NMC062 Highborne Cay Bahamas

Daphine Mbithuka


Episode #62: Highborne Cay Bahamas

Recorded: December 22, 2017

Location: Anchored off at Highborne Cay

Subject: Soaking in the beauty of the Highborne Cay anchorage right before the sun rises!

What makes a good anchorage? If you have been an ardent listener of this podcast, you have probably heard Rosa Linda Román mention an instance about how the sailing family had an encounter with thieves while at a marina. That encounter left them feeling vulnerable to say the least.

While that experience was certainly the exception, safety is always something to consider when choosing where to drop anchor with your family’s floating home. In today’s episode of New Mexi-Castaways, Rosa Linda gives us a peek into why the anchorage at Highborne Cay, Exuma, Bahamas defines a perfect anchorage as she enjoys a beautiful early morning staring into the ocean. And as she mentions, one of the most important reasons is the security factor, which is a basic need for every human being. Follow along as she unravels more of the things we should look out for while considering an anchorage. We hope you enjoy this episode!

P.S. If you liked this episode check out our most recent episode:

NMC048 Audio Issues Atlantis to Palm Cay


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Episode Transcript:

Rosa Linda Román (00:28): Hello, and welcome to New Mexi-Castaways. I'm Rosa Linda Román, and I am sitting on the quiet helm deck of the Dawn Treader in Highborne Cay [indiscernible]. I'm sitting beside my trusty morning companion Nala, and you [indiscernible] quiet, you can hear the waves lapping against the shore not too far off in the distance, and a little breeze, and it's peaceful. If you are new to my channel, let me introduce myself, I'm Rosa Linda Román and I live on this boat with my three kids, my husband, and our now nanny, Ms. Lauren. So, the boat is a lagoon 450 catamaran, which means it has two sides. The port side has two and a half bedrooms really. We converted a forward hold into a third bedroom. So, we have three bedrooms on the port side with two bathrooms and one bedroom on the starboard side with one bathroom. That's the master suite and everybody is sleeping. Rosa Linda Román (01:55): In fact, Nala is sleeping next to me even. So, it's nice and quiet. It was not quiet last night. Oh my gosh. Every single bit of, every part of this crew, except for my husband, that's mean, yeah, even Ms. Lauren, they were in a loud, silly mood which, you know, is good and bad. We were exhausted. And after dinner, everybody wanted to be very, very loud. So, that made it kind of more challenging when you're in tight spaces. You have to try to be patient and respect each other's, you know, needs. And one of them is being aware of the noise you make. But anyway, I wanted to describe the Anchorage for you. It's beautiful [indiscernible] to go. It's pitch black out. There's no moon. And you just see these lights passing. We live below on the [indiscernible] the other boats in the Harbor. There's about 10 sailboats, maybe five small motorboats. And two massive, big yachts. Rosa Linda Román (03:37): And it's just beautiful, peaceful. And so, [indiscernible] here because it's a pretty nice Anchorage. What is nice for us is the Anchorage is secure, and we're relatively close to shore in a place where I feel comfortable with the kids swimming and peddling around. The girls, each got a pedal board for Hanukkah. And so, they have been putting those to good use, paddling to shore, and snorkeling, and looking for sand dollars, which they find aplenty here. We're actually just north of the land and sea park here in Exuma, in The Bahamas. And that's the area that you're not allowed to take anything, not a shell, not a rock, not a stick. And you can get fined $500 if you do. So, we obviously are very careful about that and we actually almost didn't go there last year because we thought, what if one of the kids, you know, picked some something or the dog picks up something, but we ended up going through it and it was beautiful. Rosa Linda Román (04:51): And I definitely can see the value in having that place, because it's the key to everything. The sea life is abundant. And, you know, there are so many places that you go and there's just nothing, you know? Everything's been fished and farmed out, all the [indiscernible] and everything taken. So, I can definitely see the value of that. Another thing we like about this Anchorage is we're right in front of the BTC tower. BTC is the [indiscernible] telecommunication company [indiscernible]. And we had to get some cell service or some internet service because my daughter, Ahava, was trying to finish up her semester for her virtual school. She has been working nonstop. Yesterday everybody did water