April 16, 2007
Postscript

August 24, 2006
Tips

August 10, 2006
Differences

July 27, 2006
Easy to Please

July 13, 2006
Silence is Golden

June 29
Lots of Locks

June 15, 2006
Cross-Vesselers

June 1, 2006
Remembering

May 19, 2006
The Perfect Boat

May 4, 2006
In the Eye of the Beholder

April 20, 2006
Making Mistakes

April 6, 2006
Doris Does George Town

March 23, 2006
Getting Organized

March 9, 2006
Bridge Over troubled Waters

February 23, 2006
Birthdays on Board

February 9, 2006
Wild Horses & Wooden Ships

January 26, 2006
Packaging Paradise

January 12, 2006
Bored Games

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Off the Beaten Track -

May 16, 2002 

We've spent the past couple of weeks working our way through the Jumentos, a hundred mile crescent of islands in the southwestern corner of the Bahamas. We reached the end of the chain yesterday when we visited Duncan Town on Ragged Island. The next stop for those headed south is Cuba, 60 miles away across the Old Bahama Channel. For us, Miami is a 400 mile downwind passage to the northwest.

Duncan Town is the only community within the Jumentos. Its 125 cheerful souls share two phone lines. With the electronic connections being the way they are in this remote outpost, we would have put one of those lines out of service for the better part of the day if we had used it to e-mail a lengthy report with a photo attachment. We found the Duncan Town populace to be very friendly, but figured that reducing their contact with the outside world by half would probably strain the limits of their magnanimity. We decided to send this message via our ship's radio. Sorry, no accounts of epic proportions this time, and no photos.

We have two cruising guides that cover the Jumentos. The introductory abstract for one of the guides goes on at some length about the hazardous nature of the waters, the poor quality of the existing charts, the absence of all-weather anchorages, and the dearth of any services. It also mentions in passing that there are a lot of sharks and drug smugglers. The other guide waxes on about the islands' peaceful solitude, natural beauty, and pristine condition. The author claims he's reluctant to tell others about the Jumentos because he wants to keep them for himself.

Who is right? Since hardly anyone cruises the island chain, we pretty well had to go and find out for ourselves. To learn what we've concluded, you'll have to wait until after we arrive in Florida next week and have better access to the internet. But we'll give you a hint. We're going back next year.

Cheers, David & Eileen