The weather conditions were good for traveling. It is day 70 on the water. We left at 7:30 a.m. and arrived around 4 p.m. Great Harbour Cay is in the Berry Islands. It is the largest of the Berry Islands. It is eight miles long and one-and-a-half miles wide. We stayed at Great Harbour Cay last year and enjoyed the area immensely. The remote beaches are a hidden jewel, and it should be on your must-see list of places to visit. That is, if you enjoy exploring nature. You experience gorgeous beaches and a dazzling marine environment. There are no shops. So, if this is what you want to do, this is not your destination.
The majority of our days were spent exploring the waters on the WaveRunner. It is truly a boater’s paradise. Stingrays and turtles swam amidst the crystal-clear waters. We found some fantastic snorkeling spots. We saw many colourful fish and even a lobster. How cool is that? There is a certain kind of beauty that is only found in the wild.
Rain has been off and on since we have arrived. It comes in downpours for about 20 minutes or so, then stops. Just after one of these downpours, we head off on the WaveRunner to Shark’s Creek. Our ultimate destination is a picnic on Hawk’s Nest Cay. We must navigate through this waterway during hide tide, but when we arrive, the water is still too skinny. In order to avoid getting stuck, we wait for the tide to rise. During our wait, the skies open again. Rain falls in crazy chaotic drops cascading from the confident sky. The warm, yet cool droplets enveloped us as we wait, then, in just a few minutes all is still, no more rain. Enough time has past that we can navigate through the water tunnel. We worked our way through the mangrove tunnels, and tooled around for a bit, then headed to nearby sandy portion of the beach on Hawk’s Nest Key. We anchor the WaveRunner and head to the beach for lunch. The picnic lunch did not last long. Your might say the no-see-ums had a meal of their own on us, more so on me. If you don’t know what a no-see-um is, it is a 1.5-millimetre-long fly that sucks your blood. Their main source of food is flower nectar, but they feast on blood in order to reproduce. The females need to consume blood in order to lay eggs. They attack brazenly without warning. Sometimes you feel them, other times not. I probably got 100 tiny little bites.
On one of our excursions through Snake Creek, Chuck snagged a live Queen Conch from the water for me. It was a beauty. You could tell it was young because she had a delicate outer lip. As they age, the lip thickens. It had a gorgeous light brown shell. The inside was a glossy pink. In the Bahamas, Queen Conchs are a hot commodity. You will often find large piles of shells that have been discarded. They are fished out of the water, and slots are tapped into the shell to release a fleshy body, which is then eaten. As I examined this magnificent creature, the eye dangles out of its shell and peers at me. It is as if she is begging to be released back into her habitat. It had a brown claw, which is know as an operculum that protrudes out of its protective housing. It was rather grotesque looking. In the end, I gave in to this magnificent creature, and I tossed her back into the water. I did not have the heart to kill her just for a decorative object on my coffee table. I really wanted a big conch shell, but neither of us wanted to attempt to get the conch out.
With each passing day, the high tides occur about an hour later, so on our next journey on the WaveRunner, we cruise the ocean side, so we could get an earlier start. We were headed to Petite Cay, which was about a 20-minute cruise on the WaveRunner from Great Harbour Cay. We anchored on the north side of Petite Cay where we found a magnificent reef with lots of colourful fish. This is where we saw the lobster. It was huge. The picture we captured does not do it justice.
During our stay at Great Harbour Cay, a Wahoo fishing tournament was held. I have never been to a fishing tournament before. I had noticed that after the fish were weighed, the participant cut off the tailfins of the fish. I was curious as to why, so I asked. I was told that the prize money was big, which invariably leads to cheating. In order to avoid an angler coming back for a reweigh with weights in the fish’s gullet, they cut the tailfins off. This way they cannot bring the same fish back with weights in its gullet after they discover they do not have the biggest fish.