sports and she stayed on the boat working the whole day and into the night, but she had a phone meeting with her teacher in [indiscernible] and she had email communication with her maths teacher on math recorded DDA, which is like, I forget what it stands for. Rosa Linda Román (06:02): But it's basically when you check in with your teacher and they test you on what you're working on. And she got a hundred percent. So, she was very excited about that. She's really an impressive young lady. She is not only doing this schoolwork basically on her own, although, now with Ms. Lauren onboard, she's had at least someone who helps her more. And she's been a really great asset. We love having Ms. Lauren on board. But anyway, she also is studying for her bat mitzvah, which is less than a month from now, and it's going to be in Puerto Rico. And she's, basically, doing that completely on her own. The Rabbi sent in MP3s of his voice capturing the prayers in Hebrew, that's it. She's on her own besides that. Rosa Linda Román (07:01): And so, she's been a little bit… a lot nervous about that and about her schoolwork done. So, at least we're trying to get that handled. And that's why we came to the same church. It may be a really good time [indiscernible] Abacos, I guess it is Monday and today is Friday. So, we went down Hope Town leaving here on Monday and we went down to an Anchorage that night and that's right around Christmas. It's December 22nd as I'm recording this. And he left Hope Town 17th, 18th, 19th, I don't know. Anyway, we anchored out at a place called [indiscernible] Cay and it was beautiful. And I slept part of the night under the stars that night. Then we went out to see [indiscernible] and frost from the Abacos to Eleuthera, and we got there before sun fall, before sundown. Rosa Linda Román (08:06): And so, anchored at an island there called… entered Eleuthera at [indiscernible] island at the, I think it's the Egg Island or something like that. I don't know why it's called Egg. But anyway, then right beside it is Royal Island and we anchored off of there for the night that night. So, that would have been Tuesday night. And then, when we ran across, I think it's Eleuthera [indiscernible] or… I forget what they call that body of water, but basically, went south from the northern part of Eleuthera down to the midsection or southern midsection called Rock Sound. And that was a full day sail, motor sail really. We came into rock sound and as we approached Rock Sound there was a boat that called us on the radio and they had a little girl on board. I think she said she was eight. And we had hoped to connect with them, but they ended up throwing… they were not on their boat in the morning when we thought we were going to connect with them, so we ended up leaving. Rosa Linda Román (09:18): We spent the night, that night, so that was Wednesday night. And so, Wednesday during the day we crossed again the ocean and came to the, I think it's called Highborne Cut. So, that was Wednesday. And we anchored here Wednesday night, and then, last night, which was Thursday night. So, we've stayed here… This is the longest we've stayed anywhere since we left Hope Town which worked out really well because we were able to call the Rabbi, we were able to make some phone calls. Ahava called my husband's cousin, Natalie, who you may have remembered from past episodes. She and I have worked together on projects. Like, she has a business called My Habit Upgrade. And so, we used to do live interviews and just dabbled in tech together. She's one of my favorite people. And now she's helping Ahava with her bat mitzvah studying. Nala just sat straight up, so somebody's awake and it's my husband he's coughing [indiscernible]. Rosa Linda Román (10:42): Anyway, the sun is starting to cast some light into the sky. So, the darkness is not there anymore, but when it was dark now about a half hour ago, it was supposed to be the first meteor shower peaking at that time around five o'clock in the morning. I saw one shooting star and that was it. The other day, you know, maybe, yeah, was it at Iron Cay or somewhere else? I can't remember, maybe Eleuthera. There was a massive meteor shower Geminids or Geminids, I don't how to pronounce that. But that one had dozens and dozens of shooting stars and Ahava and I went out and were lying down on deck watching it, and it was beautiful. So, that was pretty cool. Oh yes, listen. Can you hear? That's the sound of coffee grinding and it's fantastic. Nathan is grinding coffee and he always does that. And he has whole beans and then runs it so it's fresh in the morning. Rosa Linda Román (12:00): And it is the most glorious thing. I get up early to try to do my work then lately I haven't been. I've been just getting up at the same time that everybody else