We made the decision to try a different route north through the Bahamas this year and instead of returning to the Exuma island chain despite how much we enjoyed it last year. Instead we toured Cat island and Little San Salvador. The latter is also known as Half Moon Cay, owned by Carnival Cruises and home to their private island resort.
Cat Island is a quiet island with a slowly declining population of around 1500. As per usual for the outer Bahamian islands the people again were extremely friendly and if you are looking to get away from it all they have a few tiny resorts, where you can find some slow downtime.
Our first stop was New Bight, and as we arrived on a weekend, we stayed for a few days so that we could deal with grocery shopping and getting a phone card – so that we have a way to monitor weather forecasts. I was even lucky enough to to get a propane tank refilled with a short walk, so now we should be all set until we get home. Gasoline on the other hand was $6 a gallon (or about $2.05 CDN per litre) so those of you back home are getting a real bargain at the pumps!
We had the misfortune of visiting the island during a period of light and variable winds, so on a couple of occasions we found ourselves with west winds when we only had land protection from the east. This made for a few uncomfortable nights bucking and pitching at anchor. Not enough to pose any risk to the boat, but enough to ensure that we didn’t sleep much. I’m fairly certain I’ve had more sleep offshore when the winds are unrelenting. Oh well, part of cruising on a small boat.
Cat Island is home to the biggest hill in the Bahamas, a full 206′ above sea level.
This hill is also where the Bahamians beloved Father Jerome decided to build his retirement home, the Mount Alvernia Hermitage. Father Jerome, trained as an architect was sent to the Bahamas nearly 100 years ago following a devastating hurricane to help redesign and rebuild churches that would strong enough to stand up to future storms.
And the view from 206 feet elevation.
We moved a few miles north and anchored near a small resort that also put us within dinghy reach of a fresh water source that I could use to fill our tank a few jugs at a time.
With the light winds persisting we decided we needed to move on and that waiting for wind wasn’t going to benefit us, so we motored north west to Little San Salvador Island. The island itself is quite beautiful and also has a shallow lagoon similar to Conception island, although it was a little far for our dinghy so we didn’t attempt this one.
We spent two nights here with the island almost to ourselves (except for a few employees), but again found ourselves with light winds pushing seas into the anchorage making for a rather unpleasant second night. Then that morning the island came to life as the ship anchored.
The facilities on shore look quite nice. We had intended to do a beach walk one day, but instead we explored some beaches that are beyond the range of the cruise ship guests.
Farewell to Little San Salvador and the Carnival Glory. We are off to the Abacos.
We have since moved to Man ‘o War Cay in the Abacos as we knew we could find groceries, laundry and a calm nights sleep to rest up for a passage north.