In the Water at Compass Cay

During our one day layover at Compass Cay we made sure to hit all the sights we possibly could (and yes, that was ALL of them). After we’d kayaked through the island, we paused for a brief lunch aboard Rode Trip before heading out into the water.

Near Compass Cay are a cluster of islands called Rocky Dundas. These islands actually lie within the borders of the Exuma Land and Sea Park. The park maintains two dinghy moorings that you can use while exploring. The lure of the Rocky Dundas…caves! Here is our view of the islands when we passed by as we approached our anchorage.



At low tide you can snorkel into the caves at the base of the rocks. Now, this was my first time snorkeling in the Bahamas and I was thankful to Bob and Susan having helped me to find the perfect mask and snorkel set. I was also thankful to Kim for having a wet suit that kept me warm and helped me float. I’ll be honest, I’m still getting used to the flippers (aka swim fins). I did actually take them off…but that’s another story. Once suited up, Brian patiently guided me from the dinghy (to which I was clinging) into the cave a mere 15-yards away. He did a nice job of scattering the fish away too. The cave was worth the swim.



Still getting used to those flippers (aka swim fins), I stayed near the dinghy while Brian took a look around via snorkel.




Then we took the dinghy to another, larger reef which was nearby in the Exuma Land and Sea Park and known for having pillar coral. I was content to lie over the side of the dinghy and stick my masked, snorkeled face into the water for about two-minutes. Brian swam around for a bit taking in the underwater sights. We both decided this would be more entertaining if I could read and Brian could hunt. After all, we did need something for supper. So we exited the park boundaries, made a quick stop at Rode Trip, and took the dinghy over to a reef just off Compass Cay.

Success! I nearly finished a chapter in The Path Between the Seas the Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914 by David McCullough (after months it’s nearly finished!) Oh, and Brian killed his first ever speared fish. Hooray! Grouper is on our menu tonight.


Compass Cay was a spectacular stop! Continuing onward southbound we are getting closer to Por Dos each day…

Kayaking at Compass Cay

Compass Cay had great exploring potential. Brian and I got an early start to our day so that we could see all the sights during our one day layover at Compass Cay. We were in hot pursuit of our friends aboard sv/Por Dos, and so were continuing south along the Exumas attempting to meet them while they remained in Georgetown.

Compass Cay is divided down the center by a tidal stream that runs from the north end through a section of mangroves and connects with a larger creek flowing out the south end of the island. Here’s a screen shot of the island on our chart. We thought it a great place for our kayaks.


We headed out about 9:00am and there was just barely enough water to float through the inlet that dries at low tide.



Soon we were out of the kayaks and trudging through the mangroves hauling the kayaks behind. The sand was soft and silted under crystal clear water. We kept a lookout at every step for critters (especially sea slugs). Brian spotted a small shark and a small stingray; we let both swim clear of our intended path before proceeding. The mangroves were about ankle high and the kayaks got stuck here and there in branches and roots. Several tiny snails hitched a ride when we knocked them from the branches.

Finally, after one-mile of trudging (GPS watch tracked), we found water that was just barely deep enough for floating. We maneuvered the kayaks over, under, and around the mangroves toward the creek.


AHHHHH…the creek!


We spent another mile and one-half paddling down this beautiful, wide open creek. There was nothing but white sand below and often we spotted stingrays. They were not skittish, they were settled into little beds of sand.


We paddled past ruins from an old house.


And at the south end of the creek we paddled by the Compass Creek Marina and back into the ocean side to complete our trip. The ocean side gave us a bumpy ride but we enjoyed seeing the contour of Compass Cay.


At the end of the day, we took the dingy over to the beach and walked into the inlet we had kayaked earlier. We were greeted by a crab.


We walked to the top of the inlet; on the chart this is labeled ‘Bubble Bath’. Fellow cruisers have informed us that this spot is known as Rachael’s Bubble Bath and when there is a northeast wind the ocean waves surge over and leave their foam at the top of the pool. This needed some investigating even though the day did not present bubble bath conditions.


We waded to the pool in shallow, warm water. We were cautious to avoid sea urchins. Both black and white urchins were scattered throughout the sand and rocks.


The pool was a bit deeper than the stream. Just right for an afternoon bath!



We hiked up the side of the pool for a great view of the inlet and anchorage. We are anchored on the side of the island called the Exuma Bank.


Here is a view of the inlet leading into the mangroves that we trudged through earlier.


This is the ocean side of the island called the Exuma Sound.


Kayaking, hiking, swimming…oh but there’s more to come at Compass Cay!