Swimming With Mermaids & Racing to George Town

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)!

exuma bahamas caves
snorkeling Copperfield islands
Doesn’t this look like a fancy head of cabbage?
freediving spearing bahamas
Jason the lobster hunter.

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.

david Copperfield mermaid piano
exuma bahamas snorkeling

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.

sailing exuma bahamas

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!

racing sailboats in exuma

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.

Sailing Exuma Bahamas

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.

Sailing Report

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map

sailing exuma bahamas

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.

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