Written by Hans Wilson

Monday – We departed early to catch the tide, headed through Middle Bight.  I am getting used to picking our way over shallow waters, with only a foot of clearance below the props. The boat, a 46’ Newton dive boat, reconfigured by Dave for Bahamas cruising is designed well for this type of exploration.  I had the helm for a while and was trying to use the charts when it seemed we were getting shallower.  Dave took over and we finally spotted the aforementioned “wheel channel”.  Sure enough that was how Charlie Bethel gets his landing craft and boat supplies to Flamingo Cay, so we followed it, giving us about an additional foot of clearance.

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Following a “wheel channel” through Middle Bight.  This is at high tide. Check out the stirred up mud behind us.


We scared turtles out of the channel on occasion but that was about all we saw.  It really narrowed down as we entered Loggerhead Creek.  It was beautiful but made me nervous about navigating the boat in such tight quarters so I turned it over to The Squirrel.  We were not expecting the numerous sponge divers and boats in the creek and were a little disappointed to see anybody, expecting desolation. The Squirrel’s expectations were that no one would be around.  A few terms were bandied about regarding whether they were Dominicans poaching conch or Bahamians, and we finally decided they were Haitians working for the local Bahamians collecting sponges, owed in part to the boat we saw at Mangrove Cay loaded with sponges.  I didn’t think this was still a viable industry but apparently I was wrong.

We explored the three channels leading into the west side then anchored up in the Creek to get our dive equipment ready and to eat lunch.  The Squirrel got into Mom’s potato salad so we grilled the brats and had a great lunch.  We logged in some of the GPS numbers The Squirrel’s staff put on the Google maps showing interesting locations.  We also discovered the battery charger was broken so I helped Dave with handing him tools as he put in a spare.  He is always prepared for the worst, an important trait if you are going to be boating in the middle of nowhere.

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Checking out Loggerhead Creek


We headed south and didn’t see much on the three GPS locations.  The Squirrel was the man overboard for the day but of the three sites only one had any rock surface, the others were just grass.  After we checked them all we headed back north to the south exit from Middle Bight and to anchor up for the night.

Em and I took the dinghy to shore to explore what we thought was a sandy beach.  Turns out it was all clay with just a little bit of sand at the top of the shoreline, creating a “dune”.  It was a really weird shoreline and there was basically no trash to be seen, which is unusual for most shorelines in the Bahamas.  It is kind of a shame so much trash washes up on the Bahamian beaches, taking away from the natural beauty of the area.


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The clay banks of the west side of Andros Island.

We headed inland through the mud and mangroves, pausing at a crab hole to take a picture.  It was a huge hole and Em commented about not wanting to have to spend the night on the island, fearing the crabs would take over.  With a claw about the size of my hand, I too would not want the pleasure of meeting up with one in the middle of the night. I walked out to a mangrove island, checking out the middle in search of the treasure The Squirrel promised we would find. I headed back to meet Em, we walked the beach a little, then headed to the boat.


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Man eating land crab, awaits the dark and it’s next victim.

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Mudding my way to the mangrove island where treasure awaited.

I was tired but happy with being able to do a little exploring.  The drinking continued as usual, and I enjoyed another night on the foredeck watching the stars.  Saw my two favorite satellites and another shooting star.  Constellation watching is becoming one of my favorite Bahamian past times. Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle said the scotch in my coffee cup. Dwight’s ashes were safely tucked in my gear bag, but I am sure he was enjoying the constellations with his son.  I’m not sure if he was looking up at the stars or down at me but I could feel his smile.


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