Bay Cay, off Providenciales

6th to 8th May 2021

We had a fast and enjoyable sail over from Long Cay – the shallow seas meant small waves and no oceanic swell, and there were 15-20kt winds from just off the stern. It’s a little nerve wracking seeing the depth meter hover around 3m for hours on end, but we got used to it and steered around anything that looked different. This route is well charted and travelled so I’m sure our caution was unwarranted, but anyway.

On the way, as the kids say, we “caught barracuda after barracuda after barracuda”. Which was both exciting and a shame – as these were too large for us to eat without feeling like we were risking ciguatoxic poisoning. The first one within an hour of leaving, before we had even circled Long Cay to get to the path through the shallows. That one had been half-eaten, by something with large teeth, and became strip bait.

It turns out barracuda love to eat barracuda chunks, and we caught several more. They were returned to the sea. The first was plenty of strip boat for our fishing needs.

On the way over Provo radar called, and while we were anchored the police visited. In both cases they were polite (even if the officer did open the conversation with “you’re under arrest,” he did so with a smile on his face and weapon holstered). I think both were related to COVID concerns – some yachts were stopping briefly without permission while transiting to other places. We had the relevant paperwork, so there was no problems for us.

The anchorage was a little exposed to the swell from just about every direction – Bay Cay is a very small island – but if there had been much from the East we could have snuggled in closer to shore. As it was we anchored well off and were comfy enough.

Here, the rock iguanas which were cautious and timid on Long Cay were positively friendly – they actually ran over to investigate us. Especially Theo, who obviously looks the most welcoming of all of us. My guess is that the tour boats which visit the island feed them.

The island was pretty and well worth a visit, but heavier weather was forecast and we wanted to move on a little closer to Providenciales (where there were shops in reach of our dinghy, even with our much-reduced battery capacity). We actually contemplated sailing straight around, but figured it would be worth stopping off the West coast for a night or two. Good decision.

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