March 16, 2009.
After several days of hiking and hunting at Raccoon Cay it was time to move on. We had a 10 mile day to Hog Cay scheduled. The wind was supposed to be down in the 15 knot range and once again we were subjected to winds in the high twenties.
At 1000 hours Christy and I sailed off the anchor and headed out towards our first waypoint. We had about 4 miles of running downwind, then a mile and a bit of beam reaching before we were forced to turn pretty much dead into the wind for the last 5 miles of the day.
There are a lot of reefs, coral heads and shallows to deal with so tacking up wind to our destination was pretty much out of the question. With the wind whipping the surface of the water it was all but impossible to read the water depths, so we were relegated to following the suggested route on the charts.
We had never been south of Raccoon Cay before so this was to be our first visit to Hog Cay. A 4 mile dinghy ride from Hog to the south will bring us to Duncan Town, which is the only settlement (town) in the entire Ragged Islands. The population there is under a hundred people and this is the end of the trail as far as the Jumentos goes. We’d heard rumors of internet being available there for the first time ever. (So, if you received this email, the rumors are true!) There was none here last year, plus we were running out of gasoline for the dinghy and water, so we didn’t bother with a trip here. Cuba is less than 60 miles to the south.
Once in the lee of Hog Cay the sea state calmed down and we entered yet another lovely anchorage. After lunch we headed out to walk some of the extensive network of trails that crisscross the cay. We ended up doing a lot more walking than we thought we would, including a bit a searching for Molly.
We had been walking along a trail and came across a small herd of wild goats. They saw us and took off through the tangle of dense underbrush. Unfortunately, Molly saw them and was off in a flash, in pursuit. After 20 minutes she decided to once again grace us with her presence. We were lucky that she decided to come back because there was just no way to effectively search for her in the dense scrub that covers the cay. This place is a couple of miles long by more than a half mile wide. I already had visions of walking the trails in the evening shaking her food bowl, in an effort to find her.
After dinner we were invited to the Hog Island Club & Resort. A small group of cruisers spend most of the cruising season anchored here and as a result they’ve put together a pretty impressive camp site.
Under some trees near the mouth of a cave they’ve put together a social club of sorts. The trees are decorated with flotsam of all types. There is seating for over a dozen people on various chunks of driftwood and floating debris, around a fire pit. It’s very reminiscent of a set from “Survivor”.
They’re very organized and have put a lot of work into this gathering place. They’re not like the mondo organized Nazis of Georgetown; here the focus seems to be to have a nice place to relax. Another big difference is that in Georgetown there are 300 boats, while there are just a half dozen here.
Today we spent the morning walking some different trails. We found a fairly large set of ruins that were a lot newer than I had expected them to be. There was a date scrawled into the foundation of 7/29/81. It’s just more proof that these islands are a pretty tough place to live. In less than 30 years there’s nothing left but a few foundations and some extensive stone fences. We were able to gather a few coconuts which was fun, except for the part where you have a machete them……open.
After lunch we did a bit of snorkeling and were a little disappointed by the lack of underwater structure that the fish and
lobsters depend on to survive. I did however bag a very large snapper known as a Schoolmaster. We might come back to the states with more food them we left with……?