Samana Cay

Our grand plan is to migrate back to the east cost of the USA beginning this week. Our first landfall there will be in Brunswick, GA. We’ll take the opportunity there to park Harmonie for a week and visit some friends, before migrating further north.

The first leg of that journey was from West Plana Cay to Samana Cay, another of the uninhabited out-islands of the eastern Bahamas. Only 30 miles apart, they are quite different places, starting with the approach from the sea.

When you get to West Plana, you approach from the west. There is a beach that is several miles long, and you just drive up as close as you want, drop your anchor and you are done. Easy-peasy. Samana—no so much.

Samana Cay is almost completely surrounded by a shallow barrier reef. Between the reef and shore is a shallow lagoon peppered with shallow coral heads. The entrance to the lagoon is a narrow (40 feet) channel several hundred yards long that has breaking waves running on either side of it, and a dog leg to avoid a shallow reef as you get into the lagoon.

From the sea it is an intimidating entrance. Until you are perfectly lined up, all you see are the waves breaking across the shallow reef. It is only when you are perfectly positioned that you can see the narrow lane of flat water, glowing turquoise with the sandy bottom. The actual run in went flawlessly. Despite coral reefs showing above water less than a boat length on either side, we never saw less than 11 feet as we came in. We anchored in the lee of Propeller Cay, and found another tropical paradise.

Unmentioned in any of the guidebooks is that Propeller Cay is a bird paradise. We surely haven’t seen them all yet, but so far we have seen Brown Noddys, Bridled Terns, Frigatebirds, Tri-colored Herons, Oystercatchers, White Crowned Pigeons. There are a few others here in smaller numbers that we haven’t gotten a good enough look at to identify. Pretty amazing.

The snorkeling is pretty awesome too.

We’ll need to be moving on from here soon, but Karen is already plotting a return!

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