Entrance to northern creek in Shroud Cay
Shallow Part near the Entrance
Interior of Shroud Cay is all sand and mangroves
Creek opens out in Exuma Sound
Ocean beach adjacent to the creek
Picture does not do justice to drama of frontal clouds
Friends Daniel and Lucy seen on Allen's Cay
Shroud Cay, a part of the Exuma Land and Sea Park of the Bahamas, is a magical place. It is not inhabited and is preserved as a nature reserve. Most of the interior is tidal mangrove swamps interlaced with shallow creeks. One of these creeks, the northern most one, transects the cay from banks to ocean (actually Exuma Sound). It does not have a name that I know of.
White Pepper with buddy boat Gizmo I took on the challenge of crossing the cay at low tide. We had to “portage” the dingy for a bit, but the creek became deeper in the interior. Reference to the “African Queen” were inevitable although only short mangrove lined the creek, not jungle. There was abundant fish in the creek as they are under the protection of the Park.
With persistence and grit we did eventually gain the opening of the creek to the ocean. We were rewarded with possibly the most spectacular scene in the entire park. I was certainly impressed as the jungle scene gave way to an expansive white beach of the softest sand imaginable. The isolation and solitude was like something out of the Creation. After exploring the beach we climbed the dunes and were rewarded with a remarkable panorama of the island's interior. Mostly dry at low tide, it was rapidly filling up on the flood. I missed the picture because the camera's battery died. On this day the drama was increased beyond the usual by the passing of a weak cold front while we were on the beach. Dramatic clouds roiled overhead. The temperature dropped 10 degrees. An absolutely still emerald green sea began to ruffle in the new wind. The creek went from a gentle meander to a rushing stream as the tide rose and pushed water in from the sea.
The trip up the creek took at least 45 minutes motoring most of the way. The trip downstream was a sleigh ride of 10 minutes. We were spit out out onto the shallow banks (2 foot maximum depth) surrounding the cay. On the trip back to the boats I thought that this was one of those “bucket list” moments even though none of us had been prepared in advance for the experience. The northern creek on Should Cay is truly one of natures wonders.