is. But I'm trying. Today is my first day getting up again at five, so I can have some quiet time before everyone gets up. And that is really in large part because of how loud it was last night. I just decided I really can't start my day with so much noise and end the day with so much noise. So, I decided today's the day. I'm going to get up and try to have some quiet time before the family gets up and gets moving, because, you know, people ask me all the time, you know, "How do you do it? How do you live on a boat? It's gotta feel like there's no space, and it's such tight quarters." Rosa Linda Román (12:50): And that is true, but normally, we get along, and it's fine. And it's a pretty sizable boat for us. It's not a monohull where you'd all be in one line, basically. Here, I can go to the starboard side or the port side, and excuse me, I get a little bit of a break. But just sometimes it does add up and when the kids all decide to escalate at the same time, it certainly can be a little bit overwhelming. So, that's when I decided I can't because yesterday, I was really struggling with Ziva. You know, having two pre-teens in the house can be a challenge. You know, having any of us, all of us are big personalities. Rosa Linda Román (13:55): So, any of us can be a challenge, but for some reason, Ziva, in particular, has decided that she really is kind of angry at me, at the world. I don't know, but I feel it. I tend to be very empathic, if you will. I feel people's energy and emotion and maybe it's because of my hearing issues, because I have had a double [indiscernible] and I don't hear like most people, but I think maybe partially because of that, I very much can [indiscernible] people's body language. And Ziva's body language has been closing off and shutting down and basically, you know, just not wanting to let me in. Nathan said it's been that way with him too, but he doesn't take it personally. And I wish I could do that. And I do try to work on not taking it personally, but you know, after being so connected to a person for their whole lives, you know, I mean, since they were born, being so physically connected to these children, it's very hard to then just shut that off and not be tamely aware of their needs, and their moods, and their feelings. Rosa Linda Román (15:20): And so, you know, I've been trying to communicate with her and she just has been shutting me down, shutting me down, shutting me down. So, you know, I'm trying really hard to find what the right balance is between letting her have her space and not over pushing, but also not, you know, leaving bad energy, hanging in the air that then affects all of us because she tends to lash out and take it out on her little brother or whatever. So, you know, that's one factor that has been making it harder. The other factor that's been a major challenge is that Nathan hurt his back about five days ago. I'm not sure exactly how he had it. It was either by, I was thinking from pulling the starter pole of the dinghy because dinghies are… this one, in particular, is stubborn and you have to really crank it and you have to kind of, you know, pull the pool cord across your body and it's very challenging. Rosa Linda Román (16:31): And so, I thought he either pulled it out there. He thinks it was from throwing the kids into the surf, like, you know, into the ocean, in Hope Town, whatever the case, however, he did it. It has been a real problem. He's been very uncomfortable. I mean, an agony uncomfortable every day, pretty much all day. The only relief he's gotten was from swimming. And because of that, we're trying to figure out what the next course of action is going to be. He doesn't have, and he can't function, and he can't enjoy this the way that I was hoping. And then, all of us were hoping, you know, he's finally off, he's finally got some time off. He took three weeks off, which he's never done. I don't remember him ever doing in the time we've been together in 21 years taking three, four weeks off like this. And then, he promptly hurt himself. Rosa Linda Román (17:33): So, it's very frustrating because we've already been struggling trying to figure out where we're going to go and how we're going to go. And if we're going to go and cross and go to Puerto Rico because that is a massive, you know, it's a major trip. You have to cross the ocean for days without seeing shore for days. It may be three days, it may be nine days. We just can't figure it out based on other people's account. So, because of that, we are really struggling. We were already struggling to figure out where we're going to go and whether we were just going to sail, like, down to Georgetown, and then, try to fly to Puerto Rico, because we'll have her bat mitzvah there, like I said, January 20th in Puerto Rico. Rosa Linda Román (18:38): We want to sail there. Ahava, Ms. Lauren, and myself definitely want to sail there. Nathan was not convinced. He's worried about something happening along the way. And yeah, so it was already an issue and we were already been struggling with that. And now with his hurt back, I feel like maybe the whole thing's going to be derailed. And it's just, you know, the nail in the coffin for our hopes to go to Puerto Rico in our home, in our boat. Now, a big part of why I want to go to Puerto Rico in our boat is, I mean, just A, for the experience. It's something that I've never done. And I think that it would be a valuable experience to do as a family. Yes, I worry about safety. That's obviously my number one concern, but I also want to not live our lives fearfully and a big, big part of the Puerto Rico factor is that my father is from Puerto Rico and long before Hurricane Maria decimated the island I always wanted my family to have a connection to the island and to my family there. Rosa Linda Román (20:00): And so, I you know, I pushed for that, and we picked Puerto Rico as the location for her bat mitzvah because of that, because I wanted them to, I want to go there, and be there, and spend time there, and maybe have the kids either go to school there or at the very least play sports there, you know? So that they learn a little bit about the culture and at least spend weekends with my family up in Lares. And, you know, just really having that unique experience that I remember so fondly. When I was little my dad worked for Eastern Airlines. And so, we used to always go to Puerto Rico and spend the summers, and you know, some Christmases with my family in Puerto Rico, with my Iowa, my away Abuela, my Abuelo, my aunts and uncles, [Spanish] and [Spanish]. Rosa Linda Román (20:57): And I have such happy memories of that place. And I would really like my family too, my kids, in particular, certainly my husband, but my kids in particular to have, you know, a real connection, a tangible connection to the island. We'll get that by flying into, but I don't know that we'll have that same experience that I'm hoping for. And there is my sweetheart with coffee. Are you staying or going back down? Nathan (21:29): [indiscernible]. Rosa Linda Román (21:29): Okay, I'll move this stuff so you can sit. Nala ate her life vest. I found her naked and found her life vest on the floor. She chewed it. She'd chewed through the heart, around her chest. So, yup. It sounds like Nala… What? Nathan (21:53): [indiscernible]. Rosa Linda Román (21:56): Right, exactly. Nathan said she risked her life from this point on, because she has this really great life dress. Let me look at it so I can tell you which brand it is because it's really cool. Rosa Linda Román (22:08): Awesome. I like this. It says EzyDog is the brand and it is a fantastic life vest. And she truly chewed through the chest strap. I think I can sew it. It's got enough, I don't know what part she… she just chewed the part that connects to the vest. So, I think I can get creative and actually still make it salvageable. So, hopefully, because it's actually a really special vest. It came from some friends we met, actually, we were here when they gave it to us, if I remember correctly, this time, around this time last year. I think we came through a little later than this through here. But yeah, Troubadour was a boat we met in Rock Sound, and then, we saw them again here, and then had had one of their beloved dogs who had passed away and they said they still had the life vest on board. Rosa Linda Román (23:22): And we had had a cheap life vest for… not cheap, I shouldn't say cheap, but we had a west Marine Life vest for her before that, but it wasn't hardy enough. She's a German shepherd. So, you know, she needed something a little bit more substantial. And this family, this couple gave us their dog's life vest and Nala has put it to good use for the entire year since. So, that was very sweet. And, you know, that reminds me of something that… I am talking about the Puerto Rico thing and you know, I always ask myself, why am I pushing so much for this? And the sailing experience itself, besides the cultural experience of going to Puerto Rico, and what I hope to have that experience once we get there, you know, there's a real blessing with this cruising community. Oh, Nathan just turned on the navigation. You'll hear it in a second. Rosa Linda Román (24:29): I think you'll hear it. Nope, maybe not. Oh, but now I can see the instruments. It says our we're facing 15 degrees. I don't know what that means exactly. I guess the direction from north. The depth is 13.2 feet, and we're going zero nuts. Let me move this stuff. Are you going to look at the charts? Nathan (24:57): [indiscernible]. Rosa Linda Román (24:57): I think that would