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!