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Lee Stocking, Exumas


Last Updated on July 13, 2022 by Amy

With our friends Sara and Todd on board, we departed the Georgetown area for Lee Stocking, after the big island just to the north of Great Exuma, and some nearby islands.

Sara was feeling a little poorly (could have been the margaritas at Chat N Chill the night before) so we opted to duck into one of the first anchorages in Rat Cay Cut.

Anchorage: Rat Cay

We dropped anchor on the northwest side of the island, which has a bit of a wrapping swell. Sara, Todd and I piled into the dinghy and went around the corner. All of these islands have small beaches, so we found one on the west side, completely protected from the easterly swell.

We stayed one night at this anchorage, and the next morning we inflated the paddleboard and went snorkeling.

Me sunbathing AND keeping an eye on our friends.

Anchorage and Hiking: Lee Stocking Island, Williams Bay

This was our favorite anchorage in the Lee Stocking area. The island narrows to less than 100 meters wide, and there is a trail that goes across. Another trail runs south along the ocean-side cliffs. I did this walk twice (once with S&T and once with David). Friends have told us it’s excellent for sea glass, and while we did find some, it’s not nearly as many as our friends found! I guess you have to train to find it. And as you can see from the pictures it was VERY windy and even a little chilly and rainy.

One night a group of kayaks camped out! They were doing a 6 or 8 day trip around the islands!

Williams Bay is also a fantastic location for beach sunsets. The first night Sara, Todd and I enjoyed the small north beach. The second night, friends were in the area and we had a proper beach party!

And then, of course, there’s all the water activities. We snorkeled, paddleboarded, and even got visited by a dolphin!

A sunRISE shot!

Snorkeling Tug and Barge

Sara, Todd and I took the dinghy out to the Tug and Barge islands, about two kilometers from Williams Cay. I was pleasantly surprised – we saw tons of stingrays, reef fish, and even a GIANT turtle.

Hiking from Middle Beach

Halfway between Williams Bay and the research center is a big beach that’s popular for hiking and beach activities. Sara, Todd and I took Little Dipper in the morning and found one of the hiking trails that leads up to the air strip and the research center. Hiking to and exploring the research center and then back took us about three hours.

This is called a black witch moth. We see them a lot in the Bahamas.
Look at the size of this thing!

We also came back with all four of us and hiked to the top of Perry’s Peak, which was about fifteen minutes one way and gave us a fabulous view!

The view looking north.
The view looking south at Williams Cay.

Anchorage: Research Center

David and I anchored here later in the month. There are several docks at the research facility that provide easier access if you don’t want to hike an hour before visiting the site. However, we experienced a lot of current here, and the boats sat wonky to each other.

Lee Stocking Research Center

The big highlight of Lee Stocking Island is the abandoned research facility. While there seems to be maintenance crew roaming around, this is practically a must-stop for cruisers.

Friends told us about three things to look for – like a treasure hunt! We’ve added to the list though, so here’s everything I suggest looking for:

  • watermaker
  • wind generator (this we could not find)
  • hyperbaric chamber
  • Home Depot
  • life raft
  • airplane hangar
  • tank room

Anchorage: Barraterre

We anchored twice at Barraterre, a small settlement and island north of Great Exuma and connected via road. The first time was to rent a car and take Sara and Todd to the airport, and the second was to rent a car for us to run errands and meet up with friends.

The first time we anchored by the Fisherman’s Inn point. This is marked as an anchorage spot on the Explorer charts, but it is kind of in the way of the tour boat traffic. Next time we anchored at the north west tip of Little Hog Cay, which was a longer dinghy ride but we weren’t worried that we would touch bottom.

Barraterre doesn’t have a whole lot going on – we couldn’t even get diesel.

Exuma Point Beach

On the drive to the airport we stopped at Exuma Beach Point, which was a beautiful shallow sand bar. Well worth the stop, even if just for the photo op!

Next: Northern Exumas

After two weeks in the Lee Stocking area, we sailed back down to Georgetown to catch up with a few friends, do some projects, and have my aunt and uncle visit. You can read about all that in our Georgetown blog post.

Next, we’ll cover our quick cruise through the northern Exumas.

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