Swimming With Mermaids & Racing to George Town
Our sailing exploration of the Exuma chain of islands is nearing an end, but not before we knock off another Bahamas bucket list item: swimming with a mermaid!
Rudder Cut Cay, Musha Cay to the north, and a handful of other nearby islands are owned by David Copperfield (yep, the magician) and can be rented for a pre-fixe sort of getaway. It’s a bargain at $39,000 per night with a four-night minimum. Yowzah! Anchoring for free near the island and enjoy the same snorkeling, diving, spearing and crystal clear water that’s reserved for the island’s guests…priceless! Too bad Mr. Copperfield isn’t following our blog…it would’ve been way cool to get an invite to the house (ahem, magic man, it’s not too late)!
The Piano or the Mermaid? People refer to it as either but the actual name is The Musician. It’s created by the same guy (Jason DeCaires Taylor) that made Atlas near Nassau, which we dove earlier this year. These underwater sculptures are a fascinating experience. We find ourselves reflecting on life, decomposition and the power of mother nature to reclaim anything she wishes. This same artist has several installations around the world and we’re stoked to search them out as we head further south.
The Exuma islands, and particularly this sail from Rudder Cut to George Town, has the most popular sailing routes we’ve seen in the Bahamas. We’ve visited other popular anchorages but rarely seen more than a boat or two in passing. It’s like an interstate out here! I think the ideal 15 knots of wind and calm seas had a little something to do with it too, it really was perfect conditions.
What we’re loving most about sailing is the constant need to push ourselves when other boats are around. It’s easy to become complacent (or lazy) when we’re out sailing alone but as soon as another boat pops up on the horizon, now it’s a race!
We look at our sail trim, double check our wind angle, speed and squeeze every ounce of speed out of our boat. Then it’s to the AIS to see how the competition is fairing (we can usually see their speed). Its amazing how a little unofficial competition can get the adrenaline pumping.
There was one big Cat vs Mono lesson we took away during this sail: It’s difficult for our catamaran to beat a monohull when we’re sailing close to the wind. As we were sailing southeast towards George Town our winds were getting lighter and the angle of the wind was coming closer and closer to our bow. Our boat speeds went from 8kts to a lackluster 4kts as our wind angle changed from 60 degrees to 35 degrees and we struggled to keep the genoa filled. Eventually we had to tack out to sea to get a better angle and that’s when we officially lost the race. I’m sure it won’t be the last time we lose to a mono as we’re beating upwind.
It’s all in fun and whether we lose or win the “race” it’s a welcome challenge when the seas are calm and the fish aren’t biting. Sometimes we hail the other vessel to say hello and before we know it, a half an hour goes by and we’re making plans to meet up for sundowners. The sailing community is friendly like that. It doesn’t seem to matter how big or small the boat, how salty the crew is, or if it’s a monohull or multi-hull…we’re all out here doing it! In the end, that’s what brings us together and it’s all that really matters.
To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map
Dates: February 20-21, 2017
Nautical Miles Sailed: 46
Anchorage: There are lots of spots to drop the hook around Copperfield Islands. We were just off the cave at Rudder Cut Cay. The currents do rip through here and snorkeling is tough if not done at slack tide. In George Town we decided on Sand Dollar Beach as it was close to where our friends were. Options there are also a dime a dozen and you can easily bounce around to safe spots for almost any wind direction. The anchorages can be found easily on Active Captain with additional info and reviews.
Cell & WiFi: Our cell phone signal/data was weak here and our booster came in very handy.
Gear Used In This Video
- iPad Pro using Garmin Bluecharts App (and Active Captain): http://amzn.to/2d9Oopf
- Portable Floating VHF w/GPS: http://amzn.to/2hwEoK7
- Mantus Lights to Light Up The Boat: gonewiththewynns.com/product/lights-torches
- Snorkle/Dive Gear
- Hammerhead Free-Dive Mask With Camera Mount http://amzn.to/2d5C6SB
- Hammerhead Free-Dive J Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2cjh3dV
- Jason’s Omer Freediving Fins: http://amzn.to/2kIhljK
- Nikki’s Sporasub Freediving Fins: http://amzn.to/2kIYmlf
Cameras Used to Capture This Video
- 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: http://bit.ly/sony-as300
- All of our up to date photo and editing gear: gonewiththewynns.com/best-travel-camera-video-photography
So happy to have you along for the adventure! If you enjoy what we do and you want to help us keep the videos and posts flowing, check out our Say Thanks page. It lists out some ways you can show us some digital love and most won’t cost you a penny.
Your under water footage is amazing. I particularly liked the turtle.
This was a nice relaxing video, kind of like you could title it, “A Day in the Life…” Ahhh… I could smell the sea breeze as we sailed along…. 🙂
Hello Jason and Nikki,
I was watching your videos and really liked the tool that you use to catch lobsters. Spend hours searching the web for something similar but all I see is a tickles or a snares with the loop. Could you please point me to the right product? Also, which sunblocks do you use?
That is a tri tip spear. The tickle sticks and snares with the loop works really well though. We are getting one of the snares as it seems to be the way to go.
