21 April 2017

Our Very Own Deserted Island | Cave Cay, Abacos, Bahamas

“Come on, let’s figure out what your Myers-Briggs type is,” I said to Scott over our morning coffee. “It’ll be fun!”

“For the millionth time, Ellen, the answer is no. There’s no way I’m going to let you do that mumbo-jumbo psychology voodoo stuff on me. You can always go back and get a job in HR if you miss putting people into boxes based on personality type.”

While I shuddered at the thought of going back in working in corporate la-la land, Scott got out our Explorer Bahamas charts and pointed to an island about 30 nautical miles from where we were currently anchored on the Little Bahama Bank.

“What do you think about going to Cave Cay to hide out from the weather that’s headed our way. Lawrence told me about it back at Indiantown. You remember Lawrence, don't you? He said no one ever goes there. It will be like our very own deserted island.”

“See, I knew it! You’re an ‘I’ when it comes to Myers-Briggs. You have a preference for introversion.”

“We’ve been married for 25 years and you’ve just now figured this out?” Scott asked with derision.

“No, I’ve always known it. In fact I think I know what your type is already.”

Scott put down his coffee cup and shook his head. “I think I know what your type is too. The type that has to know what everyone else’s type is so that they can sort and catalog them.”

I didn’t like the turn the conversation was taking. It was time to change the subject. “Shouldn’t we get going? We’ve got a ways to go and I want to get the anchor down at a reasonable time.”


Yes, back in my days back in corporate la-la land, I worked in HR in the organizational development team and one of the things we did was help people better understand themselves, the strengths they bring to their roles, how to work more effectively in teams etc. Myers-Briggs was one of the tools we used which I really liked.

If you want to know more about it, I wrote a blot post about personality type and writing styles a while back which you can check out. Maybe one day I’ll do some musings on Myers-Briggs and different types of cruisers.

But you didn’t come here to read about personality, did you? You popped by to see what we’ve been up to since we’ve been cruising in the Bahamas. So here’s the high-level scoop on what’s been happening since we crossed over from Florida:

1 – The weather sucks.

2 – Stuff broke.

3 – Sugary treats help improve one’s mood.

4 – Noseeums are evil.

5 – Sharks are scary.

I bet you want to know more, especially about the shark.

Let’s start with the shark. Because we hadn’t cleared into the Bahamas yet, we couldn’t step foot on land, but we could snorkel. Which we did. On one of our outings, Scott pointed out a 6-7' shark to me. Very helpful of him. Here’s how I reacted:

“Shark! Shark! Shark!”

All said at the top of my lungs while I kicked furiously with my flippers.

Later Scott pointed out that perhaps this wasn’t the best reaction. Screaming and making a commotion in the water makes me look like an interesting snack to sharks. The better thing to do would have been to calmly swim in the other direction. I don’t do calm very well, especially when there are sea monsters involved.

Turns out it was a nurse shark and likely to have been more scared of me than I was of him.

On our way to do some snorkeling at Cave Cay.

Let’s turn to noseeums. They aren’t scary, but they sure are annoying. And they love me. They express their love by leaving tons of tiny, itchy bites all over me. For some reason, they don’t love Scott. That’s annoying too. Misery loves company, but turns out I was the only miserable one scratching away.

I did a lot of cooking including a delicious coffee cake. I love the idea of coffee cake – not only does it have sugar in it, but it’s topped with more sugar. Yum.

I also make more nutritious things, like pita bread and hummus.

Pita bread, fresh from the grill, with olives, carrots and a little vino.

There’s a saying that cruising is fixing things in exotic locations. I had to get out our sewing machine and fix a tear on our bimini. The cool part is that I did it without electricity, using our monster wheel to manually operate the machine. Our port water tank started leaking on our way to Cave Cay and Scott sorted that out.

Half the battle in repairing a bimini is getting the canvas positioned in the machine.
When we weren’t busy swatting at noseeums, fixing stuff, screaming at sharks and stuffing our face, we were listening to the wind howl (we measured gusts up to 26, but I think they got higher than that) and trying to keep our balance while the waves crashed into our boat on the beam from one direction while the wind slammed at us from another. Scott doesn’t have a problem with his balance. Me, not so much and I have the bruises to prove it.

On our last day, a big catamaran came into the anchorage. They took one look at us and anchored far away. I think they might have a preference for introversion too.

{FYI for those interested in cruising to Cave Cay, you go south from Great Sale Cay to the Sale South waypoint, then east to the West End Bars waypoint, head east some more and there it is to the south of West End Cay and Little Abaco Island. Heads up that there's some skinny water along the way.}


Cruising Log – Wednesday, 29 March 2017 – Monday, 3 April 2017

Anchor up 8:00 AM. Anchor down 5:45 PM on the banks. Sailed for little over four hours. Slow going. Very little wind. Getting nowhere fast, so put the motor back on. Bimini starting to come apart on one of the seams I didn’t restitch before we left. Lots of flying fish skipping across the water like stones someone was throwing. Dolphin! Our sail cover is a pain to get on. Nautical Miles = 31. Engine = 5 hrs 30 mins. Spending = Nil.

