Back in Staniel Cay

The Majors 24.19°N 076.45°O
Black Point 24.09°N 076.40°O
Pipe Cay 24.24°N 076.49°O
Sampson Cay 24.2°N 076.47°O
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March 23rd to April 1st. After a quick overnight in Square Rock, near Barraterre, and a nice day in Leaf Cay and its surrounding islands, we headed north towards Staniel Cay. The cold front that had us shorten our trip in the Jumentos was now rapidly approaching and we needed to find shelter.

M headed for the Majors.  Squalls on the horizon are preceding the cold front. (Photo: Caroline Villeneuve)
Quasida just flew by like it was a Formula 1 car!
A Common Ground Dove nesting in front of the Black Point Grocery Store. We had a chance to look at it closely while waiting in line for fresh fruits and veggies to come off the mailboat.
We had sailed through this section of the Exumas very quickly in January and Michel was really looking forward to exploring it some more. Guided by Croix du Sud and Quasida, who had spent most of their winter in these waters, we discovered magnificent and well-protected anchorages. Pipe Cay and Sampson Cay are simply outstanding. After spending some time here, it’s not surprising to hear that some very wealthy guests are willing to pay almost half a million dollars a week to rent the very-private and eco-friendly Over Yonder Resort next door. It’s not shocking either to learn that Little Pipe Cay, located just at the southern entrance of the anchorage, is currently looking for a new owner with something close to 85 millions US dollars in his pocket. The Exumas between Warderick Wells and Staniel Cay are dream material. We were lucky enough to experience them with our eyes wide open!

pipe cay
Pipe Cay
As we were in no rush to sail further north and as, for once, the wind was providing clues it wanted to cooperate, we decided to take the kites out of storage. With a bit of work, Michel and Mathieu eventually found a little piece of paradise where the sand banks uncovered at low tide. As most islands in the region are privately owned, it’s very difficult to find a beach that is accessible. But, as a little imagination goes a long way, we simply made our own beach out of the bottom of the lagoon. Michel gave us a “kite 101” lesson while Caroline from Quasida made sure to document the afternoon. She very nicely agreed to share her pictures with us. Many thanks!

Near Sampson Cay
Near Sampson Cay
Near Sampson Cay
Can't find a beach? No problem; just make one up!
Near Sampson Cay
Near Sampson Cay
inflating the kite
Inflating the smaller kite (Photo: Caroline Villeneuve)
Myself, Caroline - Croix du Sud and Michel - Quasida (Photo: Caroline Villeneuve)
Michel is flying the 7m while Mathieu helps with the launch (Photo: Caroline Villeneuve)
learning to kite
My turn! (Photo: Caroline Villeneuve)
Learning kiteboarding
Mathieu is learning much faster than I am. (Photo: Caroline Villeneuve)
Ready! In a few seconds I'll be head over heels with sand in places I didn't even know existed. (Photo: Caroline Villeneuve)

Retour sur Staniel Cay

23 mars au 1er avril. Après une rapide escale à Square Rock près de Barraterre et une autre à Leaf Cay, nous nous sommes dirigés vers Staniel Cay afin de nous abriter du fameux front froid dont l’annonce avait mit fin à notre escapade dans les Jumentos.

Nous étions passé très rapidement dans cette section des Exumas en janvier et Michel avait bien hâte de revenir y passer un peu de temps. En compagnie des équipages de Croix de Sud et de Quasida, des habitués du coin pour y avoir passés une bonne partie de l’hiver, nous avons eu la chance de découvrir de magnifiques mouillages. Pipe Cay et Sampson Cay sont particulièrement sublimes. Pas étonnant que des invités paient jusqu’à 450 000$ par semaine pour louer Over Yonder Cay, un resort écolo et ultra-privé situé juste de l’autre côté de la passe. Pas surprenant non plus que Little Pipe Cay, tout juste à l’entrée du mouillage, soit actuellement proposé au plus offrant avec un prix de vente environnant les 85 millions de dollars. Les Exumas entre Warderick Wells et Staniel Cay sont simplement un rêve; et nous avons la chance de pouvoir le contempler bien éveillés!

Puisque le temps s’y prêtait et que nous n’étions pas particulièrement pressés de remonter vers le nord, nous en avons profité pour faire prendre un peu d’air aux kites. Avec un peu de recherche, Mathieu et Michel ont trouvé un petit coin de paradis qui se découvre presque totalement à marée basse. Puisque la grande majorité des iles sont privées dans la région, il n’est pas facile de trouver une plage accessible. Il faut donc user d’un peu d’imagination afin de créer la sienne. Michel nous a donc offert un petit cour de kite 101 pendant que Caroline de Quasida s’assurait de documenter l’après-midi. Elle a très gentiment partagé ses photos avec nous. Merci!

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