Culture Shock!

We have been out and off-grid for a while exploring the Plana Cays, where we saw only two or three boats in two weeks. Now we are back in Georgetown and there are well over 300 boats in the anchorage.

East and West Plana Cay are relatively remote as Bahamian islands go, with only two inhabited islands further east or south. Neither of the Plana Cays are currently inhabited, although there are ruins of past settlements on West Plana. There is no evidence for either permanent or temporary human occupation on East Plana.

It has been almost exactly four years since we were last at the Plana Cays, and we have been looking forward to coming back ever since. Unlike sometimes happens, this long anticipated return to a former haunt has not disappointed.

It is hard to know where to start with these islands. Beaches are amazing, beautiful and untracked by human footprints. If there were resorts here, these beaches would be on anybody’s top ten list.

Highlights of our visit are the shelling, the fishing, the turtle watching, the dark skies at night, the quiet. It is really a special place.

Even on an uninhabited island you can’t avoid evidence of humans. I think a lot of people would be surprised that the debris on the beach is NOT composed of generic household trash. Rather the vast majority of it is lost commercial fishing gear. Nets, floats, lines, even boats!

Nets, floats, and lines make up the vast majority of the flotsam washed up on these remote beaches.
The wreck of the fishing vessel Carolina on West Plana is only about 4 or 5 years old, and has been colonized by TWO osprey nests. I am really surprised to see them this close together.
An interesting, but not rare, find on the beach here are these small spiral shells. They are an internal “shell” of the rarely seen, very deep water, Rams Horn Squid.
A pretty awesome picture of Karen watching an osprey (aka, “fish hawk”) catching his lunch.

We had really hoped to get a picture of a hutia, a nocturnal guinea pig like rodent, the only mammal native to the Bahamas. We set up a camera trap and baited it with veggies, but ended up with nothing. Maybe next time!

But… all great things come to an end. We are struggling with a fuel leak in our engine, which limits our motoring. But we do have a SAILboat, so we will have to sail most all the way. We will be underway from Georgetown in the next 24 hours or so with a destination of Daytona, Florida. It should be 3 or 4 days to get there. The weather is “active” so we’ll need to keep a careful eye on it.

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2 Responses to Culture Shock!

  1. chavester1 says:

    Georgetown is a culture shock after being out. Nice to have good provisioning opportunities, but I understand why some call it “Chicken Harbor” or “The Trailer Park.”
    Poker tournaments and ukulele lessons are not for all, but many seem to enjoy all the activities in the cruiser community. We recently arrived in BVIs and are suffering our own culture shock.


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