Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hester's Other Side

After ten years of visiting Compass Cay, I decided it was time I hike the trail to Rachel's Bubble Bath at the north end of the island.  Rachel's is well-worth the visit, but I have always gotten there via dinghy on the Bank.  Buz has already left the Bahamas for home, taking Nelson with him, and on my own, I have been looking for entertainment.  I stuffed my back pack with a water bottle, a note book, my camera and a VHF radio and I was off.  Slathered with sunscreen, shaded with hat and cover-up, fitted with solid sandles, I was good to go.

The sand path took me to the center of the island and I headed north.  As I approached Hester's House, the path took a little jog and I found myself on a beach on the other side of Hester's.  I never knew it was even there.  It had been as if nothing existed beyond the ruins at the end of Compass' crescent beach.  For ten years, I had never ventured further. 
Hester lived here a very long time ago, and her house is now a tumble-down ruin.

Now the hike began in earnest.

From this point on, the sign advises it could be another 4 hours before I see the marina again.  I didn't read that part and forged ahead. Tucker told me to follow the red bouys marking the trail.

Following the path through sand, over coral and rock, twisting, climbing, I came to the mangrove creek.

Because the islands are so low-lying, it doesn't take much elevation at all to get good views.  In this photo, we can see the Creek, which is in the middle of the island, on one side and the Sound (the open Ocean) to the right side.

Close to shore, there are coral outcroppings, dangerous reefs and lovely views.

It was obvious I wasn't the first one there that morning.

I keep getting these tantilizing finds, but I want one with nobody home!  This is called a Helment Crab.

As the hour hand moved slowly across the face of the clock, I began to weary.  My water supply was insufficient for the exertion and heat of the day.  My feet began to shuffle and catch on weeds and roots and I struggled to keep my balance as I lurched ahead.  In some parts of the trail, red bouys were not so obvious and I looked for the cairns previous hikers had erected to mark the way.  On the way back, when I was even more fatigued, my own distinctive "Sketchers" footprints were a good guide.

Suddenly, blogger isn't letting me access my photos.  I can't show you the views from the north end of the island.  By the time I made it back to the marina, I was barely putting one foot infront of the other.  It was 95 degrees in the shade.  Why hadn't I choosen a cooler day to do a 4 hour hike?  Why had I stopped to comb the beach and take photos.  What had I been thinking?
Oh right.  I hadn't been thinking at all.  One gets silly in the tropic heat.
Next time....

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