Friday, July 17, 2015

With Heavy Hearts

Pulling away from Compass Cay was a bit doleful. It was a beautiful morning, but the during the process of untethering Istaboa, all involved were quiet and somber. As we motored away, I glanced back to see Loan and Preston still standing on the dock we had just left, still watching, I think they were almost as sad as we were. Or, they wanted to be sure we were gone. (We prefer to think the former.)

This long stay went by way too fast, as they seem to do these days. They just don't make months like they used to. In the blink of an eye a whole month will just disappear as if compressed into a .zip file of memories and stored away.

Ahh... the Sharks... they're Nurse Sharks; oddly docile and quite friendly.
Really; after all these years and hours and hours of watching them. I think they truly enjoy the interaction. Of course, a lot of the attraction for them is food, (not us thankfully), but they do seem to enjoy laying about the fish cleaning dock, having their backs scratched.
Many times I've been snorkeling the reef just under the docks and had them swim very close, brush up against me, and follow me around. At first, I must admit it was a bit unnerving, but soon it became apparent, they mean no harm. They're simply coexisting as they do with the many other fish at this fish friendly, sanctuary like, marina.

At Compass Cay there's no fishing of any kind and no harassing the Sharks. If a predator swims in; a Lemon Shark, Black Tip, or Barracuda, it will be prodded and forced to leave... or speared and taken out to the sea if it doesn't.

And there's the famous pigs of Big Majors Spot. Yes, they are internationally renowned. Google, 'Exumas Pigs'.
You'll see them enjoying the attention and handouts of good grub from movie stars, sports stars, super models, and us normal folks too. This trip, there was a film crew at Big Majors shooting a commercial using the pigs roaming around the beach in the background — for Angry Birds? Not sure what that's all about. We're told there's going to be a movie.

Anna Mae at anchor - Big Majors Spot

So, maybe now you can understand why Crew Istaboa treasures this tiny dot on the map.
This place really is magical. Swim with friendly sharks, movie star pigs? Where else in the world can you find things like this?
Mel and I never tire of Compass Cay and Pipe Creek. We always arrive excited and we always depart remorseful; planning our return.

We don't think it's for everyone. I've been asked many times, "How can you stay as long as you do and not get bored? No restaurants, no bars, no island bands, how do you do it?".
Our answer: It's easy if you have the time. Just sit under the shaded overhang next to the office where the breeze is priceless; be still, be quiet, be aware of your surrounding, and soon, you too will learn to BE at Compass Cay... it doesn't take long and it may forever alter your perspective on many things.  When you tire of that or the bugs come out, walk back to your boat, read a book or take a nap or both; go snorkeling with the fish in a marina that's better than any aquarium, chit chat with interesting folks from all over the world, hike around the island — then saunter back to the overhang and get back to the business of BEing. > Repeat.

More entertainment arrives with the tourists from Georgetown. Their look of amazement is priceless. They feed and swim with the sharks as Tucker and the boys grill them the best burger they've ever had, all the while slamming as many Kaliks as possible before jumping on the fast boat and heading back to Georgetown.

I've got tons and tons of memories and photos to share before I .zip them up.

So, like always, with remorse and heavy hearts we left the Exumas and crossed the bank back to Nassau.

With Nassau comes free high-speed internet, so I'll post more soon. And, Tucker has been here for the last few days so we hope to catch up with him before we head out for... ???