“When I sit on the seashore and listen to the waves beating on the sand, I feel free from any obligation, and I think that all the people of the world can change their constitutions without me.”
—Henry David Thoreau
For years, I drove real estate clients around the Nashville, Tennessee area. Conversations varied, but I always enjoyed asking the man, “What is your dream of how you’d like to spend the rest of your life?” I was astonished to hear over and over again, “My dream is to get a boat and sail off to a sandy deserted island with crystal clear water and live a simpler life.”
Well, Mud Puddle Rose just spent a few days there!
After enjoying the communities of Spanish Wells and Harbor Island, we ventured south down the West Coast of Eleuthera. The anchorages of Royal Harbor, Meeks Patch, and Current Cay were delightful. However, as we continued south, the coast became a series of high limestone cliffs with a few beaches in between.
The winds were uncommonly out of the west, and there was no protection from the waves and swells. We started to get discouraged, when we stumbled upon a small bight on the lee side of Pelican Cay.
This area is on the northern rim of a large bay called, Alabaster. The charts described Pelican Cay as, “Sand and grass bottom with poor holding for anchoring.”
I have to admit that I am ‘old school.’ Ever since I was a child, my father always had Danforth anchors. In a world where the marine industry comes out with ‘better’ anchors faster than Apple upgrades their iPhones, I have continued to choose Danforths. After hurricanes, Ivan, Dennis and Katrina among others, I have never dragged with my Danforth … sermon over. Well, not surprisingly, we have a 65 lb. Danforth and 300’ of chain; and so, despite the charts’ warning, there we anchored! I do however, when possible, snorkel down to the anchor to check it. This is a very wise and simple precaution to allow me to sleep better at night!
Pelican Cay not only protected us from the western winds but the swells as well. It was very comfortable, once I laid out the chain along a sandy patch on the bottom and Susan backed us up enough for the anchor to dig into the bottom. As we sat on the flybridge, we were surrounded by a long white sandy beach and a beautiful view out over the water.
Any waves that appeared gently glided past us to disperse upon the beach. This was very different from our run south along the cliffs, where the waves ricocheted off the steep rocks right back to us.
With the engines off, we looked around as the pelicans were returning to their cay, fish were jumping as they chased dinner, and no boat was within nearly a half mile of ours.
The winds continued to die down and we dropped the dinghy into 10’ of gin clear water. Mud Puddle Rose appeared to be practically suspended in air as the water was so clear. We dinghied over to the deserted beach full of nothing but shells and tranquility. As we took in the magnificence of the area Susan rightfully suggested that we stay another day, and it made perfect sense. Why pull up the anchor and leave once we’d found paradise? A few boats cruised off on the horizon looking for their own paradise and fortunately continued on past Pelican Cay.
I am sitting aboard Mud Puddle Rose as the light winds pass by and small puffs of white clouds look down over our paradise. They too are moving on … but I think that we’ll stay another day! Also, I wonder if any of the men who shared their dream of sailing off to a deserted island might be skipper of one of the boats that passed by on the horizon … I hope so.