the Blue Hole at Hoffman Cay

We’re now on the eastern side of the Berry Islands after a beautiful sailing day to get here. Brian expertly navigated the coral laden inlet to get us behind White Cay, between Hoffman Cay and Devil’s Cay. When we arrived, we learned all too quickly how to scout out shallow water…by running aground. We had to use the dinghy and the anchor to get us off the sand. But afterwards we were anchored in 12-feet of water with plenty of swing room. An uninviting wind forecast meant we’d likely be here for several days.


On Monday we set out to find the Blue Hole on a tip our friends at Great Harbor Cay gave us. We took the dinghy to Hoffman Cay where we found a small white sand beach and could spot a trail leading into the brush.


We paused to watch a fish before hitting the trail. He didn’t seem bothered at all to have an audience. “Fishing here should be easy,” Brian hoped out loud.


The trail led us directly to the Blue Hole; a nearly perfect circular, very deep pool of water. What we thought would be an all day expedition, hiking the trail, took a mere five minutes. So we sat for a while observing the pool and then scurried to the bottom to investigate the cavern.




Fortunately, the trail continued onward beyond the Blue Hole. Off we go to see what we find!


It brought us to another small and equally beautiful white sand beach. (In another whopping five minutes. We were starting to hope there were enough small islands around to keep us busy for the next few days.)


We did stay at the beach for quite a while watching the fish. There were tiny minnows lining the shoreline and every few minutes a school of fish would come swarming in to eat them. Amidst this activity were two small schools of hound fish that would leap into the air now and then to gobble a minnow. On the beach near the tree line was a fire ring and some beach chairs that were in need of repair. We added a bonfire to our future agenda.

After exploring Hoffman Cay we headed back to the boat still with half the day to spare. These 6:30am mornings really make the day last! (We wake each morning to listen to Chris Parker’s weather forecast on our SSB receiver, channel 4045.) No sandy feet aboard! I’ll remember to rinse my feet from the dinghy next time.



Sailing Vocabulary in Practice

It was a warm day for sailing, temperature in the 70’s, with a cool, 10 knot, east wind carrying us down the coast of the Berry Islands. It was one of those days when long sleeves are just a tad too warm but short sleeves provoke goosebumps. Deciding that it wasn’t actually cold and thank goodness not snowing, I opted to wear shorts along with short sleeves to finally get some sun (sunscreen of course) on my pasty, northern legs. Ok, suck it up when the wind blows and let those goosebumps do what they will. It’s worth it for a bit of bronzing!

I’d finally situated myself in a comfy spot on the starboard side next to the main hatch. Facing the cockpit, I leaned my back against the solar panel frame and stretched out my legs placing my heels onto the toe rail. Full sun exposure! Brian was observing my basking from the helm and noted, “your goosebumps can’t decide whether to come out or not.”

I looked down at my legs, thought for a moment, then cooly replied to Brian. “Well, looks right to me. The windward side is cold but the leeward side is warm.” Sure enough the right side of both legs had goosebumps and the left side had none. “Oh, so you do know what those terms mean,” Brian replied with a grin.