Roly-poly night anchored on the banks. Anchor up 7:15 AM. Put the sails up and turned engine off at 8:15 AM. Lovely sail. Checked bilge at 11:30 AM - full of water. Realized our port water tank leaking. Had to put engine on and take down the sails to keep from heeling so water would stop leaking out. Anchor down at Cave Cay at 1:15 PM. Greeted by a barracuda. Sorted out the water tank, cleaned out the bilge. Nautical Miles = 29. Engine = 6 hrs 0 mins. Spending = Nil.

Another roly-poly night. Waves coming one direction and slamming into our beam, wind coming from other direction (SW 15-20, gusting to 26). Anchor well dug-in. Always reassuring. Made coffee cake and bread. Snorkeling. Watched Breaking Bad and movies. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = Nil.

Rain in the morning. Wind subsided. Wasn’t as roly-poly. Took bimini down and repaired with our Sailrite sewing machine. Used the monster wheel, so didn’t need electricity. Sewing took less time than getting Sailrite and supplies out of the v-berth. More snorkeling. Shark heading towards me! Scott scared him off and saved my life. Bobby the Barracuda and possible stone fish also sighted. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = Nil.

Lots and lots of noseeum bites. Spent the day trying not to itch them. Bobby the Barracuda hung about our boat. They’re curious little creatures. Too bad about their sharp, pointy teeth. Decanted some drinking water from our jerry cans into smaller containers. More snorkeling. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = Nil.

Even more noseeum bites. Stupid noseeums. I bet even their own mothers don’t like them. Made pita bread and hummus. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = Nil.

Do you know what your Myers-Briggs type is? Would you like to spend time anchored at a deserted island or would you prefer to be around more people?

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  1. What, noseeums in paradise?! I thought we would get rid of things like that for good, if we sailed into turquoise waters from our northern latitudes! Here we either have snow or mosquitos, take your pick. Oh, and if by any chance there should be a nice, warm day, then we have gadflies. I checked that from google translate. They bite big chunks out of you.

    I really like personality tests. Maybe I should work at HR. That's Hallberg-Rassy now isn't it? ;D

  2. I did the test - I'm INFP, so deserted islands for me, please. I knew this without the test, however. I didn't know that only 4% of folks are like me, but that explains a few things, so thank you very much for the tip!

  3. Yuck on the roll and no-see-ums. Sharks out here have tastier things to eat than a poor cruiser. Pita bread....that's ambitious! INFJ. I want to get to Conception because I want to be alone, I feel it should be nice, but I want to know which day we can leave!

  4. I personally enjoy swimming with flailers - in helps insure my safety as I calmly swim the other direction.

    We didn't have many problems with bugs, but I think that may have been related to the winds ALWAYS BEING 26+ KNOTS FOR 4 FREAKING MONTHS.

    I show up as INTP - along with 3% of other people. I am guessing that successful cruisers often start with I... Or they live in G Town longterm with all the fun, outgoing people.

    Glad that it appears to only be small, manageable things breaking. Enjoy your time!

    PS - I'm going to need that pita bread recipe, please.

  5. Boating as usual. I get all this. I'm sure you're having a much better time than some of the issues you're not liking. You're on a boat. You're with hubby. You have sweets and beer. What more could you ask for? Okay, no noseeums would be nice.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

  6. It looks beautiful even if it has a few little drawbacks! Am I weird to be more attracted to your pittta and hummus than your coffee cake? Yum!

  7. I have all my Meyers-Briggs results on my computer but I'm not telling, lol. I too am loved by noseeums. It's cause we are so sweet.

  8. Don't know my Myers-Briggs, I'm not sure it matters now. I would like to be anchored at a deserted island, have someone come visit, then go away. ;-) No noseeums, (I like that word, I have a whole roll of noseeum netting to work on getting into screens). How can anyone say" I see a noseeum?" How many times can I work noseeum into a sentence?

  9. Mike and I are both INFP's. My family is filled with them. We're super weird that way. I love your monster wheel sewing machine but I have avoided getting one myself. This is due to the fact that if I spend that much on a sewing machine Mike will expect that I should use it. And I don't want to. So I'll enjoy the fact that you and Donna on Denali Rose have those and know your way around them.

  10. No-see-uma always come for me. So do mosquitoes. And, sharks apparently as well. Was just recollecting an encounter with a nurse shark in the San Blas islands this week, working on my memoir. Mark was not home that time and he/she came very close! Probably the closest I got to a shark in all those years cruising and it was accompanied by a lot of adrenaline, especially when taking a quick salt water shower afterwards. The good and the bad. As long as the balance checks out, it is all Irie!

  11. ENFJ here ! (Borderline on the E, though). I don't know what that says about my capacity to learn to sew, but I feel like I'm woefully unprepared to continue the cruising life without this skill !

  12. We put a bridle on our anchor rode to turn the boat into the waves.

  13. INTJ-T and I'd take the deserted island any day over one that's populated -- you can keep the sharks, though! ;-)

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA


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