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We left the uninhabited island of West Plana Cay yesterday morning and arrived at the barely inhabited (pop: 277) island of Mayaguana in the early evening. We stopped here two years ago and enjoyed it, but moved on before we had a chance to explore much. Mayaguana is blessed with a very well protected harbor, and It looks like we’ll be here for several days as a weather front passes.
As promised, here are some pictures that we have accumulated since our last internet connection..
Sailing out of Georgetown, we landed a blackfin tuna, one of the smaller and less common members of the tuna family, but locally abundant , and very tasty.
While we always enjoy the contribution to the freezer such a catch makes, the cleanup can be a bit daunting!
The beach at Acklins Island was pretty, but narrow and rocky. The large coral rock boulders covered the land as far as we could see, making inland exploration too rough for our tastes.
The land was relatively lush with varied small trees.
And the deeper side of the reef yielded up some tasty grouper.
Our route around the southern end of Acklins Is. took us past the small Castle Island featuring a defunct lighthouse. One general rule about how navigation lights work in the Bahamas, they don’t.
Off the east side of Castle Island there is a deep reef that donated a Silk snapper to our freezer from 400 feet under the surface.
The island of West Plana Cay had the kind of beach Karen dreams about, where the only visible footprints are her own, and there are lots of shells.
Although no one lives on the Plana Cays, the conch fisherman visit regularly, and have for years judging by the variety of ages of the shells on their discard pile.
There are ruins from an earlier time. I haven’t seen anything on the history of these islands, so I don’t know how old they might be or what kind of living they might have been trying to make.
Ruins of smaller scale. Note the very sparse vegetation of very limited variety. Especially compared to Acklins Island just a few dozen miles to the west. We suspect there are two reasons for that.
This is as close as we have come to seeing a live Bahamian hutia, a strictly nocturnal rodent that is the only native mammal in the Bahamas. With limited predators, they come to dominate the ecosystem on any islands where they exist.
Non-native mammals are also doing their part to keep the vegetation in check. This is the first Bahamian Island we have seen with feral goats.
In some places on the island large terrestrial hermit crabs are very common.
Like many of the islands here, the land crab burrows are everywhere the soil is damp.
If you should sail by, West Plana Cay should be more than just an overnight anchorage to break up a passage, it’s worth exploring at some length.
Our arrival in Abraham’s Bay, Mayaguana was heralded with one of the more spectacular sunsets we have seen, and we see a lot of awesome sunsets!