The second our video finished uploading we slammed the computers shut, pulled up the anchor and left Grand Cay. The winds were light and left us no option but to motor at full throttle. We were in a race against the sun as we made our way to the little island of Strangers Cay for the night, where our friends of S/V Latitude Adjustment were waiting for us. They head back to Florida soon, but there’s one last deserted island and snorkeling adventure they wanted to share before they said goodbye.
With the calm winds we slept like babies that night. It’s amazing how hard we crash when we know the hook is set well. We departed Strangers Cay as the sun was rising and we still had light winds to our back, which left us with two options: Take the easy route and motor the whole way or put up our new spinnaker head sail without really knowing how to properly use it.
Flying the Spinnaker
We’ve only seen a spinnaker in action once and unfortunately new sails don’t come with instructions. Thankfully Kent drew us a little “map” of how to fly a spinnaker before we left Ft. Lauderdale and our friends were in constant contact over the radio giving us words of encouragement. I don’t know why we were so nervous about flying the spinnaker. It just seemed a lot riskier and like there is more room for error than with our other sails. I’m sure we’ll get the hang of it in no time, but for now we’re still nervous newbies when it comes time to pull up that sock and and let it fly.
Moraine Cay the Island
After making this video we heard from the owner of the Moraine Cay property and website. He informed us the resort is open and accepting reservations. The reason the resort looked in disrepair is due to the fact it is off-season for them. So, if you’re looking for a quiet island to spend some time on, you can check out their website for more information: http://www.morainecay.com/
I was surprised to find the website listed on the dock morainecay.com was still live and looked as if things were up and running. After exploring the island by foot, it seems this place has been deserted for a while now. From the looks of the website, this was supposed to be a rental property for people looking to kick back, relax and get away from it all. There wasn’t any info on the status of the property, what happened or if there are plans to continue building the resort. It’s all left standing as if one day everyone simply walked away and never looked back.
It does make for an interesting place to stretch the legs and do a little exploring. Out of respect we didn’t enter the houses, but the one that was open looked like it was in pretty decent (but half complete) shape. The trails between houses are easy to follow, but watch out for those stickers. Its the first place we noticed coconut trees and our inner Castaway kicked in and we were determined to get sustenance. The coconut put up a good fight but in the end, we prevailed. It only took a drill, hand saw and an hour to retrieve the milk and the fruit. Our American resourcefulness will do until we can get that machete.
Moraine Cay Reef
Equally as unbelievable as our experience at Double Breasted but in a totally different way. Navigating the dinghy through the reef is a challenge all on its own. We look below for the sandy bottom and hope the narrow paths connect between the jagged pieces of reef that cut through the surface of the water. Once the bottom opens into a large area of sand we drop the hook and jump in.
Snorkeling in this area is like swimming through hallways of coral that lead into giant rooms. We saw plenty of fish but the current and waves made it difficult to capture any great photos or video. Then, there was the challenge of wearing a buoyant wet suit without a weight belt. It proved to be nearly impossible to get fully submerged. It’s one more thing to add to the “shopping list”. We’ve had our dive suits for over 8 years but have always rented the other equipment for our once or twice a year excursion. I think it’s time to bite the bullet and invest in some quality dive gear.
Our friends S/V Latitude Adjustment had to go back to ‘real life’ as they say and we were sad to see them go. They took us under their wing, showed us these two amazing anchorages and encouraged us to dive right into the adventures. If other sailors out there are anything like these two, I think we’re in for some incredible friendships. Thanks David and Christi, we’ll never forget our first big trip or our first Chambonging experience with your guys.
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Want Nikki’s blueberry coffee cake recipe? It is really, really, really good and she shares how she makes it here: gonewiththewynns.com/blueberry-coffee-cake
Gear Used In This Video
- Hammerhead Free-Dive Mask With Camera Mount http://amzn.to/2d5C6SB
- Hammerhead Free-Dive J Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2cjh3dV
- Wet Suits – We’ve had our dive suits and fins for over 8 years, still holding up decently.
- iPad Pro using Garmin Bluecharts App (and Active Captain): http://amzn.to/2d9Oopf
- Predict Wind App: bit.ly
- iPad Mount at Helm: http://amzn.to/2fT84PG
- Portable Floating VHF Radio: http://amzn.to/2hwEoK7
- Dinghy: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/dinghy-swap-ab-highfield
- Mantus Anchor: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/mantus-anchor
Cameras Used to Capture This Adventure:
- Sony A7ii: http://bit.ly/a7rii-sony
- Sony Zoom Mic: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/sony-gun-zoom-microphone-black
- Sony 24 – 70mm f4 lens: http://bit.ly/2470-zeiss
- Sony Action Cam w/underwater housing: http://bit.ly/sony-as300
- DJI Phantom 3: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/dji-phantom-3-advanced-quadcopter-drone-with-1080p-hd-video-camera
- All of our up to date photo and editing gear: gonewiththewynns.com/best-travel-camera-video-photography
To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map
Anchorage: Moraine Cay is a fair-weather anchorage only. Meaning if the wind is blowing you probably don’t want to spend the night here and we didn’t (we moved onto Allan’s which you’ll see in the next post). The waves roll in from the Atlantic Ocean making even a semi-calm day a little bit rocky. The bottom was sand and our Mantus anchor dug in hard the second it touched the sea floor. We did hear on calm days you can surf the incoming waves near the channel to the northeast of the island. Now that would be fun!
Nautical Miles Sailed: Grand Cay to Strangers Cay to Moraine Cay – 36 Nautical Miles
Date: November 9-10, 2016