Ragged Island Living

Friends gathering at the Hog Cay Yacht Club for Happy Hour.

After our run-in with the Haitian refugees at Little Inagua (Haitian Refugees!), we motored straight for the Ragged Islands. We had planned to stop at the southwest end of the Acklin Islands, but the beautiful gin-clear waters and untouched reefs of the Raggeds were calling, so we continued through the night and arrived late the following day at Hog Cay and found that we had the entire anchorage to ourselves. There usually aren’t many cruisers in the Ragged Islands, but we were surprised that there weren’t at least one or two boats anchored near by. The Ragged Islands fit our style of cruising, so it really felt like coming home, even if we were alone. We were too tired, though, to worry much about it and we were soon lulled to sleep by the familiar sounds of a favorite anchorage.

We woke in the morning to a weather forecast that was not favorable for staying at Hog Cay, so we picked up our anchor and steamed north 8 miles to Double Breasted Cay which offers great protection from north to west winds. As we approached the anchorage, we found the other cruisers! In the entire Ragged Island group, there were only 4 other cruising boats and they all knew where to be when a frontal system was due to pass through. The great news was that we knew 3 of the boats in the anchorage and soon made friends with the 4th! We spent several days waiting on the weather to improve and enjoyed the company of old and new friends.

I finally got some time in the water to hunt for grouper and hogfish with my old friend Marty on the Manta Catamaran “True Colors.” Marty and I did our best to get in the water every day and we had limited success with our spear fishing, though we both agree that we need more practice!

When the weather cleared, we headed back south to Hog Cay and Raccoon Cay where Michelle and I enjoyed lazy afternoons on the beautiful white sand beaches that spread out just feet from the bow of our boat. We also explored the ocean side beaches, and of course, we hunted for fish on the numerous coral reefs that were a short dinghy ride from the anchorage. We also had cookouts and happy hours on the beach with our friends. Michelle, being the planner that she is, had been hoarding ice cream (and all the fixin’s) for months and one evening we had all the cruisers in the anchorage join us on Roam for an Ice Cream Social! Between us, we managed to consume 2 gallons of ice cream and everyone returned to their boats that evening fat and happy!

I love the lifestyle in the Ragged Islands; swimming, fishing, beach combing, enjoying the company of like minded people, and marveling at the exquisite sunsets and beautiful starry nights. I can’t think of a place I would rather spend the winter!

Next Up: Georgetown Family Regatta!

Friends gathering at the Hog Cay Yacht Club for Happy Hour. Left to right: Tim and Diane (Skylark), Ralph and Leslie (Now and Zen), Bill and Lynn (Spiraserpula), Clark & Michelle (Roam), Marty [Kelly missing from photo] (True Colors)
Manta 42, True Colors, owned by great old friends, Marty and Lisa. Marty & Lisa introduced us to the Exumas years ago when we owned our Manta 40, Double Wide.
We met Bill and Lynn, owners of Spiraserpula, in Georgetown years ago and have shared many anchorages with them over the years. They are enthusiastic snorkelers and marine conservationists.
Now & Zen is a Manta 42 owned by our long time friends, Ralph and Leslie. When they’re not cruising in the Bahamas, they charter their Manta in Jacksonville Florida.
The sunsets in the Ragged Islands are EPIC. We see more green flashes there than any other place we’ve been.
Duncan Town is the only town in the Ragged Islands. 250 or so people used to live in the town until a hurricane 2 years ago destroyed most of the buildings and devastated the community. Now there are less than 40 people living there and recovery has been very slow.
We visited Duncan Town to support the few local businesses that remain. Here, Bill and Lynn are walking down the middle of the street at “rush hour.” šŸ™‚
Leslie from Now & Zen visiting with a local that used to have a bone fishing business on Ragged Island. He’s working hard to rebuild his resort and hopes to reopen in 2020.
The beaches on the Atlantic side of the island include all kinds of Flotsam and Jetsam. As cruisers, we could take the time to pick up trash, but we have no place to dispose of it, so we try to make art out of it.
Speaking of Art from Trash, Marty (True Colors) and I spent a few minutes gathering up shoes and made a shrine to the God of Shoes. For some reason there seem to be more shoes on the beach than any other form of trash.
Michelle searching for treasure on the beach.
Sailor and Tugboat get plenty of beach time in the Ragged Islands.

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