It’s been hard for us to decide where to visit on our trip down the Exumas. There’s too much choice. Many of the anchorages are just a place to anchor and watch the world go by or plop yourself in the water to do a bit of snorkelling. This is a nice problem to have, of course, but sometimes we want to see a bit more than that – and occasionally meet people. So, after saying goodbye to Pete and his family at Allens Cay, we decided to head towards Norman’s Cay – the home to MacDuffs Bar and Restaurant.

And after anchoring a couple of hundred metres away from MacDuffs, we launched the dinghy off the boat and up the beach near to the bar.

Crazy Prices and Wobbly Legs

The Frigate Bar in Rock Sound has nothing on this place. If expensive is what you are looking for, you’ve found your dream spot right here. The difference, though, is that the barman at MacDuffs is a cocktail Ninja. The drinks he made for us might have looked and tasted like health drinks, but there was nothing healthy about our wobbly legs when we came to stand up. How he did that without the aid of non-alcoholic drugs I have no idea, but it was almost worth the $30+tax+gratuity for the experience.

Although guests were staying at the villas surrounding MacDuffs, none of them ventured into the bar. So, as seems to be a recurring theme, we were on our own. Despite that, or maybe because of that, the place exuded a laid-back atmosphere. No doubt aided by the acres of cushioned seating and, of course, those cocktails.

We slept well that night, but the anchorage at Norman’s Cay was a bit too rolly for a second night. So, on 16th December, we headed off further south to Shroud Cay.

 Shroud Cay

We aborted our first attempt at anchoring at Shroud Cay due to shallow water and fear of bouncing off the seabed at low tide. Besides that, the angle of the swell was at odds with the wind. Reports on Active Captain suggested that this northern section of Shroud Cay is better because of its protection from swells. I suggest not. The wind and swells here combine to create a pendulum-like motion that even the chronically dopy would find it hard to sleep through. So we headed slightly south into deeper water and a much better place to park the boat.

The next morning, about mid-tide, we took the dinghy into the river that leads towards the east of the island and circles back again. Although shallow in parts, if careful, it is possible to motor most of the way. We heard more wildlife than we saw in our trip down the river, but we saw a lot of turtles in there. And it’s worth the effort just for that.