and I could not help but be reminded of one of our favorite movies, Fool’s Gold starring Matthew MacCaugnahey and Kate Hudson. The beautiful tropical scenery of that movie also reminds us of the beauty of the Exumas.
After walking back from Boo Boo Hill, we returned to Beatitude for a few moments prior to a little bit more snorkeling. Cindy stayed in the dinghy while I snorkeled once again at the Ranger’s Garden, just south of our mooring. It was, as before, splendid snorkeling. In addition to the usual beautiful fishes, I encountered a lemon shark and a fairly large barracuda. This day was filled with just the kind of diversions that I had imagined when we first planned to go cruising. It was my version of the perfect day in paradise.