July 1st - Salt Cay to Big Sand Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands
A quick 3 hour trip brought us to the next island in the chain, Big Sand Cay. It's officially a bird sanctuary island with no buildings or trees, only wreckage of a US Govt. marker beacon and Apollo tracking station. Beautiful blue-green water and 20-30 foot visibility, great sandy anchorage right off the beach. The anchorage was near the point and exposed ocean, so the boat was a bit rolly in the swells. We spent the time hiking the perimeter of the island and snorkeling the reefs. Not unlike swimming in a tropical fish tank! No barracuda this time, but one small reef shark visited. We continue to be dismayed at the amount of plastic waste we encounter on these remote beaches.
Rick K was intent on mastering his spearfishing techniques and went off with Chrissy on the SUP (oversize paddle board that can double as a kayak, so holds 2 comfortably). They were quite a sight, with Chrissy standing up paddling and Rick laying on his stomach with his mask and snorkel on, peering into the water looking for fish (and keeping an eye open for curious barracuda) No luck though, they returned empty handed.
The natural beauty of the island was mesmerizing, but with no natural water it was very desert like, complete with prickly cactus. The eroded rock formations, natural arches and coral remnants were captivating.
We really wanted to have a 4th of July bond fire, (since we weren't shooting off fireworks or flares) and spent some time collecting wood, building a wind barrier of sorts, collecting coconut husk as starter kindling... the big question was - does salt water soaked wood even burn?? In spite of gasoline the crew of ex-scouts were unable to get it lit in the 17-20 knot sea breeze. Also we found out later that when organics such as wood are burned in the presence of chlorides, dioxin is created in the flue gas.
All too soon our time there was up and it was time to move on... Panama here we come!