be a good idea too. Let me just move this. I'm going to pause and I'll be back in a minute. Anyway, so I'm sitting here with Nathan. I don't know if you guys were able to hear him say good morning. Nathan (25:15): Good morning. Rosa Linda Román (25:16): And he is looking at the Ray Marine charts and we're basically trying to figure out where we're going to go next. We are anchored off of Highborne Cay, and there's a bunch of different Cays we can stop at along the way. One of them that we're looking at is Shroud Cay and Shroud Cay is just the, it's the land and Sea Park that I was talking about earlier. Rosa Linda Román (25:43): So, we may go there, but I don't think we'll stay there. How close was that? Nathan (25:48): It's close. Rosa Linda Román (25:49): Yeah, I don't want to spend the night there. I want to get further south, because Ahava last year when we were in Georgetown and the kids went to the little local Georgetown Primary School Ahava made a dear, dear friend, Samala, who she has kept somewhat in touch with. We're not the greatest at keeping in touch, in general, but her mom, Felicia, and I have been communicating and she told me Somala's one… she said, the only thing she wants for Christmas is to see Ahava, which of course, makes me want to cry. And Ahava's been working so hard with her bat mitzvah and her school. You know, I just really, I would like to push to make that happen. Rosa Linda Román (26:35): So, there are some wonderful, beautiful places between here and there that maybe we can have, like, we would definitely want to dive the mermaid or snorkel the mermaid which is a sculpture underwater. That's just really cool. But that's further south from here and we can stop at the oh, you're looking at the cut now, little major's spot that's by Staniel Cay. Nathan (27:01): I like that mermaid, you've met a mermaid? Rosa Linda Román (27:02): I don't think, oh, I think, is Musha Cay right up there? There's Fowl Cay. No, that's Staniel Cay. The mermaid is, I think it's further south, yeah. So, how far is it to there? Because that's Staniel Cay area. Staniel Cay has a really cool underwater grotto that you dive under and into. And it's really, really cool. Nathan (27:36): [indiscernible]. Rosa Linda Román (27:36): Yeah. Oh, you do have the route already in there. Nathan (27:40): Well, it's not accurate though. Rosa Linda Román (27:42): Why? Because- Nathan (27:40): [indiscernible]. Rosa Linda Román (27:43): Because everything's changed. Nathan (27:44): Yeah [indiscernible]. Rosa Linda Román (27:45): That's crazy. Look at that. So, what Nathan's saying is it's the route that we took last year. I think it was what? March last year. It has completely changed because we're looking at our route on the chart and it goes right over the rocks now. And that's because everything shifts, everything changes. So, you have to change your chart and your route, but you have to update your… that's why you always have to have updated charts, number one, and number two, you have to update your route. The other reason we're pushing to get to Georgetown is because Nathan, now he just woke up and I asked him how your back is and he said no change. So, you know, A, there is a hospital there, which he may or may not get checked on. Nathan (28:38): [indiscernible] per miles. You know, so 45 miles per miles Rosa Linda Román (28:42): From here to Staniel? Nathan (28:44): Yeah [indiscernible]. Rosa Linda Román (28:44): Okay. That seems reasonable for a day, right? Nathan (28:49): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (28:49): And if we stopped at all at Shroud Cay to go to the Land and Sea Park, then that would be basically the whole day. Like, maybe go there and swim or not. I mean, I don't know if it's… remember there was that place we went up with the dinghy and we got to the other side. That was pretty cool. And there's some place called like The Bubbles or something that our friends tell us we should go to. That may be the thing we do. Nathan (29:20): I don't know where that is, we got to find out. Rosa Linda Román (29:24): I know, I got to find out. All right, I got work to do, so I'm going to let you all go. Thanks for listening to New Mexi-Castaways. If you are interested in following our adventures with video and photos you can go to my Facebook page, New Mexicast, and there will be a Signup Button. And that will take you to, basically, give me your email address and I'll sign you up for the private Facebook group, and also, to get access to our private Google photos album, where I put more of the videos and photos from behind the scenes. So, I hope you'll join us as a part of our New Mexi-Castaways crew. Thanks again for listening. I'm Rosa Linda Román and this is New Mexi-Castaways. Bye.

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