25th to 28th May 2022
Note for those who sail in the area: Bird Cay doesn’t exist anymore, except as a shallow reef. Just so you are not confused when arriving into 20kt headwinds, noticing all the depths on your charts are hideously wrong, and trying to take bearings off the wrong island to work out where you are on the hand-drawn charts in the best cruising guide available. Anyway, after some eye-based navigation and a couple of circles using the depth sounder to work out where might be safe, we found a secure anchoring spot to the West of “an” island.
Incidentally, “new bird cay” is the formerly unnamed cay to the West, which also has a fairly interesting seagrass area to the North of it (fish nursery in which we saw small barracuda hunting baitfish, the seagrass was interspersed with coral, lots of sea stars). Lots of opportunities for photographing birds.
We met the owner of South Moho Cay in his lancha, after he saw Arthur waving a fish at him and came over to say hello. For the last two years, the island has been home to Michael, his wife Syria, and their three children – the island has been owned by Michael’s family for 100 years or so, but was recently in a pretty un-cared for state. They’ve turned it into a beautiful family home with beautiful gardens, and are in the process of renovating a few cabins for guests, and considering installing mooring buoys and adding lights to the stakes Michael has placed on the shallow spots. If they complete that it’ll be a dream spot for family or friends to visit the cruising sailor. There is excellent shelter for a few boats to anchor close in-shore of the reef, and I’m pretty sure any cruising family would be made to feel welcome (non-families too, but the kids loved having some new friends to play with on their island).
On the East of the island there was a great re-introduction to snorkeling for the kids (and us). Nice coral, an underwater concrete wall that was home to several smaller nurse sharks, rays, and countless fish, and a wreck that’s apparently home to an 8’ moray eel and larger nurse sharks (we didn’t see them, but did see plenty of other beautiful things). After the early morning snorkel, we ended up spending the day on the island with Michael and his family and were made a delicious meal. Fun was had by all.
Otherwise, we swam, fished, painted, collected rainwater, played in the rain and explored by dinghy.