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Outer Islands

May 18, 2014
Tilloo Cay

We motored south from Hope Town, Elbow Cay to Tilloo Cay, anchoring in a cove just southeast of Tavern Cay. The anchorage protected us from the 15 – 20 knot northeast winds. Our goal was to get close to the coral gardens at Sandy Cay, so we could snorkel the area before starting our trek back North. Sandy Cay reef in Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park is a national park. According to our notes written on our chart, dated 5-15-11, it offered the best snorkeling in the Abacos. We thought it would be worth a few days of waiting for the wind to calm down to get the opportunity to snorkel there again.

Tilloo Cay National Park is a protected area for tropical birds. In our anchorage at Tilloo Cay that evening, we heard what sounded like a poorwill, though we think they are not indigenous to the Bahamas. Maybe this bird did not get the memo.


May 19, 2014
Lynyard Cay

Home on Lynyard Cay, looks like a postcard

Home on Lynyard Cay,
looks like a postcard

Even though the wind had not diminished from the previous day, we moved further south toward Sandy Cay. A downwind sail was delightful the first half of the trip. The second half required motoring with 3 – 6 foot swells on our bow ( front of the boat) and beam (side), until we got to the lee of Lynyard Cay (i.e.,the island blocked the wind).

As we turned toward our destination, we went directly into the wind enabling Captain Gary to easily take the mainsail down as we motored into the calm anchorage of Lynyard Cay. On our way to our protected anchorage of Lynyard Cay, we passed our snorkel destination of Sandy Cay. The holding ground had been reported to be poor at Sandy Cay, and it was recommended to be used only as a day anchorage. Therefore, we will backtrack, which will take a half hour of motoring, when we get the calm winds needed to return to Sandy Cay to enjoy snorkeling.

We noticed, by viewing the beach at Lynyard Cay with our binoculars, someone had made a signing tree. So when we went ashore the first time, we took our indelible marker to leave our signatures. This time we chose a white conch shell on which we wrote our names, boat name, and date. It reminds us of back-in-the-day when we would have written, “Gary and Jean were here.”

A selfie at the signing tree We left our names on a conch shell

A selfie at the signing tree
We left our names on a conch shell

For dinner, I made a Bahamian recipe of Peas and Rice. ( The recipe was posted on a display at the Island Roots Heritage Festival and I had taken a picture of it for future reference. ) The recipe called for Pigeon Peas. Knowing I wanted to make this recipe at some time, we had purchased canned pigeon peas when we were in Hope Town. I had no idea what pigeon peas were when we bought them, no idea how or where they were grown, what they looked like, what they tasted like, I’d never heard of them before; and since we didn’t have internet service at the remote island, I couldn’t find out all the answers to my questions. What I do know is we enjoyed the meal. We may stock up on pigeon peas before we leave the Bahamas.

Recipe for Peas ‘n Rice:
1/4 cup bacon, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 10 ounce can pigeon peas
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Fry the bacon until crisp. Add the onion, green pepper, and celery and cook until mixture is pulpy. Add tomato paste and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated. Add the drained pigeon peas, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the rice and add water to cover. Cover the pot and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Serves 4

After dinner, we took a dinghy ride to another little beach that appeared after low tide. As we were getting out of the dinghy, I found a sea biscuit in the shallow water at the shore line. Gary and I continued to walk in the water to look for more sea biscuits, finding only a few more.

The sun started to set so we stood on the beach and watched it descend. As the bright fuchsia globe dipped behind an island, we admired the beauty of what we were seeing, standing on the little beach until the last dot of the brilliant color faded, leaving behind a pastel blend of pink and blue along the horizon.

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