Friday, January 15, 2010

A Day on Compass Cay

Sorry!  No stories about wild pigs and colourful stores from Staniel Cay.  Those will come another time.  Today we are in Compass Cay, hiding from the rolly seas and playing with the WiFi.

Tucker Rolle is the manager of this island.  He has been here since he was a very young man.  Now he has over, some say, a couple of dozen children from both "inside" and "outside" and is said to be still in his prime.  Over the years, he has made improvements and expansions to the marina and several villas, new and old.  He likes to sing out Welcome Home in his rich bass voice whenever you pull into the marina.
Whether you approach from the Sound or the Bank, it is a go-slow-and-careful proceedure.  From the Sound,  there are coral heads lying in wait to grab your hull and never let go.  From the Bank, the sand bars and reefs will get ya if you are not on top of your game.  Some Captains, not to mention any names, need a cold drink and a clean pair of underwear after negotiating these skinny waters.  Accidents happen when people get blaise.  Once inside, you find the nicest hurricane hole in the Exumas.

The crescent shaped beach is on the Sound side, a 4 minute walk from the marina, over the back of the island .  On the northern end of this gorgeous beach lay the remains of Ester's house.  Back in the 1940-50's, Ester and Myrtle were the only two women living on the island.  They would dine together nightly, alternating houses, saving their elderly energies by driving their golf carts back and forth.  One night, so the story goes, one of the ladies got confused and thought it was  her turn to make the drive.  It wasn't.  The two golf carts crashed head on in the dark, killing one woman outright and sending the other to Miami hospital where she later succumbed.   Ester's house, as it is still fondly called, is in ruins.  A quiet spot for a thoughtful rest, a good place to set up your easle to paint, or a platfom for nostalgic memories of how it was back in the day.  Typical of the island work ethic, things broken or no longer needed here are left where they fall.  Old boats, downed airplanes, ruined houses.  All become artificial reefs to harbour new life, either above the water line or below it.

It's a small island, everything is only a few steps away, but incase you get lost.....

Back to the Marina.  Have you heard about the pet sharks here?  People swim with them, get right in there and play around, face to face with these prehistoric cuties.  Not me.  I do donate my wet garbage overboard to feed the cause, but that's it.
They say it's a small world.  We made really good friends down here over 8 years ago with people who have a cottage just down the road from us back home.  Here they are again.  Penobscot was just putting out a second anchor yesterday as we traversed Pipe Creek, on our way to lunch at Sampson Cay.  Travel-weary after several overnight voyages from Marathon, Florida to Nassau, to the Exumas, Dick refused to have his picture published.  He had wiskers! :)

Here was a day in the life of cruisers on Compass Cay.  Gazing at the sunset, we hear a chorus of conk horns serenading us from across the water.  A perfect end to a perfect day.  Until next time, we are thinking fondly of you all back home.

ps.  Did you know that tomorrow will be longer than today by 0 minutes and 45 seconds?
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