Exuma Bahamas Island Gems: Little Farmers Cay & Black Point
Farmers Cay + Sea Turtles = Proud locals, Abundant marine life,
Natural beauty, Excellent dining
If you look for this special little island on a map or chart, it’s officially called Little Farmer’s Cay, but it’s locally known as Farmers Cay. (no ‘Little’ and no apostrophe) From our visit there, we can say, there’s nothing little about the amount of natural beauty and local charm on this gem of an island in the Bahamas’ Exuma chain of islands.
After a sad departure from Cave Key (we hated leaving that little slice of heaven, more on Cave Cay in another post), we knew the calendar said we must head north, so it was on to Farmers Cay. We sailed on the ‘inside route’ west of the Exumas chain. It was a short distance so we had a relaxed start to the day and left late in the morning. We had waited for low tide to visit a large sand bar just northwest of Cave Cay. (more later on that not-to-be-missed sand bar). Heading north after a day of fun on the water and sand, the sun was setting and we needed to get anchored at Farmers Cay Exuma, Bahamas. We had sea turtles to visit! We found our intended anchorage was very rolly, so we continued to the East side anchorages. That area, near the town harbor, was calmer but had strong currents. It was located near Little Farmers Cay Yacht Club, where we had moored before, but it was too rolly on this day. As we approached another anchorage, some folks on a sailboat anchored there began to frantically wave at us! We thought for sure we were about to run into a sand bar or other hazard! As we slowed and began to reverse, they yelled “we have children!” Okay…ummm, not sure what they meant but Bridget yelled for them to hop on channel 16 to explain the reason for waving and yelling. They chatted with us and just explained that they were happy to see us. (?!) While it was nice of them, it sure did give us a scare, so we decided that their alarmist yelling might not make for being great anchorage neighbors…so we headed to an empty spot north, just near Oven Rock. We tucked in close to Great Guana Key/Oven Rock just after sunset. It was so nice to have a peaceful solitary spot, but within an hour, 6 other boats had anchored nearby, thus the hazard of finding a ‘nice anchorage’ in the Bahamas…you won’t be alone for long.
The next morning we took a short dinghy ride to the small but picturesque harbour at Farmers Key. The water is beautiful and crystal clear, but the amazing attraction is the turtles in the shallow harbour. We carefully dinghied through the harbour to the beach and met up with Casell (be sure to ask for him, he was patient, kind to the turtles and very knowledgeable). He works on the dock and he offered to be our “turtle guide.” It was truly a thrill swimming with the rays and sea turtles! Having the sea turtles come up and take conch meat right from your hand as you stood in four feet of unparalleled ‘Exuma blue’ water was a day we won’t soon forget! Casell explained that we had to hold carefully and tightly or they would take the whole conch at oncc & keep your fingers and arms tucked in too! (Make sure you check out our video of our time with the turtles here.) By the way, we have had friends say that the PHOTO quality of our videos looks like a pro camera, but it’s just our fun little SJ Cam + waterproof & action kit – we love it and it’s perfect for our needs!
After about an hour with the turtles, we hopped out of the water, secured the dinghy, and began exploring the island by foot. Farmers Cay is a small island with a population of about 50-70 with only a couple of roads (and a nice airstrip). While there are only a few roads there, we still managed to get lost while looking for a place to eat lunch! Ty’s Sunset wasn’t open yet, but the Ocean Cabin Restaurant & pub looked appealing, and was open and easy to find. We sat down at the bar had a COLD beer and asked about lunch. As we found at many smaller places in the Bahamas, there was no menu and you have to order well in advance. This is a bonus because you can order what is truly the freshest catch! We decided we would spend an hour there for the meal to be cooked and get the meal of the day, local fish. The time gave us a chance to hear great jokes and stories from the owner of Ocean Cabin, Terry Bain. Terry is a bright, well-travelled, affable fellow, and a proud Bahamian as well. He was great fun to talk to, whether it’s about the history of the island or a funny story, he’s a wonderful host. The fish dinner, cooked by Terry’s wife, was simply fantastic, it was not fried but broiled to perfection with spices that made it amazing. Bridget even liked it and she is not a fan of fish!
We ran out of time and weren’t able to try Ty’s Sunset on the Beach, but so many locals and cruisers alike love it there, that we will for sure stop at Ty’s Sunset next time. We had to get ahead of some weather and had to move on the next day, to the settlement of Black Point, just a few hours north.
Black Point – Friendly Locals, Great Beach, Vacation Rentals, Cruisers Welcome!
We had heard so many great things about the settlement of Black Point, so we were anxious to check it out. Black Point is located on a large bay on Great Guana Cay, it has a population of 400-500 with nice roads and a useful airstrip. For boaters, the bay offers about 180 degrees of protection from the north-east-south, anything west is not protected. It was a short trip (about 2 hours, we took our time) to Black Point and we anchored with many other boats in nine feet of water. The was great holding in the soft sand, but that seems to be the norm in the Bahamas. The village of Black Point is a such a friendly place! The first time we took the dinghy into the beach, a really kind local went out of his way to tell us that the tide would go WAY out, leaving our dinghy high and dry (and leaving us to LIFT it back to the water!), so needless to say, the kindness of that local man saved us a lot of problems!
There are lots of rental cottages, many on the beach, some on high hills with view and easy access by boat or plane. If you need to get groceries, there are a few small stores and depending on the day, you can get most of what you’re looking for. (except ice cream, says Hal, sadly!)
Kayaking and paddle boarding:
The clear blue water in the harbor at Black Point is a calm spot for swimming to the lovely beach, for kayaking around, and for paddling boarding. Make sure you take the time to enjoy this on your stay at Black Point!
We found a few great restaurants, but mostly spent our time at Lorraine’s. Lorraine has just built her own GREAT new dock, for dinghies and large tour boats (time your meals BEFORE they arrive!) Also, Lorraine’s mom also sells great homemade breads from her tiny kitchen, but it’s like a small bakery, that she runs out of her home, which is right next to the restaurant. Lorraine’s mom welcomes you in and is proud of her bread, which is famous in many parts of the world! Try all the varieties that she bakes, you won’t be disappointed! As far as the food at Lorraine’s, we especially enjoyed the fish & macaroni n’ cheese! Again, the fish was some of the best we’ve had EVER!
Walking around town is a must! Sweet, funny, and friendly children greeted us and we talked about school and life on the island. They are eager to make new friends and their polite yet curious nature represents their parents well. It was truly wonderful to watch them playing in the water, on the basketball courts, and on the docks, instead of walking around staring at a device screen!
Finally! At one point, during our week-long stay, a small store on the island had some ice cream and Hal got a pint of Rum Raisin! All they had was Rum Raisin, no other flavors! It seems this flavor is much more popular in the Bahamas than in the USA. He sat in the shade and watched SV Traveller anchored off in the distance as he savored his first ice cream in months!
Another nice feature we saw was that the city provides a drinking water spigot close to the beach for cruisers to fill their jerry cans. There is also a great laundry center and dinghy dock for cruisers. All in all, Black Point is a welcome respite, especially for services it offers to boaters, and we highly recommend this place and its wonderful locals and its gorgeous water!