Grassey Cays, Andros

Monday, May 29, 2006
Bahamas

023-45.420 N
077-25.200 W
Marine forecast for this location

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

We've just spent two nice days at what's known as the Grassey Cays which are about 12 miles off the S end of Andros Island. Two days ago we had a break in the clouds and decided to slide 6 miles N from Pigeon Cay. Now one would think that moving 6 miles wouldn't be much of a problem, especially with the sun out. Well, within half an hour of departing a huge thunderstorm fired up and started marching towards us, blotting out the sun. The area between the two cays was strewn with patch reefs, so we were constantly dodging them. I'm sure that our track looked like a young kid trying to draw a diagonal line on an Etch-a-sketch! :-) Well, we made it in one piece and anchored in front of another rocky cay inhabited by birds. The anchorage was wonderful, with 7-8' of wonderful white sand that the anchor just sunk into.

And amazingly there was another boat there! It was a catamaran named Wind Dancer with David and Karen aboard. We spent some time hanging out with them and had a very nice time. David is a big hunter and had explored a lot of the patch reefs. One one of them he found a blue hole which we dove this morning. A blue hole is a hole in the earth which leads to an underground river which interconnects with other blue holes. Many times blue holes are large and are caused the the collapse of an underground limestone dome etched out by flowing water. In this case the hole was 6-10' wide and started at about 15' below the water and went down to 80'. I carefully lowered myself feet-first down the hole and when I got to the bottom I could see a vertical tunnel heading off to the W. Since I have no training in cave diving I didn't follow it. There wasn't much else to see, so I headed back up. The blue hole was located in a patch reef at 23-45.888N 077-25.516W. Note that this patch reef had some of the nicest coral that we had seen. There was also nice snorkeling on the W side of the next key to the N of anchorage. I spent an hour+ photographing two coral heads and I was amazed at how varied the life was. I ended up with some very nice shots.

There's a channel separating the cays and it's quite deep. Watch out while snorkeling as the current can sweep you away very quickly. The good thing is that its quite deep (20+ feet) and you can take your boat out through it. You need to stay in the northern third of the channel and at low tide you'd see a minimum of 8'. We crossed at high tide and didn't see less than 11' and that was just as you enter the channel between the cays.

I don't know what goes on inside of these cays, but the birds sure do make a racket...all night long. Last night I sat on the bow seat and just listened to all of the calls that they make. It was beautiful, but during the night it can get a bit noisy. And speaking of wildlife, we had fish the other night and the next morning I threw out the remains. About half an hour later an eight foot+ nurse shark cruised over and had a little feast. That was fun to watch.

Right now we're on our way across the Tongue of the Ocean to Green Cay. It's quite remote and is supposed to have great coral and long sandy beaches with great shells. We'll let you know.

I had wanted to dive the wall at the Tongue of the Ocean along the cays that we've been anchored at, but I couldn't figure out how deep the top of the wall was. On our way out we watched the depth display carefully and noted that the depth gradually works its way down to 50 feet and the steepens until you hit about 100' about a mile from the cays. Then the wall falls away to great depths. Unfortunately I see no way to dive this as 100' is too deep for the top of the wall and how would you even anchor? Green Cay is supposed to have a wall that's much shallower.

That's it from here. We hope that you had a good Memorial Day!

-- Geoff & Sue

For the cruiser:

We anchored at 23-45.43N 077-25.21W in 7 feet of water. There was deeper sand further out.
Log ID: 858

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