Nikki, thank you very much for the fast response – we are heading to sail BVI in 2 weeks and will try it there. What about sunblock, can you recomend a nontoxic variety that effective enough to use on the boat and while snorkling? We ussualky get Cuppertone spf 50 which fine, but has bunch of unhealthy ingredients 🙂 . Any advice?
My pleasure! Sunscreen is super important and this website is such a great resource: http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/
So much fun! Sorry about the fish, but keep recording… you are going to catch many great fish!
Great video! Thanks for taking us along on the adventure!
The set of 3 photos where it goes….. sail, boat, boat……The first boat photo, after the sail photo……..take a look at the cloud formation on the left hand side, you have a mermaid!!!
Ha, there is a cloud like that!
Do you know the reason behind all of the statues in the areas you have visited? Just curious. Is this something that is done underwater all over the world and I am just seeing them because of your posts?
It was a nice end to a chill Mother’s Day.
To catch those bigger fish with big runs taking all that line, slowing the boat down will really help. Blue skies!
We did slow down to 2-3 knots and had the reel cranked down all the way. Other than turning the boat around, we weren’t sure what else to do.
Try a full heave to, and maybe bring in sails and start motors. When I have a big fish on worth fighting for I reckon Its worth the effort. Get a bucket around your waist for the rod butt and pump and wind to get the fish in. When you have a really big one and it tires out if you don’t get it in fast then the taxman will eat it for you!
I’m a newbie to your video adventures and I must say it looks like fun,, We live on the Mississippi river,, little muddy here to go snorkeling,, But the grandkids and I spend lots of time on are boat,,,, We look forward to all you video’s,,,,,
Ha ha, yes the visibility in the river might not be that great. 😉 But lots of fun to be had floating about on top of the water. Thanks for joining us, welcome aboard!
Perfect end to Mothers Day getting my sailing fix through you. Thanks for a great ride!
Happy Mothers Day!
Loved this ride! I love that each day is an adventure of it’s own. By now you are “one” with the weather, whether you like it or knot!!! (Haha…a little sea humor!)
ha ha, yes and love the silly sea humor believe it or knot.
When that happens while fishing…you can thank the party crashers, barracuda and shark.
Stinking ocean tax.
We thank YOU for allowing us to be part of your adventure.
You’re vlogs are great! It makes me so happy to follow along with you in your travels. Great editing and beautiful photography.
Salt Water Fishing: https://www.takemefishing.org/saltwater-fishing/saltwater-fishing-tackle-knots/saltwater-fishing-line/
I am not affiliated with that site. Just had to paste this after I saw you lose a fish (and it was a big fish).
Thanks for sharing your videos.
I chuckle when you say “Thanks for being here” after stunning views, exciting moments racing other boats, skin diving that takes my breath away, sparkling photography, sharing your never ending effort to make the best vlog possible and you’re thanking me for watching? Yes, you are very welcome, admired and loved by thousands of people that want only the best and happiest adventure filled life possible.
But then, you knew that!
Well, we wouldn’t keep creating if there was no one to create for. So we appreciate you tuning in and keeping the circle of love, curiosity and adventure going. You are in a way with us and helping with the production. Makes us so happy to hit the publish button each week!
Hey y’all, glad your still having fun out in the great big blue! Big Love! Looks wonderful!
It’s fun reading up to date facebook posts and then coming on your website to see what you did six weeks ago.
Is that sarcasm or are you being serious?
I like the up-to-date posts as it makes me feel that you are letting me (and all your fans) pretty much join you for the ride. It’s fun being part of the journey, even if from a computer posting.That’s why I like to see what you did a few hours ago.
I like the longer video blogs as they are some of the best travel/info posts on the web. As a amateur slash hobby photographer I often look at your photos with respect. Personal thoughts: Some of your RV landscape shots would win awards; and the underwater shots are getting better and better (newer camera gear and/or reading the camera instruction booklets?) 😉
Because you take the time to edit the videos (plus some post for the stills) your longer vblogs are always worth watching. That’s why I like to see what you did six weeks ago.
Well thanks! I had to ask because I never know, some people get frustrated that our videos are behind real time. So happy to hear you are enjoying the journey. As for the photos, with some of our RV landscapes, that credit belongs to mother nature. Snapping a great photo at Joshua Tree or any National Park always feels like cheating because its spectacular to begin with. The underwater shots are new and challenging. We don’t have fancy underwater cameras but use our sony action cam. It does a great job for $300. I am learning more about how to edit them (correct colors and bring back contrast). I am really excited about capturing the rain forests in Panama!
You were just outside of the “Chat N Chill” I hope you visited. The Peace and Plenty that we used to visit has become the reception center for the Crab Cay resort that didn’t exist when we were there. DId you find the cold water spring off Crab Cay. We figured that it was cold water being forced up by the rising tide out passed Stocking Island. ALso we loved visiting the “Flea Market” in George town. Very pleasant people there.
Hey Charles, we did go to the Chat N Chill, more than once and it will be in our next video. We didn’t go to the spring, we will have to check it out next time. We spent a lot of time with fellow cruisers and getting to know some of the locals. We ended up spending a lot more time in George Town than we expected. Its a fun place to be.