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Last Updated on May 24, 2022 by Amy
When we planned on coming to the Bahamas this season, we know that the Jumento Cays would be our favorite. The Bahamas, especially Georgetown is busy and crowded with cruisers, but the Jumentos are off the beaten path, more untouched and remote than possibly anywhere else in the Bahamas.
But, fate being what it is, we only got to spend two weeks in the island chain.
The Jumentos are an island chain south of Exuma. The name Ragged Islands is often used interchangeably, and I’m not really sure where the Jumentos end and Ragged Islands begin, other that there is A Ragged Island, the only populated island in the chain, with a total number of residents at around 50.
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After leaving Long Island we sailed west from Thompson Bay and arrived at Water Cay. Water Cay is a decently protected anchorage, and is usually a stop for cruisers who want to jump up to the Exumas next. When we arrived, that’s exactly what was happening; a convoy of about eight boats were going to depart early in the morning and head for Hog Cay Cut at the south end of Great Exuma. Thus, we woke up at sunrise to an emptying anchorage, and eventually we had it all to ourselves.
One thing about Water Cay is that it’s too far away form anywhere else to get internet, so, unfortunately we couldn’t linger very long as I had work commitments. But, we did head out to a nearby blue hole friends told us about for a swim.
It was FANTASTIC. Definitely the best snorkel we got in this season, and we are keen to go back and dive it.
Afterward, I swam the anchorage, finding all kinds of interesting things.
Back at Starry Horizons, we cleaned ourselves up and spent the day alone. In the afternoon David went to get the dinghy up only to find it had achieve neutral buoyancy! At some point the plug had come out and Little Dipper was trying to sink to Davy Jones’s Locker.
The next day we moved over to Flamingo Cay. This island was much bigger, but had a trail through the narrowest part. And that trail led us directly past several pond just teeming with red shrimp!
We had tried to see the shrimp hole in Long Island but were nibbled alive by mosquitoes. There were no mosquitoes here!
There were also a ton of curly-tailed lizards. Their scales are a shiny metallic color, and they were pretty brave, sometimes even getting underfoot.
Sadly, no flamingos on Flamingo Cay when we were there. But we did enjoy the walking and the beaches too.
From Flamingo, we moved down to Hog Island, which is, as David put it, “Georgetown South”. There were something like forty boats in the main anchorage, and a shack on the beach where people got together nightly.
We chose to anchor a bit further north than most people, in a shallower spot. There were also a few boats anchored just to the south of the main anchorage.
Our favorite part of Hog Island was all the hiking trails! There was a loop just north of the cruiser’s shack that we did, or we took a trail from the cruiser’s shack south to the beach facing Ragged Island.
Hog Island is where most people hang out when the wind picks up from the east. There’s also internet from the nearby town: Duncan Town, on Ragged Island. Fortunately it’s very protected so we had a lovely time with friends like Galatea, Reach, and Elpis.
Double Breasted Cay
When the wind was calmer, we moved up to Double Breasted for a change of scenery and some snorkeling. With Michelle, from Reach, I snorkeled several areas nearby and practiced underwater photography. I also swam the anchorage and bumped into (not literally, thank god) a bull shark.
Hog Cay Cut
On our way back to Georgetown, we stopped again at Water Cay for the night, and then left in the morning to time the trip through Hog Cay Cut with high tide. We weren’t the only ones going through – there was another boat coming from the south (a Saona, we let them go first!) and a few boats coming from the north. There was plenty of space and we passed through easily.
In the 2022-2023 season, we will definitely try to spend more time in the Raggeds. Several of our friends stayed down there for months. The trick will be provisioning as much as possible before hand, ordering new provisions to come in on the mail ship, and figuring out where to go with the winter storms blow through.