D122: Shroud Cay - 3/1/2020

Shroud Cay

Sunday 3/1/2020

We dropped the mooring line at 0920 on Sunday, March 1, 2020, after giving the tides a little time to rise.  We decided to go out the southern entrance, which is the way we came in.  The north route would be OK, but would take a bit longer.  Weaving through the southern passage past the rocks on the east and the reef near the cut, the shallowest depth reading I saw was 8 feet.  

Once we cleared the reef, we turned north and headed out onto the Bahama Banks.  The wind was blowing out of the NNE at 15-20k, so we had to reef both the main and the Genoa.  We were moving 7-8 knots SOG and the wind increased.  I cinched in the reefs a bit more and we kept sailing along.  We furled the Genoa at Cistern Bore and turned toward Shroud Cay.  In the track shown below, you can see that we sailed from the southern tip of the Exuma Land and Sea Park to the northern end.  The park is a wonderful asset for the Bahamas and for cruisers.  I hope to return again.  

The charts showed lots of rocks, coral, and shallow areas, but the depths were good all the way into the anchorage.  We pulled up close to the rocks so we could minimize any swell and get good protection from the east.  Several other boats were anchored in the area. 

As we pulled close to shore to check the depths, a single tropic bird came out to meet me.  After we anchored, I looked for them to show up again, but no luck.  I was not sure what type of tropic bird was visiting us (or threatening us). 

         

Track from Cambridge to Shroud

The next morning as we were cleaning up after breakfast, I heard a bird like noise outside.  It sounded familiar, which I finally recognized as the tropic birds.  Turns out that Shroud Cay must be a nesting ground for either the White-tailed Tropicbird or the Red-billed Tropicbird.  I am still debating with myself over which they were.  The bright orange bill moves me toward the Red-billed, but the white-tailed can also have orange bills.  Just not sure yet.  The Red-billed Tropicbird is  listed as "occasional" in this area, while the white-tailed are more common.  

They  provided us with an aerial display for quite a while and we finally had to leave for Nassau.  Shroud Cay was our last stop in the Exumas before heading over to Nassau.  We did not take time to explore, but hope to come back here again also.          

See the photos below.    Be sure to click on the photos below to see a larger image.  

Tropicbirds

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