East Bahamas

Tags: Bahamas, food, Great Inagua, Hogsty Reef, sailing

Date: April 27, 2017

After a week in Turks and Caicos we moved on to the Bahamas. We first stayed at a uninhabited island where, again, the snorkeling and diving was fantastic. We took the dinghy ashore for a walk on the deserted beach:

We found a hermit crab desperately looking for a new home:

We found an Easter egg left by the elusive sea hare:

Different kinds of coral beached by the waves:

Fossilized coral:

Amanda anchored in the background:

A turks head cactus. Funnily enough they are the national symbol of the Turks and Caicos, but we did not see any there.

We visited the island of Great Inagua. This is the end of the main street in the village there:

A bit more of the main street:

Some sort of fort like building. We never found out what it was:

Great Inagua is a major salt producer. The salt is harvested from large salt ponds in the interior of the island. The American salt company Morton owns the salt production in Great Inagua and Morton salt is sold in all American supermarkets so it must really be large amounts of salt that they produce here. The picture shows large piles of salt waiting to be shipped out of the island:

After Great Inagua we went to Hogsty Reef which is one of only 4-5 reef atolls in the Atlantic Ocean - compared to the 400+ atolls in the Pacific. Hogsty Reef lies mostly just under the surface and is several miles across. Several ships have been wrecked here over time, and a few of them are still visible from the surface:

The wreck is of a so-called Liberty ship that hit the reef in July of 1963. The Liberty ships were a class of ships built during World War II using a new technique that made them very quick to produce. They were 135 meters long and had a beam of 17 meters. Around 2,700 of them were made and they were cargo ships used for trans Atlantic transport during the war. They were all of the same design and only built to last for five years. But many were used for a much longer period.

Nortwest Cay is one if the two parts of the reef breaking the surface. It has a small cairn probably put there to help ships steer clear of the reef:

We stayed at Hogsty Reef for two rather uncomfortable nights. The wind was blowing quite hard and the reef was not protecting us very much from the Atlantic waves, so the boat was bouncing most of the time. We then sailed to Bight of Acklin's which is yet another shallow bank with bright turquoise water:

We had a few visitors on board, some more welcome than others. This giant beetle flew into the cockpit one night when we were having dinner:

This hogfish was invited for dinner and tasted very good:

Bjarne caught it with a pole spear (basically a long spear with an elastic band that you put around the wrist, which helps propelling the spear) while we were out snorkeling.

This small bird decided to wait out a heavy shower on our boat, it was sitting on Bjarne's diving gear: